action:article | category:SPORTS0702 | adString:SPORTS0702 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Hockey » Monarchs

March 28. 2014 10:32PM

Monarchs dominate Sharks, clinch playoff spot


Manchester's Hunter Bishop scores on Worcester goalie Harri Sateri in the first period of Friday's game at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

MANCHESTER — The Manchester Monarchs jumped on the Worcester Sharks early, piled up the first-period goals and rode the fast start to a 5-1 win before 6,104 fans at Verizon Wireless Arena on Friday night.

The Monarchs got a pair of goals from red-hot forward Brian O’Neill and three assists from defenseman Colin Miller and won for the seventh time in their last eight games.

They clinched an American Hockey League playoff spot with eight games to go in the regular season, starting tonight against the Portland Pirates in Lewiston, Maine.

“We took advantage of the opportunities we had when we had guys in position,” said coach Mark Morris. “We skated real hard and checked real hard in the first and forced some turnovers and that was probably the big reason we made the most of our chances. It’s good to get a start where you’re not stressed out the whole game.”

How dominant was the home team? Monarchs fans had earned the free fries that come with every four-goal performance before the first 20 minutes were over.

Miller assisted on the first three scores and the Monarchs were up 4-0 when the period ended.

James Livingston, a Shark when the month started, tipped in a Jeff Schultz shot from the point to get things going just 1:21 into the game. The Los Angeles Kings acquired Livingston from the San Jose Sharks on March 5 for a conditional seventh-round selection in the 2016 NHL Draft.

O’Neill, just out of the penalty box, took a pass on the right boards from Miller and set up Hunter Bishop coming down the middle of the ice for 2-0 at 9:18.

Scott Sabourin was out front and turned and put a soft shot along the ice that Steve Quailer deflected past Harri Sateri to make it 3-0 with 5:05 left in the period.

O’Neill scored on the power play for 4-0 with 1:14 left in the period.

After a scoreless second period, the Sharks finally got on the board with a goal from Dylan DeMelo at the 3:36 mark of the third period.

The Monarchs quickly pushed the lead back to four goals on O’Neill’s second goal of the night at 6:40.

“We’re getting lot of contributions,” Morris said. “The O’Neill line especially had been unbelievable. Those guys bring so much energy.

They have the puck on their stick a lot. They skate hard and they check hard and they’re a big reason why we get games started on the right foot.”

O’Neill skates the right wing with Sean Backman at center and Jordan Weal on the left.

O’Neill has 10 goals, including a couple of hat tricks, in the team’s last eight games.

J.F. Berube made 27 saves for the win.

Sateri had 21 saves for Worcester.

alessels@unionleader.com


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Former New Hampshire goalie DeSmith tells his side of arrest, dismissal from team

NH hockey team moving to Maine could be worth at least $1 million in economic activity say city officials

New owners of Claremont plan to put speedway back on track

Speedway in Claremont bought for nearly $519,000

Lebanon marathoner qualifies for US Olympic Trials

Matt Bonner talks about the end of the run, making the simple play, and playing until he's 40

Ex-UNH goalie agrees to diversion,receive counseling, avoids jail

Wildcats will face Chattanooga in prime time

New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies teaches supporters how to believe

Helmetless Football? Its the new practice at UNH

CASEY DeSMITH

DeSmith officially dismissed from New Hampshire team, but can return to class as of Dec. 20

San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15), of Concord, N.H., shoots the ball against Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) during the second half at TD Garden.

Rapper Lil B gives shoutout to…Matt Bonner?

Manchester Central's Tyler Stratton watches his shot get by Spaulding High School (Rochester) goalie Derek Scott during a shootout at the 2012 Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic hosted at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

VFW downsizing threatens Spaulding hockey due to loss of venue for Bingo fundraisers

Eagles notes: Kelly committed to current job

5 face riot charges in beating incident at football game

Ayotte rips top sports league commissioners for snubbing hearing on domestic violence

Manchester Monarchs sign Josh Gratton to AHL contract

Can football without helmets lead to fewer concussions?

Trial date set for former UNH hockey coach accused of assaulting player

Sudanese runner with NH ties hoping to crowdfund way to 2016 Olympics

Former Wildcat van Riemsdyk undergoes successful surgery

Monadnock Speedway driver captures first Granite State NASCAR title

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!