At the halfway point of their AHL season, the Worcester Sharks find themselves just three points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after a 6-3 win over their Atlantic Division rival the Portland Pirates (AHL affiliate of the Phoenix Coyotes) Tuesday night at Androscoggin Bank Colisee.
The Sharks, who have earned 11-out-of-12 possible points in their last six games, where led by the scoring line of Yanni Gourde, Travis Oleksuk and Dan DaSilva as the trio combined for 11 points. DaSilva finished with a four point game, highlighted by a hat trick, while Oleksuk, who also had a four point game, and Gourde each dished out three assists. Chipping in from the blue line were Matt Tennyson, who had a three point game with a goal and two assists, and Sena Acolatse, who had a goal and an assist.
DaSilva put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 11:17 of the first period when he redirected Gourde's no look, back handed cross ice centering feed from deep in the right face-off circle past Pirates goaltender Louis Domingue for his fifth goal of the season. Oleksuk was credited with the secondary assist.
The Pirates answered back at 18:03 when rookie forward Lucas Lessio got behind the Sharks defense to track down a loose puck along the left wing, cutted in front and beat Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri glove side for his 13th goal of the season.
In the second period, the Pirates went ahead 2-1 at 7:08 when forward Brandon Yip fired a rebound past Sateri from the right side of the goal crease for his third goal of the season. Tennyson tied the game at 9:04 when he fired a rebound past Domingue, who had kicked the rebound right to Tennyson's stick, from deep in the left slot for his third goal of the season, which was assisted by Oleksuk and DaSilva.
Momentum swung back the Pirates way when forward Brandon Gormley fired a quick shot on net from deep inside the left slot for a power play goal, his third goal of the season, at 14:13. Inside the final 10-seconds of the period, Tennyson corralled a pass from Gourde and ripped a one-timer slap shot from the center point that Oleksuk deflected in front for his sixth goal of the season. The goal, which was scored at 19:54, not only tied the game at 3-3 but also changed the course of the game.
With a power play advantage early in the third period, Acolatse sent a wrist shot on net from the top of the center point near the blue line that DaSilva deflected in front for his second goal of the game and sixth goal of the season. Gourde was credited with the secondary assist on the goal, which came at 2:54 and held up as the game winner. DaSilva completed the hat trick at 6:38 when he ripped a wicked one-timer snap shot from on top of the right face-off circle that beat Domingue. Tennyson and Oleksuk were credited with the assists.
At 16:08, Acolatse sealed a 6-3 Sharks victory when he drifted towards the center point at the blue line and fired a snap shot on net that got through traffic in front and beat Domingue for his third goal of the season. Sharks forward James Livingston was credited with the lone assist.
NOTES... Final shots were 47-28 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-6 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill... Sateri made 25 saves for his 11th win of the season... Sateri is now 11-13-1 with a 2.94 goals-against-average and .894 save percentage... Acolatse had a game high seven shots on goal... Gourde has nine points (2-7-9) in six games with the Sharks... DaSilva and Gourde were a game best plus-four... Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty missed his first game of the season as he received his first call up to San Jose Tuesday afternoon... This was the eighth of 12 meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 5-3-0-0 against the Pirates, 10-8-3-0 on the road and 19-15-3-1 with 42 points overall... The Sharks are back in action Friday (Jan. 24) as they travel to play their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs at 7pm/et.
1. Dan DaSilva - Sharks (3-1-4)
2. Travis Oleksuk - Sharks (1-3-4)
3. Yanni Gourde - Sharks (0-3-3)
Scheidl / Hamilton (A) / Gron
Gourde / Oleksuk / DaSilva
Tarasov / Viedensky / Livingston
Gogol / Schwartz / Bonneau (A)
Abeltshauser / Acolatse
DeMelo / Davison (C)
Petrecki / Tennyson