Sharks can’t get by Jones
The Manchester Monarchs, AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Worcester Sharks, AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks 3-1 Wednesday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA.
The Manchester Monarchs took a short one and a half hour drive to Worcester, MA to take on the Sharks for 2 points. Before the puck drop the Sharks were 11th in the Eastern Conference with 65 points while the Monarchs were tied for ninth with the Norfolk Admirals in the Conference. The starting goalie for the Monarchs was Martin Jones, who started in the past 3 starts for the Monarchs and at the other head Sharks head coach, Roy Sommer, put Harri Sateri between the pipes. Once the puck dropped to Monarchs had control of the puck for most of the period. Only 2:01 into the first Worcester went to the box first with a hooking call against sharks forward Danill Tarasov, the Monarchs couldn’t capitalize on that power play opportunity. The Monarchs would strike first at 8:59 of the first with a goal from Vincent LoVerde, his second of the year, giving Manchester a 1-0 lead, another penalty was assigned to the sharks at the 11:53 mark of the first to center James Livingston for interference, again, the monarchs couldn’t do anything with it. Right after Livingston’s penalty Monarch’s Colton Yellow Horn went to the box for tripping at 13:20 giving the Sharks there first power play of the night but didn’t score. With only 33 seconds left in the first the Sharks were called again for hooking giving the Monarchs about 1:30 left on the power play as they started the second period. After the first period the Monarchs were leading in the shots column 13-9
With the Monarchs on the power play starting the second period David Kolomatis took advantage of it shooting the puck from the middle of the circle getting the puck past Sateri. The Sharks went on to get another penalty only 2:33 into the second when Mike Brennan was called for boarding, fortunately for the Sharks the Monarchs couldn’t score. Manchester’s Brandon Kozun went on to put another goal on the board for the Monarchs after crossing the faceoff dot and getting by traffic to stuff it into the back of the net which gave the Monarchs a 3-0 lead, once Sateri let that Kozun’s goal in coach Sommer pulled Sateri and put in recently recalled Thomas Heemskerk. After two more power play opportunities for the Sharks they still couldn’t get past Jones. After the second period the shots were 27-22 in favor to the Monarchs.
The third period started with the Sharks picking up the pace, getting momentum, and putting more and more shots on goal but still couldn’t get the puck past Jones until 13:32 of the third, ruining Jones’s shutout bid. Bracken Kearns passed the puck to Peter Sivak to get the puck finally past Jones for his second of the year. The Monarchs would go to the penalty box two more times in the third, but the Sharks couldn’t do anything and the Monarchs held on to win 3-1 thanks to Jones who gave another stellar performance, stopping 19 shots in the third and 40 total leading him to the third star of the night followed by Kozun and then LoVerde being the first.
The Monarchs improved to 31-28-3 moving up to 9 in the Eastern Conference for the Calder Cup Playoffs, only 2 points away from being in 8th in the Conference while the Sharks fell to 29-27-1 with 65 points in the Conference keeping them at 11 in the conference. The next time the Monarchs will play will be on Friday, March 29th, against their Atlantic Division rival, Portland Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center up in Portland, ME, they’ll get a rare weekend off and will return to the ice at home to take the Providence Bruins next Friday, April 5th.