For the first time since Feb. 9, the Worcester Sharks won a hockey game as they defeated the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders) 2-1 Saturday night at the Webster Bank Arena.
Goaltender Harri Sateri made 25 saves (10 of which came in the third period) while forwards Freddie Hamilton and Travis Oleksuk scored first period goals for the Sharks, who snapped their seven game losing streak as well as the Sound Tigers' seven game winning streak. In addition, Sateri won for the first time since a 4-3 shootout win against the Manchester Monarchs back on Jan. 26.
Hamilton put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 5:38 off the first period when he followed up his shot and fired a rebound past Sound Tigers goaltender Kevin Poulin for his team leading 16th goal of the season. Sharks forward Daniil Tarasov and defenseman Nick Petrecki were credited with the assists on the goal, which gave the Sharks a lead for the first time in 425:38 of hockey play.
However, the Sharks' lead only lasted for 121 seconds as Sound Tigers forward Joe Diamond tied the game at 7:39 when he blocked Petrecki's shot at the left point, corralled the loose puck, skated in and slid the puck past Sateri for his seventh goal of the season.
Oleksuk put the Sharks ahead 2-1 at 19:46 when he buried home a one-timer from inside the left face-off circle after taking a centering feed from linemate Dan DaSilva. Sharks forward Yanni Gourde was credited with the secondary assist.
After a scoreless second period, tempers flared at 7:40 of the third period when DaSilva got drilled by Sound Tigers defenseman Matt Donovan post whistle on an offsides call. Gourde, as well as the rest of the Sharks on the ice, took exception to the hit and began tussling with Diamond. DaSilva got up, tried to put a headlock on Diamond and then cross-checked Diamond in the face, which irked Sound Tigers enforcer Justin Johnson. DaSilva received a five minute major for cross checking as well as a game misconduct while Johnson was assessed two minutes for roughing.
Tarasov appeared to have scored an insurance goal for the Sharks late in the period but the goal was waived off as the officials ruled that Tarasov kicked the puck into the net.
"I never touched it," said Tarasov in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "If they could do a replay, they would have seen that, but the ref said it wasn't something they could review."
Even though the waived off goal didn't cost the Sharks a win, head coach Roy Sommer voiced his frustrations post game to Ballou about the officiating in the third period.
"They tried to do it again to us and you can put that in the paper," said Sommer. "Tarasov never touched that puck, and how could that hit on DaSilva not have been a penalty? He might have a concussion."
NOTES... Final shots on goal were 27-26 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-2 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 13-19-1 with a 3.14 goals-against-average and .886 save percentage... DaSilva had a game high four shots on goal as well as a game high 15 penalty minutes... Sharks rookie defenseman Dylan DeMelo was the only Sharks skater to finish with a minus rating (minus-one)... Sharks defenseman Taylor Doherty engaged in a brief scrap with Sound Tigers forward Brett Gallant at 9:54 of the first period... This was the third of four meetings between the Sharks and Sound Tigers this season... The Sharks are 2-1-0-0 against the Sound Tigers, 12-15-3-0 on the road and 24-26-3-1 with 52 points overall.. The Sharks are back in action Sunday afternoon (March 2) as they host the Springfield Falcons at 3pm/et.
1. Freddie Hamilton - Sharks (1-0-1, three shots on goal)
2. Harri Sateri - Sharks (25 saves, Win)
3. Joe Diamond - Sound Tigers (1-0-1)
Tarasov / Kearns / Hamilton (A)
Gourde / Oleksuk / DaSilva (A)
Livingston / Viedensky / Reid
Bonneau / Rau / Hayes
Abeltshauser / Doherty
Petrecki / DeMelo
Davison (C) / Comrie