Despite holding a 3-1 lead after 50 minutes of play, the Worcester Sharks saw their two goal lead disappear in the final 10 minutes of regulation and were defeated 4-3 in the shootout by their Atlantic Division rival the Providence Bruins (AHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins) at the DCU Center Saturday night.
The Sharks, who had their four game winning streak snapped but point streak extended to five games, got goals from forwards Eriah Hayes, Travis Oleksuk and Bracken Kearns while goaltender Harri Sateri made 25 saves in net.
"We had our chances in the OT, we had a couple good opportunities, and we've been pretty good in the shootouts," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Carl Setterlund of Telegram.com. "I don't know why we didn't shoot. Before we were shooting the puck, and then all of a sudden we're deking."
After a scoreless first period, Hayes put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 10:05 of the second period when he skated into the Bruins zone along the right side, made a strong move towards the net and stuffed the puck past Bruins rookie goaltender Malcolm Subban for his fourth goal of the season (second goal in as many games). Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty and rookie forward Riley Brace were credited with the assists.
Bruins forward Ryan Spooner tied the game at 18:30 with his fifth goal of the season when he fired the puck past Sateri from deep inside the left face-off circle after corralling a shot pass from Bruins defenseman Ben Youds, who was positioned at the top of the right point.
Inside the first seven minutes of the third period, the Sharks scored two times to take a 3-1 lead. Oleksuk struck at 3:10 when he stole the puck along the right side of the Bruins zone, skated behind the Bruins net and had his centering feed deflect off a Bruins player and in for his third goal of the season (and second in as many games). At 6:27, Kearns fired the puck past Subban from on top of the crease for his fifth goal of the season. Sharks forward Dan DaSilva and defenseman Matt Tennyson were credited with the assists.
The Bruins answered back at 10:56 when forward Matt Fraser found a rebound deep in the left face-off circle and fired the puck past Sateri for a power play goal, his 16th goal of the season. At 17:15, the Bruins tied the game when defenseman Zach Trotman beat Sateri with a blast of a slap shot from the center point near the blue line for his first goal of the season.
With neither team finding the back of the net in overtime, the game headed to the shootout where Spooner and Sharks forward James Livingston exchanged goals in the first round. In the top of the second round, Bruins forward Alexander Khokhlachev slid a backhanded shot past Sateri to put the Bruins up 2-1. In the bottom of the fifth round, Oleksuk had a chance to extend the shootout to extra rounds but fired the puck wide, sealing a 4-3 Bruins win.
NOTES... Finals shots were 37-29 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 5-7-1 with a 3.02 goals-against-average and .882 save percentage... For the second consecutive game, Sharks forward Daniil Tarasov had a game high seven shots on goal... Prior to the start of the game, Sharks forwards Matt Nieto and Freddie Hamilton were recalled to San Jose in exchange for Matt Pelech... This was the first loss of the season for the Sharks in the shootout (4-1)... The teams combined for 14 penalty minutes with no fighting majors... The Sharks are 6-1-1-1 in their last nine games... This was the second of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Bruins this season... The Sharks are 0-1-0-1 against the Bruins, 5-5-0-1 at the DCU Center and 9-8-1-1 with 20 points overall... The Sharks are back in action Sunday afternoon at 3pm/et as they travel to play their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena.
1. Ryan Spooner - Bruins (1-2-3)
2. Travis Oleksuk - Sharks (1-0-1)
3. Alexander Khokhlachev - Bruins (SO GWG)
Tarasov / Kearns (A) / DaSilva
Hayes / Viedensky / Schwartz
Gogol / Oleksuk / Livingston
Bonneau (A) / Brace / Reid
Comrie / Doherty
Davison (C) / Tennyson
Petrecki / DeMelo