Worcester Sharks defenseman Dylan DeMelo scored the game winning goal during the pond hockey portion of overtime at 4:04 to give the Sharks a 2-1 win over the Albany Devils (AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils) in front of a season best 7,012 fans at the Times Union Center Saturday afternoon.
Defenseman Gus Young had the lone regulation goal for the Sharks while goaltender J.P. Anderson made 20 saves in his third consecutive start to pick up his sixth win of the season.
After watching back the film of Friday night's game at the DCU Center, the Sharks weren't too happy that captain Bryan Lerg had been drilled with a flying elbow by an Albany player that went undetected and as a result, a 40-man brawl nearly erupted in warm-ups but cooler heads prevailed.
Young put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 19:01 of the second period when his slap shot from the top of the left point got through traffic in front and beat Albany goaltender Scott Wedgewood. Sharks forwards Chris Tierney and Daniil Tarasov has the assists on the goal, which was Young's first professional goal and came on the Sharks' 29th shot of the game.
A physical third period saw Sharks forward Barclay Goodrow participate in his first professional fight as he dropped the gloves against Albany defenseman Dan Kelly at 9:57. Minutes prior to the fight, Kelly had gone after Sharks forward Tomas Hertl post whistle after the two exchanged words and even dropped his gloves but wasn't assessed a penalty. Kelly then took a run at Goodrow and refused to fight Sharks forward Micheal Haley when challenged.
Albany tied the game at 15:51 when forward Paul Thompson beat Anderson short side with a shot from the left circle for a power play goal, his 22nd goal of the season, after linemate Joe Whitney's shot from the top of the center point deflected off several skates in front.
In the pond hockey portion of overtime, Sharks defenseman Taylor Fedun used good stick positioning to make a nice defensive play to break up an Albany scoring chance. Seconds later, Hertl corralled a pass in the neutral zone, skated into the Albany zone on the left side, went behind the net and sent a wraparound pass through the crease that was buried home by a pinching DeMelo for the game-winning-goal, his fourth goal of the season.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 40-21 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill... Anderson is now 6-7-1 with a 2.55 goals-against-average and .902 save percentage... Tarasov had a game high five shots on goal... Sharks forward Travis Oleksuk was the only Sharks skater without a shot on goal... Two of DeMelo's four goals this season have come in overtime... This was the second of four meetings between the Sharks and Albany this season... The Sharks are 1-1-0 against Albany, 9-8-4 on the road and 22-15-5 with 49 points overall.... The Sharks are back in action Jan. 30 as they travel to play the Providence Bruins at 7:05 pm/et.
1. Dylan DeMelo - Sharks (1-0-1, OT GWG)
2. Scott Wedgewood - Albany - (38 saves)
3. Gus Young - Sharks (1-0-1)
Tarasov / Tierney / Coetzee
Lerg (C) / Trupp / Langlois
Haley (A) / Oleksuk / Hamilton
McCarthy / Hertl / Goodrow
Taormina (A) / Doherty
Mueller / DeMelo
Young / Fedun