Monarchs Lose Home Opener to Worcester

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Manchester Monarchs goaltender Charles Williams on Oct. 21, 2017 (courtesy photo)

The Manchester Monarchs marked their first game in New Hampshire this season with a 2-0 defeat against the Worcester Railers on Saturday night.

Manchester couldn’t find the back of the net in the opening frame for only the second time this year. The other time was also against Worcester, in last week’s season opener.

Fortunately for the Monarchs, Worcester wasn’t able to generate many opportunities either, being outshot by an almost two-to-one margin by the second intermission.

While each team got a 5-on-3 advantage in the second period, the deadlock lingered on despite an apparent goal from Worcester’s Patrick McNally 32 seconds into the third period.

After review, McNally’s score was disallowed, but the Railers’ Mike Cornell would break the stalemate, slotting home his first goal of the season just under five minutes later.

Worcester’s Ashton Rome added an empty net goal with a minute left in the contest to complete Railers’ victory.

Despite finishing with a 28-21 shot advantage, the Monarchs woes on the power play continued, failing to score on three opportunities, leaving them at just 3-for-32 on the year so far.

“We controlled part of the play in the shot clock anyway, but that comes down to when you have a tight checking game like that, you really need to bear down in your chances,” said Monarchs head coach Richard Seeley. “I say as a coach the hardest thing to defend is a rebound and we didn’t put enough pressure on them.”

Manchester (2-2-0-1) hit the ice again next weekend, beginning a Friday/Saturday doubleheader against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, the New York Rangers’ ECHL affiliate. The puck drops at 7 p.m. for Friday’s contest, with a 6 p.m. start set for Saturday’s game.

Worcester (2-0-0-0) head west to play their first games of the year against teams other than the Monarchs. On Wednesday, they begin their road trip with a visit to Loveland, CO to face the Colorado Eagles, followed by a pair of games against the Utah Grizzlies on Friday and Saturday.