Worcester Sharks rookie Daniil Tarasov extended his goal streak to three games as he scored the lone goal in the Sharks' 3-1 loss to the Springfield Falcons Friday night at the Mass Mutual Center. Harri Sateri made 27 saves on 29 shots for the Sharks, who now trail the Connecticut Whale by two points for the eighth seed in the AHL Eastern Conference and the Providence Bruins by nine points for first place in the Atlantic Division.
With a 5-on-3 power play advantage late in the first period, Falcons captain Ryan Craig put the Falcons up 1-0 at 19:12 when he deflected a Nick Holden shot from on top of the right face-off circle past Sateri for his 15th goal of the season. The goal was set-up off a great hustle play by Falcons defenseman David Savard, who outstretched his hockey stick at the blue line to deny a clearing attempt by Sharks defenseman Matt Pelech.
Tarasov tied the game at 1-1 just 90-seconds into the 2nd period when he deflected a Danny Groulx shot from the left face-off circle past Falcons goaltender Allen York for his seventh goal of the season. Sharks defenseman Adam Comrie, who was making his Sharks debut after being signed by the Sharks to an AHL Standard Players Contract on February 6, was credited with the secondary assist.
The Falcons regained the lead at 6:30 of the third period when defenseman Nick Holden corralled a centering feed from Sean Collins after cutting backdoor on the left post and fired the puck past Sateri for his fifth goal of the season.
The Sharks had a golden opportunity with 7:36 left in the period to tie the game with a 1:55 5-on-3 power play advantage but couldn't get the puck past the Falcons penalty killers, who maxed out effort wise by blocking several shots. The Sharks' best chance to tie the game came at 14:29 when defenseman Denny Urban had his shot through traffic stopped by York, who was sprawled out on his stomach.
With Sateri pulled for an extra attacker near the final minute of the period, Falcons alternate captain Andrew Jourdey scored an empty-net goal, his third goal of the season, at 19:48 to seal a 3-1 Falcons victory.
NOTES... Shots were 30-23 in favor of the Falcons... The Sharks went 0-for-7 on the power play, including two 5-on-3 opportunities, and 7-for-8 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 10-10-2 with a 2.49 goals-against-average and a .915 save percentage... Tarasov had a team high five shots on goal and now has eleven points (7-4-11) in nine of his last 10 games... Matt Irwin returned to the Sharks lineup after playing in nine games with the San Jose Sharks and had two shots on goal... The Sharks loss marked the first time the Sharks hadn't left Springfield with a point since March 22, 2009, a 14-game span... Taylor Doherty (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Curt Gogol (scr) and Mike Brennan (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... Worcester leading scorer Tim Kennedy (13-24-37) was called up to San Jose on February 12 and scored the lone San Jose goal in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks Friday night... Defenseman Michael Wilson was released from his PTO on February 11... Defenseman Mikael Tam was reassigned to the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL on February 11... Marek Viedensky returned to the Sharks lineup after being recalled from San Francisco on February 13... This was the third of eight meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 2-1-0-0 against the Falcons this season, 14-10-0-2 on the road and 22-19-1-5 with 50 points overall.
1. Andrew Joudrey - Falcons (1-0-1, ENG)
2. Ryan Russell - Falcons (plus-1)
3. Nick Holden - Falcons (1-1-2, GWG)