Warm-ups are underway as fans begin to find their seats at the DCU Center Saturday night. - http://twitter.com/PhantomsHockey
Brodie Reid scored his ninth goal of the season and Daniil Tarasov extended his point streak to three games with an assist but it wasn't enough as the Worcester Sharks were defeated 2-1 by the Adirondack Phantoms Saturday night at the DCU Center in front of 6959 fans on Rob Gronkowski Bobblehead Night. Alex Stalock had 20 saves for the Sharks, who have now lost a season high five games in a row and are tied for second place in the Atlantic Division with the Manchester Monarchs, both of whom trial the Portland Pirates by eight points for the division lead.
The Phantoms jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when defenseman Cullen Eddy fired a shot from the top of the right point that got through traffic in front and beat Stalock through the pads for his first goal of the season. It took several seconds for the players on the ice to realize Eddy had scored as the puck had gotten stuck in the webbing of the base of the net.
At 8:13, Sharks defenseman Matt Pelech drilled Eddy with a solid check that lead to Phantoms forward Ian Slater dropping the gloves with Pelech 10-seconds later in a one-sided fight that saw Pelech land several solid shots on Slater. Less than two minutes later at 10:11, Sharks alternate captain Bracken Kearns dropped the gloves with Eddy in a quick scrap after Kearns leveled Phantoms forward Matthew Ford with a solid check in the Phantoms zone.
Energized by the two fights, the Sharks pressured the Phantoms with a relentless forecheck that eventually lead to Reid corralling a loose puck in-between the face-off circles, going forehand-to-backhand and firing the puck past Phantoms goaltender (and former San Jose Sharks goaltender) Brian Boucher, who was sprawled out in the crease, for the tying goal at 13:39. Michael Pelech, younger brother of Matt Pelech, and Tarasov were credited with the assists.
The physical play of Matt Pelech continued into the second period as he drilled Phantoms forward Rob Bordson with a bone crushing check in the neutral zone at 5:10, which lead to Matt's second fight of the game two seconds later, this time against Phantoms defenseman Zack Fitzgerald.
The Phantoms retook the lead at 11:23 when Tye McGinn, the younger brother of former Worcester and San Jose Shark Jamie McGinn, buried home a loose puck rebound from in-between the face-off circles after Stalock, who was sprawled out in the crease, had made two fantastic saves. The goal, which held up as the game-winning-goal, was a power play goal and Tye's 11th goal of the season.
With seconds remaining in the second period, Sharks defenseman Denny Urban fired a backhanded shot on net from behind the goal line on the left side near the corner that Boucher stopped. Not giving up on the play, Urban followed his shot, corralled the rebound at the left post and stuffed the puck through Boucher's pads to the tie the game at 2-2. However, referee Trevor Hanson waived the goal off two seconds later just as the Sharks had begun to celebrate the goal.
In the third period, the Sharks turned up the offensive pressure by out-shooting the Phantoms 14-4 but couldn't get the puck past Boucher, who made several outstanding saves in the period to finish with 28 for the game.
NOTES: Shots were 29-22 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-2 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill... Stalock is now 12-9-3-2 with a 2.71 goals-against-average and .908 save percentage... Matt Pelech skated as a forward and skated on the same line with his brother Michael... With the three fights, the Sharks now have 50 through 40 games... Tarasov has three points (1-2-3) during his three-game point streak... Danny Groulx (inj), Taylor Doherty (inj), Curt Gogol (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (inj), Mike Banwell (scr), Travis Oleksuk (scr) and Patrick Rissmiller (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... The Sharks finished their four game home-stand 0-3-0-1... This was the first of two meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 0-1-0-0 against the Phantoms this season, 8-8-1-2 at the DCU Center and 19-17-1-3 with 42 points overall.
1. Tye McGinn - Phantoms (1-0-1, GWG)
2. Brodie Reid - Sharks (1-0-1)
3. Cullen Eddy - Phantoms (1-0-1)