Worcester Sharks rookie Freddie Hamilton had a two point game, including what held up as the game-winning-goal at 16:34 of the third period, and Alex Stalock made 26 saves for his 13th win of the season as the Sharks defeated the Adirondack Phantoms 3-2 Saturday night at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Jon Matsumoto and Sharks captain John McCarthy also scored for the Sharks, who now trail the Hershey Bears by one point for the eighth spot in the AHL Eastern Conference and the Providence Bruins by nine points for first place in the Atlantic Division.
NHL journeyman Jon Sim gave the Phantoms an early 1-0 lead with a power play goal, his seventh goal of the season, at 4:47 when he beat Stalock blocker side from close range to finish off a 2-on-0 rush after Sharks alternate captain Bracken Kearns turned the puck over on top of the face-off circles inside the Sharks zone.
Matsumoto, who played for the Phantoms from 2006-10, tied the game at 16:16 with a power play goal, his 11th goal of the season, when he buried home a point blank shot from six-feet on top of the crease after corralling a centering feed from Kearns, who was behind the net of Phantoms goaltender Scott Munroe. Sharks defenseman Denny Urban was credited with the secondary assist on the goal.
McCarthy put the Sharks ahead 2-1 at 18:15 when he ripped the puck past the blocker of Munroe after corralling a through-the-slot diagonal feed from Hamilton, who had pulled up on the right side and got his pass by three Phantoms players. Sharks forward Marek Viedensky was credited with the secondary assist on the goal for his first point of the season with the Sharks.
In the second period, the Phantoms tied the game at 10:17 when Phantoms forward Garrett Roe ripped a one-timer rocket from on top of the right face-off circle past Stalock for his fourth goal of the season. At 19:24, Kearns dropped the gloves with Phantoms defenseman Cullen Eddy after Phantoms defenseman Andreas Lilja drilled Kearns with a crunching check.
Late in the third period, Viedensky cleanly beat Phantoms rookie forward Matt Mangene on a face-off held in the Phantoms zone on Munroe's left side and got the puck back to Sharks defenseman Danny Groulx, who found Hamilton in the middle of the slot. With the puck on his stick, Hamilton roofed a one-timer over Munroe's shoulder that knocked the water bottle off the net for his seventh goal of the season at 16:34 to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead.
The Phantoms pulled Munroe with 63-seconds left in the game but Stalock and the Sharks defense stood tall to secure a Sharks win.
NOTES... Shots were 33-28 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill... Stalock is now 13-10-3 with a 2.63 goals-against-average and .911 save percentage... McCarthy had a game high seven shots on goal... The Sharks have now won an AHL leading 16 one-goal games, 12 of which have come on the road... The Sharks now have 61 fighting majors through 48 games... Taylor Doherty (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Sebastian Stalberg (scr), Mike Brennan (scr) and Jimmy Bonneau (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the second and final meeting between the teams this season... The Sharks and Phantoms split their season series with a win each... The Sharks are 15-10-0-2 on the road this season and 23-19-1-5 with 52 points overall.
1. Freddie Hamilton - Sharks (1-1-2, GWG)
2. Jon Sim - Phantoms (1-1-2)
3. Alex Stalock - Sharks (26 saves, Win)