After going 162:13 minutes without scoring a goal (new franchise record), the Worcester Sharks offense exploded for three goals in a 3:16 span inside the final five minutes of the second period en route to a 5-2 win over Atlantic Division rival the St. John's IceCaps (AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets) at the DCU Center Friday night.
With head coach Roy Sommer reshuffling the lineup after being shutout in back-to-back games, 12 different Sharks skaters registered a point, highlighted by two point games from forwards Freddie Hamilton (goal and an assist), James Livingston (two assists) and rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo (two assists). Harri Sateri made 34 saves in net before leaving the game with seven minutes left in the third period due to an injury but did return for the on ice celebration.
"It was definitely a message," said Sharks associate coach David Cunniff in a post game interview with Carl Setterlund of Telegram.com. "We sat two of our better players out because we didn't like the way that they responded to the (Providence) game. I don't think everyone was interested or we didn't have their attention."
The IceCaps took a 1-0 lead at 5:18 of the first period when forward J.C. Lipon took a behind-the-net, backhanded centering feed from linemate Carl Klingberg and snuck the puck past Sateri from the right side of the crease for his fifth goal of the season.
In the second period, the Sharks had two goals waived off for various reasons before Hamilton finally ended the team scoring drought with a power play goal, his 10th goal of the season, at 15:25 off a snap shot from just in front of the right face-off circle dot. Sharks defenseman Adam Comrie and DeMelo were credited with the assists.
Just 32-seconds later, Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty put the Sharks ahead 2-1 with his second goal of the season off rocket of a slap shot from the top of the center point that blew by IceCaps goaltender Jussi Olkinuora. Sharks rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser and Livingston were credited with the assists.
Nearly three minutes later at 18:41, Sharks forward Marek Viedensky extended the lead to 3-1 with his third goal of the season off a rebound strike from on top of the crease to cap off a 2-on-1 rush with linemate Curt Gogol. Livingston was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, which held up as the game winner.
In the third period, Sharks forward Brodie Reid, who was trailing on the play, made it 4-1 at 11:11 when he found a rebound deep in the left slot and fired the puck into an open net for his third goal of the season. Sharks forwards Dan DaSilva and Rylan Schwartz were credited with the assists.
The IceCaps cut the Sharks lead to 4-2 at 14:06 when defenseman Zach Redmond fired a shot from the left face-off circle past Sharks rookie goaltender Troy Grosenick (who came in relief of Sateri) for a power play goal, his fifth goal of the season.
With Olkinuora pulled the for extra attacker, Sharks rookie forward Eriah Hayes fired the puck into the open net at 18:58 for his fifth goal of the season and to seal a 5-2 Sharks win.
NOTES... Final shots were 38-33 in favor of the IceCaps... The Sharks went 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 7-9-1 with a 2.91 goals-against-average and .891 save percentage... Grosenick made two saves on three shots in seven minutes of relief time... Reid and Viedensky had a team high four shots on goal... Sharks defensemen Rob Davison, Comrie and forward Matt Pelech were the only Sharks without a shot on goal... Pelech was the only Shark to finish with a minus rating (minus-one)... Sharks alternate captain Bracken Kearns played in his 500th career AHL game... The five goal outburst marks only the third time this season the Sharks have scored three goals or more in a game... This was the fifth of 10 meetings between the Sharks and IceCaps this season... The Sharks are 4-0-1-0 against the IceCaps, 6-7-0-1 at the DCU Center and 13-12-1-1 with 28 points overall... The Sharks are back in action Saturday (Dec. 28) as they travel to play the Hartford Wolf Pack at 7pm/et.
1. Harri Sateri - Sharks (34 saves, Win)
2. Marek Viedensky - Sharks (1-0-1, GWG, plus-two)
3. Taylor Doherty - Sharks (1-0-1)
DaSilva / Schwartz / Reid
Tarasov / Kearns (A) / Hayes
Stalberg / Viedensky / Livingston
Gogol / Hamilton (A) / Pelech
Doherty / Abeltshauser
Davison (C) / Acolatse
Comrie / DeMelo