Playing their last home game at the DCU Center before embarking on a four game road trip, the Worcester Sharks were defeated 1-0 by the Springfield Falcons (AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets) Saturday night as Falcons forward Sean B. Collins scored a penalty shot goal at 8:08 of the second period.
J.P. Anderson made 15 saves in his third consecutive start for the Sharks, who outshot the Falcons 33-16 and 25-8 over the last two periods. However, the Sharks weren't able to get the puck past Falcons rookie goaltender Anton Forsberg, who was recently reassigned to Springfield from Columbus.
"It wasn't lack of effort," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "Everybody worked hard. It was one of those where we just weren't fortunate, but you have to find a way to win 'em. We had way more chance than they did, we moved the puck out of our end well, kept it down there.
"(Forsberg) is big and just blocked everything. He didn't do anything fancy."
A scoreless first period was highlighted by a spirited heavyweight fight between 6-foot-8 Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty and 6-foot-7 Falcons defenseman Brett Ponich, as well as a sprawling save by Anderson at the end of the period to deny the Falcons a goal on a two-on-none breakaway.
In the second period, Collins tracked down a loose puck in the neutral zone, split the Sharks defense for a breakaway opportunity and was hooked from behind by Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson, which resulted in a penalty shot being called.
On the penalty shot opportunity, Collins fired a backhanded shot from on top of the crease that appeared to be stopped by Anderson but the puck squirted over the goal line under Anderson's pads for the only goal of the game.
At 12:51, a ten player scrum up in Anderson's crease resulted in 5-foot-10 Sharks forward Micheal Haley dropping the gloves with Ponich. Though he was at a height disadvantage, Haley endeared himself to the home crowd as he stood his ground and landed several solid left hands to Ponich, who received a game misconduct for engaging in a second fight.
Unfortunately, the Sharks couldn't capitalize on the energy created by Haley's fight on the ensuing power play or the rest of the game.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 33-16 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill... Anderson is now 1-3-0 with a 2.53 goals-against-average and .899 save percentage... Sharks forward Ryan Carpenter and defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser each had a game high five shots on goal... This was the third time in the Sharks' franchise history they lost a 1-0 game with the last one being against the then Lowell Devils back on March 28, 2009 (via Ballou)... This was the second of six meetings between the Sharks and Falcons this season... The Sharks are 1-1-0 against the Falcons, 5-4-1 at the DCU Center and 8-5-1 with 17 points overall... The Sharks are back in action Wednesday (Nov. 19) as they travel to play the Manchester Monarchs at 10am/et.
1. Anton Forsberg - Falcons (33 saves, Win)
2. Sean B. Collins - Falcons (1-0-1)
3. J.P. Anderson - Sharks (15 saves)
Tarasov / Hamilton / Langlois
Lerg (C) / Tierney / Carpenter
Haley (A) / Karlsson / Hayes
Schwartz / Oleksuk / Trupp
Taormina (A) / Tennyson
Fedun / DeMelo
Abeltshauser / Dohtery