Nick Petrecki scored the game-winning-goal at 4:18 of overtime, his first goal of the season, and Denny Urban had two goals in his first home game as the Worcester Sharks defeated the Springfield Falcons 4-3 in overtime Friday night at the DCU Center. Harri Sateri made 25 saves for his seventh win of the season while captain John McCarthy and Jon Matsumoto added two assists each for the Sharks, who now trail the Portland Pirates by three points for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Sharks rookie Freddie Hamilton put the Sharks up 1-0 at 6:05 of the first period with a power play goal, his fifth goal of the season, off an excellent individual effort that saw Hamilton rush into the Falcons zone down the left side, skate around a Falcons defender and snipe a shot from just inside the left face-off circle in the slot that beat Falcons goaltender Curtis McElhinney over the shoulder. Matt Pelech and James Livingston were credited with the assists on the goal.
Even though the Falcons had two power play opportunities in the first period and outshot the Sharks 11-5, Sateri stood tall in his net and kept the Falcons off the scoreboard. Tomas Kubalik got the Falcons on the scoreboard with his seventh goal of the season at 6:00 of the second period when he redirected a centering feed from linemate Michael Chaput past Sateri.
Urban regained the lead for the Sharks with his second goal of the season at 15:48 when off a Matsumoto face-off win inside the Falcons zone, Urban corralled a tip pass from Brodie Reid and ripped a wrist shot from the left point that got through traffic in front and beat McElhinney.
In the third period, the Falcons tied the game at 6:28 when Ryan Johansen slammed home a rebound from in the slot for his 14th goal of the season after Sateri had made the initial save on a a Jonathan Audy-Marchessault shot from the right side. The game didn't stay tied for long as Urban ripped a shot from the right point that beat McElhinney after the puck deflected off a Falcons player in front for a power play goal at 9:55. Matsumoto and McCarthy were credited with the assists on the goal.
With just 131 seconds left in the third period and the Sharks leading 3-2, referee Terry Koharski raised a lot of eyebrows when he assessed a questionable interference penalty to Hamilton that gave the Falcons a later power play opportunity. With McElhinney pulled for a 6-on-4 power play advantage, Sateri stopped a Tim Erixon shot from the left point but Kubalik corralled the rebound and backhanded a shot on net that beat Sateri stick side to tie the game at 3-3 with 58-seconds remaining in regulation.
In overtime, the teams combined for one shot on goal through the first four minutes. With under one minute remaining in the overtime session, Sharks rookie Daniil Tarasov broke up a Falcons rush with a strong back check that sent the Sharks the other way. Pulling up in the Falcons zone, McCarthy left the puck for defenseman Michael Wilson, who sent a backhand pass to Petrecki, who fired a quick wrist shot on net from on top of the left face-off circle that beat McElhinney glove side for the game-winning-goal with just 42-seconds remaining in overtime.
NOTES: Shots were 28-25 in favor of the Falcons... The Sharks went 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 7-7-2-1 with a 2.86 goals-against-average and .905 save percentage... The Sharks signed Pat Rissmiller and Wilson to PTO contracts on January 10... Sharks defenseman Matt Pelech dropped the gloves with Falcons forward Dalton Smith at 11:12 of the second period for his ninth fight of the season... With the one fight, the Sharks now have 44 through 35 games... Matsumoto (1-5-6) and Reid (2-2-4) have a three game point streak... Taylor Doherty (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Danny Groulx (inj), Tim Kennedy (inj), Matt Irwin (scr), Mikael Tam (scr), Matt Tennyson (scr), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Yanni Gourde (scr), James Sheppard (scr) and Rissmiller (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the first of eight meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 1-0-0-0 against the Falcons this season, 8-5-1-1 at the DCU Center and 19-13-1-2 overall with 41 points.
1. Nick Petrecki - Sharks (1-0-1, GWG)
2. Denny Urban - Sharks (2-0-2)
3. Tomas Kubalik - Falcons (2-0-2)