MANCHESTER, NH – The Worcester Sharks (23-20-3-1, 50pts) kicked off the unofficial second half of the AHL regular season schedule with a 5-1 loss to the first place Manchester Monarchs (32-14-2-5, 71pts) in front of 4,595 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday evening. Game four of the Sharks five game road trip continues on Saturday at 7:05pm in Binghamton vs. the Senators.
Freddie Hamilton scored his team leading 14th goal for the Sharks while Troy Grosenick earned third star honors with 38 saves. Tyler Toffoli scored three goals for Manchester and Linden Vey added four assists as the Monarchs outshot Worcester 43-24.
Manchester dominated the first period and grabbed a 1-0 lead by outshooting Worcester 18-6. Jordan Weal (12th) finished off a nice rush on the power play with a laser back hander past Troy Grosenick at 8:25 for the only score in the opening frame. Troy Grosenick was the best player on the ice for Worcester as he made several great saves which included a breakaway try by Tyler Toffoli late in the period.
Freddie Hamilton (14th) fired home a power play score past goaltender Martin Jones with a rebound strike just 1:33 into the second period to tie the score at 1-1. Tyler Toffoli (11th) finished off a 3-on-2 rush sending home a cross the crease pass at 11:18 and Tanner Pearson (17th) struck with a 5-on-3 power play goal at 14:17 as he banked the puck off the stick of Matt Tennyson to put Manchester ahead 3-1. Manchester outshot Worcester 10-5 in the second period.
In the third period, Tyler Toffoli added his 12th at 11:03 and recorded the hat trick at 14:34 to put Manchester ahead 5-1. The Monarchs outshot the Sharks 15-13 in the third period.
The Sharks overall record falls to 23-20-3-1, 50pts and 11-11-3-0, 25pts on the road.
Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Troy Grosenick (38 saves) 2nd star: Linden Vey (0-4-4) 1st star: Tyler Toffoli (3-0-3)… Final shots were 43-24 in favor of Manchester…Martin Jones made 23 saves on 24 shots for Manchester … Troy Grosenick made 38 saves on 43 shots for Worcester…. Worcester went 1-for-3 on the power play while Manchester went 2-for-6… Daniil Tarasov (inj), Matt Pelech (inj), Jimmy Bonneau, Marek Viedensky (inj), and Adam Comrie (travel) did not dress for Worcester… earlier in the week the Sharks released Scott Fleming from his PTO and loaned Tyler Gron to the Ontario Reign (ECHL)…. John McCarthy played his first AHL game since the Sharks home opener on Oct 19… the Sharks dressed seven defensemen….Chad Rau has a two game point streak (0-2-2) after an assist on the Hamilton score… Worcester has scored just 11 goals in eight games vs. the Monarchs this season.