Looking to sweep their two game set in Newfoundland, the Worcester Sharks were defeated 3-2 by the St. John's IceCaps (AHL affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets) Saturday night at the Mile One Centre.
The Sharks took a 1-0 lead just 22-seconds into the game when forward Evan Trupp fired a rebound into the net from behind the goal line inside the trapezoid for his sixth goal of the season. Sharks forward Travis Oleksuk, who took the initial shot from inside the right circle, and Sharks defenseman Taylor Fedun had the assists on the goal, which set a Sharks franchise record for the quickest goal to start a game.
Just 73-seconds later, the IceCaps tied the game (and snapped a 200 minute plus scoring drought) when forward Austen Brassard corralled a behind the net pass from linemate Nicolas Blanchard and beat Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell with a snap shot from the left hash mark for his first goal of the season.
The Sharks regained their one goal lead at 8:41 when forward Melker Karlsson had his across-the-crease pass attempt from the left side of the trapezoid deflect in off an IceCaps defender for a power play goal, his fifth goal of the season. Sharks forward Daniil Tarasov and defenseman Matt Taormina had the assists on the goal, which came 17-seconds into the Sharks' power play opportunity.
The IceCaps tied the game minutes later at 11:13 when defenseman Will O'Neill beat Dell with a snap shot from near the center point for a power play goal, his fifth goal of the season. At 5:31 of the second period, O'Neill struck again on the power play when he beat Dell through the wickets with a snap shot from the blue line of the left point for his second goal of the game.
Though the Sharks outshot the IceCaps 10-2 in the third period, they couldn't get the tying goal past IceCaps goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, who finished with 41 saves.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 43-22 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-4 on the power play and 0-for-2 on the penalty kill... Dell made 19 saves and is now 1-2-1 with a 1.72 goals-against-average and .917 save percentage... Sharks forwards Freddie Hamilton, Micheal Haley and defenseman Gus Young were the only Sharks skaters to not have a shot on goal... Tarasov had a game high nine shots and extended his point streak to four games (2-2-4)... Trupp has four goals in his last seven games... Young and IceCaps forward JC Lipon engaged in a solid hockey fight at 7:59 of the second period... This was the second of eight meetings between the Sharks and IceCaps... The Sharks are 1-1-0 against the IceCaps, 4-6-0 on the road and 10-10-2 with 22 points overall... The Sharks kick off their first three-in-three weekend Dec. 12 as they travel to play the Hartford Wolf Pack at 7pm/et.
1. Will O'Neill - IceCaps (2-0-2)
2. Connor Hellebuyck - IceCaps (41 saves, Win)
3. Evan Trupp - Sharks (1-0-1)
Tarasov / Tierney / Karlsson
Haley (A) / Hamilton / Hayes
Trupp / Oleksuk / Carpenter
Lerg (C) / Langlois / Burish
Taormina (A) / Tennyson
Taormina (A) / Tennyson
Abeltshauser / DeMelo
Young / Fedun