Playing for the first time since March 15, the Worcester Sharks were unable to take advantage of one of their several games in hand as they were defeated 2-1 by the Springfield Falcons Friday night at the Mass Mutual Center. Harri Sateri made 19 saves in his seventh consecutive start while defenseman Adam Comrie scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who are in 12th place of the AHL Eastern Conference and now trail the Hershey Bears by six points for the eighth and final playoff spot.
The Sharks found themselves down 1-0 just 13-seconds into the game. Thinking that icing was going to be called, Sateri raised his left hand as the puck was touched in the right corner by Comrie, who let the puck go upon touching it. However, there was no whistle. Falcons right winger Spencer Machacek took the puck and centered the puck in front for linemate Sean (B.) Collins, who buried a one-timer from on top of the crease past Sateri for his eighth goal of the season.
Falcons alternate captain Nick Holden extended the lead to 2-0 at 16:24 of the second period with a power play goal, his sixth goal of the season, off a center point blast that deflected off of Sharks rookie center Freddie Hamilton in front and past Sateri for what held up as the game-winning-goal.
In the third period, the Sharks cut the Falcons lead in half when Comrie beat Falcons goaltender Curtis McElhinney with a falling backhander from in front for his second goal of the season at 9:03 on the Sharks' 23rd shot on goal. Sharks forwards James Livingston and Yanni Gourde were credited with the assists. However, the Sharks couldn't get the tying goal past McElhinney even with a late power play advantage. The Sharks had one final chance off a face-off win deep in the Falcons zone with five-seconds remaining in the game but the shot from the point went wide of the Falcons net.
NOTES... Shots were 26-21 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 13-14-3 with a 2.59 goals-against-average and .912 save percentage.... Sharks alternate captain Bracken Kearns had a game high five shots on goal... Prior to the start of the game, Sharks defenseman Danny Groulx was reassigned to the Chicago Wolves of the AHL while Wolves defenseman Derek Joslin was reassigned to the Sharks... Joslin will be in the Sharks lineup Saturday night against the Providence Bruins... Lane Scheidl, who was signed by the Sharks to an ATO on March 18 after leading the Regina Pats of the WHL in scoring with 80 points (41-39-80) and 16 power play goals, registered his first professional penalty and wore no. 39... Peter Sivak, who was leading the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL in scoring with 56 points (33-23-56) in 64 games played when signed by the Sharks to a PTO on March 20, had two shots on goal, one penalty and wore no. 24 in his Sharks debut... Sharks defenseman Matt Pelech fought Falcons left winger Dalton Smith at 13:01 of the second period... With the one fight, the Sharks now have 66 through 58 games played... Mike Brennan (inj), Curt Gogol (inj), Brodie Reid (inj) Marek Viedensky (inj) and Jimmy Bonneau (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... Bonneau celebrated his 28th birthday... This was the sixth of eight meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 3-3-0-0- against the Falcons this season, 16-14-0-2 on the road and 28-25-1-6 with 63 points overall.
1. Curtis McElhinney - Falcons (25 saves, WIN)
2. Nick Holden - Falcons (1-0-1, GWG)
3. Sean (B.) Collins - Falcons (1-0-1)