The Worcester Sharks ended their 2012-13 season Saturday night with a 4-3 shootout loss to the Syracuse Crunch at the War Memorial at OnCenter. The Sharks, who trailed 3-0 after 40-minutes of play, got third period goals from left winger Curt Gogol and rookie right wingers Eriah Hayes and Daniil Tarasov to force extra frames while goaltender Alex Stalock made 26 saves in net.
The Crunch took a 1-0 lead at 11:39 of the first period when right winger Brett Connolly corralled a rebound on top of the crease and slid the puck past Stalock for his 31st goal of the season.
In the second period, the Crunch scored two goals in a 1:50 span to extend the lead to 3-0. Center Philip-Michael Devos got past the Sharks defense and beat Stalock with a wicked wrist shot at 3:50 for his seventh goal of the season. At 5:40, center Tyler Johnson deflected linemate J.T. Brown's shot past Stalock for his 37th goal of the season.
The Sharks tied the game in the third period by scoring three goals in a 5:49 span. Gogol got the Sharks on the scoreboard at 6:37 when he beat Crunch goaltender Cedric Desjardins with a backhanded shot from in front. Sharks defensemen Adam Comrie and Dylan DeMelo were credited with the assists on the goal, which was Gogol's fourth of the season.
Hayes pulled the Sharks to within a goal at 8:20 when he deflected home Comrie's shot from the point for his third goal of the season. Tarasov, who was credited with the secondary assist on Hayes' goal, tied the game at 12:26 when he stole the puck inside the Crunch zone and beat Desjardins top shelf with a wicked shot from the left face-off circle for his 14th goal of the season.
After a scoreless overtime session that saw the Sharks outshot 3-0, the game headed to the shootout where Tarasov, Hayes and Sharks rookie right winger Matt Nieto were denied by Desjardins while the Crunch scored three times on four attempts to win the game and the East Division title.
NOTES... Shots were 30-22 in favor of the Crunch... The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play and 6-for-6 on the penalty kill... Stalock finished 17-16-4 with a 2.60 goals-against-average and .912 save percentage while Harri Sateri finished 14-21-3 with a 2.89 goals-against-average and .903 save percentage... Hayes had a team high four shots on goal... Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki fought Crunch defenseman Jean-Philippe Cote at 15:57 of the third period... With the one fight, the Sharks finished with 84 for the season... Sharks rookie center Freddie Hamilton was the only Sharks player to play in all 76 games this season... The Sharks dressed 50 different players this season... Yanni Gourde (inj), Tommy Grant (inj), Bracken Kearns (inj), John McCarthy (inj), Matt Pelech (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Marek Viedensky (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Christophe Lalancette (scr), Denny Urban (scr) and Dane Walters (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-1-0-1 against the Crunch this season, 18-17-0-3 on the road and 31-34-4-7 with 73 points overall.
1. Brett Connolly - Crunch (1-1-2)
2. Tyler Johnson - Crunch (1-0-1)
3. Daniil Tarasov - Sharks (1-1-2)