Despite having six power play opportunities, the Worcester Sharks surrendered two shorthanded goals, one of which came on a four minute power play, and were defeated 4-3 by their Atlantic Division rival the Portland Pirates (AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes) Wednesday night at the DCU Center.
"It's like football, said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "If you give away, like, three or four turnovers, you're probably not gonna win. And there was no excuse for that last one. No one stopped. Every just flew by the guy. It was like - everyone just went for a skate. And that was the winner."
An explosive first period saw both teams combine for five goals. The Pirates struck first at 5:52 when forward Tobias Rieder beat Sharks goaltender Troy Grosenick with a quick shot from on top of the crease off a centering feed from linemate Alexandre Bolduc for his third goal of the season.
With the Sharks on a power play at the tail end of the period, Pirates forward Jordan Martinook rushed into the Sharks zone 2-on-1 with linemate Tyler Gaudet and stuffed home the rebound of Gaudet's shot from the right slot for a shorthanded goal, his first goal of the season, at 15:47
Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson cut the Pirates lead in half at 16:37 with a wrist shot from the left point that got through traffic in front and beat Pirates goaltender Louis Domingue for a power play goal. Sharks defenseman Matt Taormina and forward Eriah Hayes were credited with the assists on the goal, which was Tennyson's first of the season.
Just 16-seconds later, Sharks forward Micheal Haley tied the game when he beat Domingue with a quick shot from on top of the crease that was set up on a centering feed by linemate Ryan Carpenter. Sharks forward Melker Karlsson, who battled for the puck behind the net along with Carpenter, picked up the secondary assist on the goal, which was Haley's fourth of the season.
The Pirates regained the lead at 18:39 when forward Lucas Lessio took advantage of the Sharks scrambling around in their own zone and beat Grosenick, who had two Sharks players standing in front of him, with a shot from deep in the right slot for this third goal of the season.
A little past the midway point of the second period, the Sharks went on a four minute power play as Pirates forward Mark Louis was assessed a double minor for high-sticking. Not only did the Sharks not score on the four minute advantage, the Pirates scored their second shorthanded goal of the night when Shinnimin beat Grosenick on a snap shot from the left faceoff circle after Grosenick had stopped Pirates forward Phil Lane's shot on a 2-on-1 breakaway with Shinnimin.
"We were just flat-out outworked on the play," said Grosenick of Shinnimin's goal post game to Ballou. "I thought he was going to curl more towards the center, and he shot it when I wasn't expecting it. I should have had it. It's definitely one of those goals you want back."
At 17:25 in the third period, Hayes pulled the Sharks to within a goal when he deflected forward Freddie Hamilton's shot from the left point past Domingue for his first goal of the season. On the ensuing faceoff, Grosenick was pulled for the extra attacker and despite having several chances, the Sharks couldn't get the puck past Domingue for the tying goal.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 34-25 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-6 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill... Grosenick made 21 saves in his seventh consecutive start and is now 4-2-1 with a 2.62 goals-against-average and .914 save percentage... Hayes had a game high six shots on goal... Earlier in the week, Tyler Kennedy was reassigned to the Sharks from San Jose on a conditioning assignment and wore no.8 in his first AHL game since 2007 when he was a member of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins... Sharks forward Daniil Tarasov was credited with an assist on Hayes' goal... Sharks forward Tyler Shattock, who was loaned to the team by the Stockton Thunder of the ECHL earlier in the week, wore no.38 in his Sharks debut and fought Pirates forward Darian Dziurzynski in the first period... Tennyson and Haley's goals 16-seconds apart was four seconds shy of the team record that was set on Feb. 2, 2007, by Garrett Stafford and Tomas Plihal... This was the second of eight meetings between the Sharks and Pirates... The Sharks are 1-1-0 against the Pirates, 2-2-1 at the DCU Center and 4-2-1 with nine points overall... The Sharks are back in action Saturday night (Nov. 1) when they host the Hershey Bears at 7pm/et on FROZEN movie poster giveaway night.
1. Brendan Shinnimin - Pirates (1-1-2)
2. Jordan Martinook - Pirates (1-0-1)
3. Micheal Haley - Sharks (1-0-1)
Haley / Karlsson / Carpenter
Lerg (A) / Kennedy / Trupp
Hayes / Hamilton / Tarasov
Bonneau / Schwartz / Shattock
Tennyson / Taormina (A)
Fedun / DeMelo (A)
Abeltshauser / Doherty