The Worcester Sharks got two goals from Chris Tierney and single strikes from Matt Taormina and Taylor Doherty, and along with 29 saves from goaltender J.P. Anderson defeated the Manchester Monarchs 4-3 Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester New Hampshire for their third win in six days over the AHL’s Atlantic Division leaders. The win makes seven in a row and points in the last eight for the WorSharks, both tying franchise records.
Worcester Sharks forward Chris Tierney with the first of his two goals in
Sunday afternoon's contest as his backhander beats Manchester Monarchs
goaltender Patrik Bartosak midway through the first period.
SHARKSPAGE photo via video capture
For video highlights we’ll use the Manchester Monarchs YouTube channel.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Jimmy Bonneau, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), Eriah Hayes (shoulder), and Nick Jones. Troy Grosenick was the backup goaltender.
Worcester almost had a fifth goal by just inches, only instead of the puck not crossing the goal line it was a player not clearing the offensive zone. Konrad Abeltshauser wristed a puck that bounced along the ice from about 75 feet out that fooled Manchester Monarchs goaltender Patrik Bartosak as the puck hit off the post and into the net. Freddie Hamilton was offside by less than a stride as he failed to clear the zone and the goal was disallowed.
In the other direction, Manchester had a goal that was waved off counted after video replay. After a brief goalmouth scramble the net behind Anderson came off the pegs and with the puck in the space vacated by the net referee Jonathan Alarie immediately signaled ‘no goal’, but then indicated that the officials would go to video replay. In an oddity the other referee, David Banfield, looked at the video instead of Alarie, and after a few moments signaled the goal was good.
The silliness of “if the playoffs started today…” has begun in Worcester as the WorSharks have jumped into the top eight of the AHL’s Eastern Conference. Right now their 45 points is good for seventh, but there are three teams just a single point behind them at 44. The WorSharks do have the advantage of having at least a game in hand against all the team immediately around them, and can give themselves some breathing room against the team currently listed in the eighth spot, the Albany Devils, as the two squads play a home and home on Friday and Saturday. They can also creep into sixth place on Wednesday night with a regulation victory over the Pirates in Portland.
File this under “We didn’t think this one through”. On Saturday night as the Monarchs celebrated “Los Angeles Kings” night Manchester wore purple and gold jerseys based on Los Angeles’ sweaters from the 1980s that featured the Kings’ original crown logo on the front. On that night the Monarchs played the Providence Bruins, who wear a black and gold jersey. With both teams having gold on the shoulders it was apparently difficult for players to quickly determine who was on what team. Manchester switched to their home whites for the final two periods.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 50 Chris Tierney (2g)
2. MCH – 24 Ryan Horvat (g)
3. WOR – 26 Willie Coetzee (2a)
The Sharkspage player of the game is Matt Taormina.
Even strength lines
Worcester 2 2 0 – 4
Manchester 0 2 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Worcester, Taormina 5 (Lerg, Fedun), 5:57 (PP). 2, Worcester, Tierney 6 (Tarasov, Coetzee), 9:30 (PP). Penalties-Gratton Mch (boarding), 4:05; Auger Mch (tripping), 6:45; Mersch Mch (high-sticking), 9:07; Carpenter Wor (hooking), 17:16.
2nd Period-3, Worcester, Doherty 2 1:15. 4, Manchester, Crescenzi 2 11:27 (SH). 5, Worcester, Tierney 7 (Coetzee, DeMelo), 15:18. 6, Manchester, Horvat 1 (Gratton, Bissonnette), 18:30. Penalties-C. Miller Mch (high-sticking), 3:37; Coetzee Wor (slashing), 4:34; Forbort Mch (hooking), 10:34.
3rd Period-7, Manchester, K. Miller 1 (LoVerde, Mersch), 5:48. Penalties-C. Miller Mch (roughing), 19:57.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 7-13-7-27. Manchester 11-10-11-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 2 / 6; Manchester 0 / 2.
Goalies-Worcester, Anderson 4-6-1 (32 shots-29 saves). Manchester, Bartosak 7-6-0 (27 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Jonathan Alarie (38), David Banfield (77).
Linesmen-Jeremy Lovett (78), Joe Ross (92).