In front of 5,276 fans at the DCU Center Sunday afternoon, the Worcester Sharks swept their three-in-three weekend and extended their winning streak to five games by defeating the Springfield Falcons (AHL affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets) 4-1, their second win over the Falcons in three days.
The Sharks, who moved into the seventh seed of the AHL Eastern Conference Playoff race with the win, got goals by forwards Evan Trupp, Matt Willows, Daniel Ciampini and defenseman Karl Stollery, while goaltender Aaron Dell made 22 saves in net for his 12th win of the season.
Trupp put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 6:15 of the first period when he beat Falcons goaltender Joonas Korpisalo with a one-timer from on top of the right faceoff dot for his 16th goal of the season. Lerg and Ciampini were credited with the assists on the goal, which extended Trupp's point streak to three games.
Stollery extended the lead to 2-0 at 12:56 with a power play goal, his seventh goal of the season, off a one-timer slap shot from the top of the right point that beat Korpisalo through the wickets. Sharks defenseman Dylan DeMelo and forward John McCarthy picked up the assists.
After being outshot 11-3 by the Sharks in the first period, the Falcons outshot the Sharks 12-8 in the second period but Dell turned all the Falcons shots aside. At 17:30, Willows followed his shot from inside the right circle near the slot and fired the rebound past Korpisalo for his second goal of the season. Sharks forward Chris Crane was credited with the lone assist on the goal, which was Willows' second in just three professional games.
The Falcons got on the scoreboard at 4:22 of the third period when forward T.J. Tynan beat Dell with a snap shot from on top of the right faceoff circle with traffic in front for a power play goal, his 10th goal of the season.
With Korpisalo pulled for the extra attacker, Ciampini won a race to loose puck in the slot of the Falcons zone and fired the puck into the open net for his third goal of the season to seal a 4-1 Sharks win.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 27-23 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-5 on the power play and 1-for-2 on the penalty kill... Dell is now 12-5-2 with a 1.89 goals-against-average and .931 save percentage... Stollery had a game high five shots on goal... Trupp has four points (2-2-4) during his three game point streak... Willows has a three game point streak (2-1-3)... Lerg has eight points in his last six games (5-3-8)... McCarthy has a four game point streak (3-3-6)... The Sharks improved to 10-0-0 in front of DCU Center crowds of over 5,000 this season... This was the sixth and final meeting between the Sharks and Falcons this season... The Sharks went 3-1-2 against the Falcons this season, are 22-10-3 at the DCU Center and 37-23-6 with 80 points overall... The Sharks are back in action April 1 when they travel to play the Hershey Bears at 7 p.m./et.
Lerg (C) / Trupp / Ciampini
McCarthy / Carpenter / Hayes
Haley (A) / Oleksuk / Coetzee
Schwartz / Crane / Willows
Stollery / Doherty
Taormina (A) / Tennyson
Young / DeMelo