Despite firing 44 shots on goal, the Worcester Sharks saw their two game winning streak snapped as they were shutout for the first time all season in a 4-0 loss to the Hershey Bears (AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals) at the Giant Center Sunday evening in a rematch of Saturday night's game.
Goaltender Harri Sateri made 30 saves in net for the Sharks, who finished their three-in-three Pennsylvania weekend with four-out-of-six points.
The Bears took a 1-0 lead at 19:04 of the first period when off a failed clear attempt by the Sharks, Bears forward Peter LeBlanc centered the puck in front for linemate Josh Brittain, who backhanded the puck past Sateri from on top of the crease for his third goal of the season.
Bears forward John Mitchell pushed the lead to 2-0 at 3:35 of the second period when he corralled his own rebound on top of the crease and stuffed the puck past Sateri for his second goal of the season.
The Sharks appeared to get Mitchell's goal back when forward Daniil Tarasov scored to cut the Bears lead in half but the goal was waived off by the on ice officials as the net had come off its pegs with a little help from Bears defenseman David Kolomatis. A video review upheld the call on the ice but under AHL rule 63.6, Tarasov should have been credited with a goal.
After killing off a 5-on-3 Sharks power play midway through the second period, the Bears made it 3-0 at 1:41 of the third period when forward Nicolas Deschamps redirected a centering feed deep in the right slot past Sateri for his eighth goal of the season.
Tempers flared at 12:59 when Bears captain Dane Byers initiated a fight post whistle by jumping Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson. Sharks forward Curt Gogol tried to intervene but was held back by the officials, who assessed Gogol a 10-minute misconduct for third man in and another 10-minute misconduct for abuse of an official.
With 3:37 remaining in the game, Sharks head coach Roy Sommer pulled Sateri for the extra attacker but that was short lived as Mitchell scored an empty net goal seven seconds later for his second goal of the game, third goal of the season, to seal a 4-0 Bears victory.
NOTES... Final shots were 44-34 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-5 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 6-9-1 with a 3.01 goals-against-average and .884 save percentage... The Sharks' top line of Bracken Kearns, Freddie Hamilton and Tarasov finished minus-four each... Tarasov had a game high seven shots on goal... Gogol had a game high 24 penalty minutes... Sharks enforcer Jimmy Bonneau along with Sharks defensemen Dylan DeMelo and Taylor Doherty were the only Sharks without a shot on goal... The Sharks fired a season high 22 shots on goal in the second period... This was the first time the Sharks were shutout since a 3-0 loss to the Manchester Monarchs back on April 14, 2013... This was the second of four meetings between the Sharks and Bears this season... The Sharks are 1-1-0-0 against the Bears, 7-5-1-0 on the road and 12-11-1-1 with 26 points overall... The Sharks are back in action Dec. 26 at 7pm/et when they host their Atlantic Division rival the Providence Bruins at the DCU Center.
1. David Leggio - Bears (44 saves, Shutout Win)
2. John Mitchell - Bears (2-0-2)
3. Nicolas Deschamps - Bears (1-0-1)
Kearns (A) / Hamilton (A) / Tarasov
Hayes / Oleksuk / Schwartz
Gogol / Viedensky / Livingston
Bonneau / Brace / Reid
Davison (C) / Tennyson
DeMelo / Comrie
Acolatse / Doherty