Daniil Tarasov scored his first career AHL goal with 10.7 seconds left in the third period to secure one point for the Worcester Sharks, who were defeated 3-2 in the shootout by the Hershey Bears Wednesday night at the DCU Center. Denny Urban had a two point night with a goal and an assist while goaltender Alex Stalock made 29 saves in net for the Sharks, who trail the Portland Pirates by six points for first place of the Atlantic Division.
The Bears struck first when captain Boyd Kane slammed the puck into an open net on the right side just eight seconds into the Bears power play opportunity for a power play goal, his seventh goal of the season, after corralling a diagonal feed from Bears defenseman Tomas Kundratek, who froze everyone with a fake-out shot from inside the left face-off circle off a face-off win inside the Sharks zone.
Urban tied the game just 15-seconds into the second period with a blast of a shot from on top of the right face-off circle that beat Bears goaltender Philipp Grubauer blocker side. Despite the red light coming on and referee Mark Lemelin signaling goal, the game was delayed several minutes as the on ice officials wanted to review the goal, which stood. Mike Banwell and Freddie Hamilton were credited with the assists on the goal, which was Urban third of the season.
The Bears regained the lead at 4:47 when rookie T.J. Syner beat Stalock five-hole on a breakaway for his third goal of the season after stealing the puck from Sharks forward Patrick Rissmiller in the neutral zone mere seconds after exiting the penalty box.
With the Sharks still trailing 2-1 late in the third period, Stalock was pulled for the extra attacker, and the Sharks scored with the extra attacker for the first time this season when Tarasov corralled a centering feed in front from Urban, who was positioned on the right side wall, and fired the puck into the net for the game-tying goal at 19:49. Sharks rookie defenseman Mikael Tam was credited with the secondary assist.
After a scoreless overtime session that saw the Sharks outshot 4-1, the teams headed to the shootout where the Bears got goals from Garrett Mitchell and Ryan Potulny to win the shootout 2-1. Urban was the lone Shark to score in the shootout and Rissmiller had a chance to extend the shootout to a sixth round but fanned on his shot after getting Grubauer to sprawl out in the crease.
NOTES: Shots were 32-28 in favor of the Bears... The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill... Stalock is now 12-8-3-2 with a 2.74 goals-against-average and .0908 save percentage... Prior to the start of the game, the Sharks signed 2009 San Jose draftee and ECHL all-star defenseman William Wrenn to a PTO along with forward Michael Pelech... Wrenn made his AHL debut in the game... Sharks forward Jon Matsumoto had a game high six shots on goal... Taylor Doherty (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Danny Groulx (inj), Tim Kennedy (inj), Sacha Guimond (scr), Brandon Mashinter (traded), James Sheppard (SJTC), Nick Petrecki (SJTC), Bracken Kearns (SJTC), Matt Tennyson (SJTC), Matt Irwin (SJTC), Matt Pelech (SJTC), John McCarthy (SJTC) and Frazer McLaren (SJTC) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the third of four meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 2-0-0-1 against the Bears this season, 8-6-1-2 at the DCU Center and 19-15-1-3 with 42 points overall.
1. Daniil Tarasov - Sharks (1-0-1, GTG)
2. Denny Urban - Sharks (1-1-2)
3. T.J. Syner - Bears (1-0-1)
The big news coming out of Wednesday night's game came with two minutes remaining in the third period when Worcester Sharks play-by-play announcer Eric Lindquist said on air, "I've just received an email that says the Sharks have traded Brandon Mashinter to the New York Rangers for Tommy Grant and a conditional seventh round pick."
On a personal level, I was upset upon hearing the news as Mashinter is a favorite of mine and I was hoping this was going to be the season where he cracked San Jose's lineup. On a professional level, perhaps a change of scenery is what Mashinter needs. After averaging 34.3 points-per-season in his first three seasons with Worcester, Mashinter only has five points (2-3-5) with 44 penalty minutes in 30 games this season to go along with a minus-11 rating, which was his plus/minus total for all of last season in 65 games played. I hope Mashinter has great success in the Rangers organization and he will be missed by a lot of Sharks fans, both Worcester and San Jose.
As for Tommy Grant, he is a left winger that stands 6'2" and weights 195-pounds. According to hockeysfuture.com, Grant "has good size, and is an offensive player who has good hands and a strong sense of competition." Grant is in his second full AHL season and registered 17 points (9-8-17) with 15 penalty minutes in 34 games played thus far for the Connecticut Whale. His AHL career totals with the Whale/Hartford Wolf Pack are 20-23-43 with 56 penalty minutes in 113 games. In addition, Grant played four seasons of collegiate hockey at Alaska-Anchorage and was the team leading scorer his senior season with 32 points (16-16-32) to go along with 57 penalty minutes.