Sharks battle back but fall in the shootout to the Pirates

Tim Kennedy and Daniil Tarasov each had a two-point game with a goal and assist, and Harri Sateri made 28 saves but it wasn't enough as the Worcester Sharks fell 3-2 in the shootout to the Atlantic Division leading Portland Pirates Friday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The Sharks, who are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, have lost five games in a row to the Pirates and now trail the Pirates by eight points for the division lead.

After killing off an early Sharks power play, the Pirates took a 1-0 lead at 5:42 of the first period when rookie Rob Klinkhammer beat Sateri up high on the blocker side with a quick wrist shot from on top of the face-off circles for his 10th goal of the season. The Sharks had three more power play opportunities in the first period to tie the game, including a double minor penalty to Pirates forward Rob Hextall at 7:04, but couldn't get the puck past Pirates rookie goaltender Mike Lee, who was making his third career AHL start.

In the second period, Sharks rookie forward Freddie Hamilton was assessed an "unsportsmanlike conduct" penalty by referee T.J. Luxmore at 8:14 after Hamilton continued to vent about a penalty not being called when he had his hockey stick slashed in half. With Hamilton in the penalty box, Ethan Werek extended the Pirates lead to 2-0 with a power play goal, his eighth goal of the season, at 8:56 when he deflected home a centering feed from Klinkhammer, who was positioned in the right corner.

At 14:29, the Sharks went on their seventh power play of the game when Pirates defenseman Mathieu Brodeur was assessed a "delay of game" penalty for shooting the puck over the glass. Kennedy cut the Pirates lead in half 36-seconds later when he corralled a loose puck in front of the net and buried the puck home for a power play goal, his 13th goal of the season. Tarasov and Bracken Kearns were credited with the assists on the goal, which came on the Sharks' 22nd shot on goal.

Tarasov tied the game at 16:43 of the third period when he fired a backhanded shot from on top of the goalie crease past Lee for his third goal of the season. Sharks defenseman Denny Urban and Kennedy were credited with the assists on the goal, which came two seconds after a Sharks power play had expired.

After a scoreless overtime session that saw the Sharks out-shoot the Pirates 5-3, the teams headed to the shootout where Pirates rookie Chris Brown scored in the fourth round to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead after Urban and Jon Matsumoto hit the post in the second and fourth round for the Sharks. Brodie Reid had a chance to extended the shootout but was stopped by Lee to seal a Pirates 3-2 win.

NOTES: Shots were 38-31 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-9 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill... Sateri is now 8-9-2-2 with a 2.67 goals-against-average and .910 save percentage... Tarasov extended his point streak to six games (3-4-7) and had a game high seven shots on goal... Urban was signed to an AHL contract for the remainder of the season prior to the start of the game... Patrick Rissmiller was released from his PTO... Frazer McLaren, the Sharks' all-time leader in penalty minutes and fighting majors, was picked up on waivers by the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 31... The Sharks lead the AHL with 10 shootout games (5-5)... Sharks rookie defenseman Mikael Tam fought Pirates forward Phil Lane at 19:32 of the second period to give the Sharks 51 fighting majors through 43 games... Taylor Doherty (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Curt Gogol (scr), Travis Oleksuk (scr), Mike Banwell (scr) and Jimmy Bonneau (scr) did not dress for the Sharks... This was the ninth of 12 meetings between the teams this season... The Sharks are 3-5-0-1 against the Pirates this season, 8-7-1-4 against the Atlantic Division, 12-9-0-2 on the road and 20-17-1-5 with 46 points overall.

Three Stars
1. Mike Lee - Pirates (36 saves, Win)
2. Rob Klinkhammer - Pirates (1-1-2)
3. Tim Kennedy - Sharks (1-1-2)