In front of 3,695 fans, the Worcester Sharks were defeated 4-3 by the Springfield Falcons at the DCU Center Wednesday night in the final home game of the season. Rookie forwards Eriah Hayes, Lane Scheidl and Daniil Tarasov scored for the Sharks, who lost their final nine home games of the season and finished with an AHL Eastern Conference season low 13 wins on home ice.
Hayes gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 2:57 of the first period with a power play goal, his second goal of the season, off a snap shot from deep inside the left face-off circle that beat Falcons goaltender Curtis McElhinney blocker side. Sharks defensemen Adam Comrie and Denny Urban were credited with the assists on the goal.
The Falcons responded by scoring two goals in a 2:01 span to take a 2-1 lead midway through the period. Rookie center Boone Jenner tied the game at 9:15 when he redirected the puck in front through the pads of Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri off a centering feed from linemate Nick Drazenovic for a power play goal, his second goal of the season. At 11:16, right winger Spencer Machacek finished off a 2-on-1 rush for his 15th goal of the season after the Sharks turned the puck over on the left side of their own zone.
Scheidl tied the game at 15:13 with his first professional goal off a wrist shot from point blank range at the right side of the net after Sharks rookie right winger Sebastian Stalberg fanned on the initial shot from deep inside the right face-off circle. Sharks rookie center Rylan Schwartz was credited with the secondary assist.
The Falcons regained the lead at 16:16 when rookie center Jake Hansen beat Sateri through the pads with a quick shot of a bouncing puck from deep inside the right face-off circle for his third goal of the season. At 19:57, Tarasov tied the game at 3-3 with a power play goal, his 13th goal of the season, off a rebound from on top of the crease after Sharks defenseman Sena Acolatse had his shot from the left side of the crease stopped by McElhinney. Hayes was credited with the secondary assist.
In the second period, the Sharks were whistled for five consecutive minor penalties and the Falcons capitalized at 16:01 when center Michael Chaput stuffed the puck past a sprawled out Sateri off a mad scramble in front for his 13th goal of the season, which held up as the game-winning-goal.
The Sharks outshot the Falcons 11-6 in the final period but couldn't get the tying goal past McElhinney, who finished with 29 saves for his 29th win of the season.
NOTES... Shots were 32-24 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 2-for-7 on the power play and 6-for-8 on the penalty kill... Sateri made 20 saves and is now 14-21-3 with a 2.89 goals-against-average and .903 save percentage... The Sharks set a new franchise record with nine straight losses at the DCU Center... Prior to the start of the game, Sharks defenseman Derek Joslin was recalled by the Vancouver Canucks... Sharks left winger Curt Gogol returned to the lineup after missing 14 games with an ankle injury... Yanni Gourde (inj), Tommy Grant (inj), John McCarthy (inj), Matt Pelech (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Marek Viedensky (scr), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Mike Brennan (scr), Bracken Kearns (scr), Christophe Lalancette (scr) and Dane Walters (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the eighth and final meeting between the teams this season... The Sharks went 3-5-0-0 against the Falcons this season, 13-17-4-4 at the DCU Center and are 30-34-4-6 with 70 points overall... Kearns did not dress as his wife Julien gave birth to their daughter London Lulu Kearns (9.9 pounds) earlier in the day.
1. Michael Chaput - Falcons (1-1-2, GWG)
2. Eriah Hayes - Sharks (1-1-2)
3. Spencer Machacek - Falcons (1-1-2)