A week after being publicly criticized by Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer for his effort against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on March 15, Sharks rookie right winger Sebastian Stalberg responded by drawing a penalty at 14:24 of the third period and scoring what held up as the game-winning-goal 40-seconds later as the Sharks defeated the AHL Atlantic Division leading Providence Bruins 5-3 Saturday night at the DCU Center.
13 different Sharks skaters registered a point while goaltender Harri Sateri made 28 saves in his eighth consecutive start for his 14th win of the season. With the win, the Sharks are now in 11th place in the AHL Eastern Conference standings, four points behind the Hershey Bears for the eighth and final playoff spot with three games in hand.
The Sharks took at 1-0 lead at 16:09 of the first period when rookie center Freddie Hamilton wrapped the puck around fallen Bruins goaltender Michael Hutchinson from in front after having the puck poked ahead to him by fellow rookie linemate Yanni Gourde. Sharks rookie defenseman Matt Tennyson, who set-up the goal with a nice keep-in at the blue line of the Bruins zone, was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, which was Hamilton's ninth of the season.
The lead didn't last for long as Bruins right winger Jamie Tardif tied the game at 19:47 with his 27th goal of the season off a quick snap shot from up high in-between the face-off circles that beat Sateri. Shots after the first period were 8-7 in favor of the Bruins.
The Sharks regained the lead at 3:33 of the second period when rookie left winger Peter Sivak beat Hutchinson over the left shoulder with a quick wrist shot for his first career AHL goal. Sharks captain John McCarthy and Tennyson were credited with the assists.
Sharks rookie center Travis Oleksuk extended the lead to 3-1 at 10:57 with his third goal of the season (and first goal in 29 games) when he slammed home a rebound at the side of the net off a Taylor Doherty shot from the right point that was deflected wide. Sharks rookie left winger Lane Scheidl was credited with the secondary assist for his first professional point.
The Bruins tied the game before the end of the second period with two goals in a 3:48 span. Bruins center Carter Camper beat Sateri with a quick shot from in the left slot at 16:04 for his seventh goal of the season that was set-up by Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller, who sidestepped Sharks center Jon Matsumoto at the right point and found Camper with a cross zone pass from the right face-off circle that got through three Sharks players.
At 19:02, Matsumoto was assessed a hooking penalty and 46-seconds later, Bruins defenseman Torrey Krug tied the game when he beat Sateri short side on the blocker side with a quick wrist shot from the left side for a power play goal, his 10th goal of the season and 17th power play point.
In the third period, it took the Sharks over 10 minutes to get their first shot on goal as the Bruins controlled the tempo of the game. At 14:24, Stalberg intercepted a pass and drew a hooking penalty on Miller. 40-seconds later at 15:04, Stalberg found the puck on top of the face-off circles and fired a swing-a-rama shot on net on that beat Hutchinson for his 10th goal of the season. McCarthy and Sharks defenseman Derek Joslin were credited with the assists.
The Bruins had a couple of godlen opportunities to tie the game following Stalberg's goal but Sateri came up huge for the Sharks with a point blank save on Bruins rookie center Alexander Khokhlachev and another save on Bruins left winger Craig Cunningham.
Sharks defenseman Denny Urban scored an insurance goal at 18:39 with a backhanded shot from a tough angle that deflected in off of Hutchinson. Sharks defenseman Sena Acolatse and rookie right winger Daniil Tarasov were credited with the assists on the goal, which was Urban's fourth of the season.
NOTES... Shots were 31-20 in favor of the Bruins... The Sharks went 1-for-2 on the power play and 0-for-1 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 14-14-3 with a 2.60 goals-against-average and .912 save percentage... Tennyson had a team high three shots on goal... Gourde has a four game point streak (1-3-4)... Joslin wore no. 36... Game time was two hours, nine minutes... Curt Gogol (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Marek Viedensky (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Mike Brennan (scr) and Nick Petrecki (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the 12th and final meeting of the season between the teams... The Sharks went 6-3-0-3 against the Bruins this season, are 14-11-1-5 against the Atlantic Division, 13-11-1-4 at the DCU Center and 29-25-1-6 with 65 points overall.
1. Sebastian Stalberg - Sharks (1-0-1, GWG)
2. Matt Tennyson - Sharks (0-2-2)
3. Kevan Miller - Bruins (0-2-2)