Worcester swims to 14th win in last 18 games
Playing their first game after blowing a four goal third period lead in St. John's, Newfoundland, the Worcester Sharks scored three power play goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Norfolk Admirals (AHL affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks) Friday night at the DCU Center.
The Sharks, who won for the 14th time in their last 18 games and have earned 29 out of a possible 36 points, got goals by forwards Trevor Parkes, Willie Coetzee, Evan Trupp, Micheal Haley and defenseman Dylan DeMelo. In addition, forwards Travis Oleksuk, Bryan Lerg, Freddie Hamilton and defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser dished out two assists each. Goaltender Aaron Dell made 32 saves in his seventh consecutive start for his sixth win of the season.
"It's one of those things - you kind of want redemption," said Sharks head coach Roy Sommer in a post game interview with Tom Flanagan of Telegram.com. "I went in there, and I heard (the team) talking about (Sunday's loss) between periods, so I knew nothing really needed to be said. They knew they didn't get the job done, and we ddidn't want that to happen again."
DeMelo put the Sharks ahead 1-0 at 5:22 of the first period with a howitzer of a one-timer slap shot from on top of the left faceoff circle for a power play goal, his fifth goal of the season. Abeltshauser, who set up the one-timer with a nice pass from the right side, and Oleksuk had the assists.
With the puck inside the Admirals zone inside the final minute of the period, Abeltshauser skated from the left point down into the left faceoff circle and fired a shot on goal that was blocked in front. Parkes was able to corral the puck on top of the crease and fired the puck around Admirals goaltender Jason LaBarbera at 19:11 for his second goal of the season. Lerg had the secondary assist on the goal, which was Parkes' second in his last three games.
The Admirals cut the Sharks lead in half at 4:53 of the second period when forward Antoine Laganiere snuck the puck past Dell with a shot from behind the goal line near the left side of the goal crease.
Coetzee regained the Sharks' two goal lead at 16:05 with a power play goal, his fifth goal of the season, off a one-timer from deep inside the left faceoff circle that was set up by a nice across the slot pass from Trupp, who was positioned inside the right faceoff circle. Lerg had the secondary assist on the goal, which was Coetzee's first in his last 14 games.
Trupp made it 4-1 at 18:08 with a blast of a slap shot from on top of the faceoff circles for his 10th goal of the season. Hamilton, who displayed some sweet stick handling moves before leaving the puck for Trupp, and Sharks defenseman Taylor Fedun were credited with the assists.
Though the Admirals replaced LaBarbera with backup goaltender Ryan Faragher to start the third period, the change in net didn't phase the Sharks as Haley scored a power play goal, his 15th goal of the season, at 3:13 off a quick shot from the left hash mark in the slot. Oleksuk and Hamilton picked up the assists.
At 18:10, Admirals forward Matt Bailey shoveled a rebound from on top of the crease past Dell for a power play goal, his fourth goal of the season, to make it a 5-2 final score in favor of the Sharks.
NOTES... Shots on goal were 35-34 in favor of the Sharks... The Sharks went 3-for-7 on the power play and 4-for-5 on the penalty kill... Dell is now 6-3-2 with a 1.97 goals-against-average and .926 save percentage... Trupp and Lerg each had a team high four shots on goal... Sharks defensemen Matt Tennyson and Gus Young were the only Sharks skaters without a shot on goal... The Sharks have won seven of their last eight home games and have scored 10 power play goals in their last four games... On Feb. 19, the Sharks loaned goaltender J.P. Anderson to the ECHL Allen Americans; defenseman Nick Jones to the ECHL Indy Fuel; and defenseman Kyle Bigos to the ECHL Ontario Reign... Tennyson, who was loaned to the Sharks from San Jose on Feb. 16, was in the lineup for the first time since Dec. 6, 2014... Haley (3-2-5) has a four game point streak while Trupp (1-3-4), Fedun (0-4-4), Oleksuk (2-3-5) and Parkes (2-1-3) all have three game point streaks... Sharks forward Eriah Hayes played in his 100th game for the Sharks... This was the third of four meetings between the Sharks and Admirals this season... The Sharks are 2-1-0 against the Admirals, 15-7-3 at the DCU Center and 27-17-6 with 60 points overall... The Sharks rematch the Admirals Saturday (Feb. 21) at the DCU Center with the puck dropping at 7 p.m./et.
1. Evan Trupp - Sharks (1-1-2)
2. Konrad Abeltshauser - Sharks (0-2-2)
3. Aaron Dell - Sharks (32 saves, Win)
McCarthy / Carpenter / Hayes
Lerg (C) / Trupp / Parkes
Haley (A) / Oleksuk / Hamilton
Schwartz / Crane / Coetzee
Taormina (A) / Tennyson
Abeltshauser / DeMelo
Young / Fedun