Despite getting a goal from Brodie Reid in his season debut and 21 saves from Alex Stalock, the Worcester Sharks were defeated 2-1 Saturday night at the DCU Center by the Connecticut Whale in front of 5,098 fans.
After missing the first 14 games of the season, Reid showed no signs of rink rust as he displayed tremendous puck handling skills on a terrific individual rush down the left side that saw him get around three Whale skaters and beat Whale goaltender Cameron Talbot through the wickets with a quick snap shot from inside the left face-off circle at 17:29 of the first period to put the Sharks up 1-0. Sharks rookie Freddie Hamilton and defenseman Taylor Doherty were credited with the assists on the goal.
After a scoreless second period, the Whale tied the game just 100 seconds into the third period when off the ensuing face-off after a Sharks penalty for too many men, Chris Kreider lifted a rebound over the blocker of Stalock for his second goal of the season.
Just 77-seconds later, Ryan Borque stuffed home a wraparound shot on the near side for this third goal of the season to put the Whale up 2-1 after stealing the puck behind the Sharks net from Doherty, who was unable to corral a pass from Sharks rookie Travis Oleksuk.
Midway through the period, the Sharks had a golden opportunity to tie the game with a four minute power play advantage after defenseman Matt Pelech was cut on a high stick by Whale defenseman Logan Pyett, but could only find iron as Sebastian Stalberg and Danny Groulx both hit the post. In the final 86-seconds of the period, Stalock was pulled for the extra attacker but the Whale were able to hold on for the win.
NOTES: Shots were 24-23 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill... Stalock had his seven game win streak snapped and is now 7-3-2-0 with a 2.32 goals-against-average and .915 save percentage... Nick Petrecki (inj), Frazer McLaren (inj), Jon Matsumoto (inj), Daniil Tarasov (scr) and Jimmy Bonneau (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... Marek Viedensky and Mikael Tam were assigned and loaned respectively to the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL on Nov. 15... This was the second of four meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 0-2-0-0 against the Whale this season, 4-3-1-0 at the DCU Center, 0-4-1-1 on Saturday night games and 7-6-1-1 overall.
1. Chris Kreider - Whale (1-0-1)
2. Brodie Reid - Sharks (1-0-1)
3. Cameron Talbot - Whale (23 saves, win)