The Manchester Monarchs dropped their annual New Year’s Eve game to the Worcester Sharks 3-2.
The loss has the Monarchs under .500 at (14-15-2-2) and in fourth place in the Atlantic Division, while Worcester (16-11-1-2) remains in second place with 37 points.
Tied 2-2 with just over a minute remaining, Peter Mannino misplayed a bouncing puck behind the net and was unable to get back into position in time to fend off John McCarthy, who skated down the slot and tapped in a centering pass from Tim Kennedy in the right corner.
After two first period tallies by Worcester’s Jon Matsumoto and center Freddie Hamilton, Mannino settled into a nice rhythm and at one point held the Sharks scoreless during a two minute 5-on-3 power play that resulted when Monarchs rookie Andy Andreoff laid out Worcester’s Curt Gogol with a head shot. Gogol gave a thumbs up as he left the ice on a stretcher.
Sharks backstop Harri Sateri, who turned 23 two days earlier, had a busy night defending the cage as the Monarchs relentless offense out shot Worcester by a 2-1 margin. Sateri showed he was up to the task early on by halting back to back point blank shots in the opening stanza.
A Thomas Hickey wrister from center ice found it’s way thru traffic and beat Sateri high glove side in the middle of the second frame cutting the lead to 2-1. Brandon Kozun tied it at 2 with 48 ticks remaining on the clock when he skated down the right wing, crossed in front of the net and went five-hole with a backhander for his ninth of the season.
A perfect 12-for-12 third period gave Sateri (6-6-1) his sixth victory of the season after stopping 35 of 37 on the night. It also gave the Finnish San Jose prospect a 5-2-0 record and impressive .938 save percentage in December.