Despite out-shooting the Providence Bruins 33-30 and getting 27 saves on 29 shots from goaltender Alex Stalock, the Worcester Sharks were defeated 3-1 by the Bruins Sunday afternoon at the Dunkin' Donuts Center. Rookie Yanni Gourde scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who now trial the Hershey Bears by three points for the eighth seed in the AHL Eastern Conference and the Bruins by 11 points for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Special teams was the story of the game as the Bruins scored their first two goals on the power play while the Sharks failed to score on six power play opportunities. Jordan Caron blasted a one-timer from the right slot past Stalock at 9:31 of the first period for a power play goal, his eighth goal of the season, to put the Bruins up 1-0. In the second period, Craig Cunningham extended the Bruins lead to 2-0 when he stuffed home a loose puck at 16:15 for another power play goal, his 14th goal of the season, during a mad scramble in front of Stalock's net.
Gourde cut the Bruins lead in half with his seventh goal of the season at 17:11 of the third period when he slammed home a loose rebound past Bruins goaltender Michael Hutchinson. The goal, which was assisted by Jon Matsumoto and Danny Groulx, snapped a 22-game goalless drought for Gourde.
The Sharks pulled Stalock for the extra attacker but Bruins captain Trent Whitfield scored an empty-net-goal, his third goal of the season, at 19:43 to seal a 3-1 Bruins win.
NOTES... Shots were 33-30 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill... Stalock is now 13-11-3 with a 2.61 goals-against-average and .912 save percentage... Sharks defenseman Matt Pelech, who dressed at forward for the game, had a game high four shots on goal... Sharks alternate captain Bracken Kearns left the game after taking a puck to the face area midway through the second period and did not return... The Sharks finished their five game road trip with a 3-2 record... The Sharks will return home to the DCU Center next weekend for their second consecutive week of three-in-three games... Taylor Doherty (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Mike Brennan (inj), Sebastian Stalberg (scr) and Curt Gogol (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the ninth of 12 meetings between the teams this season... In their last three games, the Sharks are 1-for-15 on the power play which includes 3:06 of 5-on-3 power play time (via Darryl Hunt of Sharkspage.com)... The Sharks are 5-2-0-2 against the Bruins this season, 10-9-1-4 against the Atlantic Division, 15-11-0-2 on the road and 23-20-1-5 with 52 points overall.
1. Michael Hutchinson - Bruins (32 saves, WIN)
2. Craig Cunningham - Bruins (1-0-1, GWG)
3. Jordan Caron - Bruins (1-0-1)