Worcester Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell made 38 saves for his second shutout of the season to lead the Sharks to a 4-0 win over the Norfolk Admirals (AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks) Saturday night at the Norfolk Scope.
The Sharks, who moved up to the sixth seed in the AHL Eastern Conference Calder Cup Playoffs standings, got goals from forwards John McCarthy, Micheal Haley, Travis Oleksuk and Ryan Carpenter. In addition, forwards Freddie Hamilton and Eriah Hayes dished out two assists each.
McCarthy put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 3:40 of the first period when he continued to chip away at the puck inside the crease after Hayes made a strong move to the net from the right side. Carpenter had the secondary assist on the goal, which was McCarthy's seventh of the season and second since rejoining the Sharks.
With the Sharks on a power play later in the period, Haley got positioning on top of the crease and redirected linemate Evan Trupp's across the slot pass from the top of the left slot past Admirals goaltender Jason LaBarbera for a power play goal, his 13th goal of the season. Hamilton picked up the secondary assist on the goal, which was made possible by a nice keep in at the right point by Sharks defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser.
Inside the final five minutes of the second period, the Sharks were on their second power play of the game when Abeltshauser was checked from behind into the stanchion on the Sharks bench by Admirals forward Max Friberg. Though no penalty was called on the dangerous hit, the Sharks got revenge shortly thereafter as Oleksuk fired the puck into an open net from inside the right circle at 16:44 for a power play goal, his fifth goal of the season. Sharks defenseman Dylan DeMelo, whose shot from the top of the left center point ricocheted off traffic in front before landing on the hockey stick of Oleksuk, and Hamilton had the assists.
Carpenter ended any hopes the Admirals had a of third period comeback with a rebound score off his own shot at 10:22 for his eighth goal of the season. Hayes and Sharks defenseman Gus Young were credited with the assists.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 38-35 in favor of the Admirals... The Sharks went 2-for-4 on the power play and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill... Dell is now 4-3-1 with a 1.74 goals-against-average and .932 save percentage... Sharks defenseman Matt Taormina had a game high six shots on goal... The Sharks are 11-4-3 on Saturday games this season... Due to goaltender JP Anderson falling ill the night prior, the Sharks signed 23-year old Jackson Winkler, who is currently serving in the Coast Guard and is stationed in Yorktown, to an ATO early Saturday to be the emergency backup goaltender for the game... This was the second of four meetings between the Sharks and Admirals this season... The Sharks are 1-1-0 against the Admirals, 11-10-4 on the road and 25-17-5 with 55 points overall.. .The Sharks are back in action Feb. 14 when they travel to play the St. John's IceCaps at 6 pm/et.
1. Aaron Dell - Sharks (38 saves, Shutout Win)
2. Ryan Carpenter - Sharks (1-1-2)
3. Matt Clark - Admirals (0-0-0, E)
McCarthy / Carpenter / Hayes
Lerg (C) / Trupp / Coetzee
Haley (A) / Oleksuk / Hamilton
Bonneau / Asuchak / Parkes
Taormina (A) / Doherty
Abeltshauser / DeMelo
Young / Fedun