Woo Rewind - Despite overtime losses, Sharks rack up points

Worcester Sharks forward Brandon Mashinter attempts to score on Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins goalie Scott Munroe in the second period Sunday evening. Photo courtesy of Jim Collins of www.telegram.com

Despite losing two of their three games last week, the Worcester Sharks earned at least one point in all three games and saw their record improve to 6-4-2-2 with 16 points.

On Wednesday night, the Sharks traveled in state to the MassMutual Center in Springfield, MA, to play the host Springfield Falcons for the first time this season and were defeated in overtime, 3-2.

The combination of Sena Acolatse {1-1-2}, Benn Ferriero {0-2-2} and Matt Irwin {1-1-2} hooked up on both Sharks goals while goalie Tyson Sexsmith stopped 30-of-33 shots in the loss.

At 14:20 of the first period and with the Sharks on a power play, Acolatse gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season.  With the puck inside the Falcons zone, Irwin fired a shot on net from the top of the point that was blocked in front but Acolatse corralled the loose puck on the right side end board, and got the puck back out to the top of the point to Irwin, who passed the puck back to Acolatse, who fired a rocket of shot from 53 feet out at the top of the right point that beat Falcons goalie Manny Legace, who was being screened in front by Sharks forward Mike Connolly, on the blocker side.  The goal came on the Sharks’ second shot of the game and snapped the Sharks’ 0-for-19 skid on the power play.

With the Sharks on a penalty kill midway through the second period, referee Ryan Hersey raised eyebrows and the temper of Sharks head coach Roy Sommer when he didn’t award Sharks forward Tommy Wingels a penalty shot after Wingels had his legs taken out on a breakaway by Falcons defenseman Cody Goloubef, whose superman dive sent Wingels crashing into the Falcons net.  Goloubef, who fist pumped as he got up off the ice, wasn’t even assessed a minor penalty for tripping.

Shortly thereafter, Hersey assessed Sharks forward Tony Lucia a two-minute minor for high sticking with just nine seconds remaining in the initial penalty to Irwin.  Facing a brief 5-on-3 disadvantage, the Sharks lost the ensuing face-off inside their own zone and the Falcons took full advantage.  Cutting across the slot with the puck, Falcons forward Cam Atkinson passed the puck down to linemate Martin St. Pierre, who was positioned on the edge of the right face-off circle.  St. Pierre quickly passed the puck across the top of the goalie crease to a wide open Tomas Kubalik, who banged the puck into the open net from the left side of the goalie crease before Sexsmith could stop the shot.  The goal came at 11:29, was Kubalik’s second of the season and came two seconds after Irwin’s penalty expired.

Just 50 seconds into the third period, Kubalik gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead with his second goal of the game.  After a turnover in the Falcons zone by Wingels, whose cross ice zone pass to Ferriero didn’t connect, Kubalik rushed out along the right side and into the Sharks zone 3-on-1 with Dane Byers and Nick Drazenovic.  The three Falcons used quick tic-tac-toe passes on their 3-on-1 rush that Kubalik capped off by putting the puck into the open net from the right side of the goalie crease.

Irwin answered back for the Sharks with his fifth power play goal of the season at 11:41 of the period to tie the game at 2-2.  With St. Pierre in the penalty box for interference, Ferriero carried the puck into the Falcons zone and passed the puck across the zone down to Acolatse, who was positioned on the left side half boards.  Acolatse quickly passed the puck out to Irwin, who one-timed a shot from the top of the center point that beat Legace, who was being screened in front by Wingels, blocker side for the goal.

52 seconds into overtime, Hersey made another call that raised eyebrows and left Worcester Sharks play-by-play announcer Eric Lindquist speechless when he awarded Connolly a penalty shot.  From inside the Sharks zone, Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty fired a stretch pass out to the neutral zone to Connolly, who corralled the puck, entered the Falcons zone for a breakaway opportunity and was bumped off the puck by Falcons forward Ryan Russell, who appeared to have pulled even with Connolly before making the hit.  On the penalty shot, Connolly skated in from the left side, cut across the top of the crease and fired a backhand shot that was stopped by Legace.

At 1:58, Sharks forward Nathan Moon was called for tripping, giving the Falcons a 4-on-3 power play advantage.  With the puck inside the Sharks zone, Falcons forward Alexandre Giroux and defenseman David Savard passed the puck back-and-forth between each other at the top of the point before Giroux fired a shot on net from on top of the right face-off circle that beat Sexsmith glove side for the game winning goal at 2:22.

For the game, the Sharks were outshot 33-26, were 2-for-4 with the man advantage and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill… Mike Moore {inj}, Ben Guite {inj}, Ryan Del Monte {inj}, Curt Gogol {scr} and Jimmy Bonneau {scr} did not dress for the Sharks.

As a bonus, here is Irwin's interview with Eric Lindquist before hitting the road for the Springfield Falcons game.  Video is courtesy of the Sharks Vision YouTube channel.


On Friday night, the Sharks traveled to the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, to play the host Manchester Monarchs in their third meeting of the season and were again defeated in overtime by the score 3-2.  Irwin had a two point night with a goal and assist and goalie Harri Sateri stopped 32-of-35 shots in the loss.

Before the game started, fireworks nearly erupted as all 40 players came together at center ice during the warm-ups.  The pushing, shoving and jousting nearly led to Bonneau and Monarchs forward Justin Johnson dropping the gloves against each other before the opening face-off.

Just 2:40 into the game, Bonneau and Johnson did drop the gloves and engaged in a 45 second scrap that saw both combatants land several good shots, including Bonneau’s right upper cuts that stunned Johnson at the end of the scrap.

Nearly four minutes later, Monarchs forward Jordan Nolan fired a shot on net that Sateri easily stopped as Monarchs forward Cam Paddock battled in front with Doherty.  The two continued to shove each other after the whistle, which caused more players to come in, and resulted in Nolan and Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki scrapping with each other.  Nolan landed a couple of good shots on Petrecki as Petrecki’s jersey was over his head.  In the meantime, Wingels grabbed Paddock and fired away on Paddock with repeated right hands.  The linesmen were able to settle things down before losing total control.  Petrecki and Wingels both got two minutes for roughing as did Nolan.

At 5:03 of the second period, Irwin gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead with his sixth power play goal of the season.  With Monarchs defenseman Patrick Mullen in the penalty box for tripping, Ferriero carried the puck into the Monarchs zone and got the puck to Irwin at the top of the left point.  Switching sides with Acolatse, Irwin took a feed from Acolatse on top of the right face-off circle, skated into the slot on top of the two face-off circles and fired a slap shot on net that beat Monarchs goalie Martin Jones, who was being screened in front by Wingels, top shelf on the blocker side for the goal.

In the final minute of the period and on the power play, Sharks forward Brandon Mashinter had his centering attempt from behind Jones’ net stolen by Monarchs defenseman David Kolomatis, who read the play, and got the puck up to Monarchs forward David Meckler.  Entering the Sharks zone on the right side, Meckler was cut off by Acolatse but left the puck for Nolan, who was trailing on the play, and Nolan fired a quick shot on net from just inside the top of the right face-off circle that beat Sateri top shelf for the shorthanded goal at 19:36 to tie the game at 1-1.  The goal, which was Nolan’s third of the season, was the first shorthanded goal allowed by the Sharks all season.

Mashinter gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead with his second goal of the season, and first since opening day against the Providence Bruins, at 5:55 of the third period.  After Petrecki stole the puck and rushed into the Monarchs zone 2-on-1 with Mashinter, the Sharks were able to hold the puck in the Monarchs zone.  After a couple of scoring chances, Mashinter carried the puck behind the Monarchs net and passed the puck out to Irwin, who was positioned on top of the left face-off circle.  Irwin skated to his right side towards the top of the point and fired a slap shot on net that Mashinter, who was positioned seven feet in front of the goalie crease, was able to get a piece of for the deflection goal.

At 10:10, Nolan tied the game at 2-2 with his second shorthanded goal of the game.  With the puck deep inside the Monarchs zone, Sharks forward John McCarthy attempted a wrap around backhand shot that didn’t reach the net and sprung Nolan loose down the right side.  Skating into the Sharks zone 2-on-1, Nolan faked the pass and fired a shot on net from near the right face-off circle dot that beat Sateri trough the pads for the goal.

In the final two minutes of the third period, Sateri stood on his head and made several key saves to get the Sharks to overtime, highlighted by his outstanding pad save on Monarchs captain Marc-Andre Cliche.

In overtime, after Monarchs forward Ray Kaunisto carried the puck into the Sharks zone, Monarchs defenseman Jake Muzzin fired a shot on net from the top of the left point that Sateri stopped but the Sharks couldn’t get the loose rebound.  Nolan corralled the rebound and got the puck back out to the point to Muzzin, who fired the puck down to the right face-off circle where Monarchs defenseman Andrew Campbell one-timed the puck and beat Sateri for the game winning goal at 3:44.  A frustrated Sateri attempted several times to break his goalie stick over the crossbar before giving up and skating off the ice.

For the game, the Sharks outshot the Monarchs 36-35, were 1-for-8 with the man advantage and 7-for-7 on the penalty kill… With six power play goals through 13 games, Irwin is on pace to shatter Garrett Stafford’s 2006-07 team record for most power play goals {9} by a defensemen {courtesy of www.sharksahl.com}... Sharks defensemen Sean Sullivan appeared to suffer an injury during the second period as he wasn’t on the ice for the third period or overtime… Moore {inj}, Guite {inj}, Del Monte {inj}, Moon {scr} and Brodie Reid {scr} did not dress for the Sharks.

As a bonus, here is a fan recording of the Bonneau vs. Johnson fight.  Video is courtesy of YouTube user "graymatter11"


On Sunday evening, the Sharks were back home at the DCU Center to host the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins in their first meeting of the season and skated away with a 3-1 victory.  Ferriero {2-0-2}, Connolly {0-2-2} and Wingels {0-2-2} each had multi-point games for the Sharks while Sexsmith stopped 34-of-35 shots for his third win of the season.

Just 4:16 into the game, Ferriero scored his fourth goal of the season to give the Sharks an early 1-0 lead.  After the Sharks dumped the puck into the Penguins zone, Connolly and Reid battled for the puck against a couple of Penguins players on the left side end board.  The puck squirted out on the left side where Ferriero corralled the puck onto his stick.  With the puck, Ferriero skated out to the top of the left face-off circle and fired a quick wrist shot on net {similar to his goal in game 1 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Detroit Red Wings} that beat Penguins goalie Brad Thiessen short side on the blocker side for the goal as Connolly screened in front.

Nearly three minutes later at 7:10, Ferriero scored again, this time on the power play.  With Penguins forward Ryan Craig in the penalty box for hooking, Irwin carried the puck into the Penguins zone and gave the puck to Connolly, who gave it back to Irwin.  Skating in on Thiessen from the left side, Irwin tried to go backhand from inside the crease but the puck was deflected and squirted loose on a mad scramble that saw four bodies in front of Thiessen.  Ferriero quickly fired a shot on net from on top of the left face-off circle that went off the post and beat Thiessen high on the blocker side.  After allowing two goals on seven shots in 7:10 of playing time, Thiessen was pulled for backup goalie Scott Munroe.

At 6:32 of the second period, Mashinter scored his third goal of the season to extend the lead to 3-0.  Stealing the puck inside the Sharks zone, Mashinter rushed down the right side and skated into the Penguins zone 2-on-1 with Wingels.  Mashinter faked a pass to Wingels and fired a shot on net from just inside the left face-off circle that Munroe stopped.  Wingels crashed the net for the rebound but the puck jumped over his stick as well as Doherty’s.  Not giving up on the play, Wingels made a strong back check on a Penguins player in the slot and got the puck over to Moon.  From the right face-off circle dot, Moon sent a pass to Mashinter, who was positioned right on top of the goalie crease on the right side.  After his initial two shots were stopped by Munroe, Mashinter was able to bury home the puck on his third shot from in close for the goal.

Penguins forward Eric Tangradi scored a late power goal at 19:35 of the third period to spoil Sexsmith’s second career AHL shutout.  Assisting on the goal, which was Tangradi’s eighth of the season, were Penguins forwards Colin McDonald and Niko Dimitrakos.

For the game, the Sharks were outshot 35-28, were 1-for-5 with the man advantage and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill… Ferriero extended his point streak to four games {3-3-6}… Prior to the start of the game, Brian O’Hanley was signed to a PTO and wore #38 for the Sharks.  O’Hanley was a ninth round pick of the San Jose Sharks back in 2003 and appeared in eight games for the Cincinnati Cyclones of the ECHL this season , where he registered three assists and 12 pims. Worcester is O’Hanley’s third AHL team this season as he appeared in two games for Syracuse {0-3-3} and one game for Peoria {0-1-1}… The Sharks are 11th in the AHL on the power play at 19.1%, sixth on the penalty kill at 85.5% and first in penalty minutes at 21.4 per game… In their last nine games, the Sharks are 2-4-2-1 with seven points… Moore {inj}, Guite {inj}, Del Monte {inj}, Sullivan {inj}, Gogol {scr} and Marek Viedensky {scr} did not dress for the Sharks.

As a bonus, here is the Sharks' holiday skate that immediately followed Sunday evening's game against the Penguins.  Video is courtesy of the Sharks Vision YouTube channel.


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