Tim Kennedy and Bracken Kearns each had a goal and two assists, captain John McCarthy had two assists and Alex Stalock stopped 18-of-19 shots as the Worcester Sharks defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 5-1 Friday night at the DCU Center for their first win of the season.
After a scoreless first period, Kennedy gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead just 29 seconds into the second period with his second goal of the season off a snipe shot from in-between the face-off circles that got through traffic and beat Sound Tigers goalie Kevin Poulin on the blocker side. McCarthy and Kearns were credited with the assists.
Curt Gogol, playing in his first game of the season, extended the Sharks lead to 2-0 at 9:20 with his first goal of the season off a one-timer from in the slot that got through a screen and beat Poulin. Kearns, who set up Gogol with a pass from behind Poulin's net, and Kennedy were credited with the assists on the goal, which held up as the game winner.
Sharks defenseman Sena Acolatse extended the lead to 3-0 at 15:48 with his first goal of the season off a blazer of a shot from on top of the left face-off circle that beat Poulin on the blocker side. Sharks rookies Travis Oleksuk and Freddie Hamilton were credited with the assists on the goal, which was set up by Acolatse faking out a Sound Tigers defenseman, who went down to the ice to block the shot, and then reloading for the shot on goal.
In the third period, the Sound Tigers cut the Sharks lead to 3-1 when Brock Nelson corralled a diagonal pass from Sound Tigers defenseman Jon Landry and fired the puck past Stalock seconds after the Sharks penalty had expired.
Late in the period and with the Sharks on a 5-on-3 power play advantage, Jon Matsumoto and Kearns scored their first goals of the season (and as Sharks) in a 30-second span (18:32 and 19:02 respectively) to seal a Sharks 5-1 victory. Sebastian Stalberg and James Sheppard were credited with the assists on the Matsumoto goal while McCarthy and Kennedy were credited with the assists on the Kearns goal.
NOTES: Shots were 32-19 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 2-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill... Stalock improved his record to 1-2-0 with a 3.69 goals-against-average and .847 save percentage... This was the first of six meetings between the teams this season... Matt Pelech (susp) Brodie Reid (inj), Taylor Doherty (inj), Mikael Tam (inj), James Livingston (scr), Brandon Mashinter (scr), Marek Viedensky (scr) and Daniil Tarasov (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... Pelech was suspended by the AHL on Oct. 23 for four games under the provision of AHL Rule 28 (supplementary discipline) after receiving a game misconduct for leaving the team bench for the purpose of starting an altercation on Oct. 20 against the Albany Devils... The Sharks signed defenseman Mike Banwell to a PTO prior to the start of the game and he wore #24 for the Sharks... Sharks enforcer Jimmy Bonneau played in his first game of the season and dropped the gloves with Sound Tigers Brett Gallant at 6:45 of the first period for his first fighting major of 2012-13... Frazer McLaren picked up his first fighting major of the season after dropping the gloves with Sound Tigers Nathan McIver in a one sided affair won by McLaren at 6:56 of the second period... The Sharks are now 1-3-0-1 overall.
1. Tim Kennedy - Sharks (1-2-3)
2. Sena Acolatse - Sharks (1-0-1)
3. Curt Gogol - Sharks (1-0-1)