Worcester suffers first loss of season on late Hartford goal
Looking to start the season with four straight wins for the first time since 2007-08, the Worcester Sharks suffered a heartbreaking 5-4 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack Tuesday night at the DCU Center.
Rookie forward Melker Karlsson had a three point game (goal, two assists) and linemate Micheal Haley had a two point game (goal, assist) for the Sharks, who surrendered the game-winning-goal to Wolf Pack rookie defenseman Mat Bodie, a former Union College teammate of Sharks goaltender Troy Grosenick, with just 18-seconds left in the third period.
"We gave 'em that game - just gave it to them," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Bill Ballou of Telegram.com. "That's twice in a row it's happened (referencing the Providence Bruins game). It's a shame, and there's no excuse for it."
The Sharks struck first at 2:05 of the first period when rookie forward Petter Emanuelsson intercepted an up ice pass in front of the Wolf Pack blue line and fired a wicked snap shot from on top of the left hash mark past Wolf Pack goaltender Cedric Desjardins for his third goal of the season.
The Wolf Pack answered back with two goals in the second half of the period to take a 2-1 lead into intermission. Defenseman Conor Allen tied the game at 11:30 with a quick shot from the right harsh mark that beat Grosenick glove side for his first goal of the season. At 19:15, forward Oscar Lindberg beat Grosenick, who was screened in front, with a one-timer from on top of the left slot for his third goal of the season.
With the Sharks on their fourth power play of the game in the second period, Karlsson tied the game at 7:54 when buried home a snap shot from deep in the left slot to finish off a sweet give-and-go with Sharks defenseman Matt Tennyson. The goal, which was Karlsson's second of the season and the Sharks' first power play goal of season, ended the night for Desjardins, who left the game with an apparent injury and was replaced by Jason Missiaen.
The game didn't stay tied long as off a Sharks turnover in their own zone, Wolf Pack forward Danny Kristo buried home a shot from on top of the crease, which was set up by a centering feed from linemate Nick Tarnasky, at 11:39 for his first goal of the season.
Sharks forward Ryan Carpenter thought he had tied the game near the end of the period when he crashed the net and buried home the rebound of Taormina's low shot from the right point off a Sharks faceoff win in the Wolf Pack zone but referee Geoff Miller quickly ruled no goal even though it appeared Missiaen never had control of the puck.
In the third period, the Wolf Pack extended their lead to 4-2 with a power play goal when forward Ryan Bourque played the puck off his skate on top of the crease and fired the puck through the pads of Grosenick at 1:52 for his first goal of the season.
Haley pulled the Sharks to within a goal 38-seconds later when he buried home a one-timer from deep in the slot for his third goal of the season. The goal, which was set-up by a Wolf Pack turnover behind their own net, was assisted by Karlsson and Carpenter.
The Sharks tied the game at 4:25 when Sharks defenseman Taylor Fedun found a loose puck in the left faceoff circle and fired a wicked snap shot from near the left hash mark that beat Missiaen glove side for his first goal of the season. Karlsson, who started the play by stealing the puck from Allen in the Wolf Pack zone on a back check, and Haley were credited with the assists.
Just as it appeared both teams would be heading to their third overtime games of the season, a bad line change by the Sharks inside the final 30-seconds of the period allowed the Wolf Pack to build momentum in the Sharks zone, and by the time the fifth Sharks player (Haley) joined the play, it was too late as Bodie beat Grosenick seconds later with a snap shot from near the left faceoff circle dot for his first professional goal.
"It was lack of effort," said Sommer. "I thought we played hard, but how can you mess up a line change with 30 seconds left?"
NOTES... Final Shots on goal were 36-27 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 1-for-6 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill... For the season, the Sharks are 1-for-17 on the power play and 13-for-14 on the penalty kill... Grosenick finished with 22 saves and is now 3-1-0 with a 2.61 goals-against-average and .918 save percentage... Taormina had a game high five shots on goal... Bourque's power play goal was the first power play goal allowed by the Sharks this season... Prior to the game, Sharks forward James Sheppard was recalled to San Jose... Sharks forward Chris Crane made his season debut... Emanuelsson and Haley are tied for the team lead in goals with three each... The announced attendance of 1,488 was the smallest attendance announced in Worcester AHL history (via Ballou)... This was the first of four meetings between the Sharks and Wolf Pack... The Sharks are 0-1-0 against the Wolf Pack, 1-1-0 at the DCU Center and 3-1-0 with six points overall... The Sharks' home stand continues Friday night (Oct. 24) when they host the Syracuse Crunch.
1. Melker Karlsson - Sharks (1-2-3)
2. Micheal Haley - Sharks (1-1-2)
3. Danny Kristo - Wolf Pack (1-2-3)
Haley / Karlsson / Carpenter
Trupp / Hamilton / Langlois
Lerg (A) / Oleksuk / Emanuelsson
Bonneau / Schwartz / Crane
Tennyson / Taormina (A)
DeMelo (A) / Fedun
Doherty / Abeltshauser