Monarchs Beached in Third Period
WORCESTER, MA - The Manchester Monarchs fell to the Worcester Sharks, 4-3, in game one of the 2010 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Final at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon.
"I thought we executed our game plan to a tee early on in the game," said Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris. "They got a lucky bounce that was deflected off one of our guys' sticks that handcuffed (Jonathan) Bernier. That gave (the Sharks) momentum.
"We made some poor defensive choices. Attention to detail is critical right now. We need to put it behind us and move on. It was a great opportunity to put one in the bank and we fumbled."
The Sharks answered back with center Steve Zalewski's first goal of the playoffs at 11:10 of the final stanza. Left wing Brandon Mashinter snapped a wrist shot from between the hash marks that goaltender Jonathan Bernier made the pad save on. The rebound popped free to the bottom of the left wing where Zalewski was positioned for the one-timer and the go-ahead goal. Forward Dean Strong earned an assist on the goal. Zalewski's goal was the third goal scored by the Sharks in the third period, as they trailed 3-1 entering the final period.
Just 35 seconds into the game, the Monarchs took a 1-0 lead with center Oscar Moller's second tally of the playoffs. Center Andrei Loktionov fed the puck up the ice to Moller who was skating along the left wing. With a burst of speed, Moller skated over the Sharks blueline with Worcester's defense chasing him. Moller snapped a wrist shot from the slot that beat Sharks netminder Alex Stalock on his glove side for the early 1-0 advantage for the Monarchs. Right wing Trevor Lewis also assisted on the goal.
Skating 4-on-4 with Monarchs defenseman Joe Piskula in the penalty box for high sticking and Sharks defenseman Justin Braun off for hooking, Manchester doubled their lead at 9:37 of the first period. Left wing Dwight King sent the puck to the right point for defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov. Settling the puck, Voynov fired a slap shot that deflected off the stick of right wing John Zeiler before soaring into the top left corner of the Sharks net. Zeiler's second goal of the playoffs gave the Monarchs a 2-0 lead in the game.
The Sharks cut the Monarchs lead in half at 14:54 of the second period. Left wing Dennis McCauley picked up the loose puck in the neutral zone and handed it off to right wing Benn Ferriero who carried it into Monarchs territory. Ferriero ripped a quick slap shot from the left wing half wall that deflected off a Monarchs defenseman and took an awkward bounce that eluded Bernier.
Worcester evened the game at 2-2 with Strong's first goal of the playoffs at 2:02 of the third period. Defenseman Danny Groulx started the play at the left point when he sent a pass to Zalewski in the right face-off circle. Zalewski could not control the pass and the puck bounced off his stick about a foot to his left. Strong came flying in from the right point to blast a one-timer past Bernier.
Center Cory Quirk gave the Sharks their first lead of the game at 6:29 of the final frame with his first goal of the playoffs. McCauley sprung Quirk on a breakaway from the neutral zone. Quirk skated down the left wing and beat Bernier on his glove side with a shot into the right corner of the net.
King knotted the score at 3-3 with his first goal of the playoffs at 9:32 of the third period. Left wing Bud Holloway grabbed the puck behind the Sharks cage and handed it off to center Justin Azevedo who flipped a backhand pass to King in the slot. King one-timed a shot past Stalock to even the game.
Bernier (4-1) took his first loss of the playoffs with 23 saves on 27 shots. Stalock (5-1) picked up his fifth win of the playoffs with 22 saves.
Manchester went 0-for-4 on the power play. Worcester was 0-for-3 with the man advantage.
NOTABLES: This was Manchester's first playoff loss since April 21, 2008...The three goals the Monarchs gave up in the third period to the Sharks is the most in a period this playoff season...Monarchs goaltender Jonathan Bernier took his first loss of the playoffs...Left wing Dwight King scored his first goal of the playoffs...With an assist on King's first goal of the playoffs, left wing Bud Holloway and center Justin Azevedo have both recorded a point in each playoff game this season...Center Andrei Loktionov has four assists in his last two games...Center 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.
The Monarchs will battle the Sharks in game two of the 2010 Calder Cup Atlantic Division Final on Wednesday, April 28 at 7:05 p.m. at the DCU Center. Fans that are unable to see Wednesday's game in person can attend the Monarchs Viewing Party at PJ O'Sullivans in Manchester. PJ O'Sullivans will air the game live on their projection screen and offer food and drink specials to all Monarchs fans. Catch all of the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WSMN 1590 AM and at www.manchestermonarchs.com.
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