Trailing 1-0 after forty minutes of play, the Worcester Sharks scored three times inside the opening seven minutes of the third period en route to a 4-2 victory over the Springfield Falcons (AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets) Tuesday afternoon at the MassMutual Center.
The Sharks, who are plus-13 in the third period this season, got goals from defenseman Matt Tennyson and forwards Evan Trupp, Bryan Lerg and Jeremy Langois. In addition, forward Chris Tierney dished out two assists while goaltender J.P. Anderson made 30 saves for his first career AHL win.
"We don't panic and that's where you win games - in the third period," said Lerg in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com.
After a scoreless first period, the Falcons outshot the Sharks 15-3 in the second period and took a 1-0 lead at 9:04 when forward Sean B. Collins beat Anderson with a quick shot from on top of the crease for his fourth goal of the season.
Just 51-seconds into the third period, Tennyson tied the game when he fired a swinging slap shot from the right wall on top of the circle that squirted through the arm and midsection of Falcons goaltender Oscar Dansk. Sharks forwards Daniil Tarasov, who fanned on a one-timer from the right hash mark, and Freddie Hamilton, who sent the backhanded pass through the slot from the left wall, had the assists on the goal, which was Tennyson's second of the season.
Trupp put the Sharks ahead 2-1 at 2:21 when he corralled an end wall backhanded pass from linemate Travis Oleksuk in the left circle and fired a quick snap shot on net that beat Dansk blocker side as Sharks forward Rylan Schwartz provided a screen in front. Sharks defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser had the secondary assist on the goal, which was Trupp's second of the season.
Lerg, an ex-Falcon, extended the lead to 3-1 at 6:59 when he lifted a backhanded shot over the blocker of Dansk from the left side of the crease after settling down Tierney's pass through the slot from the right wall. The goal was Lerg's first of the season and his first since January as he missed the second half of the 2013-14 AHL season due to injury.
"It's been a long time," said Lerg, "so, absolutely, it's a relief to get that first one. The last few games, I thought I'd been getting chances, so I knew sooner or later something would go in. This happens."
The Falcons cut the Sharks lead in half at 11:12 when forward Ryan Craig deflected defenseman Austin Madaisky's shot from the center point past Anderson for a power play goal, his seventh goal of the season.
Still trailing by a goal near the end of the period, the Falcons pulled Dansk for the extra attacker and Langlois sealed a Sharks win with an empty net goal at 19:19. Tierney and Sharks forward Micheal Haley picked up the assists on the goal, which was Langlois' third of the season.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 32-24 in favor of the Falcons... The Sharks went 0-for-3 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill... Anderson is now 1-1-0 with a 3.02 goals-against-average and .880 save percentage... Tarasov and Lerg each had a team high three shots on goal... Oleksuk returned to the Sharks lineup after missing six games due to injury... Tierney now has five points (1-4-5) in two games with the Sharks... Earlier in the week, Sharks forward Tyler Shattock was released from his PTO... The Sharks have recalled goaltender Aaron Dell from the Allen Americans of the ECHL... This was the first of six meetings between the Sharks and Falcons this season... The Sharks are 1-0-0 against the Falcons, 3-1-0 on the road and 8-3-1 with 17 points overall... The Sharks are back in action Friday (Nov. 14) when they host the Manchester Monarchs at 7:30 pm/et.
1. Bryan Lerg - Sharks (1-0-1)
2. J.P. Anderson - Sharks (30 saves, Win)
3. Ryan Craig - Falcons (1-0-1)
Langlois / Hamilton / Tarasov
Lerg (A) / Tierney / Hayes
Haley / Karlsson / Carpenter
Trupp / Oleksuk / Schwartz
Tennyson / Taormina
Fedun (A) / DeMelo (A)
Abeltshauser / Doherty