Second year Worcester Sharks forward Freddie Hamilton extended his point streak to five games with a three point night, highlighted by two goals, while rookie goaltender Troy Grosenick made 29 saves in net for his sixth win of the season as the Sharks defeated the Hershey Bears (AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals) 3-2 at the Giant Center Saturday night.
Hamilton put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 15:16 of the first period when he stole the puck at center ice, skated into the Bears zone along the right side, went behind the net and wrapped the puck into an open net on the left side for his eighth goal of the season. At 16:59, Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson pushed the lead to 2-0 with a power play goal, his second goal of the season, off a blast of shot from deep in the right slot that beat Bears goaltender David Leggio. Sharks forwards Bracken Kearns and Hamilton were credited with the assists.
In the second period, the Sharks were assessed four consecutive minor penalties in a 2:29 span that eventually led to a 5-on-3 power play advantage for the Bears, which they capitalized on as defenseman Julien Brouillette beat Grosenick with a wicked wrist shot from the right face-off circle at 8:04 for his fifth goal of the season.
Early in the third period, Sharks rookie forward Eriah Hayes appeared to have regained the two goal lead for the Sharks but the goal was waived off by the on ice officials. Hamilton got that goal back at 12:12 when he found a loose puck in the goal crease and buried the rebound past Leggio (who had made several spectacular saves in a row) for a 5-on-3 power play goal, his second goal of the game and ninth of the season. Tennyson and Hayes were credited with the assists.
The Bears answered back at 15:49 when off a turnover at center ice by Sharks forward Dan DaSilva, Bears forward Nicolas Deschamps finished off a 3-on-1 rush by deflecting a centering feed from in the slot past Grosenick for his seventh goal of the season.
With Leggio pulled for the extra attacker inside the final minute of the period, Sharks defenseman Rob Davison was assessed a holding penalty at 19:41 to give the Bears a 6-on-4 power play advantage. Grosenick and the Sharks penalty killers dug deep and held the Bears at bay for the 3-2 win.
NOTES... Finals shots were 37-31 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 2-for-5 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 6-3-0 with a 2.01 goals-against-average and .924 save percentage... Sharks forward Travis Oleksuk had a game high five shots on goal... The Sharks improved to 6-2-1 all time at the Giant Center... This was the first of four meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 1-0-0-0 against the Bears, 7-4-1-0 on the road and 12-10-1-1 with 26 points overall... The Sharks wrap up their Pennsylvania three-in-three weekend Sunday evening at 5pm/et when they rematch the Bears.
1. Freddie Hamilton - Sharks (2-1-3, GWG)
2. Matt Tennyson - Sharks (1-1-2)
3. Nicolas Deschamps - Bears (1-1-2)
Kearns (A) / Hamilton (A) / Hayes
DaSilva / Oleksuk / Schwartz
Gogol / Viedensky / Livingston
Bonneau / Brace / Reid
Doherty / Abeltshauser
Davison (C) / Tennyson
DeMelo / Comrie