Woo Rewind - Sharks young guns victorious in season opener

Worcester Sharks forward Curt Gogol celebrates with linemate Ryan Del Monte after scoring his first professional goal at 14:45 of the first period Sunday afternoon in Providence. Photo courtesy of www.sharksahl.com

On Sunday afternoon, the Worcester Sharks opened their 2011-12 season by traveling to the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, R.I., to play the hosting Providence Bruins and skated away with a 4-1 victory.

Curt Gogol, Sean Sullivan, Brandon Mashinter and Benn Ferriero all scored for the Sharks, and goalie Tyson Sexsmith stopped 20-of-21 shots for the win, becoming the first Sharks goalie to allow less than two goals in an opening night game {courtesy www.sharksahl.com}.  Nick Petrecki chipped in with two assists for a two point night for the Sharks.

Gogol, who was one of five Sharks {Gogol, James Livingston, Brodie Reid, Mike Connolly, Nathan Moon} making their professional debut, scored his first professional goal, and the Sharks' first goal of the season, at 14:45 of the first period to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

With the puck inside their own zone, Petrecki fired an outlet pass up the middle to Ryan Del Monte in the neutral zone.  With the puck on his stick, Del Monte carried the puck into the Bruins zone and passed the puck over to Gogol, who was skating along the left wing side, and without hesitation, Gogol fired a laser of a shot from 40-feet out that beat Bruins goalie Anton Khudobin through the five-hole for the goal.

Sullivan, who also had a two point game with a goal and an assist, extended the Sharks lead to 2-0 with his first goal of the season at 4:10 of the second period.  Sharks forward Ben Guite {Gee-tay} played a neutral zone pass from Matt Irwin off the right side board inside the Bruins zone and carried the puck behind Khudobin's net.  From there, Guite centered the puck out in front where Sullivan stepped into the loose puck with a rocket of a shot from just outside the right wing face-off circle that clanged off the iron and into the net for the goal, which held up as the game winner.

Later in the period, Mashinter scored his first goal of the season at 15:37 with the Sharks on the power play to extend the Sharks lead to 3-0. The goal was set up by Moon, who from behind Khudobin's net, sent a backhand pass out in front to Mashinter, who was all alone and buried the puck home top shelf for the goal.

The Bruins would score before the end of the second period as Lane MacDermid beat Sexsmith top shelf with a snapshot from close range at 18:54 to cut the Sharks lead to 3-1 heading into the second intermission.

However, Ferriero quickly ended any hopes of a Bruins comeback with his goal just 91 seconds into the third period that extended the Sharks lead to 4-1.  With a face-off inside the Bruins zone in the upper face-off circle, Ferriero won the draw and Reid, who came into the face-off circle, got the puck out to Petrecki at the left point.  From the point, Petrecki fired a quick, low shot on net that was deflected in front by Ferriero for the goal.

The only thing that went bad for the Sharks was the apparent injury suffered by enforcer Jimmy Bonneau after his scrap with MacDermid at 6:36 of the second period.  Bonneau did come back out on the ice for a twirl test but did not play the rest of the game.  After the game, Bonneau tweeted {@JimmyBonneau} that he bummed his knee in the fight {happened when he fell to the ice at the conclusion of the scrap} and is hoping to be ready for the Sharks' next game, which is their home opener on Oct. 15 against the Albany Devils.

For the game, the Sharks outshot the Bruins 30-21, were 1-for-6 with the man advantage and 3-for-3 in penalty kills.  Gogol was an assist shy of registering a Gordie Howe hat-trick as he fought with Tyler Randall at 6:05 of the third period.  Sena Acolatse, Matt Pelech and Marek Viedensky were scratched for the Sharks.

As a special bonus, here is Gogol's interview with Worcester Sharks play-by-play announcer Eric Lindquist following the game on the SharksVision YouTube channel.


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