Second year forward Daniil Tarasov extended his point streak to four games by registering the first Worcester Sharks hat trick since Dan DaSilva on Valentine's Day 2010 (263 games) to lead the Sharks to a 3-1 win over the Springfield Falcons (AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets) at the MassMutual Center Saturday night.
"That's a goal scorer," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Carl Setterlund of Telegram.com. "We put all our eggs in one basket with Kearns, Reid and Tarasov. You go past that, and it gets pretty slim, so we figured load it up, and if they have a good night, we win the game."
Sharks alternate captain Bracken Kearns dished out two assists to extend his point streak to five games while goaltender Harri Sateri made 17 saves for his first win of the season and first win in his last 11 starts. With the win, the Sharks snapped a five-game losing streak at the MassMutual Center and handed the Falcons their first regulation loss of the season.
"A couple of years ago, we used to own them," said Sommer. "Last year, they beat us up pretty good, and this is a hard building to get a win at. You look at their record, they hadn't had a loss all year, so that's a feather in our cap to end their streak."
Tarasov put the Sharks up 1-0 at 5:44 of the first period with a power play goal, his third goal of the season, when he found a loose puck on top of the goalie crease and poked the puck through the wickets of Falcons goaltender Mike McKenna. Kearns and Sharks defenseman Sena Acolatse were credited with the assists.
The Falcons tied the game at 1:54 of the second period when forward Jake Hansen took the puck away from Sharks rookie forward Eriah Hayes at center ice, skated down the right side of the Sharks zone as linemate Andrew Jourdey boxed out Sharks forward Sebastian Stalberg in the slot, and fired a shot on goal that hit off of Sateri's glove and fluttered in for a short-handed goal, Hansen's third goal of the season.
Hansen used his speed later in the period to draw a penalty shot at 7:24. With a chance to put the Falcons ahead, Hansen skated towards Sateri and ripped a shot from the left slot that hit off the left post, hit the back of Sateri's skate and slid over to the right post before coming to a stop inside the goal crease.
The Sharks took a 2-1 lead at 11:26 when Tarasov found a rebound on top of the crease and beat McKenna top shelf for what held up as the game-winning-goal. Sharks forwards Brodie Reid and Kearns were credited with the assists. At 15:22, Tarasov broke in all alone on McKenna and slid a backhanded shot through the wickets to complete the hat trick. Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty and Adam Comrie were credited with the assists.
In the third period, the Falcons had several power play opportunities to get back into the game, including 5-on-3 power play time, but solid goaltending from Sateri and penalty killing led by Kearns held off the Falcons.
NOTES... Final shots were 34-18 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 1-3-0-0 with a 2.77 goals-against-average and .879 save percentage... Tarasov finished with a game high seven shots on goal while Hayes had six... Tarasov has seven points (5-2-7) during his four game point streak while Kearns has nine points (2-7-9) during his five game point streak... There were 50 two-goal games by Sharks players in-between DaSilva and Tarasov's hat tricks... Falcons forward Dalton Smith dropped the gloves twice in the second period, first with Sharks forward Curt Gogol at 6:48 and then with forward Matt Pelech at 16:46... Konrad Abeltshauser (scr), Dylan DeMelo (scr), Collin Bowman (inj), Lane Scheidl (inj), and Marek Viedensky (inj) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the second of six meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 1-1-0-0 against the Falcons this season, 1-1-0-0 on the road, 1-1-0-0 against the Atlantic Division and 2-3-0-0 with four points overall... The Sharks are back in action November 1 as they welcome the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to the DCU Center at 7:30 pm/et.
1. Daniil Tarasov - Sharks (3-0-3)
2. Brodie Reid - Sharks (0-1-1)
3. Jake Hansen - Falcons (1-0-1)