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Berube backstops Monarchs' victory

Staff report
January 02. 2015 11:08PM

A 22-save performance from goaltender Jean-Francois Berube helped the Manchester Monarchs defeat the Worcester Sharks 2-1 Friday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Mass.

Manchester led 2-0 until Worcester’s Willie Coetzee scored with 6:37 to play. The Sharks pulled goaltender Troy Grosenick (31 saves) with 1:12 remaining, but failed to put a shot on goal while they had an extra forward on the ice.

Right wing Zach O’Brien and right wing Sean Backman scored for the Monarchs. O’Brien opened the scoring with 8:00 left in the second period, and Backman made it 2-0 when he collected a power-play goal at 7:24 of the third. Brian O’Neill collected his league-leading 31st assist on Backman’s goal, which was his eighth goal of the season.

Earlier Friday, the AHL named O’Neill the league’s Player of the Month for December. He collected four goals and 17 assists in 13 games in December.

O’Neill also leads the AHL in points (41) and is tied for first in game-winning goals (four). He has at least one point in nine of his last 10 games (three goals, 16 assists).

Friday’s victory raised Manchester’s record to 24-7-1-1. The Monarchs have won each of their six games against the Sharks this season. Worcester dropped to 13-13-3-1.

Worcester was scoreless on its two power-play chances.

The Monarchs are off today, but will play at Springfield on Sunday (3 p.m.).

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