Monarchs Weals Keep On Turning
WORCESTER, MA – Center Jordan Weal scored in the third period and broke a tied game to lead the Manchester Monarchs to a 3-1 victory over the Worcester Sharks at the DCU Center on Friday night.
Manchester (18-17-2-2) is ranked fourth in the Atlantic Division with 40 points. The Sharks (19-16-1-3) are in second place in the Atlantic Division with 42 points.
“We had a sluggish first period but came out skating in the second and third,” said Monarch Head Coach Mark Morris. “The forecheck helped us to generate some offense hemming Worcester in their end and we were able to capitalize. When we gave up chances against Jonesy was solid for us. He looks good. He picked right up where he left off up in St. John’s.”
Weal broke a 1-1 tie at 7:27 of the third period with his fourth goal of the season. Center Andrei Loktionov passed the puck from the right wing half wall to right wing Stefan Legein between the top of the face-off circles. Legein carried the puck to the bottom of the right wing face-off circle before wristing a shot on goal producing a rebound in front of the net. Weal banged the rebound home for the eventual game-winning goal.
The Sharks opened the scoring with a breakaway goal by center Jon Matsumoto at 1:30 of the first period. Right wing Daniil Tarasov picked off a pass between the face-off circles by a Monarchs defenseman from the left point. Matsumoto broke out of the Sharks defensive zone and Tarasov fed him the puck as he entered the neutral zone, splitting the Monarchs defensemen. Matsumoto skated down the middle and into the slot before wristing a shot just over the left leg pad of Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones for his 10th goal of the season.
Center Linden Vey tied the game, 1-1, at 7:33 of the second period. Loktionov dumped the puck into the Sharks zone down the right wing boards before going for a line change. Left wing Tanner Pearson chased down the puck behind the net before it got poked free. Right wing Brandon Kozun grabbed the puck but it was poke checked again, this time the puck went to the left wing corner. Vey tracked down the loose puck and circled inside the left wing face-off circle before wristing a shot on net. Vey’s shot beat Sharks netminder Harri Sateri midway up on the stick side for his ninth goal of the season.
Monarchs right wing Tyler Toffoli finished off the scoring with a goal at 18:48 of the third period. Center Andy Andreoff skated with the puck behind the net and sent a centering pass for Toffoli in the slot. Toffoli corralled the pass and wristed a shot high on the stick side of Sateri for the goal. Vey also tallied an assist on Toffoli’s team-leading 19th goal of the season.
Jones (9-13-2) earned his ninth victory of the season stopping 28-of-29. Sateri (7-9-1) took his ninth loss of the season making 17 saves on 20 shots.
Manchester went 0-for-1 on the power play. Worcester was 0-for-2 with the man advantage.
Notables: Monarchs center Linden Vey is on a nine-game point streak (1-13=14)…Monarchs center Jordan Weal has four points (3-1=3) in his last five games…Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones won back-to-back games for the first time since October 27-28.
The Monarchs will raise a banner to commemorate the Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Championship during their first ever Los Angeles Kings Night against the Providence Bruins at 7:00 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday, January 19. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio Network WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.