Hamilton's natural hat trick leads Worcester past Portland

Worcester Sharks forward Freddie Hamilton, who had just two assists in the Sharks' first five games, registered a natural hat trick in a 5:12 span of the third period to lead the Sharks to a 4-1 come from behind win over their Atlantic Division rival the Portland Pirates (AHL affiliate of the Arizona Coyotes) Sunday afternoon at theDCUCenter.

The hat trick was the first for Hamilton since his junior hockey days with the Niagara IceDogs of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the first Sharks hat trick on home ice since P.J. Fenton registered one in a 7-3 Sharks win over the Springfield Falcons on Feb. 28, 2009.

"I was pretty happy with my game overall," said Hamilton in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "The puck just wasn't going into the net. That happens to everybody. You get in these little streaks and when they're at the beginning of the season, you notice 'em more."

Forwards Evan Trupp (goal, two assists) and Daniil Tarasov (three assists) also registered three point games for the Sharks, who will rematch the Pirates Wednesday night at the DCU Center, while goaltender Troy Grosenick made 28 saves in his sixth consecutive start for his fourth win of the season.

A sluggish start to the game by the Sharks cost them on the scoreboard as the Pirates, who were playing their third game in as many days, took a 1-0 lead at 4:16 of the first period when defenseman Evan Oberg beat Grosenick with a slap shot from the center point for his first goal of the season.

"I thought in the first period - we stunk," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer post game to Ballou.

After a scoreless second period, Hamilton tied the game at 2:41 of the third period when he took a drop pass from linemate Daniil Tarasov and fired a rocket of a shot from on top of the right faceoff circle past the glove of Pirates goaltender Mike McKenna for his first goal of the season. Trupp was credited with the secondary assist.

With the Sharks on a power play minutes later, some crisp tic-tac-toe passing from Trupp to Tarasov to Hamilton resulted inHamilton putting the Sharks ahead 2-1 at 6:48 when he fired a quick shot from left faceoff circle dot that beat McKenna blocker side.

Hamilton completed the natural hat trick 65-seconds later when he poked a rebound through the wickets of McKenna after McKenna had made a save on a shot from on top of the left faceoff circle by Sharks defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser. Tarasov was credited with the secondary assist on the goal.

With McKenna pulled for the extra attacker, Trupp scored an empty net goal at 18:33 to seal a 4-1 Sharks victory.

NOTES... Shots on goal were 35-29 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-2 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill... Grosenick is now 4-1-1 with a 2.38 goals-against-average and .923 save percentage... Sharks forward Eriah Hayes had a game high six shots on goal... Sharks defenseman Gus Young made his professional debut... Hamilton's natural hat trick is the fastest three goals by a single player in Sharks history (via Darryl Hunt)... Sharks forward Petter Emanuelsson left the game in the closing seconds of the first period with an apparent upper body injury... Sharks enforcer Jimmy Bonneau fought Pirates defenseman Mark Louis at 8:56 of the first period... A scoring change was made in the Sharks vs. Syracuse Crunch on Oct. 24 as the goal that was credited to forward MIcheal Haley was changed to Emanuelsson... This was the first of eight meetings between the Sharks and Pirates this season... The Sharks are 1-0-0 against the Pirates, 2-1-1 at the DCU Center and 4-1-1 with nine points overall.

1. Freddie Hamilton - Sharks (3-0-0, Natural Hat Trick)
2. Troy Grosenick - Sharks (28 saves, Win)
3. Daniil Tarasov - Sharks (0-3-3)

Tarasov / Hamilton / Hayes
Haley / Karlsson / Carpenter
Lerg (A) / Trupp / Emanuelsson
Bonneau / Schwartz

Tennyson / Taormina (A)
Fedun / DeMelo (A)
Abeltshauser / Doherty


Oleksuk (inj)