Worcester Sharks forward John McCarthy surpassed Dan DaSilva to become the franchise's all-time leading scorer with 145 points (60-85-145) by registering a three point game with two goals and an assist in the Sharks 5-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders) Wednesday night at the Webster Bank Arena.
The Sharks, who moved into a tie for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference for the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs, got 25 saves in net from goaltender Troy Grosenick while forwards Eriah Hayes, Daniil Tarasov and defenseman Dylan DeMelo scored the goals.
"We played a solid road game," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com, "just like in Providence, except this time we were rewarded. We did what we had to do to win."
After a scoreless first period, Hayes put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 6:06 of the second period when he stuffed home a behind-the-net backhanded shot on the right side for his sixth goal of the season. Hayes' linemates Rylan Schwartz and Ryan Carpenter were credited with the assists.
Just 63-seconds later, McCarthy buried home a backhanded centering feed from linemate Micheal Haley, who had corralled a rebound just in front of the right faceoff circle, to extend the lead to 2-0. Sharks defenseman Taylor Fedun, who took the initial shot on goal from the left point, picked up the secondary assist on the goal, which was McCarthy's 10th goal of the season.
In the third period, Tarasov made it 3-0 at 7:46 with a quick snap shot from the left hash mark in the slot for a power play goal, his 12th goal of the season. McCarthy, who fed the trailing Tarasov with a nice pass from the left wing boards, and Sharks defenseman Karl Stollery had the assists on the goal.
The Sharks struck again on the power at 13:34 when DeMelo beat Sound Tigers goaltender Kevin Poulin with a wrist shot from the top of the center point (just in front of the blue line) for his sixth goal of the season. Sharks forwards Willie Coetzee and Travis Oleksuk registered the assists.
Grosenick had his shutout bid spoiled at 14:49 by Sound Tigers forward Harry Zolniercyzk, who beat Grosenick with a rebound strike from on top of the crease for a power play goal, his 18th goal of the season, after Grosenick had made the initial save on a snap shot from the center point by Sound Tigers defenseman Aaron Ness.
McCarthy punctuated a Sharks win with his second goal of the game at 18:58 off a quick shot from on top of the faceoff circles after Poulin turned the puck over behind his net to Sharks forward Trevor Parkes.
"Those were basically two empty-net goals," said McCarthy of his night post game to Ballou. "I was just in the right place at the right time. I figure if you work hard and do your job defensively, the goals will happen."
NOTES... Shots on goal were 29-26 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 2-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 18-8-3 with a 2.63 goals-against-average and .906 save percentage... McCarthy and Coetzee each had a game high four shots on goal... McCarthy is now tied with DaSilva for the franchise lead in goals with 60... The Sharks have not scored a first period goal since Hayes and forward Evan Trupp scored two back on Feb. 27 against the St. John's IceCaps (via Bill Ballou)... Coetzee extended his point streak to four games (1-5-6) with his assist and Oleksuk extended his point streak to three games (1-3-4)... Sharks forward Vincent Arseneau made his debut after being acquired before the AHL trade deadline on March 9 and wore number 16... Fedun was back in the lineup after being returned from San Jose on March 9... The Sharks are plus-19 in the second period this season... This was the third of four meetings between the Sharks and Sound Tigers this season... The Sharks are 2-1-0 against the Sound Tigers, 14-12-3 on the road and 32-21-6 with 70 points overall... The Sharks are back in action March 13 as they travel to play the Albany Devils at 7 p.m./et.
1. John McCarthy - Sharks (2-1-3)
2. Troy Grosenick - Sharks (25 saves, Win)
3. Eriah Hayes - Sharks (1-0-1)
Haley (A) / McCarthy (A)/ Parkes
Tarasov / Oleksuk / Coetzee
Schwartz / Carpenter / Hayes
Arseneau / Crane / DeBlois
Taormina (A) / Doherty
Stollery / DeMelo
Young / Fedun