Pat On The Back
WORCESTER, MA – Defenseman Patrick Mullen scored two goals to help the Manchester Monarchs defeat the Worcester Sharks, 4-0, at the DCU Center on Saturday night.
Manchester (36-31-0-3) ranks second in the Atlantic Division with 75 points. Worcester (28-29-4-7) is in fifth place in the Atlantic Division with 67 points.
“Tonight was another solid road win,” said Monarch Head Coach Mark Morris. “The shorthanded steal by (Justin) Azevedo set the tone when he polished off the breakaway beating (Harri) Sateri. Martin Jones played super in net. Patrick Mullen had a big night from the blueline and we had a few pucks bounce our way. It was a good night; we bounced back nicely.”
The Monarchs opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal by center Justin Azevedo at 6:26 of the first period. The Sharks carried the puck into the neutral zone toward the Monarchs zone. Azevedo applied pressure on the forecheck at center ice and poked the puck free from a Sharks forward. Azevedo grabbed the loose puck and skated down the middle of the ice before he faked to the backhand. He slid the puck past the outstretched left pad of Sharks netminder Harri Sateri for his team-leading 25th goal of the season. Azevedo’s third shorthanded goal of the season proved to be the eventual game-winning goal.
Defenseman David Kolomatis gave the Monarchs a 2-0 lead at 2:55 of the second period. Left wing Ray Kaunisto won a face-off in the right wing circle back to Kolomatis at the center point. Kolomatis fired a slap shot that beat Sateri for his fifth goal of the season.
The Monarchs took a 3-0 lead on the power play when Mullen scored on a rebound at 13:19 of the middle period. Azevedo executed a give-and-go with right wing Trent Hunter in the left wing corner. Azevedo charged the net from the left wing half hall and released a wrist shot from the left wing face-off circle that produced a rebound at the left post. The loose puck bounced off multiple sticks with players swiping before the puck trickled out to the right doorstep for Mullen to scoop in for his 10th goal of the season.
Mullen tallied his second goal of the game at 16:52 of the third period giving the Monarchs a 4-0 lead. Center Marc-Andre Cliche won a draw from the right wing face-off circle back to Mullen at the right point. Mullen launched a slap shot that found its way through traffic and beat Sateri for his 11th goal of the season.
Monarchs goaltender Martin Jones (16-16-2) earned his first shutout and his 16th victory of the season stopping all 28 shots. Sateri (12-17-0) took his 17th loss of the season making 18 saves on 22 shots. Sharks netminder Thomas Heemskrek (0-0-0) relieved Sateri following the Monarchs fourth goal and made 13 saves on 13 shots.
Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Worcester was 0-for-5 with the man advantage.
Notables: Monarchs Head Coach Mark Morris and Assistant Coach Scott Pellerin captured their 250th victory behind the Monarchs bench…The Monarchs are 7-3-0-0 in their last 10 contests…The Monarchs improved to 9-2-0-0 against the Worcester Sharks this season…The Monarchs lead the AHL with 14 shorthanded goals scored this season.
The Monarchs travel to the Webster Bank Arena to take on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 1. Catch all the play-by-play action of Monarchs hockey with Ken Cail on the Monarchs Radio network WGIR 610 AM, WGIR.com and at www.manchestermonarchs.com, presented by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.