The Worcester Sharks had a great opening 90 seconds to start their Friday night contest, with Jimmy Bonneau administering some punishment to Andrei Loktionov for Loktionov’s blind side hit to Curt Gogol on New Year’s Eve and Jon Matsumoto scoring a nice breakaway goal after a long feed from Daniil Tarasov, but that was pretty much the end of the highlights for the WorSharks as they couldn’t light the lamp again and dropped a 3-1 contest to the Manchester Monarchs at the DCU Center in front of 3,437 fans.
Lost in the fog of the WorSharks four game losing streak (0-3-0-1) has been the play of of PTO signee Denny Urban, as the would-have-been ECHL All-Star defenseman has taken Worcester by storm. It looked like Urban would be one of the “one and done” guys that AHL teams call upon in times of need when he was signed for the December 21st game at Providence, but with injuries and recalls to the regulars Urban was brought back and his great play has continued. Since that December game the Robert Morris University graduate and second year pro has played 10 games for the WorSharks–the team has played 13–and he is third on the team in scoring from that point (3-4-7) trailing just Jon Matsumoto (6-7-13 in 13 games) and the NHL bound James Sheppard (2-7-9 in 8 games). Urban also has a nifty shootout goal to his credit.
In a funny story about Urban, this writer and Senior Director of Business & Community Development Mike Myers were talking at the end of the first intermission Wednesday at the game vs Hershey about Urban and how we both really like his style of play. Within seconds of our conversation ending and before either of us could get to our normal perches there was a loud pinging noise of the puck hitting the post, and then the goal horn went off. It was Urban, with a rifle from about thirty feet out that hit the far post, banked into the net and then off the support in the back, and then out again off the near post.
When it’s all said and done Worcester may end up with a logjam at defense. But they need to make sure Denny Urban is part of that group, if not for this season than most definitely for next. Because if Urban is released from the WorSharks he will most certainly be back in Worcester, only in another team’s jersey.
The official list of scratches for the WorSharks was Taylor Doherty (achilles), Sena Acolatse (jaw), Danny Groulx (concussion), Tim Kennedy (lower body), Mike Brennan (unknown injury) and Curt Gogol (neck). James Sheppard, Nick Petrecki, Matt Irwin, John McCarthy, Matt Pelech, and Bracken Kearns were all listed as in San Jose, although McCarthy, Pelech, and Kearns were en route to Worcester at game time. Also en route to Worcester is Marek Viedensky, who has recovered from an injury he suffered in San Francisco (ECHL) and has been recalled.
The Sharkspage game post for Wednesday’s shootout loss to Hershey somehow never posted, so word of Brandon Mashinter’s trade to the New York Rangers is now fairly old news. Mashinter was traded for left winger Tommy Grant, and Grant made his debut Friday vs Manchester. San Jose also gets a conditional seventh round draft pick, and all evidence points toward Mashinter re-signing with the Rangers as being the condition.
With the game being on local television the WorSharks wore their teal road jersey while Manchester wore their home whites. Eric Lindquist was joined in the booth by 2008-09 James H. Ellery Memorial Award winner Kevin Shea. The James H. Ellery Memorial Awards are given out in three categories (newspaper, radio, and television) in recognition of outstanding media coverage of the AHL. Worcester Telegram and Gazette writer Bill Ballou is a two time winner in the newspaper category, once in 1996-97 for covering the Worcester IceCats, and again in 2006-07 during his first season covering the WorSharks.
The three stars of the game were
1. MCH – 31 Martin Jones (28 saves)
2. MCH – 19 Jordan Weal (g)
3. WOR – 18 Yanni Gourde (not sure why)
The Sharkspage player of the game is Jon Matsumoto.
Manchester 0 1 2 – 3
Worcester 1 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Worcester, Matsumoto 10 (Tarasov, Reid), 1:30. Penalties-Andreoff Mch (fighting), 0:01; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 0:01; Wilson Wor (kneeing), 6:12; Johnson Mch (fighting), 9:02; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 9:02; Deslauriers Mch (elbowing), 14:08.
2nd Period-2, Manchester, Vey 9 (Kozun, Pearson), 7:33. Penalties-Vey Mch (slashing), 1:29; O’Neill Mch (slashing), 9:49; Tennyson Wor (roughing), 9:49.
3rd Period-3, Manchester, Weal 4 (Legein, Loktionov), 7:27. 4, Manchester, Toffoli 19 (Andreoff, Vey), 18:48. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Manchester 6-7-7-20. Worcester 6-12-11-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 0 / 1; Worcester 0 / 2.
Goalies-Manchester, Jones 9-13-2 (29 shots-28 saves). Worcester, Sateri 7-9-1 (20 shots-17 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86), Dave Lewis (46).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Jack Millea (23).