Despite having a 2-1 lead after two periods, the Worcester Sharks saw their six game winning streak snapped as they were defeated 4-2 by the Springfield Falcons (AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets) Friday night at the DCU Center.
Veteran forwards Bracken Kearns and Dan DaSilva each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who are 11 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Falcons took a 1-0 lead at 3:27 of the first period when forward Andrew Joudrey redirected a pass in the slot from above the right hash mark past Sharks rookie goaltender Troy Grosenick for a power play goal, his 11th goal of the season.
Kearns tied the game at 5:44 of the second period when he found a rebound on top of the of crease and buried home a rebound as he went crashing down to the ice for his sixth goal of the season. DaSilva and linemate John McCarthy were credited with the assists on the goal, which was Kearns' first since rejoining the Sharks back on Feb. 25.
DaSilva put the Sharks ahead 2-1 at 18:45 when he fired the puck past Blue Jackets goaltender Mike McKenna from the left side of the crease for a power play goal, his 14th goal of the season. Sharks rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser, who took the initial shot from the left point, and Kearns were credited with the assists on the goal, which was DaSilva's 57th with the Sharks and 138th career point.
Just 22-seconds into the third period, the Falcons tied the game when forward Dana Tyrell reached out for a loose puck deep in the slot and fired a quick shot past Grosenick for his 12th goal of the season.
At 2:32, Sharks enforcer Jimmy Bonneau made quick work of Falcons defenseman Will Weber in their brief fight. Bonneau, who was elbowed in the head by Weber prior to the fight and dropped his gloves second after asking Weber to fight, received an extra two minutes for roughing from referee Dave Lewis.
"I have always given respect to the refs and the job they do, but Dave Lewis called the name on the back of the jersey, not the play," said Bonneau in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "He (Lewis) told me it was for distance traveled, that I went blue line to blue line, and that's insane."
On the ensuing Falcons power play, forward Matt Taormina found a loose puck on top of the crease and fired the puck past Grosenick at 4:18 for his eighth goal of the season, which held up as the game-winning-goal. The Falcons added an insurance goal at 11:41 when forward Sean Collins corralled a Sharks turnover inside the slot and beat Grosenick from on top of the crease for his 13th goal of the season.
NOTES... Final shots on goal were 32-30 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 14-11-0 with a 2.73 goals-against-average and .902 save percentage... Sharks rookie forward Eriah Hayes and rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser each had a team high four shots on goal... DaSilva now has a five game point streak (2-5-7) while Abeltshauser has a four game point streak (1-5-6)... San Jose development coaches Mike Ricci and Bryan Marchment joined associate coach David Cunniff behind the bench as head coach Roy Sommer was in California due to a death in the family... The Sharks signed forward Adam Schmidt to an ATO on March 19... This was the sixth and final meeting between the Sharks and Falcons this season... The Sharks went 2-4-0-0 against the Falcons, are 15-13-0-1 at the DCU Center and 30-28-3-1 with 64 points overall... The Sharks continue their three-in-three weekend Saturday night (March 22) as they host the Hershey Bears at 7pm/et.
1. Sean Collins - Falcons (1-1-2)
2. Dan DaSilva - Sharks (1-1-2)
3. Dana Tyrell - Falcons (1-0-1)
McCarthy / Kearns (A) / DaSilva
Tarasov / Oleksuk / Hamilton (A)
Schwartz / Higgs / Hayes
Bonneau / Viedensky / Pelech
Davison (C) / DeMelo
Abeltshauser / Doherty
Comrie / Bigos