Darryl Hunt: Zalewski, WorSharks Win Game One Over Manchester 4-3

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, April 25, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The Worcester Sharks overcame an early two goal deficit and scored three goals in the third period to defeat the Manchester Monarchs 4-3 in game one of their best of seven Atlantic Division Final Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. Game two is Wednesday in Worcester.

The last thing the WorSharks wanted to do was fall behind early to one of the AHL’s best defensive teams, but that’s exactly what they did just 35 seconds into the contest. With Worcester opening the game pressuring the Monarchs the WorSharks turned over the puck just inside the Manchester zone, where Oscar Moller was able to stay just a half stride ahead of Worcester defensemen Mike Moore through three zone and skate in on Alex Stalock. Moller fired a wrister over Stalock’s glove for the 1-0 lead.

Manchester would make it 2-0 at 9:17 as the teams skated four on four. With the Worcester defense scrambling around in their own zone, Manchester defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov threw a shot on net from the right point that John Zeiler was able to tip past Stalock.

Worcester would cut the lead in half at 14:54 of the second period when a couple of bounces fell perfectly for them. The first lucky bounce went to Dennis McCauley, who scooped up a loose puck in the neutral zone and skated down the left wing side. McCauley then fed Benn Ferriero, who fired a shot that Monarchs Jonathan Bernier looked to have an easy bead on. Unfortunately for Bernier, the shot tipped off a Manchester defenseman and bounced around Bernier to light the lamp.

The WorSharks would get even early in the third period when Brandon Mashinter crashed the net raising the ire of Bernier, who knocked the onrushing forward to the ice. While that was going on Danny Groulx sent a hard pass from the left point across the slot to Steven Zalewski, who was unable to control the speedy puck and it bounced away from him. Dean Strong was able to pounce on the loose puck and blast a one-timer past Bernier at 2:02 to make the game 2-2.

Just seconds after the WorSharks tied the score Manchester almost grabbed the lead right back when Gabe Gauthier found himself all alone in the slot with the puck coming right at him, but Stalock was able to square himself to the shot and get the glove up to snuff out the scoring chance.

Cory Quirk would give Worcester its first lead of the series at 6:29 after a great play by McCauley sent Quirk and Ferriero into the Manchester zone on a two on one. After some pressure from Manchester McCauley was able to dig the puck free from along the left side halfboards and send it up ice, where Quirk picked it up and skated into the Monarchs zone. With several Monarch players diving to get into the passing lane Quirk never took his eye off of Bernier, and beat the netminder over the glove side.

No one expected Manchester to roll over after giving up the lead, and they gave their numerous fans in the building something to cheer about when Dwight King took a Justin Azevedo feed from behind the Worcester net and blasted the puck on goal. Stalock was able to get a small piece of it with his glove, but not enough to stop the laser from lighting the lamp at 9:32.

The WorSharks would put the final nail in the coffin under two minutes later when Strong sent Mashinter deep in to the Manchester zone with a pass from the left point. Bernier made the pad save on Mashinter’s blast, but Zalewski was streaking to the far post and flipped the rebound over Bernier to make it 4-3 at 11:10 of the third.

Manchester continued to press in the Worcester zone, with the WorSharks defense collapsing on their netminder to prevent any rebounds from being shot back on goal. The Monarchs were unable to generate much offense with an extra attacker after pulling Bernier, and after an easy clear after a late faceoff in the WorSharks zone time expired on Manchester’s hopes of tying game one.

Worcester started the game with the same line-up as game five against Lowell, but lost T.J. Trevelyan for the game to a high stick just over six minutes into the contest. Manchester defenseman Joe Piskula received a double minor for the high stick, although it looked like the stick that injured Trevelyan belonged to linemate Kevin Henderson.

The game one victory was the first ever in WorSharks history, having lost the first game in each of their four previous playoff series. Manchester and Worcester have previously met in the playoffs, with the Monarchs defeating the WorSharks 4-2 in a best of seven opening round series in 2006-2007.

According to the Manchester Monarchs, Oscar Moller’s goal 35 seconds into the game marks the third time in the last three games that the Monarchs have opened up a playoff game by scoring within the first 35 seconds; center Marc-Andre Cliche scored 35 seconds into game three of the Portland series and right wing Trevor Lewis scored 31 seconds into game four of that same series. They also note that Worcester’s three third period goals are the most Manchester has given up all season.

The three stars of the game were
1. Zalewski (gwg,a)
2. Strong (g,a)
3. King (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Dennis McCauley.


Manchester 2 0 1 – 3
Worcester 0 1 3 – 4

1st Period-1, Manchester, Moller 2 (Loktionov, Lewis), 0:35. 2, Manchester, Zeiler 2 (Voynov, King), 9:17. Penalties-Piskula Mch (double minor – high-sticking), 6:18; Braun Wor (hooking), 8:49; Desjardins Wor (high-sticking), 10:11.

2nd Period-3, Worcester, Ferriero 4 (McCauley), 14:54. Penalties-King Mch (hooking), 3:01; Henderson Wor (holding), 9:41; Desjardins Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:56.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, Strong 1 (Zalewski, Groulx), 2:02. 5, Worcester, Quirk 1 (McCauley, Joslin), 6:29. 6, Manchester, King 1 (Azevedo, Holloway), 9:32. 7, Worcester, Zalewski 1 (Mashinter, Strong), 11:10. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal
Manchester 12-7-6-25
Worcester 7-9-11-27.

Power Play Opportunities
Manchester 0 of 4
Worcester 0 of 3.

Manchester, Bernier 4-1-0 (27 shots-23 saves)
Worcester, Stalock 5-1-0 (25 shots-22 saves).

A-1,708. Referee-Chris Brown (86). Linesmen-Bob Bernard (4), Chris Libett (19).

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