Woo Rewind - Miserable November has Sharks looking forward to December

Despite losing both of his starts last week, Worcester Sharks goalie Tyson Sexsmith was solid in net, stopping 51-of-56 shots for a .910 save percentage. Photo courtesy of www.facebook.com/worcestersharks

With three straight losses during Thanksgiving week, the Worcester Sharks finished up the month of November with a 2-6-3-0 record and saw their overall record fall to 6-6-3-2 with 17 points.

On Wednesday night, the Sharks traveled to the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, to play the host Manchester Monarchs in their fourth meeting of the season and were defeated 2-1.  Tommy Wingels had the lone goal for the Sharks and goalie Tyson Sexsmith had another solid outing in net by stopping 23-of-25 shots in the loss.

Fireworks broke out at 7:15 of the first period as Sharks forward Frazer McLaren dropped the gloves with Monarchs forward Justin Johnson after Johnson ran into Sexsmith at the side of the net as Sexsmith was playing the puck.  McLaren got a hold of Johnson and landed nearly 20 unanswered right hand punches at the start of the spirited 30 second scrap.

At 16:55 of the period, Sharks defenseman Matt Pelech pounded Monarchs forward Ray Kaunisto in a one sided scrap after Pelech drilled Monarchs forward Jordan Nolan, who was skating with his head down, at center ice with a forearm shot that appeared to have caught Nolan up high.  When the video was slowed down, Pelech did lead out with his forearm on the fast moving play but he drilled Nolan in the high chest area and Nolan’s last little move at the end is what sold the hit to the referee as a head shot.

The fireworks continued in the second period as Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty fought for the first time in his professional career as he dropped the gloves with Nolan behind the Sharks net at 4:15 after Nolan boarded him from behind on the end board.  Nolan did land more shots in the exchange but Doherty, who was standing up for himself, landed several good shots of his own.

Kaunisto gave the Monarchs a 1-0 lead at 8:06 with his third goal of the season.  With the puck inside the Sharks zone, Monarchs forward Dwight King battled for the puck with Sharks forward John McCarthy along the right side half wall.  McCarthy won the battle for the puck but his backhand pass attempt towards Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin, who was positioned near Sexsmith, was picked off by Kaunisto, who went backhand to forehand and put the puck between the pads of Sexsmith for the goal.

At 5:43 of the third period, Wingels tied the game at 1-1 with his second goal of the season.  With the puck on his stick behind the net of Monarchs goalie Martin Jones, Wingels quickly attempted a wrap-around backhand shot that Jones stopped but Wingels relentlessly poked at the puck and eventually jammed the puck past Jones for the goal.  Sharks forwards Tony Lucia and Nathan Moon were credited with assists on the goal.

With just 85 seconds remaining in the third period and on a power play, Monarchs captain Marc-Andre Cliché gave the Monarchs a 2-1 lead with his eighth goal of the season.  With Sharks forward Cam MacIntyre in the penalty box for hooking, Monarchs forward David Meckler carried the puck into the Sharks zone along the right side and got the puck back to Cliché, who fired a slap shot on net from the top of the right point.  The puck deflected off the stick of Doherty, who was positioned on top of the goalie crease, and past Sexsmith for what held up as the game winning goal.

The Sharks never got a chance to pull Sexsmith for an extra skater as they couldn’t get the puck past center ice or out of their own zone during the final minute of play.

For the game, the Sharks outshot the Monarchs 34-25, were 0-for-4 with the man advantage and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill... Mike Moore {inj}, Ben Guite {inj}, Sean Sullivan {inj}, Ryan Del Monte {inj} and Brandon Mashinter, who was injured in practice, did not dress for the Sharks... eight of the Sharks’ 20 fighting majors this season have come in the four meetings against the Monarchs {courtesy sharksahl.com}.

As a bonus, here is Sharks forward James Livingston's interview with Eric Lindquist after the Monarchs game.  Video is courtesy of the Sharks Vision YouTube channel.


On Friday night, the Sharks traveled to the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, ME, to play the host Portland Pirates in their first meeting of the season and were defeated in overtime, 4-3.  Benn Ferriero, Curt Gogol and Wingels all scored for the Sharks while goalie Harri Sateri stopped 21-of-25 shots in the loss.  Ferriero was the only Shark to have a multi-point game {1-1-2}.

At 5:08 of the first period, Pirates defenseman Tyler Eckford gave the Pirates an early 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season off a quick one-timer shot from the top of the right point that beat Sateri blocker side for the goal.

Exactly one minute later and with the Sharks on a power play, Ferriero tied the game at 1-1 with his sixth goal of the season.  With Pirates forward Brett Hextall in the penalty box for tripping, the Sharks got the puck inside the Pirates zone.  From the top of the right point, Sharks defenseman Sena Acolatse passed the puck down to the top of the point to Irwin, who quickly fed the puck to McCarthy, who was positioned inside the left face-off circle.  McCarthy centered the puck to Ferriero, who was positioned in the slot in front of Pirates goalie Curtis McElhinney, and Ferriero one-timed the puck for the goal.

In the second period, Pirates forward Andy Miele gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead with his sixth goal of the season at 14:45.  After Moon and Acolatse battled Miele behind the Sharks net for the puck and Sateri stopped a shot from the side of his crease, Acolatse’s pass attempt was intercepted by Pirates forward Brett MacLean, whose shot from inside the right face-off circle was blocked.  The puck found its way to Miele, who quickly fired a shot on net from in the slot that deflected off a Sharks stick {either Irwin or Acolatse}, and the puck fluttered up-and-over the head of Sateri and landed in the back of the net for the goal.

Nearly three minutes later at 17:38 and with the Pirates on a power play, Miele scored his second goal of the game to extend the Pirates lead to 3-1.  With Pelech in the penalty box for cross-checking and the puck inside the Sharks zone, Pirates defenseman Nick Ross fired a shot on net from the left point that missed the net.  The rebound came off the end board and right to the stick of Miele, who put the puck into the open net from the right side of the goal crease for the goal.

In the third period, the Sharks scored two times in a 108 second span to tie the game at 3-3.  Gogol scored his third goal of the season at 8:34 to cut the Pirates lead to 3-2.  Livingston carried the puck into the Pirates zone along the right side and got the puck back to Gogol, who sent a backhand pass back to Livingston on the end board.  Livingston corralled the loose puck on the left side of the goalie crease and fired a pass to a cutting Gogol, who let a shot rip from deep inside the right face-off circle that beat McElhinney for the goal.

Wingels tied the game at 3-3 with his third goal of the season at 10:22 and second goal in as many games.  From near the blue line of the Sharks zone, Ferriero chipped the puck out to neutral ice, where Wingels corralled the loose puck and carried the puck into the Pirates zone along the right side.  Skating in 2-on-1 with McCarthy, Wingels fired a shot on net from deep inside the right face-off circle that beat McElhinney top shelf for the goal. 

In overtime, Doherty was called for holding and the Pirates took full advantage of their 4-on-3 power play opportunity.  After several spectacular saves by Sateri, Pirates forward Marc-Antoine Pouliot fired a shot from the left face-off circle dot that Sateri stopped. In a battle for the rebound, Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki pushed Pirates forward Brett MacLean into Sateri, knocking Sateri down.  Pouliot corralled the loose puck and passed it to the top of the point to Miele, who sent the puck down to Eckford, whose one-timer shot from inside the right face-off circle was blocked by Pelech.  However, the puck came right back to Eckford and he beat Sateri with a quick shot for the game winning goal at 3:19.

For the game, the Sharks outshot the Pirates 47-25, were 1-for-5 with the man advantage and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill... MacIntyre fought twice in the game and now has four fighting majors for the season... Wingels extended his point streak to three games {2-2-4}... Moore {inj}, Guite {inj}, Sullivan {inj}, Mashinter {inj}, Jimmy Bonneau {scr} and Mike Connolly, who was injured as the result of a nasty crosscheck in practice Thursday during one-on-one drills by an unnamed teammate {courtesy of Bill Ballou}, did not dress for the Sharks.

As a bonus, here is the public service announcement featuring Petrecki for the 15-40 "Check Yourself, Beat Cancer" game on Jan. 7 against the Providence Bruins.


On Saturday night, the Sharks were back home at the DCU Center to host the Pirates to conclude the home-and-home set and were defeated 3-1.  Moon had the lone goal for the Sharks while Sexsmith had another solid outing, stopping 28-of-31 shots in the loss.

Pirates captain Dean Arsene gave the Pirates an early 1-0 lead with his first goal of the season at 8:17 of the first period.  After dumping the puck into the Sharks zone, the puck was battled for by both teams along the left half boards.  The Pirates got control of the puck and Eckford sent a pass to the top of the right point to Arsene, whose quick one-timer shot found a way through traffic and beat Sexsmith for the goal.

At 17:12 of the period, Moon tied the game at 1-1 with his third goal of the season.  With the puck inside the Pirates zone, Sharks defenseman Brian O’Hanley skated out to the top of the left point with the puck before passing down to MacIntyre, who was positioned inside the left face-off circle near the face-off dot.  MacIntyre fired a shot on net that was blocked in front by the heavy traffic but Moon, who was positioned on top of the goalie crease, was able to corral the loose puck and fired a shot on net that beat McElhinney for the goal.

In the second period and with the Pirates on a power play, MacLean gave the Pirates a 2-1 lead with his second goal of the season at 15:14.  With McCarthy in the penalty box for roughing, Eckford held the puck at the top of the point near the blue line before passing the puck over to Pirates forward Matt Watkins.  Watkins sent a pass down to the right side goal line to Miele, who quickly sent a pass across the goalie crease to MacLean, who stuffed the puck into the open net from the left side of the net for what held up as the game winning goal.

Early in the third period, the Pirates added an insurance goal with Watkins’ fourth goal of the season at 4:14.  After Acolatse’s shot on net from the top of the right point was stopped by McElhinney, Miele corralled the rebound and skated into the Sharks zone 3-on-2 along the right side.  From just inside the blue line, Miele passed the puck over to a wide open Watkins, who skated into the left face-off circle and fired the puck past Sexsmith for the goal.

For the game, Sharks were outshot 31-30, were 0-for-7 with the man advantage and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill... Moore {inj}, Guite {inj}, Sullivan {inj}, Connolly {inj}, Mashinter {inj} and Pelech {susp} did not dress for the Sharks... Pelech received a two game suspension from the AHL for his hit on Nolan Wednesday night and will miss the Dec. 2 game against Springfield... Pelech is the first Sharks player to be suspended since Brad Staubitz sat out five games back in March 2009 after a brawl against Springfield, and the Sharks did not find out about Pelech’s suspension in time to bring in another defenseman {courtesy of Bill Ballou}... Due to Pelech’s suspension and plethora of injuries, the Sharks only dressed 17 skaters for the game, 10 of which were rookies and if Sexsmith is counted, that total rises to 11... Acolatse dropped the gloves with Hextall with 67 seconds remaining in the game after Hextall boarded Wingels... McLaren’s conditioning assignment lasted seven games as he was recalled to San Jose before the game and placed on the active roster... The Sharks are 19th in the AHL on the power play at 16.5%, ninth in penalty killing at 83.3% and second in penalty minutes with 21.5 per game.

As a bonus, here is Acolatse's fight with Hextall.  Video is courtesy of YouTube user "JimKorn20."


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