In a matter of minutes, second year Worcester Sharks forward Daniil Tarasov went from being in the doghouse for taking two minor penalties in overtime to having a prime rib dinner for scoring what held up as the game-winning-goal in the shootout as the Sharks defeated their Atlantic Division rival the Manchester Monarchs (AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings) 2-1 Sunday afternoon the Verizon Wireless Arena.
"He'd better have scored," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer of Tarasov in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "After surviving those penalties in overtime, it just seemed as though we had to win the shootout. But, you know, I couldn't even look. I just put my head down, looked at my feet and listened to hear the crowd react."
Rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser scored his first professional goal while rookie goaltender Troy Grosenick made 31 saves (four-of-five in the shootout) for the Sharks, who took five-out-of-six points from their three-in-three weekend and extended their point streak to six games.
After a scoreless first period that saw Grosenick rob Monarchs forward Zach O'Brien and defenseman Colin Miller of goals from point blank range, O'Brien put the Monarchs ahead 1-0 just 57-seconds into the second period when he found a loose puck just in front of the left face-off circle and lifted a spinning shot past Grosenick for his third goal of the season.
Abeltshauser answered back for the Sharks at 5:47 of the third period when he blasted a shot from the top of the center point past Monarchs goaltender Jean-Francois Berube. Sharks forwards Tarasov and Bracken Kearns were credited with the assists.
In overtime, the Sharks spent almost four-of-the-five minutes shorthanded as Tarasov was assessed a slashing penalty at 38-seconds and a delay of game penalty at 3:16. However, Grosenick and the Sharks penalty killers (specifically Kearns, who generated two short-handed scoring chances) were up to the task and killed off both of Tarasov's penalties to send the game to the shootout.
In the shootout, Monarchs forward Jordan Weal and Sharks forward Dan DaSilva matched goals in the second round, which set the stage for Tarasov, who beat Berube top shelf with a nifty backhander in the bottom of the third round to put the Sharks ahead 2-1. Monarchs forward Tanner Pearson had a chance to extend the shootout to extra rounds but Grosenick made a blocker save to seal a 2-1 Sharks win.
NOTES... Final shots were 38-32 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill... Grosenick has not loss in the shootout and has stopped 12-of-14 shootout attempts... With the win, Grosenick improves to 5-2-0 with a 1.87 goals-against-average and .928 save percentage... Sharks defenseman Nick Petrecki played in his 254th game with the Sharks, surpassing former Sharks captain Mike Moore for the most games played in franchise history... The Sharks are now 5-1 in the shootout this season and 5-0-1 during their current six game point streak... In their last 10 games, the Sharks are 7-1-1-1... This was the fourth of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Monarchs this season... The Sharks are 2-2-0-0 against the Monarchs, 5-3-1-0 on the road and 10-8-1-1 with 22 points overall... The Sharks are back in action December 13 at 7:30 pm/et as they host the Monarchs at the DCU Center.
1. Troy Grosenick - Sharks (31 saves, four-of-five shootout, WIN)
2. Jean-Francois Berube - Monarchs (36 saves)
3. Konrad Abeltshauser - Sharks (1-0-1)
Tarasov / Kearns (A) / DaSilva
Hayes / Viedensky (A) / Schwartz
Reid / Oleksuk / Livingston
Gogol / Brace / Pelech
Davison (C) / Tennyson
Petrecki / Doherty
Abeltshauser / Acolatse