WorSharks outmatched by Manchester, lose 3-1

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, February 11, 2012 - Save & Share - One Comment

The Worcester Sharks were totally dominated by the Manchester Monarchs in every possible aspect of the game, including being held without a shot on goal for over 22 minutes of game time, en route to dropping a 3-1 decision Friday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of a crowd of 4292 fans, most of whom left before the final horn sounded.

It wouldn’t be a WorSharks/Monarchs game without Jimmy Bonneau and Justin Johnson going at it, and the two didn’t disappoint the crowd with a pretty even battle 2:32 into the contest. What disappointed the WorSharks fans in attendance was when Stefan Legein jammed home the rebound of Patrick Mullen’s shot from the right point at 8:54 on the power play. This writer’s view of the puck going over the goal line was blocked by Worcester goaltender Harri Sateri, but both the goal judge and referee Terry Koharski signaled goal at almost the exact same time even though Worcester defenseman Taylor Doherty had swept the puck away, so there was little doubt it was a good goal.

A little later in the opening period Curt Gogol and Richard Clune went at it, with Gogol taking several hard shots while waiting for an opening to develop to throw a haymaker. One never opened as Clune earned the easy win. Manchester would go on to outshoot the WorSharks 13-8 in the period.

Worcester, who can’t seem to score at all against the Monarchs, dug themselves a deeper hole in the opening moments of the second period when Brandon Kozun beat Sateri to the blocker side just 53 seconds into the period. To make matters worse, as the period moved along fans began to notice that while the Monarchs were piling up shots the number under Worcester on the scoreboard remained at eight.

There were a couple of big hits in the period. The first was the WorSharks hitting the post to the right of Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff–which does not count as a shot on goal–and the second was Matt Pelech absolutely destroying Manchester captain Marc-Andre Cliche right in front of the Monarchs penalty box. Jordan Hill went after Pelech and the WorSharks defenseman pummeled Hill for his troubles. But for most of the period, with through good defensive plays by Manchester or total ineptness by the WorSharks, Worcester simply could not put the puck on net.

Andrew Murray, assigned to the WorSharks during the week, would finally get the shot total to click to nine with what looked to be a harmless 40 foot wrist shot on the power play that Zatkoff saw all the way with 1:21 remaining in the second period. As WorSharks fans were letting out a mock cheer for the shot Jack Combs grabbed the loose puck and backhanded it past Zatkoff to light the lamp at 18:42. Nathan Moon had the second assist on the goal.

Murray had two great chances in the third period to get the WorSharks to even, but as has been the case in every game against Manchester Worcester just can’t seem to put the puck into the net. Any chance of a comeback was squashed when Legein converted while shorthanded at 7:07, and two late penalties against the WorSharks prevented what tiny chance they had of tying the game.

The Worcester Shuttle dropped off Tyson Sexsmith and Andrew Murray earlier this week, and the made an unusual stop in taking Antero Niittymaki from Worcester and bringing him to Syracuse where he was assigned to the Anaheim Ducks AHL affiliate. Jack Combs became a full-time WorSharks when he signed an AHL contract with the team. Worcester’s scratches were Ben Guite (concussion),Tony Lucia (concussion), Brian O’Hanley (healthy; skated in warm-ups), Frazer McLaren (groin), and Chad Costello (healthy). Cam MacIntyre played for the first time in 23 games after suffering a “lower body” injury. Sexsmith was the back-up netminder.

The WorSharks were awarded a penalty shot in the first period when Tim Kennedy was hauled down from behind on a breakaway at 11:47, but his bid was stopped by a good glove save by Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff.

In preparation for Sunday’s “Pink in the rink” game the ice was already colored pink, and the DCU Center crew did a great job in making it look very nice. Other than the pink color the surface played well, perhaps even a little better than normal in a building known for a pretty good sheet. The interesting part is with the pink base you can easily see all the snow that’s generated as a period goes on. The amount is a lot more than I was thinking it was, so it’s no wonder the dry scrape before shootouts.

Bryan Marchment joined head coach Roy Sommer and assistant coach David Cunniff behind the bench for the game.

The three stars of the game were:
1. MCH – Legein (2g)
2. MCH – Zatkoff (17 saves)
3. MCH – Cliche (2a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Harri Sateri.


Manchester 1 1 1 – 3
Worcester 0 1 0 – 1

1st Period-1, Manchester, Legein 7 (Mullen, Cliche), 8:54 (PP). Penalties-Johnson Mch (fighting), 2:32; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 2:32; Pelech Wor (high-sticking), 8:16; Hudson Mch (interference), 9:09; Irwin Wor (interference), 9:51; Muzzin Mch (interference), 12:23; Clune Mch (fighting), 14:40; Gogol Wor (fighting), 14:40; Mullen Mch (hooking), 16:29.

2nd Period-2, Manchester, Kozun 13 (Vey, Czarnik), 0:53. 3, Worcester, Combs 9 (Murray, Moon), 18:42 (PP). Penalties-Moon Wor (interference), 2:31; Hill Mch (fighting), 11:29; Pelech Wor (fighting), 11:29; Clune Mch (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:32; Viedensky Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:32; Kennedy Wor (high-sticking), 13:46; Clune Mch (boarding), 17:01; Acolatse Wor (cross-checking), 19:29.

3rd Period-4, Manchester, Legein 8 (Cliche), 7:07 (SH). Penalties-Czarnik Mch (hooking), 1:59; Muzzin Mch (high-sticking), 6:49; Moon Wor (tripping), 15:46; Reid Wor (hooking), 18:12.

Shots on Goal-Manchester 13-9-6-28. Worcester 8-2-8-18.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 1 / 7; Worcester 1 / 6.
Goalies-Manchester, Zatkoff 15-9-1 (18 shots-17 saves). Worcester, Sateri 10-8-0 (28 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Jarrod Ragusin (54).
Linesmen-Scott Whittemore (96), Brian MacDonald (72).

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Time February 12, 2012 at 5:08 PM

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