The Manchester Monarchs, AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, finally got back into the winning column Sunday afternoon with a 4-3 OT win over the Worcester Sharks in Worcester, MA at the DCU Center.

          The Monarchs came into the night 31-31-3, 11th in the Eastern Conference, losing their previous 3 games. On Friday evening they fell to the Portland Pirates 4-2 losing the inaugural VIP Cup Rivalry Series, a season competition between two long Atlantic Division rivals, the Pirates and the Monarchs. Then the Monarchs lost again on Saturday night with a final score of 4-3 against the Providence Bruins. The Sharks entered the evening sitting 13th in the Eastern Conference with a record of 29-31-2. Monarchs head coach Mark Morris put Martin Jones in net for his 9th consecutive start while had the other end Sharks head coach Roy Sommer gave Harri Sateri the start for Worcester.

              The game had a lot of penalties in it, within the first 6 minutes into the first period there were three penalties. One coming from Worcester at 3:14 when Shark’s right-winger Matt Pelech went off for tripping while the other two from the Monarchs, one from Monarchs captain Marc-Andre Cliche and the other from Brian O’Neill, both for tripping. At the 8:52 mark of the first Sharks center Freddie Hamilton went to the sin-bin for delay of game. After two power-play chances for each team neither could come up with any goals. It wasn’t until the 12:12 mark of the first Monarch’s defensemen Andrew Campbell netted his second of the season with a pass from Brandon Kozun in the neutral zone and then getting this slapshot by Sharks goalie Sateri. Campbell’s goal would end up being the only one for the period. The first period ended with a fight between Monarchs’ Hunter Bishop and Sharks’ Yanni Gourde, Bishop collected the extra two minutes for boarding giving the Sharks a power play opportunity to start out the second period. The shot after the first period was 10 for Worcester and a shocking 3 for the Monarchs.

               The Sharks would end up knotting the game at one a piece with wrist shot from Riley Brace, his first career AHL goal in his first AHL game ever. A too many men on the ice penalty was assigned to Worcester at 8:43 of the second giving the Monarchs a power play to work with. The Monarchs would extend their lead on the power play with a goal from Monarchs center Jordan Weal as he circled around the top of the zone getting around a couple Sharks defenders and getting his wrist shot off and past Sateri for his 14th of the year. Brian O’Neill would give the Monarchs a 3-1 advantage with his third of the year at the 17:39 mark of the second period after getting a pass from Nick Deslauriers, who collected the puck from Marc-Andre Cliche’s rebound. The period would end with a penalty charged to Colton Yellow Horn at 19:39 giving the Sharks another power play opportunity to start off a period. After two periods of play the shots total was in favor of 18-11, 8 shots coming from each team in the second.

                 It would take long for the Sharks to capitalize on their power play, with only 17 seconds into the third period Sharks forward Danill Tarasov with a shot from the point giving Tarasov his 12th of the year cutting the Monarchs lead in half 3-2. There were three penalties in the third all going to the Monarchs but Jones stood his ground saving all of the Sharks shots they put on him. With Sateri pulled and the extra man on for Worcester the Monarchs looked in good shape clearing the puck out of the zone every tome the Sharks entered. With only 1.1 seconds left in the game Freddie Hamilton netted his 11th of the year with a shot getting by Jones low glove side which tied the game giving both teams 1 point each before heading into overtime. David Kolomatis took a shot from the center point which was blocked by Sateri he was able to regain the puck. Kolomatis shot it off again from the center point getting it by Sateri high stick side winning the game for the Monarchs 4-3.

              The final shot total was 29-23 Worcester. The Monarchs were 1-for-4 on the power play while the Sharks went 1-for-8. Kolomatis had 2 assists and 1 goal giving him the 1st star of the game. The Sharks fell to 29-31-2 while the Monarchs improved to 32-31-3 and are tied for 10th place in the Eastern Conference with the Albany Devils, both teams having 71 points. The Monarchs are looking to get into the Calder Cup Playoffs for their 11th time in the 12 years they’ve been in Manchester. The Monarchs return for their final home 3 home games of the regular season. On Friday they will face the Connecticut Whale at 7:00, Saturday night they will play the Hershey Bears, and there final home game of the season on Sunday afternoon against the Worcester Sharks. All three games will be played at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH.


Justin Cummings

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