For the second night in a row, the Worcester Sharks let a crucial point slip away as they were defeated 3-2 in overtime by the Hershey Bears (AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals) Saturday night at the DCU Center.
"That didn't help our chances at all, but we're still churning away points," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Rich Garven of Telegram.com. "The last four games we've picked up points (2-0-2), so that's all we can do."
The Sharks, who now trial the Norfolk Admirals by seven points for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, got regulation goals from forwards Chad Rau and Dan DaSilva while rookie goaltender Troy Grosenick made 20 saves in net.
After a scoreless first period, Rau put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 94-seconds of the second period when he poked the puck through the pads of Bears goaltender Philipp Grubauer from on top of the crease for his third goal of the season. Sharks rookie forwards Rylan Schwartz and Adam Schmidt were credited with the assists.
The Bears took a 2-1 lead midway through the period with two goals in a near four minute span. Forward Caleb Hebert tied the game at 8:28 when he buried home a rebound from deep in the left slot for his second goal of the season. At 12:22, the Bears took the lead when defenseman Chay Genoway beat Grosenick with a slap shot from inside the left face-off circle for his fourth goal of the season.
In the third period, the Sharks outshot the Bears 12-3 and got the tying goal past Grubauer at 19:25 when with the extra attacker, DaSilva buried home a one-timer from deep inside the right face-off circle for his 17th goal of the season. Sharks forwards Bracken Kearns and rookie Ryan Carpenter were credited with the assists on the goal, which was DaSilva's franchise leading 60th.
In overtime, a Sharks turnover in the neutral zone sprung a breakaway for Bears forward Casey Wellman, whose snap shot from between the hash marks broke off the glove of Grosenick and trickled in for the game-winning-goal at 2:49.
NOTES... Final shots on goal were 35-23 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 17-12-0 with a 2.72 goals-against-average and .900 save percentage... Schmidt had a game high five shots on goal... Only eight penalty minutes were assessed... Coach Sommer was honored prior to the start of the game for becoming the all-time leader in AHL games coached (1,262)... This was the fourth and final meeting between the Sharks and Bears this season... The Sharks went 2-1-1-0 against the Bears, are 17-13-1-1 at the DCU Center and 34-30-4-2 with 74 points overall... The Sharks wrap up their three-in-three weekend Sunday afternoon (April 6) as they host their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs at 3pm/et.
1. Casey Wellman - Bears (1-0-1, GWG)
2. Dan DaSilva - Sharks (1-0-1)
3. Philipp Grubauer - Bears (33 saves, win)
Carpenter / Kearns (A) / DaSilva
Hamilton (A) / Oleksuk / Hayes
Schwartz / Rau / Schmidt
Bonneau / Higgs/ Reid
Abeltshauser / Tennyson
Davison (C) / DeMelo
Doherty / Mueller