Harri Sateri made 21 saves for his first shutout of the season and captain John McCarthy ended a 10-game goalless drought with two goals as the Worcester Sharks defeated the St. John's IceCaps 4-0 Wednesday night at the Mile One Centre to sweep the two game set in St. John's.
Tim Kennedy dished out two assists, Bracken Kearns scored his team leading eighth power play goal of the season and rookie Daniil Tarasov scored his second game-winning-goal in as many days for the Sharks, who now trail the Wilkes/Barre Scranton Penguins by one point for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings and the Portland Pirates by six points for the Atlantic Division lead.
Despite no goals being scored in the first period, there was plenty of action as just four seconds into the game, Sharks rookie defenseman Mikael Tam dropped the gloves with IceCaps forward Hunter Tremblay in response to Tremblay's late hit on Sharks forward Brodie Reid in Tuesday's game. 72-seconds later, Kearns battled IceCaps forward Raymond Sawada, and the heavyweights took center ice at 15:48 when Sharks enforcer Jimmy Bonneau scraped with IceCaps enforcer Ryan Schnell. By the end of the period, the teams had combined for 34 penalty minutes.
In the second period, Tarasov put the Sharks up 1-0 at 10:28 with a wicked shot from on top of the goalie crease that beat IceCaps goaltender Eddie Pasquale glove side after corralling a centering feed from Kennedy, who was behind the IceCaps net. Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki, who kept the puck inside the IceCaps zone at the left point, was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, which held up as the game-winning-goal and was Tarasov's sixth goal of the season.
Only two penalties were assessed in the second period, both to the IceCaps at 17:41 and 17:46. With a 5-on-3 power play advantage for 1:55, Sharks defenseman Denny Urban ripped a monster of a blast from on top of the right face-off circle that Kearns was able to deflect over the gloves of Pasquale for his 12th goal of the season at 19:03. Kennedy was credited with the secondary assist.
30-seconds later, McCarthy extended the Sharks lead to 3-0 when he buried home a rebound off a Matt Tennyson shot from the point for his sixth goal of the season. Sharks defenseman Matt Pelech was credited with the secondary assist.
McCarthy struck again at 10:46 of the third period when he deflected home a Mike Brennan shot from the point to put the Sharks up 4-0. Sharks rookie Travis Oleksuk was credited with the secondary assist. However, McCarthy's second goal was lost in the shuffle as the teams combined for 87 penalty minutes alone in the third period.
Sharks forward Curt Gogol dropped the gloves with IceCaps forward Patrice Cormier at 6:38. After the fight, which was won by Cormier after he landed several solid shots to Gogol's chin, Gogol went after Schnell, who said something Gogol didn't appreciate. Both Gogol and Schnell received 10-minute misconducts for unsportsmanlike conduct.
At 11:08, 22-seconds after McCarthy's second goal, IceCaps defenseman Derek Meech low-checked Sharks rookie Yanni Gourde, which got the attention of Tarasov, who went over to Meech and exchanged stick work. Petrecki came in along with Sawada and started throwing bombs with Sawada in a fight that got the Mile One Centre rocking.
With only four-seconds remaining in the game, Pelech amassed 25 penalty minutes as he was assessed a five-minute major for cross-checking, a 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct and another 10-minute misconduct for cross-checking after him and IceCaps forward Kevin Clark had a run-in with each other. Clark was also assessed a 10-minute misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct.
NOTES: Shots were 34-21 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 2-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill... The teams combined for 125 penalty minutes, 70 of which were assessed to the Sharks... Sateri is now 10-9-2-2 with a 2.51 goals-against-average and .914 save percentage... The Sharks went 3-for-7 on the power play in the two game set in St. John's after going 2-for-34 in their last nine games... Tarasov has 10 points (6-4-10) in his last nine games... With the five fights, the Sharks now have 60 through 46 games... The Sharks have now won 5-of-6 all time games at the Mile One Centre... McCarthy's two goals was his first multi-goal game since a 2-0 Sharks win over the Manchester Monarchs on April 1, 2011 (via Darryl Hunt of Sharkspage.com)... Taylor Doherty (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Mike Banwell (scr), Jon Matsumoto (sick) and Danny Groulx (sick) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the third of four meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 2-1-0-0 against the IceCaps this season, 10-8-1-4 against the Atlantic Division, 14-9-0-2 on the road and 22-18-1-5 with 50 points overall.
1. John McCarthy - Sharks (2-0-2)
2. Tim Kennedy - Sharks (2-0-2)
3. Daniil Tarasov - Sharks (1-0-1, GWG).