Number Three In OT
Monarchs head into AHL All-Star break winning four of last five games
Manchester (25-20-0-2) is in second place in the Atlantic Division with 52 points. Worcester (20-13-4-5) is in third place in the Atlantic Division with 49 points.
“It was a relief to see that puck go into the net,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “It is nice to see Jake Muzzin get that game-winner and it was set up by a great pass from Kozy (Brandon Kozun). Kozy fed it right under a stick and Muzzin pulled the trigger and Dwight King, you could see the replay, he got his gloves in front of the goalie’s face, just block his vision for a second and the puck trickled in.”
The Monarchs scored in overtime when defenseman Jake Muzzin crushed a one-timer with the man advantage at 3:56 of the extra session. Monarchs center Justin Azevedo sent a pass from the center point to the right wing Brandon Kozun in the left face-off circle. Kozun slipped the puck under a Sharks stick and over to Muzzin for a one-timer that beat goaltender Tyson Sexsmith on his glove side for the defenseman’s fourth goal of the season.
The Monarchs opened up the scoring with a power play tally by Azevedo at 15:49 of the first period. Monarchs defenseman Patrick Mullen started the breakout by passing the puck from the Monarchs blueline along the right wing boards to right wing Stefan Legein at the Sharks blueline at the left wing point. Legein skated to the left wing face-off circle where he a backhander to Azevedo on the right doorstep. Azevedo batted the bouncing puck into the open net for his eighth goal of the season.
Manchester pushed the lead to 2-0 at 5:56 of the second stanza on a goal by left wing Dwight King. Kozun bounced the puck off the right wing boards in the neutral zone to King who was able to corral the loose puck. King gained the Sharks zone with speed toward the left side of the net and side-stepped a defenseman. Faking a wrist shot, King moved the puck to his backhand and slid the puck between the pads of Sexsmith. Mullen added his second assist of the night on King’s 10th goal of the season.
The Sharks cut the lead to 2-1 at the 16:06 mark of the third period. Forward Chad Costello played the puck from the right corner to right wing Jack Combs behind the net. Combs threw the puck in front of the cage to left wing John McCarthy who released a one-timer that was denied by Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff. McCarthy followed his initial shot and poked the puck past Zatkoff for his team-leading 12th goal of the season.
Worcester tied the game at 2-2 just 28 seconds later at 16:34 of the final frame. Defenseman Taylor Doherty passed the puck to center Marek Viedensky at the top of the right face-off circle. Viedensky skated to the left wing face-off circle before wristing a backhand shot on net. Zatkoff made the save and attempted to cover up the puck but it was poked in from under his glove for a goal by right wing James Livingston. The tying goal was Livingston’s fourth tally of the season.
Zatkoff (13-8-1) earned his 13th win of the season stopping 33-of-35 shots. Sexsmith (9-8-5) took his eighth loss of the season making 20 saves on 23 shots.
Manchester went 2-for-5 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-4 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 5-0-0-0 against the Worcester Sharks at home this season....Manchester improves to 14-0-0-1 when leading after the second period…Center Marc-Andre Cliche had his four-game point streak (3-4=7) ended…Left wing Dwight King has tallied three goals and one assist in his last four games.