On Saturday, The Manchester Monarchs began their regular season with a 4-3 defeat against the Worcester Railers.
Despite sweeping the Railers in a two-game preseason set, Worcester’s Wade Murphy struck first halfway through the first period on a double deke that provided room to slot a shot above the glove of Monarchs goaltender Evan Cowley.
Ashton Rome put the Railers up by two 5:43 into the second period, but Michael Doherty immediately answered for Manchester, putting the Monarchs on the board just five seconds later.
Manchester would add two more, including a second goal by Doherty at 11:32, but Patrick McNally’s slap shot evened the game back up at three.
Worcester took the lead for good at the 12:12 mark of the third period, transforming a failed Monarchs clearing attempt into a point-blank wrister that found its way to the back of the net.
While the Monarchs held a 36-31 shot advantage, they couldn’t capitalize on the power play while the Railers scored two goals during the six times Manchester played shorthanded.
This was the first regular season game for the Railers, marking the first professional hockey in Worcester since the AHL Worcester Sharks relocated to San Jose, California.
Manchester returns to the ice on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Canada to take on the Brampton Beast in a rematch of the 2017 North Division Finals.
The Monarchs play their 2017-18 home opener Oct. 21 (7 p.m.), when they drop the puck against the Railers at SNHU Arena.