Just as it appeared the Worcester Sharks were going to suffer another one goal loss, the Sharks offense exploded for three goals in a 3:15 span inside the final six minutes of the third period to shock the Hershey Bears (AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals) 4-2 Saturday night at the DCU Center.
The Sharks, who have won seven of their last eight games and are only nine points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, had 11 different skaters register a point, highlighted by forward Freddie Hamilton's two point game (goal and assist) and forward Dan DaSilva becoming the all-time leader in Sharks history with his 139th point. In addition, goaltender Harri Sateri made 25 saves for his fourth straight win and 17th of the season.
"He was excellent. I'm happy for him," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer of Sateri in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "He saved our (backsides)."
Despite out-shooting the Bears 16-10 in the first period, it was the Bears who drew first blood as they took a 1-0 lead at 10:40 when forward Casey Wellman buried home a centering feed from point blank range for his 16th goal of the season.
Hamilton tied the game at 18:47 of the second period when he beat Bears goaltender David Leggio with a wicked snap shot from on top of the face-off circles that hit off the crossbar and in for his team leading 19th goal of the season. Sharks forward Daniil Tarasov and defenseman Rob Davison were credited with the assists on the goal, which snapped Leggio's 98:47 shutout streak of the Sharks.
The Bears regained their one goal lead at 9:36 of the third period when off a turnover by Sharks defenseman Adam Comrie from behind the Sharks goal line, forward Nicolas Deschamps buried home a shot from deep in the slot for his 14th goal of the season.
Following Deschamps goal, the Sharks went to work, specifically the top line of John McCarthy, Bracken Kearns and Dan DaSilva. At 14:04, the line's hard work paid off as DaSilva tied the game with his 15th goal of the season off a shovel shot from just in front of the right face-off circle that was set-up by the work of McCarthy and Kearns in the left corner.
"He (McCarthy) made that play," said DaSilva in a post game interview with Ballou. "It was a Crazed Rats goal. They just hounded them until they forced a turnover and I was in the right place."
Added Sommer, "that was a great shift by that line - McCarthy, DaSilva and (Bracken) Kearns. They kept the puck down low the whole time. They played well all night - our best line."
Just 66-seconds later, the Sharks took their first lead of the game when defenseman Taylor Doherty ripped a shot from near the center point that got through traffic in front and beat Leggio for his fourth goal of the season. Sharks forwards Marek Viedensky and rookie Eriah Hayes were credited with the assists on the goal, which held up as the game winner.
The Sharks added an insurance goal at 17:19 when forward Travis Oleksuk shoveled a backhanded shot from deep inside the right face-off circle past Leggio for his 14th goal of the season. Hamilton and Sharks rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser were credited with the assists.
NOTES... Final shots on goal were 40-27 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-5 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 17-20-1 with a 2.92 goals-against-average and .892 save percentage... Sharks rookie forward Brock Higgs had a game high six shots on goal... Rookie forward Adam Schmidt had three shots on goal in his professional debut for the Sharks and wore no. 26... In addition to surpassing Tom Cavanagh as the all-time leader in points, DaSilva (3-5-8) extended his point streak to six games while Abeltshauser (1-6-7) extended his point streak to five games... Davison and Comrie were the only Sharks without a shot on goal... Sharks enforcer Jimmy Bonneau turned 29... This was the third of four meetings between the Sharks and Bears this season... The Sharks are 2-1-0-0 against the Bears, 16-13-0-1 at the DCU Center and 31-28-3-1 with 66 points overall... The Sharks wrap up their three-in-three weekend Sunday afternoon (March 23) as they travel to take on their Atlantic Division rival the Providence Bruins.
1. Dan DaSilva - Sharks (1-0-1)
2. Taylor Doherty - Sharks (1-0-1, GWG)
3. Freddie Hamilton - Sharks (1-1-2)
McCarthy / Kearns (A) / DaSilva
Tarasov / Oleksuk / Hamilton (A)
Schwartz / Higgs / Schmidt
Bonneau / Viedensky / Hayes
Abeltshauser / Comrie
Davison (C) / DeMelo
Comrie / Bigos