The Worcester Sharks saw their losing streak extend to a season high seven games Saturday night after an embarrassing 7-1 loss to the Springfield Falcons at the DCU Center. Goaltender Alex Stalock made 29 saves in net while rookie left winger Peter Sivak had the lone goal for the Sharks, who managed only 16 shots on goal and now trail the Hershey Bears by nine points for the final playoff spot in the AHL Eastern Conference with eight games remaining.
The Sharks took a 1-0 lead at 2:09 of the first period when Sivak rushed down the left side, faked a shot from the left face-off circle, cut in front and ripped the puck top shelf over Falcons goaltender Allen York for his fourth goal of the season. Sharks rookie right winger Matt Nieto was credited with the lone assist on the goal to extend his point streak to three games.
In the second period, the Falcons out-shot the Sharks 13-6 and scored three goals in an eight minute span to take a 3-1 lead. Falcons right winger Ryan Russell tied the game at 10:08 with his ninth goal of the season off a rebound from a tough angle on the goal line of the right side after Stalock had denied Falcons center Michael Chaput.
73-seconds later, the Falcons took a 2-1 lead when captain Ryan Craig slammed home his 20th goal of the season off a rebound from the right face-off circle after Stalock had turned aside Falcons defenseman Nick Holden's quick shot from the point. At 18:08, Falcons left winger Sean B. Collins blasted a one-timer past Stalock's glove for a power play goal, his ninth goal of the season, after corralling an excellent feed from linemate Spencer Machacek, who was positioned in the right face-off circle.
In the third period, the Falcons out-shot the Sharks 12-2 and scored four times within the first ten minutes to seal the game. Russell blocked a Sharks shot at the blue line of the Falcons zone, rushed in all alone on Stalock and beat Stalock glove side for his second goal of the game (10th of the season) just 21-seconds into the period.
Machacek extended the lead to 5-1 at 7:24 when he slammed home a rebound from the left face-off circle for a power play goal, his 13th goal of the season, after Stalock had made the initial save on Collins' shot from the right side. At 8:42, Chaput got behind the Sharks defense, corralled a pass from Machacek at the Sharks blue line and deked out Stalock for his 11th goal of the season. Collins put the Falcons ahead 7-1 with his second goal of the game, 10th of the season, at 9:34 when he capped off a 2-on-1 rush with linemate Matthew Ford.
NOTES... Shots were 36-16 in favor of the Falcons... The Sharks went 0-for-1 on the power play and 4-for-6 on the penalty kill... This was first career regulation loss to the Falcons for Stalock, who is now 15-14-3 with a 2.67 goals-against-average and .911 save percentage... Nieto has three points (1-2-3) in his first three professional games... Sharks rookie left winger Yanni Gourde fought Falcons right winger Alex Aleardi at 6:12 of the second period... With the one fight, the Sharks now have 76 through 68 games... Sharks defenseman Derek Joslin wore no. 25 and Sivak wore no. 17 as the Sharks wore specialty March of Dimes jerseys... Sharks defenseman Denny Urban had a team high three shots on goal... Adam Comrie (inj), Curt Gogol (inj), Brodie Reid (inj), Marek Viedensky (inj), Sena Acolatse (scr), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Riley Brace (scr), Chris Crane (scr), Lane Scheidl (scr) and Dane Walters (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... Brace was signed to an ATO by the Sharks on April 4... This was the seventh of eight meetings between the teams this season.. The Sharks are 3-4-0-0 against the Falcons this season, 13-15-2-4 at the DCU Center and 29-31-2-6 with 66 points overall.
1. Sean B. Collins - Falcons (2-1-3)
2. Spencer Machacek - Falcons (1-3-4)
3. Ryan Russell - Falcons (2-0-2)