Troy Grosenick made 33 saves and rookie forward Petter Emanuelsson scored two first period goals as the Worcester Sharks defeated their Atlantic Division rival the Providence Bruins 2-1 Friday night at the Dunkin' Donuts Center.
Sharks forward Rylan Schwartz assisted on both of Emanuelsson's goals for his first professional multi point game, and James Sheppard, who was sent down from San Jose on a conditioning assignment, registered the primary assist on Emanuelsson's first goal.
"Actually, that line was thrown together at the last minute," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "We didn't know that Sheppard was coming in until (Thursday) night. They were really good. They were heavy, hard to play against."
"I've been practicing with the team, working out, shooting," said Sheppard post game to Ballou. "But you can only skate so much before you have to take it to the next level. It felt so good to be out there playing."
Emanuelsson put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 3:50 of the first period with his first goal of the season (and in North America) when he beat Bruins goaltender Malcom Subban with a quick shot from between the hash marks deep in the slot after taking a behind the net feed from Sheppard.
The Bruins tied the game at 9:41 when forward Justin Florek beat Grosenick blocker side with a quick shot from on top of the crease to finish off a 2-on-1 rush with linemate Brian Ferlin, who started the play by blocking Sharks defenseman Dylan DeMelo's shot at the blue line off a Sharks faceoff win in the Bruins zone.
The Sharks went ahead 2-1 at 17:14 when Schwartz intercepted Bruins defenseman Zach Trotman's pass up along the left boards on the outside of the faceoff circle and sent a pass to the top of the crease where Emanuelsson redirected the puck past Subban for his second goal of the game, which held up as the game winning goal.
After a scoreless second period, the Sharks appeared to have extended their lead in the third period when they forced the puck past Subban during a pileup in the crease but the goal was disallowed. At 13:36, Florek appeared to have tied the game but referee Ryan Hersey immediately ruled no goal as Bruins forward Craig Cunningham crashed into Grosenick and dislodged the net.
With 3:38 left in the game, Sharks forward Micheal Haley was assessed a goaltender interference penalty, and Subban was pulled late in the power play for a 6-on-4 advantage. The Sharks players were up to the challenge as they prevented the Bruins from getting the tying goal thanks to solid penalty killing, excellent goaltending from Grosenick and a huge defensive play by Emanuelsson.
"One of the big plays with about 20 seconds left was when Petter got the puck out along the wall," said Sommer. "That was all heart. He started about 10 feet from the blue line, and he just ground it out."
NOTES... Final shots on goal were 34-32 in favor of the Bruins... The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill... Grosenick has made 74 saves on 77 shot attempts and is now 2-0-0 with a 1.42 goals-against-average and .961 save percentage... Prior to the game, San Jose reached a one-year ECHL affiliation agreement with the Allen Americans... Sheppard wore number 40... The win was Grosenick's 20th of his professional career and the 300th in Sharks history (via Ballou)... The game was Sheppard's first since April 30th when San Jose played the Los Angeles Kings in game seven in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs... Derek DeBlois was released from his PTO... This was the first of 12 meetings between the Sharks and Bruins this season... The Sharks are 1-0-0-0 against the Bruins, 2-0-0-0 on the road and 2-0-0-0 overall... The Sharks are back in action Saturday night (Oct. 18) as they host the Bruins in their home opener at the DCU Center.
1. Petter Emanuelsson - Sharks (2-0-2, GWG)
2. Troy Grosenick - Sharks (33 saves, Win)
3. Malcolm Subban - Bruins (30 saves)
Tarasov / Oleksuk (A) / Hamilton
Haley / Carpenter / Hayes
Lerg / Trupp / Langlois
Schwartz / Sheppard / Emanuelsson
Tennyson / Taormina
DeMelo (A) / Fedun (A)
Doherty / Abeltshauser