Woo Rewind - Sharks win two at home, embark on seven game road trip

Worcester Sharks goalie Tyson Sexsmith stopped 49-of-51 shots in his two starts last week. Sexsmith is third in the AHL with a 1.80 goals against average and fourth in the AHL with a .931 save percentage. Photo courtesy of circlingthewagon.wordpress.com

Looking to get off to a strong start in December, the Worcester Sharks nearly matched their point total for November {seven} by earning five-out-of-six points in their three-in-three last week and saw their record improve to 8-6-3-3 with 22 points, moving them into third place in the Atlantic Division of the AHL Eastern Conference.

On Friday night, the Sharks were home at the DCU Center to host the visiting Springfield Falcons in their second meeting of the season and skated away with a 4-3 overtime victory. John McCarthy, Ryan Del Monte, Cam MacIntyre and Matt Irwin all scored for the Sharks while goalie Harri Sateri stopped 22-of-25 shots for the win. In addition, Irwin {1-1-2}, Del Monte {1-1-2} and the returning Justin Braun {0-2-2} all had multi-point games for the Sharks.

Falcons forward Wade MacLeod gave the Falcons an early 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season at 3:10 of the first period. With the puck inside the Sharks zone along the left side boards, Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty’s clear attempt was kept in the zone at the top of the left point by Falcons defenseman Brett Lebda, who quickly passed the puck down to Falcons forward Aaron Bogosian at the top of the point. Slightly delaying his shot, Bogsian fired a slap pass through two Sharks players to MacLeod, who was positioned at the left side of the goalie crease and redirected the puck to the far post on the right side for the goal.

McCarthy would answer back on the power play for the Sharks with his third goal of the season at 11:02 to tie the game at 1-1. With Falcons forward Maksim Mayorov in the penalty box for hooking and the puck inside the Falcons zone, Sharks forward Benn Ferriero got the puck out to Braun at the top of the left point. Corralling the puck, Braun skated towards the top of the left face-off circle and passed the puck over to the right face-off circle, where Irwin fired a one-timer on net from inside the right face-off circle. Falcons goalie Manny Legace made the initial save but McCarthy, who was positioned near the top of the goalie crease, corralled the rebound and fired a backhander past Legace for the goal.

At 5:25 of the second period, Falcons forward Cam Atkinson gave the Falcons a 2-1 lead on the power play with his 10th goal of the season. With Sharks forward Jimmy Bonneau in the penalty box for roughing, the Falcons won the ensuing face-off inside the Sharks zone. Atkinson held the puck inside the left face-off circle and fired a pass through the circles to linemate Martin St. Pierre, who was positioned on the face-off dot inside the right face-off circle. St. Pierre fired a pass back to Atkinson, who fired a shot on net from deep inside the left face-off circle that Sateri lunged across stop with his pad. However, Atkinson followed his own shot and put the rebound in the net for the goal as Sateri was sprawled out on his stomach.

Just 28 seconds later, fireworks erupted as Sharks defenseman Sena Acolatse dropped the gloves with Falcons captain Dane Byers. As Sharks forward Tommy Wingels carried the puck into the Falcons zone, a whistle blew the play dead as Ferriero dropped the gloves and rag-dolled Falcons forward Ryan Russell at the Falcons blue line. Russell, who didn’t drop the gloves, got up and skated away as a scrum up ensued in front of the Sharks bench. As Byers skated away from Acolatse, Byers gave Acolatse a little shove that Acolatse didn’t appreciate and Acolatse shoved Byers back two-handed. Both players dropped their helmets and gloves as they skated out towards center ice. After locking each other up with their left hands, both landed a handful of rabbit punches until Acolatse shook off his elbow pad and landed three rights that dropped Byers to the ice.

At 14:55, Del Monte tied the game at 2-2 with his first goal of the season and first goal as a Shark. From deep inside the Sharks zone, Bonneau chipped the puck up towards the blue line and the puck was corralled by Sharks forward Tony Lucia, who skated along the right side and entered the Falcons zone 2-on-2 with Del Monte. Upon entering the Falcons zone, Lucia cut to his left and fed the puck to Del Monte, who had gotten behind the Falcons defense, and Del Monte roofed a shot over the glove of Legace from in close for the goal.

Russell gave the Falcons a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission with his ninth goal of the season at 18:13. With the puck behind the Sharks net, Russell sent a pass out to the top of the left point to Lebda, who fired a one-timer on net that was deflected in front by Byers wide of the net. The puck bounced off the boards and landed near the right side goal post, where Russell poked at it as Sateri dove back to cover the post. Russell and the rest of the Falcons players started celebrating a goal as the Sharks looked on in confusion as the red light from the goal judge never went on.

Referee Francis Charron, who was positioned on the goal line on the right side, initially pointed that it was a goal but as he skated towards Sateri’s net, Charron motioned with his hands "no goal." A conference ensued between Charron and the linesmen behind Sateri’s net and after about 20-30 seconds of discussion, Charron ruled it was a goal based on the word of linesman Matt McPherson, who was positioned 60-feet away at the blue line. Sateri was livid with the call as he was adamant he had stopped the puck and skated after both Charron and McPherson to give them piece of his mind.

Just 83 seconds into the third period, MacIntyre tied the game at 3-3 with his fourth goal of the season. After the Falcons were called for icing, Sharks forward Nathan Moon won the ensuing face-off inside the Falcons zone and got the puck over to linemate Brodie Reid on the left side. Reid corralled the loose puck and backhanded the puck out to the left point to Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki, who fired a quick shot on net that was deflected in front by MacIntyre. Legace made the initial save but kicked the rebound right out to MacIntyre, who fired a quick shot on net that hit Legace in the shoulder, which caused the puck to float over Legace’s head and into the net for the goal.

The Falcons immediately looked towards Charron as they were adamant that Moon, who swiped at the puck with his stick while it was in the air after hitting off of Legace’s shoulder, had touched the puck with a high-stick and wanted the goal waived off. Charron huddled up with the linesmen again and ruled that Moon didn’t touch the puck with a high stick when the puck was in the air.

In overtime, Braun carried the puck into the Falcons zone from the Sharks zone and dropped the puck off to Del Monte at the top of the left point. Del Monte skated into the left face-off circle and fired a shot on net that was deflected wide by the Falcons defense. Irwin jumped in on the play and corralled the loose puck on the edge of the right face-off circle near the boards. Circling towards the right corner, Irwin carried the puck on his backhand below the goal line, cut towards the goalie crease, moved the puck to his forehand and jammed the puck through the pads of Legace for the game winning goal at 2:22. The goal was Irwin’s seventh of the season, his first non power play goal of the season and his first overtime game winning goal since his days with the Nanaimo Clippers of the British Columbia Hockey League {BCHL}.

For the game, the Sharks outshot the Falcons 40-25, were 1-for-4 with the man advantage and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill... Mike Moore {inj}, Sean Sullivan {inj}, Ben Guite {inj}, Brandon Mashinter {inj}, Mike Connolly {inj} and Matt Pelech {susp} did not dress for the Sharks... Braun was loaned back to Worcester from San Jose on Nov. 29 and played in his first AHL game since Oct. 21... Irwin fired a team high nine shots on net... Acolatse now has three fighting majors on the season... The Sharks scored four goals in a game for the first time since their 4-2 home victory over the Manchester Monarchs on Oct. 22, a span of 13 games.

As a bonus, here is Acolatse's fight with Byers, courtesy of the Springfield Falcons YouTube channel. Unfortunately, there is no audio.


On Saturday night, the Sharks hosted the defending AHL Calder Cup Champions Binghamton Senators in their first meeting of the season and skated away with a 2-1 victory. Wingels and Del Monte scored for the Sharks while goalie Tyson Sexsmith stopped 21-of-22 shots in the win.

After two periods of scoreless hockey, Senators forward Pat Cannone gave the Senators a 1-0 lead with his sixth goal of the season at 9:01 of the third period. Corralling the puck in the neutral zone, Cannone rushed into the Sharks zone along the left side, skated into the left face-off circle and fired a backhand shot on net from the face-off circle dot that beat Sexsmith down low on the glove side for the goal.

Wingels would answer back on the power play for the Sharks with his fourth goal of the season at 13:05. With Senators forward Stephane Da Costa in the penalty box for boarding, Ferriero corralled the puck in the left corner of the Falcons zone and won a one-on-one battle for the puck on the left boards by leaving the puck in the left face-off circle for McCarthy, who got a piece of the puck as it trickled to the left corner. Wingels, who had been positioned in front of Senators goalie Mike McKenna, went out and corralled the loose puck in the corner. With the puck on his stick, Wingels skated back out to the top of the left face-off circle and passed the puck over to McCarthy, who fired a shot on net from the left side of the goalie crease that McKenna stopped but Wingels, who worked himself back to the front of the goalie crease, put the rebound into the net with a poke for the tying goal.

At 15:47, Del Monte gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead with his second goal of the season and second goal in as many games. Lucia carried the puck into the Senators zone along the left side before getting crunched along the boards by two Senators players. The puck trickled loose to the face-off dot of the left face-off circle and Lucia lunged at the puck with a backhand attempt at the same time Senators defenseman Eric Gryba played the puck. The puck bounced towards McKenna, who stopped the puck with his pad but Del Monte, who was positioned at the left side of the goal crease, got his stick on the puck and put the puck into the net for what held up as the game winning goal.

In the final minute of the game, the Senators pulled McKenna for an extra skater and Sexsmith channeled his inner Arturs Irbe by playing "like wall" as the Senators peppered him with shots from every direction in an effort to force overtime. After the Sharks iced the puck for the third time inside the final minute, the Senators won the ensuing face-off inside the Sharks zone and Senators forward Mike Hoffman had his shot from the top of the point go right off the post while Da Costa’s follow up backhand shot was stopped by Sexsmith, who immediately robbed Senators forward David Dziurzynski of a goal from point blank range by getting his glove on the puck while sprawled out in the crease in splits position.

For the game, the Sharks outshot the Senators 35-22, were 1-for-4 with the man advantage and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill... Moore {inj}, Sullivan {inj}, Guite {inj}, Mashinter {inj}, Connolly {inj} and Doherty {inj} did not dress for the Sharks... Pelech was back in the Sharks lineup after serving his two game suspension for his hit on Manchester Monarchs forward Jordan Nolan on Nov. 23... Bonneau dropped the gloves with Senators forward Francis Lessard midway through the first period and now has three fighting majors on the season.

As a bonus, here is footage of "Skate with the Sharks" on Nov. 29, courtesy of the Worcester Sharks SharksVision Youtube channel.


On Sunday afternoon, the Sharks started their seven game road trip by traveling to the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, NH, to play the host Manchester Monarchs in their fifth meeting of the season and were defeated 2-1 in a shootout.

Lucia had the lone goal for the Sharks while Sexsmith stopped 28-of-29 shots in the loss, dropping his record to 4-5-2 despite having a 1.80 goals against average {third in the AHL} and a .931 save percentage {fourth in the AHL}.

Fireworks erupted just 2:49 into the game as Bonneau dropped the gloves with Monarchs forward Justin Johnson in a spirited scrap that saw both combatants land several good shots before Bonneau side tossed Johnson to the ice. The fight was Bonneau’s fourth fighting major of the season.

The fireworks re-emerged late in the period as Wingels picked up his first fighting major of the season when he dropped the gloves with Monarchs forward Richard Clune at 17:17 in a brief six second scrap off a face-off inside the Sharks zone.

With 92 seconds remaining in the period, Bonneau dropped the gloves again, this time with Nolan. However, Nolan refused to answer the bell and turtled up as soon as Bonneau dropped his gloves, drawing a roughing penalty on Bonneau.

Just 2:55 into the second period, Monarchs forward Dwight King gave the Monarchs a 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season. Off a Sharks turnover in the neutral zone, King corralled the puck and skated into the Sharks zone along the left side. From deep inside the left face-off circle, King fired a shot on net that deflected off the stick of Irwin and beat Sexsmith under the blocker for the goal.

Fireworks exploded again at 15:14 when Pelech got his hands on Nolan after Nolan hit Reid from behind away from the play inside the Monarchs zone. Unlike his non-fight with Bonneau earlier in the game, Nolan actually answered the bell in the five second scrap before falling to the ice with Pelech landing on top of him. Nolan though, threw several shots to Pelech as both were on the ice and to add insult to injury, Nolan shoved Sexsmith as he was being escorted to the penalty box by the referee. Nolan high-tailed it off the ice to the Monarchs bench before any Sharks player could get to him. The fight was Pelech’s second of the season.

The fireworks continued at 18:18 as Moon picked up his third fighting major of the season as he dropped the gloves with Monarchs forward Justin Azevedo in a spirited scrap inside the Sharks zone. The two nearly went at when Pelech and Jordan had their scrap several minutes earlier.

At 8:46 of the third period, Lucia tied the game at 1-1 with his first goal of the season and first goal since his first professional game back on March 27, 2010. With a face-off inside the Monarchs zone, the Monarchs won the face-off and controlled the puck behind their own net. However, a strong forecheck by Sharks forward James Livingston forced a turnover and with the puck on his stick behind the Monarchs net, Livingston tried to jam the puck past Monarchs goalie Jeff Zatkoff on the near side but Zatkoff stopped the puck with his pad. The puck trickled out to the top of the goalie crease to Lucia, who quickly roofed the puck past Zatkoff for the tying goal.

After a scoreless but exciting overtime session, the Monarchs elected to go first in the shootout, where Linden Vey lost the puck; Ferriero was stopped; Kozun was stopped; Wingels was stopped; Nolan lost the puck; Marek Viedensky shot the puck wide; Azevedo scored; Reid scored; David Meckler was stopped; Braun was stopped; Marc-Andre Cliche scored; Lucia scored; Robert Czarnik scored; Del Monte was stopped, giving the Monarchs the win and the extra point.

For the game, the Sharks outshot the Monarchs 39-30, were 0-for-4 with the man advantage and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill... Moore {inj}, Sullivan {inj}, Guite {inj}, Mashinter {inj}, Connolly {inj} and Doherty {inj} did not dress for the Sharks... The Sharks are now 0-3 in the shootout this season... 12 of the Sharks’ 29 fighting majors this season have occurred against the Monarchs {courtesy of Sharksahl.com}... Lucia has a three game point streak {1-2-3}... The Sharks are 21st in the AHL on the power play at 16.5%, 10th in penalty killing at 83.5% and third in penalty minutes with 20.8 per game.

As a bonus, here is Eric Lindquist interviewing Lucia following the Monarchs game, courtesy of the SharksVision YouTube channel.


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