Monarchs Bounce Sharks, 3-1
Manchester (28-21-0-2) is in second place in the Atlantic Division with 58 points. Worcester (21-15-4-5) is tied for fourth place in the division with 51 points.
“We played a full 60 minutes tonight,” said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. “Stefan Legein had a hot stick with two goals and our penalty kill was very good. I like our physicality and our compete level. Justin Johnson and Richard Clune did their part with some good scraps standing up for their teammates. We had our skating legs and we were hard on the puck. Slava Voynov added solid play to our defensive unit and Nick Deslauriers played left wing where he looked pretty comfortable. In total, we were very pleased with the effort.”
The Monarchs pushed their lead to 2-0 only 53 seconds into the second period as right wing Brandon Kozun scored the eventual game-winning goal. Center Robbie Czarnik dropped a pass back to right wing Linden Vey at the Sharks blueline along the left wing boards. Vey carried the puck down to the left wing and circled back along the half wall before hitting Kozun in the high slot. Kozun snapped a wrist shot that beat Sharks netminder Harri Sateri on his blocker side. Kozun’s 13th goal of the season stood to be the game-winning tally.
The Monarchs opened the scoring at 8:54 of the opening frame with a power play goal from Legein. Center Marc-Andre Cliche passed from the left point to defenseman Patrick Mullen at the right point. Mullen corralled the puck and fired a slap shot that rang off the left post and ricocheted to Legein who was on the right doorstep. Legein quickly jammed the puck through the five-hole of Sateri for his seventh goal of the season.
The Sharks cut the Monarchs lead to 2-1 as right wing Jack Combs scored at 18:42 of the second period. With the Sharks on the power play, forward Nathan Moon passed the puck from the right corner to center Andrew Murray at the right point. Murray skated the puck to the center point and fired a slap shot which Monarchs goaltender Jeff Zatkoff made the initial save on. Combs swiped at the rebound and sent the puck between Zatkoff’s pads for his ninth goal of the season.
Legein added a shorthanded insurance goal for the Monarchs at 7:07 of the final frame. Cliche took the puck off a Sharks turnover on the right wing boards along the Monarchs blueline and fed Legein a pass at center ice. Legein picked up speed and skated in on a break away. The right wing wristed a shot past Sateri on the glove side for his eighth goal of the season.
Zatkoff (15-9-1) earned his 15th victory of the season stopping 17-of-18 shots. Sateri (10-8-0) took his eighth loss of the season making 25 saves on 28 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-7 on the power play. Worcester was 1-for-6 with the man advantage.
Notables: The Monarchs are 7-2-0-0 against the Worcester Sharks this season…Right wing Stefan Legein tallied two goals including a shorthanded goal in the third period…Monarchs defenseman Slava Voynov made his return to the Monarchs line-up after playing in 33 games for the Los Angeles Kings…Center Paul Crowder made his Monarchs debut.