Despite firing 45 shots on goal and having five power play opportunities, the Worcester Sharks saw their overall record fall back to .500 as they were defeated 4-2 by the Portland Pirates (AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes) Tuesday night at the Cross Insurance Arena.
The Pirates scored two times inside a three minute span of the second period to take a 2-0 lead. Pirates defenseman Andrew Campbell beat Sharks goaltender J.P. Anderson at 9:43 with a quick snap shot from deep in the slot after corralling a cross zone pass in the right circle from forward Jordan Martinhook for a shorthanded goal, his third goal of the season. At 12:40, forward Alexandre Bolduc scored his eighth goal of the the season when he finished off a two-on-two rush by somehow getting the puck past Anderson from in close despite falling to the ice while being covered by Sharks defenseman Dylan DeMelo.
Sharks forward Daniil Tarasov cut the Pirates lead in half at 13:10 when he deflected Sharks defenseman Matt Taormina's slap pass from the left point past Pirates goaltender Mike McKenna six seconds into a Sharks power play for his fourth goal of the season. Sharks forward Chris Tierney had the secondary assist on the goal.
The Sharks pulled even just 2:54 into the third period when forward Micheal Haley beat McKenna with a quick shot from the gap in-between the goal line and left circle off a Pirates turnover for his team leading seventh goal of the season. Haley's linemates Freddie Hamilton and Eriah Hayes picked up the assists.
Though the Sharks had a 14-5 shots on goal advantage in the period, the Pirates went ahead 3-2 at 16:33 when on a delayed penalty call, Pirates forward Justin Hodgman skated behind the Sharks net, curled around in the left circle and fired a wrist shot on net that beat a screened Anderson for his third goal of the season.
With Anderson pulled for the extra attacker near the final minute of the period, Pirates forward Tyler Gaudet scored empty net goal, his third goal of the season, to seal a 4-2 Pirates victory.
NOTES... This game was originally scheduled for Nov. 26 but was postponed due to snow... Shots on goal were 45-19 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill... Anderson made 15 saves, and is now 2-6-0 with a 3.15 goals-against-average and .880 save percentage... Every Sharks skater had at least one shot on goal... Sharks defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser had a game high five shots on goal... The Sharks have allowed five shorthanded goals this season, three of which have been scored by the Pirates... Sharks defenseman Nick Jones made his season debut and wore no.25... The Sharks signed defenseman Andrew Blazek to a PTO on Nov. 30... With an assist each, Tierney (0-3-3) and Taormina (1-2-3) extended their point streaks to three games... This was the third of eight meetings between the Sharks and Pirates this season... The Sharks are 1-2-0 against the Pirates, 3-5-0 on the road and 9-9-2 with 20 points overall... The Sharks are back in action this weekend as they travel to Newfoundland to play the St. John's IceCaps in a two game set (Dec. 5-6).
1. Mike McKenna - Pirates (43 saves, Win)
2. Justin Hodgman - Pirates (1-0-1, Gwg)
3. Andrew Campbell - Pirates (1-1-2)
Tierney / Karlsson / Tarasov
Lerg (C) / Langlois / Burish
Trupp / Oleksuk / Carpenter
Haley (A) / Hamilton / Hayes
Abeltshauser / DeMelo
Young / Fedun
Taormina (A) / Jones
**Author's note... I incorrectly listed Lerg/Langlois/Burish as the fourth line in the Nov. 29 game against Providence. They were and are the second line while Haley/Hamilton/Hayes were and are the fourth line. I was made aware of my error when during tonight's game, the Portland announcer read off the Sharks line in order by saying "line one is..."**