Playing the first game of a back-to-back set in Norfolk, the Worcester Sharks were shut out by goaltender John Gibson, who made 36 saves for his first shutout of the AHL season, in a 3-0 loss to the Norfolk Admirals (AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks) Friday night at the Norfolk Scope.
After the Sharks failed to capitalize on a 1:50 five-on-three power play advantage early in the first period, the Admirals took a 1-0 lead at 12:41 when forward Charles Sarault fired a wrist shot from inside the left faceoff circle past Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell and in off the post for his third goal of the season.
The lead was extended to 2-0 at 18:56 when defenseman Andrew O'Brien fired a slap shot from the left point that got through traffic and past Dell for his third goal of the season.
Inside the first five minutes of the second period, the Sharks had 1:39 of five-on-three power play time but couldn't capitalize on the golden opportunity.
The Sharks' best chance to score a goal came early in the third period when Sharks forward John McCarthy set up linemate Eriah Hayes with a centering feed from behind the net but Hayes fired the puck wide when shooting at the wide open net.
With Dell pulled for the extra attacker, Admirals forward Chris Wagner scored an empty net goal at 19:27 for his 13th goal of the season and a 3-0 final score.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 36-28 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 0-for-6 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill... Dell made 25 saves and is now 3-3-1 with a 1.96 goals-against-average and .918 save percentage... McCarthy had a team high six shots on goal while Sharks forward Freddie Hamilton had five... The Sharks were shutout for the fourth time this season... Sharks forward Travis Oleksuk was a late scratch due to illness and defenseman Kyle Bigos was inserted into the lineup... This was the first of four meetings between the Sharks and Admirals this season... The Sharks are 0-1-0 against the Admirals, 10-10-4 on the road and 24-17-5 with 53 points overall... The Sharks rematch the Admirals Saturday night (Feb. 7) at 7:15 pm/et.
1. John Gibson - Admirals (36 saves, Shutout Win)
2. Dany Heatley - Admirals (0-2-2)
3. Charles Sarault - Admirals (1-0-1, GWG)
McCarthy / Carpenter / Hayes
Lerg (C) / Trupp / Coetzee
Haley (A) / Hamilton / Parkes
Bonneau / Asuchak
Taormina (A) / Doherty
Abeltshauser / DeMelo
Young / Fedun