Hours after holding a players only meeting behind close doors, the Worcester Sharks showed more spark in their game in recent memory by firing a season high 50 shots on goal at the DCU Center Saturday night. Unfortunately for the Sharks and their fans, it wasn't enough as the Sharks were defeated 3-1 by their Atlantic Division rival the St. John's IceCaps (AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets) to extend their losing streak to a season high five games.
Second year forward Freddie Hamilton scored the lone goal for the Sharks, who remain 12 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with only 25 games remaining in their season. Sharks goaltender Harri Sateri made 18 saves in net, which wasn't to the liking of Sharks head coach Roy Sommer.
"We were out-goaltended, plain and simple," said Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "Everybody had a good game, or anyway, everybody but one. Eighteen good games, one not good."
In a first period that saw the Sharks out-shoot the IceCaps 22-6 and the first professional fights for Sharks rookie forwards Rylan Schwartz and Lane Scheidl, it was the IceCaps who scored the lone goal as forward John Albert got behind the Sharks defense and beat Sateri from in close with a quick shot for a shorthanded goal, his 13th goal of the season, at 17:42.
Hamilton tied the game just 21-seconds into the second period when he took a centering feed from Schwartz, who stole the puck from the IceCaps behind the net, and fired the puck past IceCaps goaltender Michael Hutchinson from deep inside the left face-off circle for his team leading 15th goal of the season.
The IceCaps regained the lead at 9:35 when forward Patrice Cormier had his centering feed from the left half wall deflect in off of Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki, who was crashing the net along with IceCaps forward Blair Riley, for his fifth goal of the season, which held up as the game winning goal.
Riley extended the IceCaps lead to 3-1 at 5:12 of the third period when his shot from on top of the left face-off circle trickled through the pads of Sateri for his fifth goal of the season.
NOTES... Final shots on goal were 50-21 for the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-6 on the power play and 7-for-7 on the power play... Sateri is now 12-19-1 with a 3.21 goals-against-average and .884 save percentage... Every Sharks skater had a shot on goal... Sharks forwards Yanni Gourde and Dan DaSilva each had a game high six shots on goal... Scheidl and Sharks rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo were each a game worst minus-two... The Sharks haven't held a lead in 300:00 (via SharksAHL.com)... The Sharks have been outscored 25-4 during their five game losing streak... This was the ninth of 10 meetings between the Sharks and IceCaps this season... The Sharks are 5-3-1-0 against the IceCaps, 12-11-0-1 at the DCU Center and 23-24-3-1 with 50 points overall... The Sharks are back in action Sunday afternoon (Feb. 23) as they travel to play their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs.
1. Michael Hutchinson - IceCaps (49 saves, Win)
2. Kyle MacKinnon - IceCaps (0-3-3)
3. Rylan Schwartz - Sharks (0-1-1, first pro fight)
Scheidl / Hamilton (A) / Reid
Gourde / Oleksuk / DaSilva (A)
Tarasov / Rau / Hayes
Schwartz / Viedensky / Livingston
Doherty / Petrecki
Tennyson / Abeltshauser
DeMelo / Comrie