Third year forward Daniil Tarasov had a two goal game, his first goals since March 16 of last season, and 11 different skaters registered a point as the Worcester Sharks defeated the Hershey Bears (AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals) 5-4 Saturday night at the DCU Center.
Forwards Tyler Kennedy, Freddie Hamilton and Micheal Haley also scored for the Sharks, who wrapped up their six game home stand with a 3-2-1 record. In addition, defensemen Matt Taormina, Konrad Abeltshauser and forward Jeremy Langlois each chipped in two assists.
"We had a way better effort from everybody," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "In the Portland game, we were all sitting back. Tonight, we had a great second period, and that won the game for us. We had some timely goals."
Tarasov put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 1:50 of the first period when he beat Bears rookie goaltender Pheonix Copley with a quick shot from in front of the right hash mark in the slot for his first goal of the season. Langlois, who fed Tarasov a quick pass across the slot, and Abeltshauser, who took the initial shot from the left point, were credited with the assists on the goal.
The lead didn't last long as the Bears tied the game 14-seconds later when forward Joel Broda swept a rebound past Sharks goaltender Troy Grosenick from on top of the crease for his second goal of the season. The Sharks protested that Broda had touched the puck with a high stick but referee Kendrick Nicholson disagreed.
Kennedy regained the lead for the Sharks at 8:57 when he corralled a centering feed and lifted a backhanded shot from deep in the right faceoff circle past Pheonix for his first goal of the season. Sharks forward Bryan Lerg, who took the puck away from Copley on the right end wall, and Taormina picked up the assists.
In the second period, the Bears tied the game at 5:15 when off a faceoff win in the Sharks zone, defenseman Cameron Schilling beat Grosenick through the wickets with a slap shot from the top of center point for his first goal of the season.
Hamilton put the Sharks ahead 3-2 at 6:17 when he skated into the Bears zone along the left side, cut down towards the faceoff circle and fired a quick snap shot from inside the circle near the left slot that beat Pheonix blocker side for his fourth goal of the season. Langlois and Abeltshauser had the assists on the goal, which extended Hamilton's point streak to four games.
Tarasov extended the Sharks lead to 4-2 at 16:30 when he corralled a backhanded centering feed off the end wall from forward Eriah Hayes, waited Pheonix out and lifted a backhanded shot over the sprawled out goaltender for his second goal of the game. Sharks forward Melker Karlsson registered the secondary assist.
With the Sharks on an early power play opportunity to start the third period, Haley made it 5-2 at 2:00 when he found a loose puck on top of the crease and poked the puck past Pheonix for his team leading fifth goal of the season. Sharks defensemen Tyler Fedun, whose initial shot from the center point was blocked in front, and Taormina had the assists.
The Bears answered back at 4:46 when forward Kris Newbury, who was positioned in front, deflected defenseman Tomas Kundratek's shot from the right wall by the faceoff circle past Grosenick for his fifth goal of the season.
Still trailing by two goals late in the period, the Bears pulled Pheonix for the extra attacker and defenseman Steve Oleksy cut the Sharks lead to one goal at 18:44 when he beat Grosenick glove side with a slap shot from the right point for his third goal of the season.
Kundratek nearly tied the game inside the final 20-seconds of the period but his shot from the left point rang off the post. However, Lerg, who was one stride away from crossing the red line, iced the puck when shooting for the empty net goal. Needing a defensive win in their own zone, the Sharks were able to control the ensuing faceoff and kill off the remaining 11-seconds for the 5-4 win.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 28-23 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill... Grosenick had 19 saves in his eighth consecutive start and is now 5-2-1 with a 2.78 goals-against-average and .906 save percentage... Taormina had a team high four shots on goal... Hamilton has six points (4-2-6) in his current four game point streak... Haley fought former Sharks captain Mike Moore at 10:35 of the second period... Haley, who was an assist shy of the Gordie Howe hat trick, had all 11 of the Sharks' penalty minutes... This was the first of four meetings between the Sharks and Bears this season... The Sharks are 1-0-0 against the Bears, 3-2-1 at the DCU Center and 5-2-1 with 11 points overall.. .The Sharks are back in action Sunday afternoon (Nov. 2) at 3pm/et as they travel to take on the Hartford Wolf Pack.
1. Daniil Tarasov - Sharks (2-0-2)
2. Konrad Abeltshauser - Sharks (0-2-2)
3. Matt Taormina - Sharks (0-2-2)
Lerg (A) / Kennedy / Carpenter
Haley / Karlsson / Hayes
Langlois / Hamilton / Tarasov
Trupp / Schwartz / Shattock
Tennyson / Taormina (A)
Fedun / DeMelo (A)
Abeltshauser / Doherty