Worcester falls 4-3 to Springfield in AHL season opener

Worcester Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri prepares to make a save against Falcons forward Broc Little during the Sharks' season opener at the MassMutual Center Saturday night. - Liam Edson - http://www.flickr.com/photos/springfieldfalcons/sets

Opening their 2013-14 season on the road, the Worcester Sharks were defeated 4-3 by the Springfield Falcons at the MassMutual Center Saturday night (October 12). Sharks forwards Eriah Hayes (rookie), Brodie Reid and James Livingston scored for the Sharks while goaltender Harri Sateri made 15 saves in net.

"Some of these guys haven't played a real game in six weeks since training camp started," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Carl Setterlund of Telegram.com.  "(Springfield) had one in under their belt last week, so they got a little of the rust off. You could see as the game started going on, I thought we started to play better once we started feeling it out and nobody had been hit in a game yet."

The Sharks found themselves down 1-0 just 3:05 into the game when Falcons defenseman Tim Erixon had his snap shot from the top of the left point redirected in front by Falcons rookie forward Lukas Sediak (and a second deflection off a Sharks defenseman).  12-minutes later at 15:07, the Falcons extended their lead to 2-0 when Erixon had his slap shot from on top of the left face-off circle redirected in front by Falcons forward Jake Hansen.

Looking to spark his team, Sharks enforcer Jimmy Bonneau dropped the gloves with Falcons forward Dalton Smith at 17:16 in a heavyweight battle that saw both combatants land several solid overhand rights before being broken up by the officials.

The Sharks cut the Falcons lead to 2-1 at 3:14 of the second period when Hayes buried home a rebound from on top of the goal crease for his first professional goal. Sharks forwards Daniil Tarasov, who took the initial shot from the left side, and Bracken Kearns were credited with the assists.

29-seconds later at 3:43, two fights broke out as Kearns fought Falcons defenseman Will Weber while Sharks defenseman Rob Davison fought Falcons forward Darryl Boyce.  Weber wrestled Kearns to the ground while Davison and Boyce each got game misconducts.

Falcons forward Jonathan Marchessault pushed the Falcons lead to 3-1 at 14:39 with a 5-on-3 power play goal off a quick snap shot from deep inside the left face-off circle that beat Sateri left side over the shoulder.  At 16:16, Hansen scored his second goal of the game, this time a shorthanded goal, when he out-waited Sateri from point blank range.

Reid stopped the bleeding for the Sharks at 17:41 when he blasted a one-timer from the right circle face-off dot past Falcons goaltender Jeremy Smith for a power play goal, his first goal of the season. Sharks forwards Tarasov and Marek Viedensky were credited with the assists.

In the third period, Livingston pulled the Sharks to within a goal at 5:22 when he corralled a behind-the-net centering feed from Kearns deep inside the left face-off circle and buried the puck past Smith for his first goal of the season.  Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty was credited with the secondary assist.

Despite out-shooting the Falcons 9-4 in the third period and having a late power play opportunity, the Sharks couldn't get the puck past Smith, who finished with 26 saves on the night.

NOTES... Final shots were 29-19 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill... Sateri is 0-1-1 with a 4.08 goals-against-average and .789 save percentage... Kearns and Tarasov each had 2 assists... Hayes had a game high five shots on goal... Prior to the start of the game, Davison was named team captain with Kearns and Bonneau wearing the alternate "A"... The teams combined for 72 penalty minutes... Sharks defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser made his professional debut and finished with three shots on goal... This was the first of six meetings between the Sharks and Falcons... The Sharks are 0-1-0-0 against the Falcons, 0-1-0-0 on the road and 0-1-0-0 overall... The Sharks next game is their home opener at the DCU Center on October 19 against the Wilkes/Barre Scranton Penguins... Curt Gogol (inj), Lane Scheidl (inj), Sena Acolatse (scr), Dylan DeMelo (scr) and Travis Oleksuk (scr) did not dress for the Sharks.

Three Stars
1.  Jake Hansen - Falcons (2-0-2, GWG)
2.  Jonathan Marchessault - Falcons (1-0-1)
3.  Tim Erixon - Falcons (0-3-3)

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