Finding themselves down 3-0 to the Providence Bruins within the opening 10 minutes of the game, the Worcester Sharks rallied with three unanswered goals over the next 44 minutes to force overtime but suffered a 4-3 shootout loss to the Bruins at the DCU Center Saturday night in front of 8198 fans. Alex Stalock made 35 saves while Bracken Kearns, Mike Banwell and Brodie Reid scored for the Sharks, who fell to eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings and fourth place in the Atlantic Division, seven points behind the first place Portland Pirates.
The Bruins jumped out to a 3-0 lead with three goals on five shots in a 4:11 span. Bruins forward Craig Cunningham put the Bruins up 1-0 at 5:38 with a power play goal, his eighth goal of the season, when he capped off a 2-on-1 rush with linemate Ryan Spooner by firing the puck past Stalock. Bruins alternate captain Jamie Tardif pushed the lead to 2-0 with his 20th goal of the season at 7:51 when he buried home a rebound from on top of the crease. Bruins rookie Justin Florek made it 3-0 at 9:49 when he redirected a Torey Krug shot from the point past Stalock for his fourth goal of the season.
Kearns got the Sharks on the scoreboard at 10:41 when a Danny Groulx shot from the point deflected off of Kearns' glove in front and then off the skate of a Bruins player for the goal. Sharks rookie Daniil Tarasov extended his point streak to five games with the secondary assist on the goal, which was Kearns' 10th of the season.
After the Sharks killed off Michael Wilson's carry over penalty for holding to start the second period, Banwell beat Bruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg at 1:43 with a quick wrist shot from the point for his first professional goal to pull the Sharks to within a goal. Matt Tennyson and Tommy Grant were credited with the assists on the goal.
In the third period, Reid tied the game at 13:55 when he buried home a one-timer from on top of the crease off a nice feed from linemate Jon Matsumoto, who was positioned on the backboard. Patrick Rissmiller was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, which was Reid's 10th of the season.
With three minutes remaining in regulation, Rissmiller was assessed an elbowing penalty that the Sharks were able to kill off to force overtime. Less than two minutes into overtime, Stalock saved the game for the Sharks when he denied Spooner on a breakaway. Svedberg was equally impressive for the Bruins as he stopped all four Sharks shots to send the game to the shootout.
In the shootout, both teams scored on their first two shots as Spooner and Maxime Sauve scored for the Bruins while Tarasov and Denny Urban scored for the Sharks. The Sharks had two chances to win the shootout but both Reid and Grant were stopped by Svedberg in the fifth and sixth rounds. In the seventh round, Cunningham had his shot go off of Stalock's glove and into the net to give the Bruins the shootout lead. Groulx had a chance to extend the shootout to the eighth round but was stopped by Svedberg to seal a 4-3 Bruins shootout victory.
NOTES: Shots were 39-36 in favor of the Bruins... The Sharks went 0-for-1 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill... Stalock is now 12-9-3-3 with a 2.71 goals-against-average and .909 save percentage... Reid has matched his goal total from 66 games played last season in just 28 games played this season... Tarasov has five points (2-3-5) during his five-game point streak... Sharks captain John McCarthy played in his 200th game for Worcester... Sharks forward Curt Gogol had 12 of the Sharks' 20 penalty minutes and was ejected from the game while on the bench during the shootout...Kearns' next goal will be his 100th AHL goal... Taylor Doherty (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (inj), Mike Brennan (scr), Travis Oleksuk (scr), Sebastian Stalberg (scr) and Mikael Tam (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the seventh of 12 meetings between the teams this season... All seven games have been decided by one goal and four games have been decided in the shootout... The Sharks are 0-3-0-2 in their last five home games... The Sharks are 5-0-0-2 against the Bruins this season, 8-7-1-3 against the Atlantic Division, 8-8-1-3 at the DCU Center and 20-17-1-4 with 45 points overall.
1. Brodie Reid - Sharks (1-0-1)
2. Jamie Tardif - Bruins (1-0-1)
3. Craig Cunningham - Bruins (1-0-1, SO GWG)