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January 26. 2014 9:16PM

5-point weekend

With shootout loss Sunday, Monarchs will take five-point weekend


Manchester Monarchs players, from left, Vincent LoVerde, Nicvk Deslauriers, Sean Backman, Jordan Weal, and Brian O'Neill, celebrate Backman's goal vs. the Portland Pirates in the first period of their game at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester Saturday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

The Manchester Monarchs almost had a six-point weekend, but had to settle for five.

The Monarchs, who won on Friday and Saturday, came back to earn one point on Sunday, losing 4-3 at Worcester in a shootout.

Goaltender Mathias Niederberger started his first AHL game for Manchester.

Manchester (28-12-2-5) leads the Atlantic Division with 63 points.

“We had to claw our way back into the game Worcester,” said Monarchs head coach Mark Morris. “It was a hard-earned point. Looking at the big picture, five-of-six points doesn’t look too bad on paper.”

Manchester beat Worcester 2-1 in the Queen City on Friday and Portland 3-2 in overtime on Saturday at Verizon Wireless Arena. Manchester wore the Los Angeles Kings’ third jersey from the mid-1990s Saturday, known as the “Burger King” jersey.

Manchester trailed 3-0 Sunday before mounting a comeback against the Sharks.

“A couple sluggish defensive plays put us in a big hole early,” said Morris. “I was pleased we gave ourselves a chance to win. We didn’t quit and that’s important, we stayed with it.”

The Monarchs ended goalie Harri Sateri’s shutout bid with Jordan Weal’s 10th goal of the season at 15:24 of the second period. Defenseman Colin Miller brought the Monarchs to within one goal at 18:22 of the middle period. Weal carried the puck up the right wing and sent a pass to Miller at the right point. With right wing Brian O’Neill screening the netminder, and Miller blasted a one-timer into the back of the net for his third tally.

Right wing A.J. Gale tied the game at 8:54 of the third period with his seventh goal.

Right wing Zach O’Brien was the lone Monarchs player to beat Sateri in the shootout.

Forward Nick Shore, center Jordan Weal, center Linden Vey, and left wing Tanner Pearson were denied. Left wing Yanni Gourde and right wing Dan DaSilva beat Niederberger for the shootout victory.

Niederberger (0-0-1) stopped 28-of-31 shots through regulation and overtime. Sateri (12-15-1) turned back 28 of 31 shots.

The Monarchs host the Binghamton Senators at Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday at 7 p.m.


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