Worcester Sharks goaltender Troy Grosenick made 25 saves for his first shutout of the season as the Sharks extended their season high winning streak to six games with a 4-0 win over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (AHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins) at the DCU Center Saturday night.
"He was really good," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer of Grosenick in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "Look at his record - 15-6-3 - and look at what happened when we didn't have him. All he does is win, just like Stalock."
The Sharks, who have points in their last seven games and swept a five game homestand for the first time in team history, got goals from forwards Daniil Tarasov, Freddie Hamilton, Bryan Lerg and defenseman Taylor Fedun.
Tarasov put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 12:11 of the first period when he intercepted a pass on top of the faceoff circles inside the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton zone, stick handled through the slot, showed a shoulder fake on top of the crease and slid the puck around goaltender Jeff Zatkoff into an open net for his 10th goal of the season.
Hamilton pushed the lead to 2-0 at 15:05 with his eighth goal of the season off a snap shot from on top of the left faceoff circle that fooled Zatkoff. Sharks forwards Micheal Haley and Travis Oleksuk had the assists on the goal.
Several minutes after Grosenick robbed Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Bryan Rust of a goal on a breakaway, Lerg fired a rebound from on top of the crease into the net for a power play goal, his sixth goal of the season, at 19:31 to push the lead to 3-0. Sharks forward Jeremy Langlois and defenseman Matt Taormina, who fired the initial shot from the center point, were credited with the assists on the goal, which ended Zatkoff's night in net once the period ended.
Inside the opening six minutes of the second period, Grosenick again robbed Rust of a goal on a breakaway, and the Sharks penalty killers killed off defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser's hooking penalty despite having to play a stretch in their own zone that saw Grosenick, defenseman Taylor Doherty and forward John McCarthy without hockey sticks.
Fedun ended any thoughts Wilkes-Barre/Scranton had of a comeback with his third goal of the season at 14:36 off a redirect from inside the right slot after some textbook tic-tac-toe passing between him, Sharks forward Evan Trupp and Taormina.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 25-18 in favor of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton... The Sharks went 1-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 15-6-3 with a 2.67 goals-against-average and .905 save percentage... Grosenick's six game win streak is one shy of the franchise record, shared by both Thomas Greiss and Alex Stalock (via Ballou)... Lerg had a game high four shots on goal... Sharks forward Chris Tierney had his seven game point streak (4-4-8) snapped... The Sharks will look to tie the franchise record of seven wins in a row set back in March 2007 when they travel to play the Manchester Monarchs on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 18) at 3pm/et... This was the first of two meetings between the Sharks and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season... The Sharks are 1-0-0 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, 13-6-3 at the DCU Center and 19-14-5 with 43 points overall.
1. Troy Grosenick - Sharks (25 save shutout)
2. Bryan Lerg - Sharks (1-0-1)
3. Matt Taormina - Sharks (0-2-2)
Tarasov / Tierney / Coetzee
Haley (A) / Oleksuk / Hamilton
Lerg (C) / Trupp / Langlois
Bonneau / McCarthy / Carpenter
Taormina (A) / Doherty
Abeltshauser / DeMelo
Young / Fedun