Worcester Sharks forward James Sheppard beats Sound Tigers goaltender Kevin Poulin during the shootout Saturday night at the Webster Bank Arena. - Bill Tenca of www.soundtigers.com
Tim Kennedy had his second two goal game in as many nights and Harri Sateri made 35 saves for his second win of the season as the Worcester Sharks defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 4-3 in the shootout Saturday night at the Webster Bank Arena. Freddie Hamilton also scored for the Sharks, who moved into third place of the Atlantic Division, one point behind the Manchester Monarchs and St. John's IceCaps.
In an action packed first period that saw the teams combine for 58 penalty minutes, the Sound Tigers struck first at 8:12 when defenseman Jon Landry beat Sateri blocker side for his fourth goal of the season with a rocket of a shot from the point just four-seconds into the Sound Tigers power play opportunity.
Hamilton answered back for the Sharks at 11:02 when he lifted a rebound from in front past Sound Tigers goaltender Kevin Poulin for his third goal of the season, which was assisted by Mike Brennan and Curt Gogol. Right after Hamilton scored, there was a 10-player scrum up in front of the Sharks bench that saw a fight break out between Brennan and Sound Tigers forward Blair Riley. In all, 36 penalty minutes were assessed, 14 of which were given to Sharks forward James Livingston (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct, misconduct) and 12 to Sound Tigers forward Brett Gallant (roughing, misconduct).
The physical play continued as Gogol dropped the gloves against Sound Tigers defenseman Nathan McIver at 14:24 in a lengthy battle that was both combatants fourth fight of the season. At 17:33, Kennedy extended his point streak to five games with his ninth goal of the season off a wicked shot from a tough angle in the left corner that beat Poulin over the shoulder. Sharks defenseman Sena Acolatse was credited with the lone assist.
After a scoreless second period that saw Sateri make 14 saves for the Sharks, the Sound Tigers tied the game just 2:51 into the third period when Nino Niederreiter sniped a shot past Sateri from the left face-off circle for his 10th goal of the season. At 13:52, Kennedy put the Sharks up 3-2 with his second goal of the game, and team leading 10th goal of the season, off a laser of a shot from the left face-off circle that went in off the post. Sharks alternate captain Bracken Kearns and defenseman Matt Irwin were credited with the assists.
With a power play opportunity late in the period, Sound Tigers forward Brock Nelson corralled a back-door feed from Niederreiter in front and was robbed by Sateri, who made an amazing save with his pad. Not giving up on the play, Nelson jammed home his rebound for his eighth goal of the season at 17:32.
After a scoreless overtime session that saw the Sharks outshot 3-0, the teams headed to the shootout where James Sheppard and Kennedy scored for the Sharks while Sateri stopped all four Sound Tigers shooters.
NOTES: Shots were 38-34 in favor of the Sound Tigers... The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-7 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 2-4-1-1 with a 3.64 goals-against-average and .873 save percentage... With the two fights, the Sharks now have 29 through 20 games... Kennedy has 10 points (5-5-10) during his five-game point streak... The teams combined for 78 penalty minutes, 42 of which were assessed to the Sharks... Nick Petrecki (inj), Danny Groulx (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Sebastian Stalberg (scr), Frazer McLaren (scr) and Matt Pelech (susp) did not dress for the Sharks... The Sharks recalled defenseman Mikael Tam from the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL before the game... This was the third of six meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 3-0-0-0 against the Sound Tigers this season, 5-4-0-1 on the road and 10-8-1-1 with 22 points overall.
1. Harri Sateri - Sharks (35 saves, win)
2. Nino Niederreiter - Sound Tigers (1-0-1)
3. Tim Kennedy - Sharks (2-0-2, Shootout goal)