Turnovers and mental mistakes cost WorSharks in 5-4 loss to Hartford

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Worcester Sharks found themselves down a couple goals early in the third period due to their inability to keep possession of the puck, but two quick strikes got them back to even and when it seemed the contest was bound for overtime a huge mental mistake on a line change resulted in a Hartford Wolf Pack goal with just 18 seconds remaining in regulation to send the sparse crowd home unhappy after a 5-4 loss Tuesday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. It was the WorSharks first loss of the season.


Worcester Sharks forward Melker Karlsson had a goal and two assists
Tuesday night, but it wasn't enough as the WorSharks caused their own
demise with poor play in a 5-4 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack.
File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For the highlight video we once again turn to the Worcester Sharks YouTube channel.

Scratches for Worcester were Daniil Tarasov and Gus Young. J.P. Anderson was the backup goaltender. On Sunday the San Jose Sharks recalled James Sheppard from his rehab assignment, and with head coach Roy Sommer sending an early season message to Tarasov that allowed spaces for fan favorite Jimmy Bonneau and rookie Chris Crane to get into the lineup. Bonneau hadn’t played since opening night in Binghamton, while Tuesday was Crane’s first action of the season. That just leaves Young as the last roster player yet to suit up for the WorSharks.

Despite being just four games into the 2014-15 season turnovers are already a big issue. Nearly every goal scored against the WorSharks this season has come off a turnover. There are two notable exception; on Saturday Dylan DeMelo fanned on a clearing attempt that led to Providence tying the game, and on Tuesday veteran Micheal Haley missed a line change that allowed Hartford to have a five skater on four advantage. By the time Haley could get into the play it was all but over for Worcester. If the WorSharks can cut down on the senseless turnovers and mindless errors they could be a very good team.

Well traveled netminder Cedrick Desjardins started the game for the Wolf Pack, but after twice having Worcester players crashed into him by his defenseman he had to leave the game at 7:54 of the middle period with what looked like an arm injury. Six foot eight inch Jason Missiaen, the tallest goaltender in pro hockey, took over for Desjardins and earned the win.

The WorSharks had two goals disallowed by the referee tandem of Geoff Miller and Olivier Gouin, with one each happening on both ends of the rink. In the first period Worcester had a goal waved off because while the puck was under Desjardins and in the net it appeared the WorSharks forwards may have pushed Desjardins into the net, which is a no-no. The second time, in the middle period, the puck was clearly in the net but the goal disallowed because the referee claimed it was “frozen” by Desjardins. Let’s just say this writer disagrees with the second call, and from my perch just in front of the press box it was clear the puck was loose and not covered by the goaltender.

In the last four periods of regulation hockey Worcester has allowed a goal in the last minute three times. If that turns into a trend it will undoubtedly turn into more losses.

Streaking WorSharks: Melker Karlsson (2g,2a), Haley (2g,a), Taylor Fedun (g,a), Ryan Carpenter (2a), Jeremy Langlois (2a), and Travis Oleksuk (2a) have points in two straight. Fedun is the only player with a shot on goal in each of the four Worcester games.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 15 Melker Karlsson (g,2a)
2. WOR – 18 Micheal Haley (g,a)
3. HFD – 29 Danny Kristo (g,2a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Taylor Fedun.

Even strength lines
Haley/Karlsson/Carpenter
Lerg/Oleksuk/Emanuelsson
Trupp/Hamilton/Langlois
Bonneau/Schwartz/Crane

Taormina/Tennyson
Fedun/DeMelo
Abeltshauser/Doherty

BOXSCORE

Hartford 2 1 2 – 5
Worcester 1 1 2 – 4

1st Period-1, Worcester, Emanuelsson 3 (Oleksuk), 2:05. 2, Hartford, Allen 1 (Kristo), 11:30. 3, Hartford, Lindberg 3 (Haggerty, Vaive), 19:15. Penalties-Fedun Wor (cross-checking), 6:26; Miller Hfd (tripping), 8:14; Spinell Hfd (interference), 15:32.

2nd Period-4, Worcester, Karlsson 2 (Tennyson, Langlois), 7:54 (PP). 5, Hartford, Kristo 1 (Tarnasky), 11:39. Penalties-Crabb Hfd (hooking), 5:27; Potulny Hfd (hooking), 6:47; Noreau Hfd (holding), 12:23; Haley Wor (slashing), 17:37.

3rd Period-6, Hartford, Bourque 1 (Miller, Haggerty), 1:52 (PP). 7, Worcester, Haley 3 (Karlsson, Carpenter), 2:30. 8, Worcester, Fedun 1 (Haley, Karlsson), 4:25. 9, Hartford, Bodie 1 (Hughes, Kristo), 19:42. Penalties-Hamilton Wor (high-sticking), 0:51; served by Vaive Hfd (bench minor – too many men), 5:30; Trupp Wor (goaltender interference), 6:06; Oleksuk Wor (hooking), 10:09.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 8-11-8-27. Worcester 11-14-11-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 5; Worcester 1 / 6.
Goalies-Hartford, Desjardins 2-0-0 (19 shots-17 saves); Missiaen 1-0-0 (17 shots-15 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 3-1-0 (27 shots-22 saves).
A-1,488
Referees-Geoff Miller (28), Olivier Gouin (66).
Linesmen-Alex Stagnone (7), Robert St. Lawrence (10).

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DeMelo strikes in OT as WorSharks defeat Providence 4-3

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Worcester Sharks had regulation goals by Taylor Doherty, Melker Karlsson, and Micheal Haley, and another outstanding performance in goal by Troy Grosenick put the WorSharks in a great position to beat the Providence Bruins but two late failed clearing attempts allowed the PBruins to tie it with just 4.7 seconds remaining in the third period. In what is hopefully going to be a trend Worcester capitalized on the open ice of the new three-on-three portion of overtime and Dylan DeMelo sent the home town fans home happy on a wrist shot laser over the glove of Providence goaltender Malcolm Subban with just 26.8 seconds left in the extra session for a 4-3 WorSharks win Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 5,809 fans.


Worcester Sharks defenseman Dylan DeMelo celebrates his game winning
OT goal Saturday night in the WorSharks 4-3 victory over the Providence
Bruins at the DCU Center in Worcester.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

The WorSharks have uploaded the game highlight to YouTube, and since they went to all that trouble we may as well give them a shoutout for doing it and then use the video here.

Scratches for the Worcester Sharks were Jimmy Bonneau, Chris Crane, and Gus Young. Prior to the game Eriah Hayes was recalled by San Jose to New Jersey where the Sharks were taking on the Devils. Hayes was didn’t have a point in 7:38 of action and had three shots on goal for the big club. The backup goaltender for the WorSharks was J.P. Anderson.

Before the start of the game the WorSharks raised a banner commemorating the 20th season of AHL hockey in the city of Worcester. Among the banner raisers was the standard group of city officials, DCU Center general manager Sandy Dunn, some San Jose Sharks brass, WorSharks Booster Club president Rich Lundin, former IceCats Shawn Heaphy and Shayne Toporowski, and current WorSharks player Jimmy Bonneau. Lundin also played another role in the celebrations, although few outside section 108 knew about it. Skating out of the Sharks’ head at the Zamboni entrance were youth hockey players wearing a jersey from each of the 20 AHL seasons. All those jerseys, which were all game worn, are owned by Lundin.

DeMelo’s overtime goal, officially at 6:33, is the second latest regular season OT game winner in AHL history. The earliest OT game winner was the first scored in the AHL’s new three-on-three format, by the WorSharks Matt Taormina at 6:34 October 11th in Binghamton. I don’t think it should be overlooked that both of Worcester’s three-on-three goals have been scored by defenseman. That’s going to be a key in the new OT format, and the WorSharks have five blueliners that should excel at it.

Speaking of the new OT format, which is in place to reduce shootouts, it’s hard to call it anything but a success. Through 12 overtime games this season in the AHL there have been five four-on-four goals, six three-on-three goals, and just a single game went to the shootout. Having watched several of the three-on-three sessions via streaming video and now last night’s at the DCU center I can tell you the fans are really in to it. I have no doubt the NHL will adopt the rule for next season.

More on DeMelo’s overtime game winner…that makes two overtime wins on the season for the WorSharks, already surpassing last season’s single extra session game winner and ties the mark of the 2012-13 squad. The WorSharks team record for overtime goals is seven set in the 2008-09 season, where Ryan Vesce also set the individual team record with four on the season. Both records are likely in jeopardy under the new overtime format.

The WorSharks are now 3-0-0 on the young 2014-2015 season, their best start since Worcester started with four straight wins to start the 2007-08 campaign. The win in their home opener improves the WorSharks record to 4-3-1-1 in their first game at the DCU Center of the season. It was the third time Worcester entertained Providence in the home opener during the Sharks era, and amazingly enough all three games have been decided in overtime. The first was won by Worcester on a Ryan Vesce OT game winner to begin the 2007-2008 campaign, and Providence won the WorSharks 2010-2011 home opener on a Martin St. Pierre OT goal.

Had a brief conversation during a pregame VIP gathering with WorSharks Vice-President Jon Gustafson and GM Joe Will. I did ask one “on the record” question, and although it was a little tongue-in-cheek their answer was worth mentioning. Knowing that neither would give any insight about a lease extension at the DCU Center I asked if San Jose chose the Allen Americans as their ECHL affiliate because the Americans have the best looking logo in that league. Both laughed and agreed it was one of the best minor league hockey logos out there, but then went on about how great an operation the folks down there have going on, how good the facilities are, and overall gave the organization in Allen huge kudos. And it wasn’t like they were just spouting PR-type answers, both were legitimately excited with the affiliation. When you consider how good the San Jose folks are at dodging question to get such a positive reply from two ranking members of the organization is really saying something about the Allen Americans.

Just a note for history’s sake: during the off season the AHL introduced a player safety rule that requires players who lose their helmets during the course of play to either immediately return to their team bench or to retrieve and replace their helmet–chin strap included–before returning to the play. Saturday night saw the first called violation of the rule when Oklahoma City’s Steve Pinizzotto was assessed a minor for “helmet violation”.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 2 Dylan DeMelo (game winning OT goal)
2. PRO – 13 Alexander Khokhlachev (g,2a)
3. WOR – 4 Taylor Doherty (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Troy Grosenick.

Even strength lines
Tarasov/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Schwartz/Sheppard/Emanuelsson
Haley/Carpenter/Karlsson
Lerg/Trupp/Langlois

Abeltshauser/Doherty
Taormina/Tennyson
Fedun/DeMelo

BOXSCORE

Providence 1 1 1 0 – 3
Worcester 2 1 0 1 – 4

1st Period-1, Worcester, Doherty 1 (Tarasov, Oleksuk), 3:08. 2, Worcester, Karlsson 1 (Carpenter, Abeltshauser), 9:14. 3, Providence, Pastrnak 2 (Khokhlachev, Youds), 15:43. Penalties-Fallstrom Pro (hooking), 5:34; Knight Pro (elbowing), 16:46.

2nd Period-4, Providence, Caron 1 (Pastrnak, Khokhlachev), 4:56. 5, Worcester, Haley 2 (Hamilton, Doherty), 13:17. Penalties-Tennyson Wor (holding), 17:01; Pastrnak Pro (high-sticking), 17:41.

3rd Period-6, Providence, Khokhlachev 1 (Pastrnak, Trotman), 19:55. Penalties-Warsofsky Pro (holding), 3:51.

OT Period-7, Worcester, DeMelo 1 (Fedun, Langlois), 6:33. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Providence 9-12-8-1-30. Worcester 11-7-7-6-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 1; Worcester 0 / 4.
Goalies-Providence, Subban 1-1-0 (31 shots-27 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 3-0-0 (30 shots-27 saves).
A-5,809
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41).
Linesmen-Brian MacDonald (72), Alex Stagnone (7).

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Petter Emanuelsson nets both goals in WorSharks 2-1 victory over Providence

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Worcester Sharks got two first period goals from newcomer Petter Emanuelsson and 33 saves from goaltender Troy Grosenick to defeat the Providence Bruins 2-1 Friday night at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island in front of 8,311 fans. Rylan Schwartz assisted on both WorSharks goals while James Sheppard had an official assist on the first Emanuelsson tally and an unofficial one on the second. The two teams meet again Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester’s home opener.


Worcester Sharks winger Petter Emanuelsson (#41 in teal) from the top of the crease
deflecting Rylan Schwartz's cross ice pass past PBruins' goaltender Malcolm Subban
while David Warsofsky (#5 in gold) attempts to get back into the play
Photo credit: Video capture for Sharkspage

For video we point to SendToNews.com as AHLLive seems to be lagging way behind in the posting of highlights. There’s no announcer sound on the tape, but the video quality is very good. WorSharks at Providence video highlights.

Scratches for Worcester were Jimmy Bonneau, Chris Crane, Melker Karlsson (day to day, undisclosed injury), and Gus Young. Before the game the WorSharks had a couple transactions, with forward Derek DeBlois being released from his PTO and James Sheppard heading to Worcester on a conditioning assignment. It was a little odd that Worcester released DeBlois as many hockey operations people, including head coach Roy Sommer in a pregame interview on WTAG, referred to DeBlois as “a young Andrew Desjardins”. Considering how he turned out how is DeBlois not worth an AHL contract? J.P. Anderson was the backup goaltender.

Video replay could have been an issue in Providence last night, and the Pbruins may have shot themselves in the foot because of it. After a wild goal mouth scramble in front of Providence goaltender Malcolm Subban referee Ryan Hersey went to go look at the video to determine when the puck crossed the line. Only the replay equipment wasn’t working. Later in the game when a potential Pbruins was scored into a net that was off the goal pegs the video was working but Hersey correctly–because it was unavailable for Worcester–refused to view it. Providence then violated AHL rules by showing the video to the crowd in attendance.

With the WorSharks in their standard teal road jerseys and Providence in their Friday gold sweaters we had another color on color game between the two clubs. We’re entering dead horse territory when I mention once again the AHL should do what it can to make sure more of these type of games happen.

We’re only two games into the season and already we’ve gotten a scoring change, although an expected one. Bryan Lerg was indeed credited with a “plus” on Matt Taormina’s overtime game winner last Saturday. There’s an outside chance we might have another on Emanuelsson’s second goal, but the video isn’t clear that Sheppard touched the puck before it went to the left wing half boards to Schwartz.

The San Jose Sharks and Worcester Sharks have signed an affiliation agreement with the Allen Americans of the ECHL. The Americans were one of the CHL clubs that merged with the ECHL–technically called an expansion team by the league–and Worcester already has a player on the squad in goaltender Aaron Dell. There probably won’t be too many Sharks players assigned to Allen, but they have a pretty cool logo so that’s worth something. The Americans have also done something that has never happened in the Sharks organization: won a championship. Allen is the two time defending Ray Miron President’s Cup champion, and with the CHL folding they may hold on to that trophy for some time.

Speaking of the ECHL. with their rosters finalized–or more correctly, as finalized as an ECHL roster can be–we’ll look at the former WorSharks playing at the AA level. As of yesterday it was Chad Costello (ALN), Riley Gill (ALN), Jim McKenzie (BAK), Jason Pitton (BRM), Brodie Reid (ELM), Nathan Moon (EVN), Ty Wishart (EVN), Mikael Tam (FW), Mike Banwell (GRN), James McEwan (GWI), James Livingston (IDH), Lane Scheidl (KAL), Nathan Longpre (KAL), Sacha Guimond (KAL), Brock Higgs (REA), David Marshall (REA), Adam Comrie (REA), Jeff Jakaitis (SC), Garet Hunt (STK), Mike Pereira (STK), Peter Sivak (STK), Michael Pelech (UTA), Riley Brace (WHL), Erick Lizon (WIC), Alex Bourret (WIC).

As noted previously, the WorSharks have a few players signed to AHL deals assigned to ECHL clubs: Goaltender Aaron Dell (ALN) that was mentioned above, defensemen Kyle Bigos (ONT), Brendan Ellis (SC), and Nick Jones (IND).

The three stars of the game were:
1. WOR – 41 Petter Emanuelsson (2g)
2. WOR – 1 Troy Grosenick (33 saves)
3. PRO – 47 Malcolm Subban (30 saves)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Rylan Schwartz. It still being early in the season we neglected to mention the Sharkspage player of the game for last Saturday in Binghamton, and it was Troy Grosenick.

Even strength lines
Tarasov/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Schwartz/Sheppard/Emanuelsson
Haley/Carpenter/Hayes
Lerg/Trupp/Langlois

Abeltshauser/Doherty
Taormina/Tennyson
Fedun/DeMelo

BOXSCORE

Worcester 2 0 0 – 2
Providence 1 0 0 – 1

1st Period-1, Worcester, Emanuelsson 1 (Sheppard, Schwartz), 3:50. 2, Providence, Florek 1 (Ferlin ), 9:41. 3, Worcester, Emanuelsson 2 (Schwartz), 17:14. Penalties-served by Sheppard Wor (bench minor – too many men), 10:18; served by Khokhlachev Pro (bench minor – too many men), 19:17.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Doherty Wor (roughing), 3:17; Robins Pro (roughing), 3:17; Werek Pro (holding), 5:59; Carpenter Wor (hooking), 8:36; Carpenter Wor (slashing), 17:37.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Pastrnak Pro (tripping), 9:50; Haley Wor (goaltender interference), 16:22.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 13-9-10-32. Providence 8-12-14-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Providence 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Grosenick 2-0-0 (34 shots-33 saves). Providence, Subban 1-1-0 (32 shots-30 saves).
A-8,311
Referees-Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Chris Millea (33), Jack Millea (23).

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WorSharks use record setting goal by Matt Taormina to defeat Binghamton 3-2 in OT

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Worcester Sharks jumped out to two single goal leads on tallies by Ryan Carpenter and Michael Haley but twice Binghamton Senators forward Ryan Dzingel turned WorSharks turnovers into goals to send the two teams into overtime, where Worcester defenseman Matt Taormina converted in the new three on three portion of the extra stanza to give the WorSharks a 3-2 win in their 2014-2015 season debut. Eriah Hayes and Taylor Fedun both had two assist for Worcester while Troy Grosenick turned aside 41 of 43 Senators shots.


Worcester Sharks defenseman Matt Taormina (#20) with the overtime game winner
to give the WorSharks a 3-2 victory. At 6:34 of OT it is currently the latest
regulation OT goal scored in American Hockey League history.
Photo credit: Video capture for Sharkspage

For video highlights we usually point at AHLlive, but there doesn’t seem to be any at all from last night there. Hopefully that’s not something new. So for highlights we’ll link to SendToNews.com. They are embeddable but because they autoplay we’ll just link to them. It’s broken into three videos, for the other two just look for “additional clips” on that page. WorSharks vs Senators video highlights.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Chris Crane, Derek DeBlois, Melker Karlsson (upper body injury, didn’t make the trip to Binghamton), and Gus Young. J.P. Anderson was the back-up netminder. Before Worcester’s season even started there was a visit from the Worcester Shuttle as Eriah Hayes cleared waivers and was sent down by San Jose. Hayes took the red eye into Syracuse, New York but the cross country trip didn’t seem to bother him as Hayes assisted on both WorSharks goals in regulation.

Dylan Demelo, Travis Oleksuk, and Taylor Fedun all wore the “A” on their jerseys as no captain has been named as of yet. Apparently the plan is to have three alternate captains on the road and three different alternate captains at home. There’s been no press release from the WorSharks about the situation so we’ll just have to wait and see who will be wearing “A”s next Saturday at home against Providence. Worcester has named a captain every season except 2006-2007, the WorSharks first in the city.

The WorSharks set a franchise record for most shots in a season opener with their 48 last night. The previous record was 43, set in the opener of the 2007-08 season in a 6-4 loss to the Lowell Devils. Oddly enough Worcester just had a single shot in overtime, Taormina game winner. The 43 shots they surrendered to Binghamton is also a record for shots against in a season opener.

For a franchise that has a hard time scoring Carpenter’s goal at 8:15 of the first is just the fifth fastest to open a season for the WorSharks. The fastest goal to start a season was in 2009-10 in Worcester’s 3-2 win over Adirondack. Andrew Desjardins scored at 3:08 of the opening period, assisted by “Crazed Rats” linemate Dan DaSilva and eventual Eddie Shore Award (AHL best defenseman) winner Danny Groulx.

A scoring oddity may have bitten the official scorer in Binghamton. The overtime game winner is listed as giving Evan Trupp and Fedun assists on Taormina’s game winner and all three players are listed as having a “plus” on the play. The problem is in the picture shown above, taken straight from the game highlight video, the WorSharks player shown to the left of Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond is Bryan Lerg (#11). While the assist may belong to Fedun the plus belongs to Lerg. Worcester Sharks play by play and PR man Eric Lindquist is very good at straightening out those things, so we’ll pay attention to see what scoring changes are made by the AHL.

Turnovers were a big issue for the WorSharks last season and it appears that issue hasn’t been fixed. Both of Ryan Dzingel’s goals were a direct result of a Worcester defensive turnover. It could have been worse as Troy Grosenick bailed out Taormina when his turnover sent the Senators Max McCormick in all alone shorthanded late in the middle period. Grosenick did it again in the three on three portion of overtime when a Tennyson turnover sent Matt Puempel in all alone in a long breakaway.

A quick search of AHL rosters on opening night shows 15 former WorSharks players still playing in the AHL. They are Sena Acolatse (ADK), Steve Bernier (ALB), John McCarthy (CHI), Nathan Longpre (CHI), Brennan Evans (GR), Tim Kennedy (HER), Mike Moore (HER), Curt Gogol (IWA), Nick Petrecki (RCH), Denny Urban (SPR), Yanni Gourde (SYR), Kevin Henderson (TEX), William Wrenn (TEX), Frazer McLaren (TOR), Bobby Farnham (WBS). We’ll run down the ECHL rosters once their regular season starts.

Even Strength Lines
Tarasov/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Haley/Carpenter/Hayes
Lerg/Trupp/Langlois
Bonneau/Schwartz/Emanuelsson

Taormina/Tennyson
Fedun/DeMelo
Abeltshauser/Doherty

BOXSCORE

Worcester 2 0 0 1 – 3
Binghamton 1 1 0 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Worcester, Carpenter 1 (Hayes, Fedun), 8:15. 2, Binghamton, Dzingel 1 (Thompson, McCormick), 14:34. 3, Worcester, Haley 1 (Doherty, Hayes), 18:06. Penalties-Doherty Wor (hooking), 4:24.

2nd Period-4, Binghamton, Dzingel 2 (Grant), 16:37. Penalties-Doherty Wor (hooking), 5:00; Johnson Bng (interference), 6:03; Grant Bng (holding), 11:33; Robinson Bng (hooking), 18:19.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Pageau Bng (cross-checking), 8:39; Tarasov Wor (holding), 9:03; Trupp Wor (holding), 12:23.

OT Period-5, Worcester, Taormina 1 (Trupp, Fedun), 6:34. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Worcester 19-15-13-1-48. Binghamton 12-9-16-6-43.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 4; Binghamton 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Grosenick 1-0-0 (43 shots-41 saves). Binghamton, Hammond 0-0-0 (48 shots-45 saves).
A-3,878
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42), Ryan Fraser (14).
Linesmen-John Everett (82), Francis Trempe (85).

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A closer look at the WorSharks 2014-15 schedule

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Never let it be said I wouldn’t steal a blogging idea to help Worcester Sharks fans get a better understanding of what the team faces in the upcoming season. Good friend Michael Fornabaio over at the Connecticut Post wrote a blog post where he looked at the number of three-in-three weekends the Bridgeport Sound Tigers have this season and the road the Sound Tigers and that Sunday afternoon opponent would take get to that game. Noticing that the WorSharks made Fornabaio’s list I was curious to see how such a list would look for Worcester. I took it one step further and added any game where one team could have an advantage over the other due to travel.

This list makes a couple of presumptions. It presumes that teams will be traveling the day before to games that are more then three and a half hours (give or take) away if possible. That would seem to negate the traveling disadvantage the road team would have. It also doesn’t take into account the “outpost” franchises of St John’s or Norfolk that spend larger amounts of time away from home, and conversely, longer home streaks. Just their previous couple games are taken into account.

Sun, Oct 26, 2014 Portland at Worcester
WorSharks have Saturday off while Portland plays at Manchester Friday and home vs Syracuse Saturday. Advantage: Worcester

Sat, Nov 1, 2014 Hershey at Worcester
WorSharks are off Friday night while Hershey plays at Manchester. Advantage: Worcester

Sun, Nov 2, 2014 Worcester at Hartford
WorSharks play at home Saturday night while Hartford has to make a mad dash from Lehigh Valley for Sunday’s game. Advantage: Worcester

Sat, Nov 8, 2014 Providence at Worcester
WorSharks are off Friday while Providence hosts Portland. Advantage: Worcester

Sat, Nov 22, 2014 Worcester at Hershey
WorSharks play at Lehigh Valley Friday while Hershey is idle. Advantage: Hershey

Fri, Dec 12, 2014 Worcester at Hartford
WorSharks idle Thursday while Hartford hosts Albany. Advantage: Worcester

Sun, Dec 14, 2014 Portland at Worcester
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks play at Hartford and then host Manchester. Portland hosts Manchester and then at Providence. Advantage: Push

Sun, Dec 21, 2014 Worcester at Bridgeport
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks play at Manchester and Portland while Bridgeport has a pair in Norfolk and then has to make a long trek home. Advantage: Worcester

Sat, Dec 27, 2014 Worcester at Syracuse
WorSharks host Manchester and then has to make a mad dash to Syracuse, who are at home vs Albany on Friday. Advantage: Syracuse

Sun, Jan 4, 2015 Worcester at Providence
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks host Manchester and then at Springfield, Providence hosts Bridgeport and then plays at Portland. Advantage: Push

Sat, Jan 17, 2015 W-B/Scranton at Worcester
WorSharks host Manchester while Wilkes-Barre has Friday night off. Advantage: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

Sun, Jan 18, 2015 Worcester at Manchester
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks host Manchester and Wilkes-Barre while Manchester plays at Worcester and then hosts Providence. Advantage: Push

Sun, Feb 22, 2015 Worcester at Manchester
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks host Norfolk twice. Manchester hosts two for St John’s. Advantage: Push

Sun, Mar 1, 2015 Worcester at Manchester
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks host St John’s for a pair. Manchester hosts Hartford and then goes to Portland. Advantage: Push

Sun, Mar 8, 2015 Worcester at Providence
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks host Hartford and Bridgeport. Providence hosts Hershey and Springfield. Advantage: Push

Sun, Mar 29, 2015 Springfield at Worcester
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks play at Springfield and then host St. John’s while Springfield hosts Worcester and Hartford. Advantage: Push

Sun, Apr 12, 2015 Albany at Worcester
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks are home and home vs Providence while Albany is at Binghamton and Hartford. Advantage: Worcester

Sun, Apr 19, 2015 Portland at Worcester
Three-in-three for both. WorSharks are at Providence and Manchester while Portland is at Manchester and hosts Providence. Advantage: Push

My totally subjective count has the WorSharks with the scheduling advantage seven times while their opponents have it on just three occasions. Eight times, all being three-in-threes, both teams have it pretty much equal with the scheduling. It will be interesting to look back this spring to see how Worcester did in each of these games.

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WorSharks announce 2014-2015 regular season schedule

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The long awaited AHL schedule was released today, and it’s more of the same for the Worcester Sharks as they will once again play a division heavy schedule as 40 of their 76 games will be played against their Atlantic Division rivals. With games split evenly home and away the WorSharks will face the Providence Bruins and Manchester Monarchs a dozen times each, and will see the St. John’s IceCaps and Portland Pirates eight times. The rest of Worcester’s schedule are the remaining Eastern Conference teams. The WorSharks will face the Springfield Falcons six times; the Albany Devils, Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Hartford Wolf Pack, Hershey Bears, Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and Norfolk Admirals four times each. The remaining Eastern Conference teams, the Binghamton Senators, Syracuse Crunch, and Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins will see the WorSharks twice.

Thirty-two of the 38 Worcester home games will be played on the weekends, with 20 of the 32 occurring on either Saturday or Sunday. The WorSharks also have a weekday home game during December school vacation week (Tuesday, December 30th). Worcester will host 12 Friday home games this season with a start time of 7:30pm. The Friday December 26th game has a special 5pm starting time. The season opener is October 11th in Binghamton, the home opener is Saturday, October 18th against the Providence Bruins.

As has become tradition, Sharkspage tries to predict the number of nights the WorSharks will spend in hotels. In past years we’ve been almost spot on, so if that trend continues and knowing that the team will take advantage of an extra travel day or two built into the schedule it looks like Worcester will be spending 22 nights on the road, with most of them taking place in Pennsylvania or St. John’s.

Stay tuned to Sharkspage for full season coverage of the Worcester Sharks, and follow me on twitter for up to date goings on with the WorSharks.

Sat, Oct 11, 2014 Worcester at Binghamton 7:05 pm EDT
Fri, Oct 17, 2014 Worcester at Providence 7:05 pm EDT
Sat, Oct 18, 2014 Providence at Worcester 7:00 pm EDT
Tue, Oct 21, 2014 Hartford at Worcester 7:00 pm EDT
Fri, Oct 24, 2014 Syracuse at Worcester 7:30 pm EDT
Sun, Oct 26, 2014 Portland at Worcester 3:00 pm EDT
Wed, Oct 29, 2014 Portland at Worcester 7:00 pm EDT
Sat, Nov 1, 2014 Hershey at Worcester 7:00 pm EDT
Sun, Nov 2, 2014 Worcester at Hartford 3:00 pm EST
Wed, Nov 5, 2014 Lehigh Valley at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Sat, Nov 8, 2014 Providence at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Tue, Nov 11, 2014 Worcester at Springfield 3:00 pm EST
Fri, Nov 14, 2014 Manchester at Worcester 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Nov 15, 2014 Springfield at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Wed, Nov 19, 2014 Worcester at Manchester 10:00 am EST
Fri, Nov 21, 2014 Worcester at Lehigh Valley 7:05 pm EST
Sat, Nov 22, 2014 Worcester at Hershey 7:00 pm EST
Wed, Nov 26, 2014 Worcester at Portland 7:00 pm EST
Fri, Nov 28, 2014 Springfield at Worcester 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Nov 29, 2014 Providence at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Fri, Dec 5, 2014 Worcester at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
Sat, Dec 6, 2014 Worcester at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
Fri, Dec 12, 2014 Worcester at Hartford 7:00 pm EST
Sat, Dec 13, 2014 Manchester at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Sun, Dec 14, 2014 Portland at Worcester3:00 pm EST
Fri, Dec 19, 2014 Worcester at Manchester 7:00 pm EST
Sat, Dec 20, 2014 Worcester at Portland 7:00 pm EST
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 Worcester at Bridgeport 3:00 pm EST
Fri, Dec 26, 2014 Manchester at Worcester 5:00 pm EST
Sat, Dec 27, 2014 Worcester at Syracuse 7:00 pm EST
Tue, Dec 30, 2014 Bridgeport at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Fri, Jan 2, 2015 Manchester at Worcester 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Jan 3, 2015 Worcester at Springfield 7:00 pm EST
Sun, Jan 4, 2015 Worcester at Providence 3:05 pm EST
Fri, Jan 9, 2015 Binghamton at Worcester 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Jan 10, 2015 Providence at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Tue, Jan 13, 2015 Manchester at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Fri, Jan 16, 2015 Manchester at Worcester 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Jan 17, 2015 W-B/Scranton at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Sun, Jan 18, 2015 Worcester at Manchester 3:00 pm EST
Wed, Jan 21, 2015 Worcester at Portland 7:00 pm EST
Fri, Jan 23, 2015 Albany at Worcester 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Jan 24, 2015 Worcester at Albany 2:00 pm EST
Fri, Jan 30, 2015 Worcester at Providence 7:05 pm EST
Sat, Jan 31, 2015 Providence at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Wed, Feb 4, 2015 Worcester at Lehigh Valley 7:05 pm EST
Fri, Feb 6, 2015 Worcester at Norfolk 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Feb 7, 2015 Worcester at Norfolk 7:15 pm EST
Sat, Feb 14, 2015 Worcester at St. John’s 7:30 pm NST
Sun, Feb 15, 2015 Worcester at St. John’s 4:00 pm NST
Fri, Feb 20, 2015 Norfolk at Worcester 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Feb 21, 2015 Norfolk at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Sun, Feb 22, 2015 Worcester at Manchester 3:00 pm EST
Fri, Feb 27, 2015 St. John’s at Worcester 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Feb 28, 2015 St. John’s at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Sun, Mar 1, 2015 Worcester at Manchester 3:00 pm EST
Fri, Mar 6, 2015 Hartford at Worcester 7:30 pm EST
Sat, Mar 7, 2015 Bridgeport at Worcester 7:00 pm EST
Sun, Mar 8, 2015 Worcester at Providence 3:05 pm EDT
Wed, Mar 11, 2015 Worcester at Bridgeport 7:00 pm EDT
Fri, Mar 13, 2015 Worcester at Albany 7:00 pm EDT
Wed, Mar 18, 2015 Hershey at Worcester 7:00 pm EDT
Fri, Mar 20, 2015 St. John’s at Worcester 7:30 pm EDT
Sat, Mar 21, 2015 Lehigh Valley at Worcester 7:00 pm EDT
Fri, Mar 27, 2015 Worcester at Springfield 7:00 pm EDT
Sat, Mar 28, 2015 St. John’s at Worcester 7:00 pm EDT
Sun, Mar 29, 2015 Springfield at Worcester 3:00 pm EDT
Wed, Apr 1, 2015 Worcester at Hershey 7:00 pm EDT
Fri, Apr 3, 2015 Worcester at W-B/Scranton 7:05 pm EDT
Tue, Apr 7, 2015 Worcester at Portland 7:00 pm EDT
Fri, Apr 10, 2015 Worcester at Providence 7:05 pm EDT
Sat, Apr 11, 2015 Providence at Worcester7:00 pm EDT
Sun, Apr 12, 2015 Albany at Worcester 3:00 pm EDT
Fri, Apr 17, 2015 Worcester at Providence 7:05 pm EDT
Sat, Apr 18, 2015 Worcester at Manchester 7:00 pm EDT
Sun, Apr 19, 2015 Portland at Worcester 3:00 pm EDT

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2013-2014 WorSharks final report card

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Monday, May 12, 2014

As the American Hockey League playoffs swing through the second round and more teams join the Worcester Sharks in having the rest of the spring off it’s time to grade the WorSharks players. We’ve set the limit at 38 games played–half the season–and are only grading players that finished the season playing in the organization. The players are listed by position, with forwards going first, followed by the defense and goaltenders. Forwards and defenseman are listed in order of their point totals for no other reason than that’s how we’ve always done it. The last section is off ice personnel.

Players have been graded on how well they’ve done against the expectations that have been set for them and how well they’ve done compared to the other players on the roster. When looking at the grades remember that a “C” is average, meaning the player has done what was expected of them or that their play, based on the other players on the roster, has been average in nature. The contract status listed is what they will be as July 1st at the time of this posting, and NHL salary listed is their potential amount against the NHL salary cap.

FORWARDS
Freddie Hamilton (64 games, 22-21-43, -14, 6PIM)
Contract status: Final season of NHL ELC ($626,667/$67,500)
Hamilton is on the cusp of being an everyday NHL player, although it won’t be in the top six role he plays in Worcester. Hamilton should do well in San Jose as a third line checking forward and penalty killer. Likely will never see the twenty goal plateau in the NHL, if he gets enough games in the AHL next season he should easily hit that number again. He was one of the few players that excelled with everyone he was teamed with, and in turn made every one of those players better.
Grade: A

Travis Oleksuk (74 games, 19-21-40, -1, 20PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
Oleksuk started off the 2013-14 season the same way he ended the 12-13 campaign, and that’s not a good thing. Oleksuk looked over his head at the AHL level and once again slowly drifted down the depth chart. The beginning of 2014 was like the light finally going on and Oleksuk suddenly was on fire and almost couldn’t be stopped. His 16 goal and 27 point improvement from last season are anecdotally the best ever in Worcester pro hockey history. An almost certainty San Jose qualifies him in the off season.
Grade: B

Dan DaSilva (61 games, 17-20-37, -13, 67PIM)
Contract status: UFA
After two seasons of WorSharks fans screaming they wanted DaSilva back in a teal jersey Worcester Sharks GM Joe Will knew exactly who to turn to when the WorSharks offense was sputtering and on the verge of collapse. It took DaSilva a week to get back into the swing of things, but from that point on the Worcester Sharks were a completely different team. Fans are now yelling for DaSilva to be brought back for next season to wear the captain’s “C”. Hopefully Will is listening.
Grade: A

Daniil Tarasov (47-17-14-31, +2, 40PIM)
Contract status: Final season of NHL ELC ($680,000/$65,000)
Tarasov has tons of raw offensive skill and his defensive game is getting better, but his big issue is avoiding injury. Multiple stints on the injured list have hampered his development, and Tarasov’s game really needs lots of refinements for him to have any chance at the NHL. The only question is if San Jose wants to keep trying to tap into his potential or will they look in another direction. With so little offensive talent in the pipeline the Sharks may have no choice but to keep trying with Tarasov.
Grade: C

Brodie Reid (55 games, 11-14-25, -1, 8PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
Another oft-injured player, Reid’s big issue most of the season was staying out of WorSharks head coach Roy Sommer’s dog house. A player with legitimate AHL top six talent Reid spent a significant amount of the season on the third and fourth lines where his skills couldn’t be put to good use. On a team that lacked scoring having a player with his skill level in the bottom six, for whatever the reason, is inexcusable. It will be interesting to see if San Jose qualifies Reid. In this writer’s opinion, they should.
Grade: C

Bracken Kearns (45 games, 6-19-25, -12, 72PIM)
Contract status: UFA
Kearns had some success in the NHL but with Worcester his play was very streaky and he never seemed to find his groove. Many times it seemed like Kearns was a half-step behind where he should have been, and he was never able to really establish himself in front of the net as he had in years past. His play on the power play was still fairly good because of the extra space he was given, but at even strength he was “just another guy” out there as opposed to the offensive leader he was expected to be.
Grade: C

Marek Viedensky (54 games, 6-17-23, +1, 29PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
It was another odd year for Viedensky, who looked good when he played but spent far too much time on the injury list or being a healthy scratch. For a guy that was so highly regarded coming out of juniors there is obviously something going on that is causing issues with him getting in the line-up. Viedensky certainly has the skills to play in the AHL but it’s still a question if he can play in the NHL. It’s also a question if San Jose qualifies him, and I’m far from certain they will. He’s currently playing for Slovakia in the World Championships.
Grade: C

Eriah Hayes (59 games, 12-9-21, -15, 43PIM)
Contract status: Final season of NHL ELC ($655,000/$70,000)
Hayes made his NHL debut just after the new year following a rather pedestrian end to 2013, but if San Jose had a deeper prospect pool he likely would not have seen any NHL action. His play right after his return from the NHL was unimpressive, but a positive March and April showed signs of what Hayes has the potential to do over an entire season. The Sharks should bring in a veteran AHL power forward to really show Hayes the ropes so he can hopefully reach his full development.
Grade: C

Rylan Schwartz (73 games, 5-13-18, -16, 25PIM)
Contract status: Final season of NHL ELC ($650,000/$50,000)
Another player with an impressive scouting report that didn’t meet those expectations. Schwartz was supposed to be an above average play maker and goal scorer but didn’t do either of those things particularly well in the AHL. Schwartz did have a four game points streak in early March, but was otherwise mostly invisible on the ice. With so many centers in front of him on the depth chart Schwartz will need a big 2014-15 campaign to stick in the organization.
Grade: D

Jimmy Bonneau (45 games, 2-3-5, +3, 106PIM)
Contract status: UFA
Bonneau is the type of enforcer teams covet: knows when to drop the mitts, doesn’t take dumb penalties, and doesn’t kill you when he’s on the ice taking a shift. You don’t often see an enforcer wearing the alternate captain’s “A”, but Bonneau does and deservedly so. A plus player both on and off the ice the WorSharks should really be looking at bringing him back next season, and based on how–and when–Bonneau’s 2013-14 campaign ended it seems like they may be looking to do that.
Grade: B

Matt Pelech (32 games, 3-1-4, -2, 73PIM)
Contract status: UFA
Pelech is a player that WorSharks fans love and fans of everyone else hates. He’s tough to play against because he’s so physical and because he often skirts the line between clean and “not so clean” play. If you’re carrying the puck and Pelech is near you, you’re going to get hit. Being able to play both forward and defense in the AHL is a huge plus for a player like Pelech, and that is probably enough for the organization to think about bringing him back for another season. But after breaking his hand in a fight and then being reluctant to drop the gloves after he may have seen the last of the NHL.
Grade: C

DEFENSEMEN
Dylan DeMelo (68 games, 2-22-24, -17, 51PIM)
Contract status: 2nd of 3 year NHL ELC ($633,333/$65,000)
In an odd contradiction, as a defenseman Demelo lead all WorSharks in assists but also lead the team in being in the penalty box when a power play goal was scored against. His constantly turning the puck over in his own end that led to more than a handful of chances against his goaltender where the goalie had literally no chance at all of making a save was a tremendous issue. DeMelo really needs to work on his vision of the ice when he’s in his own end, otherwise he’ll be just another in a long line of offensive-minded defenseman littering low level minor league hockey.
Grade: D

Matt Tennyson (54 games, 7-14-21, -25, 33PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
To say Tennyson had a terrible season would be a massive understatement. His (-25) is by far the WorSharks worst ever, and were it not for a late season recall to San Jose Tennyson may have made a run at the lowest ever plus/minus in Worcester pro hockey history (Jarrett Deuling’s (-28) in 1994-95). Tennyson did do well on the power play (3-8-11), but the rest of his game was down right awful. San Jose will undoubtedly make him a qualifying offer because his upside is so high, but another season like 13-14 would be his last in the organization.
Grade: F

Konrad Abeltshauser (57 games, 6-15-21, E, 18PIM)
Contract status: Final season of NHL ELC ($633,333/$67,500)
With an over-ager year in juniors under his belt expectations were high for Abeltshauser, and after a slow start as he got used to the speed of the pro game his play began to look like what was expected out of him. A great end to the season solidified Abeltshauser as Worcester’s best overall defenseman, and were it not for a knee injury he would have been representing Germany in the ongoing World Championships. Word is he will be fully recovered by training camp next season, which is good because he’ll be looked at as a guy that might be splitting time between Worcester and San Jose.
Grade: B

Adam Comrie (56 games, 3-16-19, -11, 38PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
Comrie had a great end to the 2012-13 season and earned himself an NHL contract, but his 13-14 season will likely earn him a trip out of the organization. Comrie never got it going in the right direction this season, and was a healthy scratch for a large part of it. Silly penalties and poor play was his biggest issue, and the huge holes in his game were constantly exploited by opponents. In an organization with lots of defensive depth Comrie’s offensive skills might be useful, but as an everyday pro defenseman there are far too many with more complete games available.
Grade: D

Sena Acolatse (41 games, 5-12-17, -5, 66PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
Another season, another long-term injury for Acolatse. After back to back seasons with facial injuries this season Acolatse broke bones in his leg. It’s not like these are injures that could have been avoided by anything other than some luck, but once a player gets tagged with the “injury prone” label it’s hard to shake that off. He does have the skills to play pro hockey, and if he can actually stay on the ice for a full season might turn into a serviceable NHL player. It’s an almost certainty San Jose qualifies him, and hopefully luck will be on Acolatse’s side in 14-15.
Grade: C

Taylor Doherty (69 games, 4-11-15, -6, 111PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
A much better offensive season for Doherty than the past two, his biggest issue is once again his lack of ability to use size to his advantage. Because Doherty doesn’t play a particularly physical game opponents have no worries about skating toward him and trying to skate by him, and Doherty simply doesn’t have the speed or agility to stop them. He does use his reach fairly well, but that won’t be near good enough to make the NHL. Doherty really needs to learn to use his size or his future will be as an AHL depth defenseman.
Grade: D

Rob Davison (65 games, 3-6-9, -5, 113PIM)
Contract status: UFA
Davison was a serviceable NHL defenseman during his career, and he likely ends his pro career as a borderline serviceable AHL defenseman. Davison no longer possesses the speed to stop offensive players skating near him, and his physical game was far too often out of control and caused issues with everyone he was paired with by them being forced to cover more ground. Davison had a decent run as a pro hockey player, but unless something odd happens the end has come for him.
Grade: D

GOALTENDERS
Troy Grosenick (35 games, 18-14-0, 2.62, .903)
Contract status: 2nd year of two year NHL contract ($625,000/$80,000)
No one really knew what Grosenick was going to bring to the pro game, but his upside was thought to be high enough that San Jose burned his entry level year last season and signed him to a two year NHL contract over the summer. What Grosenick brought to Worcester was visions of fan favorite Alex Stalock: a mobile, athletic goaltender that plays an unconventional style but just finds ways to keep the puck out of the net. Regardless of what happens with other players Grosenick should be entering next season as the organization’s #3 goaltender and getting the majority of starts in Worcester.
Grade: A

Harri Sateri (45 games, 18-24-2, 2.95, .894)
Contract status: NHL RFA
Sateri had a hot and cold season, and unfortunately for him and the WorSharks it was cold far too often and never really hot enough during the rare occasions it was going well. While a poor defense in front of him lead to lots of problems, Sateri constantly failed to help himself by just not being able to consistently make the easy saves a pro goaltender at this level should make. Sateri was tied for second in the AHL for most losses this season and was not in the top 30 in either goals against or save percentage. San Jose will probably still qualify him, but don’t be shocked if Sateri bolts for Europe.
Grade: D

HOCKEY OPS
Head coach Roy Sommer
Once again on paper this was a team that should have made the AHL playoffs. Instead, for the fourth season in a row, they finish outside the post season. Sommer did set the AHL record for career games as a head coach and the Sharks organization held a large ceremony honoring that achievement. Sommer is also the losingest head coach in the 78 year history of the AHL, but for some reason the organization didn’t hold a ceremony honoring that. At some point hockey operations in San Jose has to realize the Roy Sommer era needs to end, and that some new blood in developing prospects might help them in winning the Stanley Cup.
Grade: F

WorSharks GM Joe Will
Taking over for Wayne Thomas, Will inherited a team lacking any sort of offensive firepower. After giving the WorSharks players some time to see if a goal scorer emerged Will then went out and signed several legitimate minor league goal scorers to bolster the Worcester line-up. Some worked out, other didn’t. But Will kept trying, including having San Jose trade (or loan) away some NHL contracts in an “addition by subtraction” effort. For the most part, that worked out for the WorSharks. Will’s real test is next season. let’s see who he brings in to get this team into the post season.
Grade: B

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The “210 Awards” for the WorSharks 2013-2014 season

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Monday, April 28, 2014

With the Worcester Sharks regular season campaign coming to an end without a playoff run for the fourth season in a row, it’s time to start with the end of season paperwork. Up first are the “210 Awards”. For those new to the “210 Awards”, they are a mix of serious and (hopefully) slightly humorous awards named for the moniker this writer uses on many message boards. This season’s winners are…

Best Forward: Freddie Hamilton wins this one, not because he was the WorSharks point leader on the season but because no matter who he was lined up with he helped those players produce. Hamilton will likely not be a top-six forward in the NHL, but in the AHL there is little doubt he was the top forward in Worcester.

Best Defenseman: Konrad Abeltshauser. Defense was supposed to be the strength of the WorSharks, but it turned into its major Achilles’ heel. While Abeltshauser had a slow start to his rookie campaign by the end of the season he was by far the team’s best defender, and had he not been injured he was headed to the World Championships to play for Germany.

Tough Guy Award: Jimmy Bonneau. This award doesn’t have to go to the best fighter on the team, but this time it does as Bonneau was not only the best with his fists on the squad he was also one of the toughest guys for opposing forwards to play against.

Best Single Game Performance: Matt Nieto. In a last minute switch from Dan DaSilva’s Gordie Howe hat trick, Nieto’s two goals and three assists on December 6th against Portland takes this award after a “recount”. Things might have been different in Worcester this season had Nieto been here for more than two games.

Most Improved: Travis Oleksuk. Last season Oleksuk went 3-10-13 (and -12) in 60 games, and looked just totally overmatched most of the season. Oleksuk unfortunately picked up where he left off, going just 3-3-6 thru the end of December. The changing of the calendar was good for Oleksuk, as he turned it all around to finish 19-21-40. It’s, anecdotally at least, the biggest improvement ever in Worcester pro hockey history.

Seventh Player: Travis Oleksuk. See “most improved” for the reason.

Rookie of the Year: Troy Grosenick. No one knew what Worcester was going to get from the Union alum, but San Jose was right in burning his ELC season at the end of last campaign to make sure Grosenick was in the fold. Most believe the rookie netminder has passed Harri Sateri on the depth chart. If he hasn’t, he will soon.

Most Valuable Player: Dan DaSilva. You don’t need stats to know why, because it doesn’t tell the whole story anyway. This team was a complete mess before DaSilva arrived from the ECHL for his second stint with the team, and his presence helped solidify the squad and got the WorSharks pointed in the right direction. By far the most valuable player on the roster.

The Sharkspage Player of the Year: Troy Grosenick. For the first time ever we had a three way tie for the most times named as the Sharkspage player of the game, so we opened it up to fan voting and Grosenick prevailed. Bracken Kearns and Travis Oleksuk were originally tied with Grosenick at six.

So now that we’ve gotten the serious awards out of the way, here’s a few that this writer thinks should be handed out…

The Mike Moore Award: For the player that gives 100% every single shift no matter the score or the situation, the obvious answer this season is Matt Pelech. WorSharks fans love him, opposing fans hate him, but he’s always 100% every shift.

The Two-By-Two Award: Adam Comrie, for having the most penalty minutes without a major. Comrie had a very questionable ten minute misconduct in a game vs Portland, but still wins the award if you take that away.

The Iron Man Award: Usually given out to the player(s) playing in all 76 regular season games, will sit unawarded this season and no WorSharks player played every game this season. Travis Oleksuk gets an honorable mention for appearing in 74 of 76 games.

The Man In The Box Award: Dylan DeMelo, for being the reason Worcester was shorthanded when a power play goal was scored against them most often. DeMelo was in the sin bin seven times when a power play goal against was given up.

The Dead-Eye Award: Nick Petrecki, for having the lowest shooting percentage of any player with 50 or more shots on goal. Petrecki went 1 for 55, for 1.8%, with Worcester. Petrecki then went on to go 0 for 12 after being loaned to Rochester.

The Buzzer Beater Award: Tie; Brodie Reid for his goal with 1.5 seconds remaining in 1st period March 8th vs Portland; and Matt Pelech for his goal with 1.5 seconds left in the first period March 26th at Portland.

The “It’s not how many, it’s when” Award: Matt Pelech, whose lone NHL goal was a game winner for San Jose on October 10th, and who had three AHL goals that were a game winner, and buzzer beater, and a potential momentum shifting goal.

The “Get a Calendar” Award: The AHL, for having head coach Roy Sommer break the all-time games coached record on the road.

The “Why Is He In The Shootout” Award: Riley Brace’s dad, whose name I do not know, who after hearing Brace announced as the third shooter in a shootout in late November quipped to fans after the game “I have no idea why (Sommer) picked Riley, he can’t score on shootouts and never has”. Apparently not so surprisingly, Brace missed his attempt.

The “He’s My Favorite” Award: Tie between Dylan DeMelo and Chris Crane. This writer, when asked on Twitter how Crane was doing, replied that he didn’t belong in the AHL yet. Crane favorited the tweet, and then a couple days later was reassigned to the ECHL. Later in the season I tweeted that I’d seen enough of DeMelo, who favorited the tweet a day or so after. In the handful of games that followed DeMelo was an aggregate (-10).

The “I love to play against Portland” Award: Matt Pelech, who scored all three of his AHL goals this season vs the Portland Pirates.

The “Nostradamus” Award: To myself, for deciding to look up the last time the WorSharks scored 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 goals in a game just a few hours prior to Worcester’s December 6th game vs Portland. The WorSharks went on to score 8 goals that game.

The “Are You Nuts?” Award: To WorSharks broadcaster Eric Lindquist and Worcester Sharks Booster Club president Rich Lundin, for the look they gave this writer when I told them I had brought that information along “just in case”. I got the same look after the game too.

The “Not-so-Nostradamus” Award: WorSharks head coach Roy Sommer, for during the preseason season ticket gathering predicting Worcester would win the Calder Cup. For the fourth time in a row, the WorSharks failed to make the playoffs.

The “Just the two of us” Award: Harri Sateri and Troy Grosenick, who were for the first time in 20 years of AHL hockey in Worcester the only two goaltenders to man the net for the entire season.

The “Take your time, we’ll wait” Award: referee Tim Mayer, whose video review (which included a call to the goal judge) of Travis Oleksuk’s disputed goal in the season finale took almost 11 minutes. He eventually ruled the goal was good.

The “44 Award”: Head coach Roy Sommer, who after winning the “35 Award” last season did it again and put the wrong player (43-Bonneau, instead of 44-Comrie) on his game roster. This is the third time in recent memory Sommer has incorrectly filled out a lineup.

The “Wrong Time To Make A Big Mistake” Award: Roy Sommer, who won the “44 Award” while the entirety of San Jose’s hockey operations was at the DCU center.

The “Grand Entrance” award: ATO goaltender Scott Barchard, who, while filling in for an ailing Harri Sateri stumbled out of the bench door as he went on to the ice in warm-ups.

The “Grand Exit” award: Matt Pelech, after receiving 14 minutes in penalties late in the third period against St John’s on April 18th. This is s family blog, so we won’t mention what he did as he passed the IceCaps bench. It was funny as all heck though.

The “Can We See That Again?” award: Referee David Banfield, who went back nearly two full minutes to check to see if Freddie Hamilton’s shot went into the net on January 11th. It did.

The “Just Checking” award: Freddie Hamilton, who after having a goal disallowed for the net being off the pegs on February 1st vs Providence showed referee Jamie Koharski the net was still in place after scoring his “second” of the game by tapping his stick on both posts after celebrating the score.

The “They did it to me again” Award: Freddie Hamilton, who had a goal disallowed against Providence–this time in the WorSharks final game–for “inadvertent goaltender interference” despite there not being a Worcester player close to interfering with PBruins netminder Malcolm Subban.

The David Haas Award: For the seventh time in eighth seasons, there is no winner of this “prestigious” award that goes to the player with the most talent that chooses to use none of it. There has been some squawking that Jon Matsumoto should retroactively be given the award for the 2012-13 season, but his poor play since leaving Worcester saves him from that happening. For now.

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WorSharks end disappointing season on up note with 2-0 whitewashing of Providence

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Worcester Sharks were hoping to play spoiler in Saturday night’s game against the Providence Bruins, but with all the AHL’s Eastern Conference playoff teams determined on Friday all the WorSharks were doing was playing for pride, and they showed lots of it after Troy Grosenick’s 23 saves and Eriah Hayes and Travis Oleksuk lit the lamp to defeat the Baby-Bs 2-0 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 6,470 fans. The WorSharks end the season in 11th in the East, 13 points out of the final playoff spot.


The Worcester Sharks salute the crowd after their 2-0 season finale win over
the Providence Bruins. The WorSharks finished the 2013-14 season 36-34-4-2
and missed the post season for the fourth consecutive season.
SHARKSPAGE photo

For video highlights for the final time this season we’ll point to AHLlive.com. Note the Freddie Hamilton disallowed goal in the package and see if you agree it was a terrible call.

Scratches for Worcester were Jimmy Bonneau (“unavailable”), Konrad Abeltshauser (knee), John McCarthy (hand), Brodie Reid (upper body) and Marek Viedensky (groin). Harri Sateri was the back-up goaltender. With Reid being out and Bonneau “unavailable”–note the quotes–the WorSharks used 11 forwards and 17 skaters, one short of the usual 12/18.

Interesting note on Bonneau. By being scratched for the last six regular season contests the three year Worcester enforcer and fan favorite now sits at 320 AHL games, which still qualifies him as a “development player”. AHL teams must dress at least 12 players that have played in 260 or fewer professional games (including AHL, NHL and European elite leagues), and one must have played in 320 or fewer professional games. All calculations for development status are based on regular-season totals as of the start of the season. Bonneau sits right at the max for the 13th player. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more on that later.

With the WorSharks doing a “jerseys of their backs” auction Worcester wore their road teal jerseys and Providence decided on their gold third jerseys for the night. A color vs color game is a great thing to watch, and while the AHL plays virtually no role in determining what jerseys teams wear (the edict ‘white at home’ is generally followed but not strictly enforced) they should encourage teams that have the opportunity to go color vs color to do so. The big issue is, apparently, helmet color. Teams don’t want their players wearing the same color helmets because on the fly it can cause issues. The WorSharks had black helmets, the PBruins gold. No issues there.

Worcester announced their team awards during the game, with Freddie Hamilton being named team MVP, Travis Oleksuk earning the Unsung Hero Award, Dan DaSilva receiving this season’s Three Stars Award, and goaltender Troy Grosenick named the Rookie of the Year Award. Sharkspage will be announcing our “210 Awards” later on this month.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 1 Troy Grosenick (23 save shutout)
2. WOR – 21 Travis Oleksuk (g,a)
3. WOR – 18 Eriah Hayes (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Freddie Hamilton.

Even strength lines
Hamilton/Oleksuk/Hayes
Tarasov/Carpenter/DaSilva
Schwartz/Rau/Schmidt
Reid/Higgs/Pelech

Davison/Acolatse
Comrie/Doherty
DeMelo/Mueller

BOXSCORE

Providence 0 0 0 – 0
Worcester 0 1 1 – 2

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Oleksuk Wor (slashing), 15:17; Lindblad Pro (hooking), 18:00.

2nd Period-1, Worcester, Hayes 12 (Davison, Oleksuk), 5:47. Penalties-Carpenter Wor (hooking), 1:11; Khokhlachev Pro (slashing), 8:07; Acolatse Wor (cross-checking), 19:08.

3rd Period-2, Worcester, Oleksuk 19 (DaSilva, Acolatse), 8:50 (PP). Penalties-Doherty Wor (roughing), 6:13; Subban Pro (delay of game), 7:50; Cross Pro (holding), 8:06; Hayes Wor (tripping), 14:01.

Shots on Goal-Providence 9-9-5-23. Worcester 6-9-12-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0 / 5; Worcester 1 / 4.
Goalies-Providence, Subban 15-10-5 (27 shots-25 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 18-14-0 (23 shots-23 saves).
A-6,470
Referees-Tom Chmielewski (43), Tim Mayer (19).
Linesmen-Bob Bernard (42), Jack Millea (23).

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WorSharks blanked for seventh time this season

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Worcester Sharks had a game scheduled for Friday night at the DCU Center against the St. John’s IceCaps but apparently no one told the players as the WorSharks were dominated in every single way possible in a hockey game and lost 6-0 in front of 4,909 fans, whose jeering of Worcester head coach Roy Sommer was audible throughout the arena for most of the second half of the game and well after the final buzzer in the DCU parking garage. The loss extends Sommer’s AHL career leading coaching loss record to 590, which is 78 more than Hershey Bear’s legendary coach Frank Mathers has in second place.


Worcester Sharks forward Matt Pelech (#23) was just about the only WorSharks player that showed
any intensity at all in Worcester's 6-0 loss to St John's Friday night. After being elbowed by
the IceCaps Brenden Kichton Pelech jumped the Kichton for some retribution.
File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights, and to be blunt there’s no reason at all to watch them, we once again point to AHLlive.com.

Scratches for Worcester were Jimmy Bonneau (“unavailable”), Konrad Abeltshauser (knee), John McCarthy (hand), and Marek Viedensky (unknown injury). Troy Grosenick was the back-up netminder. Sena Acolatse returned back to the lineup after missing 24 games with a broken lower leg. With just one more regular season game and no playoffs for the WorSharks the injury list is sort of moot, but it likely will have another member added after Brodie Reid got caught up in a massive check thrown by Worcester captain Rob Davison that accidentally collected Reid while Davison was wiping out two IceCaps players. If Reid can’t go Saturday the WorSharks may play one skater short as everyone else is either injured not available to play.

This writer just about never borrows quotes from other reporters; if I was that interested in getting some I’d go to the dressing rooms post game and get them myself. But what WorSharks head coach Roy Sommer told Worcester T&G reporter Carl Setterlund (Bill Ballou is off covering the Red Sox) really bothered me. You can read Setterlund’s entire story here.

“The other (losses against St. John’s) I thought we played all right, at least we were in them,” Sommer said. “But tonight we weren’t in it, from the first goal on. They got that first goal and you could kind of see the bench just go ‘Uh-oh, here we go again.’ ”

Really? Sommer “could kind of see the bench just go ‘Uh-oh, here we go again.’”? Then why did Sommer stand there for 60 minutes with his hands in his pockets? How could a coach that has a reputation for being great at developing prospects just stand there behind the bench and do nothing when he sees his team struggling? Perhaps the better question is why the San Jose organization thinks Sommer is great at developing prospects, because if he really was there’d be more than the small handful of players developed by him in the playoffs in either the NHL or AHL.

As someone that pays close attention to all the rumors about the western NHL teams moving their affiliates out to the west coach, allow me to add some context to each and every story that has been posted since the one about the Phoenix Coyotes wanting their prospects closer to them hit the internet a couple weeks ago: not a single bit of information in any newspaper story or blog post contains one speck of new information. It’s all rehash of rumors that’s been going on for a very long time. If your search skills are good enough you can find news stories and message board rumors talking about this for years. You’ll find many people saying they have “sources” telling them information and then just rewording the rumors that are already out there. It’s the exact same with all the current news stories. Now it doesn’t mean that it won’t eventually happen, because the odds are good that at some point it will. But all these current stories are just like a meteorologist predicting rain enough times…eventually, they’ll be right.

The three stars of the game were
1. STJ – 17 Jerome Samson (g,3a)
2. STJ – 33 Michael Hutchinson (23 save shutout)
3. STJ – 18 Ben Chiarot (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Matt Pelech.

Even strength lines
Hamilton/Oleksuk/Hayes
Tarasov/Carpenter/DaSilva
Schwartz/Rau/Schmidt
Reid/Higgs/Pelech

Davison/Acolatse
Comrie/Doherty
DeMelo/Mueller

BOXSCORE

St. John’s 2 2 2 – 6
Worcester 0 0 0 – 0

1st Period-1, St. John’s, O’Dell 17 (Lipon, Samson), 11:56. 2, St. John’s, MacKinnon 12 (Chiarot), 14:15. Penalties-Mouillierat Stj (roughing), 5:26; Hill Stj (hooking), 17:12.

2nd Period-3, St. John’s, Lunden 4 (Samson, Hill), 11:13. 4, St. John’s, Chiarot 6 (Lipon, Samson), 13:58. Penalties-Doherty Wor (hooking), 0:10; Pelech Wor (cross-checking), 3:17; Riley Stj (hooking), 15:54; Carpenter Wor (hooking), 16:42.

3rd Period-5, St. John’s, Klingberg 22 (O’Dell, Hutchinson), 7:29 (PP). 6, St. John’s, Samson 26 (Lipon, Klingberg), 16:04. Penalties-Acolatse Wor (hooking), 6:56; Kichton Stj (elbowing), 18:36; Pelech Wor (roughing, roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 18:36.

Shots on Goal-St. John’s 8-11-9-28. Worcester 8-8-7-23.
Power Play Opportunities-St. John’s 1 / 5; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-St. John’s, Hutchinson 16-5-1 (23 shots-23 saves). Worcester, Sateri 18-24-2 (28 shots-22 saves).
A-4,909
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42).
Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Ed Boyle (81).

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WorSharks Booster Club announces award winners

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Monday, April 14, 2014

Worcester Sharks Booster Club President Rich Lundin announced the winners of the 2013-2014 Booster Club awards at a dinner held Monday night at the DCU Center to honor the Worcester Sharks. Club members voted for each award in late March/early April. The winners were:

Best Offensive Player – Daniil Tarasov
Best Defensive Player – Konrad Abeltshauser
Fan Favorite – Jimmy Bonneau
Best Single Game Performance – Dan DaSilva (Hat Trick, Assist, +4 @ POR on 1/2/14)
“Tough Guy” Award – Jimmy Bonneau
Rookie of the Year – Troy Grosenick
Seventh Player Award – Travis Oleksuk
Most Valuable Player – Dan DaSilva

The Booster Club also recognized the players of the month for February and March:
February 2014 – Brodie Reid
March 2014 – Travis Oleksuk

In addition, because of the large fan reaction from across the league about DaSilva being snubbed by the American Hockey League and not being named the AHL player of the week and it instead going to Joacim Eriksson of Utica, the Booster Club presented DaSilva with a “Fan’s choice player of the week” plaque.

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Blanking WorSharks again, Norfolk wins 3-0

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Worcester Sharks followed up Friday’s total team effort win against the Adirondack Phantoms with one on the complete opposite end of the spectrum as they looked like 18 guys that had never been on the ice together before in dropping a 3-0 contest to the Norfolk Admirals Saturday night at the DCU Center in front of a crowd of 4,500 fans for the WorSharks second consecutive shutout loss to the Admirals. As has been the case in many of his losses this season, Worcester rookie netminder Troy Grosenick played well enough to win but his teammates failed him on the other end of the ice.


Worcester Sharks forward Daniil Tarasov (#19) is dwarfed by Norfolk defenseman
Nolan Yonkman as the two battle for position during a WorSharks power play. Yonkman
won the battle and the Admirals won the game 3-0.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights, such as they are, we’ll once again point to AHLlive.com.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Konrad Abeltshauser (lower body), Sena Acolatse (leg), Jimmy Bonneau, Brock Higgs, Nick Jones, and John McCarthy (hand). Harri Sateri was the backup goaltender. It might not be good news on the Abeltshauser injury as despite it being said on the pregame broadcast that his injury “wasn’t serious” Abeltshauser was seen on crutches by many people and reportedly told several that his injury will require surgery during the off season. Hopefully, more on that later in the week.

Worcester was held to just three shots in the second period, with their first shot on goal of the stanza coming with 6:02 remaining in the period. To add further insult to the general incompetence of the period, both Dan DaSilva and Taylor Doherty missed yawning open nets in the middle frame.

Freddie Hamilton had just his third minor penalty of the season called on him when he flipped Travis Oleksuk’s stick back to him. It was in the direction of where the puck carrier was, so referee Tom Chmielewski called a penalty on the play. Technically the right call, although looking at the rest of the penalties Chmielewski called–or maybe more correctly, didn’t call–it stands out as a huge oddity. Referee Chmielewski has done a few WorSharks games this season, and he is clearly not skilled enough to be working AHL games alone. He’s not the reason Worcester lost, but it doesn’t take away from the fact he’s not a very good referee by himself.

On Wednesday’s posting we talked about how poor Matt Tennyson’s plus/minus number is, and how at (-25) he was the lowest any WorSharks player ever was. After a brief investigation it appears Tennyson is only (-3) away from tying the worst plus/minus for any Worcester pro player ever. The current low is Jarrett Deuling’s (-28) in 1994-95, the Worcester IceCats first season in existence when they were the last non-NHL affiliated team in the AHL. In an odd irony, Deuling went on to play three season for WorSharks head coach Roy Sommer with the Kentucky Thoroughblades.

It was a penalty filled night for former WorSharks players in the AHL Saturday, headed by Frazer McLaren and Brad Staubitz, both with the Toronto Marlies, earning game misconducts. McLaren was called for a charging major and a fight, while Staubitz got a fight and a “continuing altercation” game misconduct. Yanni Gourde (Syracuse) was also involved in that huge fracas, receiving charging and roughing minors. In Rockford, Curt Gogol (Iowa) fought Brad Mills and they both earned the silly “taking the helmet off while fighting” misconduct minor, as did Nick Petrecki (Rochester) and Nick Tarnasky in their battle.

The three stars of the game were
1. NOR – 31 Brad Thiessen (28 save shutout win)
2. NOR – 20 Andre Petersson (2g)
3. NOR – 28 Antoine Laganiere (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Troy Grosenick.

Even strength lines
Hayes/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Tarasov/Carpenter/DaSilva
Schmidt/Rau/Schwartz
Pelech/Viedensky/Reid

Davison/Tennyson
Comrie/Doherty
Mueller/DeMelo

BOXSCORE

Norfolk 1 1 1 – 3
Worcester 0 0 0 – 0

1st Period-1, Norfolk, Laganiere 10 (Friberg, Steckel), 12:33. Penalties-Stortini Nor (tripping), 14:54; Schwartz Wor (slashing), 18:28.

2nd Period-2, Norfolk, Petersson 21 (Karlsson), 14:56. Penalties-Hamilton Wor (throwing equipment), 0:20.

3rd Period-3, Norfolk, Petersson 22 (Etem), 17:11. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Norfolk 13-8-8-29. Worcester 11-3-14-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 0 / 2; Worcester 0 / 1.
Goalies-Norfolk, Thiessen 5-6-2 (28 shots-28 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 17-14-0 (29 shots-26 saves).
A-4,500
Referees-Tom Chmielewski (43).
Linesmen-Brian MacDonald (72), Todd Whittemore (70).

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WorSharks use full team effort to down Adirondack 4-1

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, April 12, 2014

The Worcester Sharks may have been eliminated from playoff contention with Wednesday night’s loss to Hartford, but they put together one of their best games of the season Friday night at the DCU Center against the Adirondack Phantoms and behind multiple point nights by Adam Comrie, Freddie Hamilton, and Travis Oleksuk defeated the Phantoms 4-1 to hand Adirondack goaltender Cal Heeter his AHL leading 25th loss on the season.


Worcester Sharks defenseman Adam Comrie (#44) guards Adirondack winger Derek Whitmore
during the WorSharks 4-1 victory Friday night. Comrie had a highlight game winning goal
and an assist in the contest and was named the game's #1 star.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll do as we usually do and point to AHLlive.com. You’ll have to crank the sound up a bit because the game was on local TV here in Worcester, and that occasionally causes audio issues in the highlights package.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Konrad Abeltshauser (lower body), Sena Acolatse (leg), Jimmy Bonneau, Taylor Doherty (lower body), Brock Higgs, and John McCarthy (hand). Troy Grosenick was the backup goaltender.

There were two goals in a game where who scored them was in dispute. In the first period both Brodie Reid and Marek Viedensky took a whack at the puck as it lay just inside the crease and with a yawning net in front of it. The goal was credited to Reid, but we’ll see if that gets changed. The second was Worcester’s third goal originally credited to Freddie Hamilton and changed to Eriah Hayes. Several folks, this writer included, were waiting for the goal to be waved off because while it’s not clear from the video it was definitely clear from our vantage point the puck was redirected into the net by a kicking motion. When the goal was credited to Hamilton that would mean it was the Phantoms defenseman that did it accidentally and it would be a good goal. But when the goal was changed to Hayes that means it had to have been Hayes that kicked it in, so it shouldn’t have counted.

It’s rare for there to be three defensemen on the ice for a goal scored by a team, but Worcester did just that on Adam Comrie’s game winner when Mirco Mueller stepped out of the penalty box after serving his two minutes for boarding. Instead of skating to the bench to get an additional forward on the ice Mueller went into the offensive zone after a loose puck and in a play that was more like a veteran forward as opposed to a teenaged defenseman didn’t force the issue and let the support come to him, finding Comrie screaming into the zone unchecked by a Phantoms player. In an even more head’s up play, Mueller still didn’t go to the bench but instead headed to Comrie’s now vacant defensive spot as Comrie went in basically all alone on Adirondack goaltender Cal Heeter.

Had a great pregame conversation with WorSharks tough-guy Jimmy Bonneau. He had the night off and was going to be doing some intermission stuff during the TV broadcast so he had a few minutes to kill and struck up a conversation with several of us on the concourse behind press row. Bonneau might not make the NHL as a player, but I have zero doubt that when he’s done playing if he goes the coaching route–and he absolutely could–he will find himself behind an NHL bench someday. Bonneau also has an amazing grasp of the business side of the game and a pretty good eye for talent, so maybe a front office job could be in his future too. The one thing I would love to see is Bonneau take a shootout attempt. With three games left this season, hopefully there’s a chance.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 44 Adam Comrie (gwg,a)
2. WOR – 35 Harri Sateri (33 save win)
3. WOR – 12 Freddie Hamilton (g,a)

The boxscore lists Mirco Mueller as the game’s #1 star, but it was announced in the arena and in the radio/TV broadcast as Comrie.

The Sharkspage player of the game was Travis Oleksuk.

Even strength lines
Hayes/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Tarasov/Carpenter/DaSilva
Schmidt/Rau/Schwartz
Pelech/Viedensky/Reid

The defense went out as mixed pairings throughout most of the game.

BOXSCORE

Adirondack 0 0 1 – 1
Worcester 1 2 1 – 4

1st Period-1, Worcester, Reid 11 (Viedensky, Pelech), 5:57. Penalties-Tarasov Wor (hooking), 10:24; Mueller Wor (boarding), 18:47.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Comrie 3 (Mueller, Oleksuk), 1:01. 3, Worcester, Hayes 11 (Hamilton, Comrie), 8:41. Penalties-Brown Adk (hooking), 2:19; Oleksuk Wor (hooking), 11:28; Noebels Adk (hooking), 14:49; Tennyson Wor (goaltender interference), 15:04; Alderson Adk (hooking), 16:32.

3rd Period-4, Adirondack, Alderson 10 (Whitmore, Cousins), 0:52. 5, Worcester, Hamilton 22 (Oleksuk, DeMelo), 18:40 (EN). Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Adirondack 11-13-10-34. Worcester 11-13-8-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 4; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-Adirondack, Heeter 16-25-2 (31 shots-28 saves). Worcester, Sateri 18-23-2 (34 shots-33 saves).
A-3,117
Referees-Jarrod Ragusin (54).
Linesmen-Joe Ross (92), Todd Whittemore (70).

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WorSharks fall out of playoff chase, but Mo steals the show

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Thursday, April 10, 2014

Both the Worcester Sharks and Wednesday night’s opponent the Hartford Wolf Pack had one path to the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs–to win out and have the Albany Devils lose all their remaining games in regulation. Unfortunately for the WorSharks it was the Wolf Pack that came out of the game with a 2-1 victory ending Worcester’s longshot playoff hopes. Adam Schmidt had the lone WorSharks tally with his first professional goal, but it was head coach Roy Sommer’s son Marley who stole the show with a rousing rendition of the national anthem.


Former Holy Cross standout Adam Schmidt (#26), pictured from last Saturday's game
against the Hershey Bears, scored his first professional goal Wednesday for the
Worcester Sharks in their 2-1 loss against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we once again point to AHLlive, but the best highlight from the game follows just below.

Prior to the start of the game Marley Sommer, wearing last season’s Autism Awareness jersey with his nickname “Mo” emblazoned on the back of it, was to sing the national anthem while standing on the bench next to his dad Roy. As you will see in the video, Mo, who suffers from both Down’s syndrome and is autistic, was having no part of standing on the bench to sing. He was also having no part of Coach Sommer stealing his spotlight. What follows is one of the greatest moments ever in Worcester hockey.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Sena Acolatse (leg), Jimmy Bonneau, Adam Comrie, Taylor Doherty (lower body), John McCarthy (hand), and Daniil Tarasov (back). Harri Sateri was the backup goaltender. Earlier in the week the Worcester shuttle swung by to pick up Bracken Kearns for the fourth time this season. Marek Viedensky returned to action after missing a handful of games, but it looks like Konrad Abeltshauser might be taking his place on the injured list as in the first period after Hartford had pinned the WorSharks in their own zone for a long spell Abeltshauser intentionally iced the puck and then labored to the bench and off down the tunnel. He did not return. Worcester went with a five man defensive rotation from that point, with Matt Pelech playing defense on the penalty kill.

Worcester had a rare six on three skater advantage late in the third period after Hartford was called for consecutive penalties and Sommer pulled Grosenick for an extra attcker. It speaks volumes that the WorSharks did not have a legitimate scoring chance despite have twice as many skaters on the ice as the Wolf Pack. It then turned to a six on four advantage and all Worcester could manage was a single weak shot on goal. Not the type of play a team wants with their playoff lives on the line.

Upon further review, defenseman Matt Tennyson had a “minus” taken away from him from a recent game to improve, so to speak, his rating to (-25) on the season. Just like was mentioned when he was briefly at (-26), that is the lowest a WorSharks player has ever been at any point during the season. Tennyson is tied for fourth worse in the AHL with Tyler Graovac of Iowa and Mark Flood of Charlotte. Only Iowa’s Zack Phillips (-26), Portland’s James Melindy (-27), and Brian Connelly of Rockford (-33) are worse. The WorSharks record low in that category is (-20) set in 2009-10 by Dwight Helminen and tied the next season by T.J. Trevelyan.

The three stars of the game were
1. HFD – 32 David LeNeveu (35 save win)
2. HFD – 44 Aaron Johnson (2a)
3. WOR – 1 Troy Grosenick (29 saves)

Like there would be any doubt, the Sharkspage “player” of the game was Marley Sommer.

Even strength lines
Hayes/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Schmidt/Carpenter/DaSilva
Schwartz/Rau/Reid
Higgs/Viedensky/Pelech

Starting defensive pairings:
Abeltshauser/DeMelo
Mueller/Tennyson
Davison/Jones

BOXSCORE

Hartford 1 1 0 – 2
Worcester 0 0 1 – 1

1st Period-1, Hartford, Hrivik 11 (Johnson, Lindberg), 13:17 (PP). Penalties-Davison Wor (cross-checking), 11:25.

2nd Period-2, Hartford, Powe 13 (Hensick, Johnson), 15:14. Penalties-Oleksuk Wor (high-sticking), 15:27.

3rd Period-3, Worcester, Schmidt 1 10:45. Penalties-served by DaSilva Wor (bench minor – too many men), 4:39; Hayes Wor (slashing), 9:11; McCarthy Hfd (tripping), 10:04; Allen Hfd (tripping), 17:01; Johnson Hfd (interference), 17:56.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-15-6-31. Worcester 11-10-15-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 3; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, LeNeveu 10-8-0 (36 shots-35 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 17-13-0 (31 shots-29 saves).
A-1,836
Referees-T.J. Luxmore (49), Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Scott Whittemore (96).

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WorSharks lose 3-2 in OT, see playoff chances hit virtually nil

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Worcester Sharks went into Saturday night’s contest against the Hershey Bears at the DCU Center in “must win in regulation” mode to keep their incredibly slim playoff hopes alive, and after squandering an early lead were able to get into overtime on Dan DaSilva’s WorSharks career goal leading tally late in the third period but a poor line change in the extra session lead to a turnover and a Bears goal to give Worcester a 3-2 loss and virtually kill them in the playoff hunt.


Worcester Sharks forward Dan DaSilva became the franchise's all-time goal scoring leader
with his third period extra attacker strike Saturday night. DaSilva entered the game tied
with Riley Armstrong and Mile Iggulden at 59 career goals.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we point to AHLlive.com because even when the WorSharks lose they still upload highlights, unlike some other New England AHL franchise.

Scratches for Worcester were Sena Acolatse (leg), Adam Comrie, Nick Jones, John McCarthy (hand), Matt Pelech, Daniil Tarasov (back), and Marek Viedensky (unknown injury). Harri Sateri was the back-up goaltender.

Pregame there was a large ceremony to acknowledge Roy Sommer breaking the American Hockey League’s record for most games coached. There were many VIPs in attendance, including AHL president Dave Andrews, San Jose Executive Vice President and General Manager Dug Wilson, WorSharks Vice President Jon Gustafson, and WorSharks General Manager Joe Will. It may have been the first time Andrews was not loudly booed at the DCU Center, as over the years it has become somewhat of a tradition for AHL fans to boo the league president. Worcester City Councilor Phil Palmieri, who was there to present Sommer with a Key to the City, did not escape the boos despite many not knowing who he was. Such is the case with many politicians in Worcester.

The turning point in the game was during the first media timeout of the second period. With Worcester controlling play Hershey Bears head coach Mike Haviland really lit into his team as they all were gathered in front of him, to the point he could almost be heard in the stands in front of the press box over the sound of the blaring music. Over at the WorSharks bench Sommer, as he customarily does, did no coaching and basically stood there with his hands in his pockets. From that moment until DaSilva’s extra attacker goal with 35 seconds left in regulation the ice was decidedly tilted toward the Worcester end and the WorSharks were outscored 2-0. Not coaching when the opportunity arises is likely the reason Sommer not only leads the career list of games coached in the AHL but also is well ahead in career losses too.

With DaSilva’s goal giving him the franchise lead at 60 he now has six Worcester IceCats in front of him on Worcester’s all-time pro goal leader list. He should be able to move up a few notches in the next six games as Stephane Roy (61), Jeff Panzer (62), and Jame Pollock (63) are just in front of him. On the Worcester all-time points list DaSilva’s 143 tie him for 6th with Justin Papineau. Getting past Jeff Panzer’s 146 would put DaSilva into the city’s top 5.

It has been a long time since a referee interfered with play more than Nic Leduc did Saturday night. Several times Leduc was hit by the puck and at least twice Leduc was so far out of position he tripped up a player. His calling a holding the stick minor on Konrad Abeltshauser after the rookie defenseman was highsticked in the face also drew some curious glances along press row.

The three stars of the game were
1. HER – 21 Casey Wellman (OTgwg)
2. WOR – 22 Dan DaSilva (g)
3. HER – 31 Philipp Grubauer (33 save win)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Bracken Kearns.

Even strength lines
Carpenter/Kearns/DaSilva
Hayes/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Schwartz/Rau/Schmidt
Bonneau/Higgs/Reid

Abeltshauser/Tennyson
Davison/DeMelo
Mueller/Doherty

BOXSCORE

Hershey 0 2 0 1 – 3
Worcester 0 1 1 0 – 2

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-May Her (cross-checking), 18:20.

2nd Period-1, Worcester, Rau 3 (Schwartz, Schmidt), 1:34. 2, Hershey, Herbert 2 (Kolomatis, Taffe), 8:28. 3, Hershey, Genoway 4 (Newbury, Byers), 12:22. Penalties-Abeltshauser Wor (holding the stick), 9:17.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, DaSilva 17 (Kearns, Carpenter), 19:25. Penalties-Kolomatis Her (hooking), 1:19; Watkins Her (tripping), 11:26.

OT Period-5, Hershey, Wellman 17 (Byers), 2:49. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Hershey 6-13-3-1-23. Worcester 13-10-12-0-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 / 1; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hershey, Grubauer 12-11-1 (35 shots-33 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 17-12-0 (23 shots-20 saves).
A-4,024
Referees-Nic Leduc (12).
Linesmen-Chris Aughe (74), Todd Whittemore (70).

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WorSharks shoot selves in foot again, lose 3-2 to Providence in shootout

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Worcester Sharks used goals by Konrad Abeltshauser and Eriah Hayes to jump out to a 2-0 lead halfway through their Friday night contest with the Providence Bruins, but then stumbled as the Baby-Bs got within one after two periods and late in the third period the WorSharks allowed an extra attacker goal for the fifth time this season to send the game into overtime and to a shootout. Worcester shooters got the two tallies in the bonus round against Providence goaltender Niklas Svedberg, but Providence netted three against Harri Sateri to take the extra point and deal the WorSharks playoff hopes a huge blow.


The Worcester Sharks celebrate Konrad Abeltshauser's first period goal, but it
was the Providence Bruins celebrating in the end as the PBruins came back
from a two goal deficit to defeat the WorSharks 3-2 in a shootout.
Photo courtesy of the PROVIDENCE BRUINS

There are no video highlights currently available. We’ll edit one in should Providence decide to follow league rules and actually put one up on AHLlive. Don’t hold your breath.

Scratches for Worcester were Sena Acolatse (leg), Adam Comrie, Nick Jones, John McCarthy (hand), Daniil Tarasov (back), Brodie Reid, and Marek Viedensky (unknown injury). Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. Rob Davison returned to the lineup after a three game suspension.

With the shootout loss and the Norfolk Admirals winning the WorSharks playoff chances dropped to nearly nil. To put it in practical numbers, Worcester can get to a maximum of 87 points if it runs the table on their seven remaining games. Because Worcester doesn’t currently hold the tie breaker against either Norfolk or the Hershey Bears if either of those teams gets to 87 points the WorSharks are eliminated. Currently Norfolk has 79, and Hershey has 78. So any combination of points Worcester fails to get or Norfolk gains that equals eight eliminates the WorSharks. That number is nine against the Bears. The WorSharks do play Hershey and Norfolk one more time this season so they can help themselves greatly with regulation wins in both, but both the Admirals and Bears have a game in hand against Worcester and Norfolk and Hershey play each other twice more. While Worcester has a mathematical chance (.3%) the way the games lay it’s all but over.

The three stars of the game were
1. PRO – 32 Nick Johnson (SO gwg)
2. PRO – 14 Craig Cunningham (g)
3. WOR – 35 Harri Sateri (32 saves)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Travis Oleksuk.

Even strength lines
Carpenter/Kearns/DaSilva
Hayes/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Higgs/Rau/Schmidt
Bonneau/Schwartz/Pelech

Abeltshauser/Tennyson
Davison/DeMelo
Mueller/Doherty

BOXSCORE

Worcester 1 1 0 0 – 2
Providence 0 1 1 0 – 3

1st Period-1, Worcester, Abeltshauser 6 (Tennyson, Oleksuk), 6:42. Penalties-Higgs Wor (tripping), 2:43; Griffith Pro (tripping), 9:09; Davison Wor (boarding), 14:56; Tennyson Wor (tripping), 16:56.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Hayes 10 (Oleksuk, Tennyson), 8:55 (PP). 3, Providence, Khokhlachev 20 (Florek, Morrow), 15:37. Penalties-Lindblad Pro (holding), 8:13; Kearns Wor (hooking), 19:30.

3rd Period-4, Providence, Cunningham 25 (Spooner, Fraser), 18:51. Penalties-Randell Pro (high-sticking), 2:28; Parlett Pro (cross-checking), 7:49; Hayes Wor (slashing), 11:56.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Worcester 2 (Hamilton NG, Carpenter G, Oleksuk NG, DaSilva NG, Hayes G), Providence 3 (Cunningham NG, Spooner NG, Khokhlachev G, Griffith G, Johnson G).
Shots on Goal-Worcester 8-8-8-1-0-25. Providence 12-11-9-2-1-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 4; Providence 0 / 5.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 17-22-2 (34 shots-32 saves). Providence, Svedberg 23-15-3 (25 shots-23 saves).
A-8,320
Referees-Jon McIsaac (45).
Linesmen-Chris Millea (33), Jack Millea (23).

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WorSharks beat Portland 3-2, keep slim playoff hopes alive

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Worcester Sharks got goals from Travis Oleksuk, Freddie Hamilton, and Matt Pelech and used a 21 save performance from Troy Grosenick to defeat the Portland Pirates 3-2 Tuesday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of a sparse but vocal crowd. The win for the WorSharks keeps their faint playoff hopes alive, while Portland’s loss mathematically eliminates them from the Calder Cup chase.


San Jose Sharks first round draft pick from 2013 Mirco Mueller (#41) made his AHL debut
Tuesday night for the Worcester Sharks and he notched an assist on Matt Pelech's game
winning goal in the WorSharks 3-2 victory over the Portland Pirates.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll have to point to SendItToNews.com as AHLLive.com appears to be having issues again.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Sena Acolatse (leg), Rob Davison (suspended, game three of three), Nick Jones, John McCarthy (hand), Brodie Reid (flu), Daniil Tarasov (back), Marek Viedensky (unknown injury). Harri Sateri was the back-up goaltender. There were two transactions over the past couple days, with San Jose reassigning Mirco Mueller from the Everett Silvertips (WHL) to Worcester and the WorSharks signing Mercyhurst (AHA) defenseman Nick Jones to an ATO. Jones was a healthy scratch Tuesday. Acolatse has just started skating with the team in a non-contact jersey during practices, and while he intends to play before the regular season is over there is no timetable for his return.

This writer often gets deluged with twitter and email questions when a new player joins Worcester, and it was the case once it was announced Mueller was playing Tuesday. This was a post I made last night on Hockey’s Future about my first impression on Mueller after just one game:

Mueller needs about three dozen cheeseburgers. He really needs to put some weight on that frame, but he’s young so I have little doubt it will happen.

He made a few mistakes, but as I mentioned to folks at the game I liked that he was confident in the plays he made despite it not always being the right thing to do. I prefer young defensemen to be confident in their decisions even if it’s the wrong thing; doing the right thing but hesitating before doing it is often times worse than confidently doing the wrong thing.

He’s very smart, and it’s easy to see that in the decisions he made. Pinched at the right moments, covered for his partners as the game went on when needed (started with DeMelo and about halfway through the first was with Doherty–Mueller is easily more talented than both)…he just made really smart hockey plays most of the time.

Very confident with the puck…has the “I got this” look when a forechecker approaches. Looked good on the power play. I liked his low, hard shot into traffic early and I loved that he never stopped moving on offense.

Worcester Sharks Booster Club president Rich Lundin and I like to try to guess what the boxscore will say for the number of people in attendance. Over the years we’ve both gotten pretty good at it. While there was about 500 people in stands Lundin guessed 1744 would be the published number, while I went a more generic “high 1500s”. Announced total was 1544. I’m calling it a draw between us.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 21 Travis Oleksuk (g,a)
2. POR – 9 Tobias Rieder (2g)
3. WOR – 23 Matt Pelech (gwg)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Freddie Hamilton.

Even strength lines
Carpenter/Kearns/DaSilva
Hayes/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Higgs/Rau/Schmidt
Bonneau/Schwartz/Pelech

Abeltshauser/Tennyson
Mueller/Doherty
Comrie/DeMelo

BOXSCORE

Portland 0 1 1 – 2
Worcester 1 1 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Worcester, Oleksuk 17 (Hayes), 7:44. Penalties-Werek Por (kneeing), 10:58.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Hamilton 20 (Tennyson, Oleksuk), 3:43 (PP). 3, Portland, Rieder 25 (Miele, Jones), 8:17. Penalties-Hanley Por (slashing), 2:42; Yip Por (tripping), 3:27; Comrie Wor (cross-checking), 13:24.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, Pelech 3 (Mueller, Doherty), 6:32. 5, Portland, Rieder 26 (Martinook, Miele), 9:31. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Portland 6-9-8-23. Worcester 11-12-12-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 0 / 1; Worcester 1 / 3.
Goalies-Portland, Domingue 9-12-2 (35 shots-32 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 17-11-0 (23 shots-21 saves).
A-1,544
Referees-Geno Binda (22), Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Bob Bernard (42), Scott Whittemore (96).

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WorSharks stumble and bumble way to 4-3 shootout win over Albany

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Worcester Sharks entered this weekend’s games needing wins to keep their slim playoff hopes realistically alive, and after being crushed 5-1 by the Manchester Monarchs Friday in New Hampshire in a game where the WorSharks looked like they’d already started the long off-season Worcester took a three hour bus ride west to The Empire State to take on the Albany Devils and played a contest where they made so many mental errors it was hard to count them all. Luckily for Worcester Albany was having issues of their own and the WorSharks were able to survive through overtime and into a shootout where they had the only goal for a 4-3 win over the Devils at the Times Union Center in Albany, New York in front of 5,111 fans. The shootout win gives Worcester a 10-1 record in the bonus round, best in the AHL.


Worcester Sharks goaltender Troy Grosenick made several great saves to keep the
WorSharks in their game against Albany and then went a perfect five for five
against the Devils in the shootout to win 4-3 Saturday night.
Photo courtesy of JOHN CARL D'ANNIBALE | Times Union

For video highlights we’ll take a look at the Albany Devils YouTube channel

Scratches for Worcester were Sena Acolatse (leg), Rob Davison (suspended, game 2 of 3), John McCarthy (broken hand), Daniil Tarasov (upper body), and Marek Viedensky. Harri Sateri was the back-up goaltender. Since our last update the American Hockey League suspended WorSharks captain Davison three games for his check to the head of Phil Lane Wednesday night against Portland. At full speed it looks like Lane had his head down and Davison threw a pretty good check, but slowing it down it pretty clearly shows Davison picked Lane’s head with his elbow. Freddie Hamilton got recalled back to San Jose Wednesday and then was quickly returned to the WorSharks, but because of an illness didn’t fly back east in time to make Friday’s debacle against the Monarchs.

Worcester has relied on its top two lines all season to keep them in games, and anyone that watches the WorSharks knows if their top players don’t score they generally don’t win. Saturday night was a notable exception as the top line of Dan DaSilva, Chad Rau, and Bracken Kearns not only didn’t score, they didn’t have a shot on goal. It’s just the sixth time this season DaSilva didn’t have a shot in a game, but only the second time he didn’t register a point while being shotless. It was the fifth time Kearns was held without a shot during the current campaign. Rau doesn’t even belong on that line, so perhaps now head coach Roy Sommer will see that and insert RPI ATOer Brock Higgs into the top line center spot. Or, perhaps not…

Speaking of Sommer, as everyone has likely heard by now, he set the AHL career games coached record Wednesday night with 1,257. With the next WorSharks home game being Tuesday, which will have just a handful of fans in attendance, there will be a pregame ceremony held next Saturday in their contest against the Hershey Bears to commemorate Sommer’s achievement. Ironically it was Bears’ longtime head coach Frank Mathers that previously held the record. Last season Sommer also set the record for most coaching losses in American Hockey League history, a milestone that wasn’t acknowledged by the organization.

Nothing kills a team more than turning the puck over in their own end, and this season Worcester has had tremendous issues with it. No matter which blue liners are out there it’s a foregone conclusion that at some point that pairing will cough the puck up. That’s just one of a long list of problems the WorSharks defense has had this season, and as the defensive corps was supposed to be one of the strengths of the team it’s one of the big reasons they’re poised to miss the playoffs yet again. While neither goaltender Harri Sateri nor Troy Grosenick has great stats if one were to take away all the goals scored by opponents after the Worcester defense left their netminders out to dry not only would the goalies stats see a marked improvement so would the WorSharks playoff chances.

This writer had a whole section pre-written on the turnaround the WorSharks have made in the shootout from their first seven seasons to this one, but with Saturday night’s game going to a shootout both the Telegram and Gazette’s Bill Ballou and Times Union’s Pete Dougherty have postings all about the shootout. While we have a few things they don’t we’ll just file away the section and get to it at a later time.

The three stars of the game were
1. ALB – 21 Mattias Tedenby (g,2a)
2. ALB – 18 Stefan Matteau (g,a)
3. WOR – 21 Travis Oleksuk (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Eriah Hayes.

Even strength lines
DaSilva/Rau/Kearns
Hayes/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Carpenter/Higgs/Schmidt
Bonneau/Schwartz/Reid

Abeltshauser/Tennyson
DeMelo/Doherty
Comrie/Pelech

BOXSCORE

Worcester 2 1 0 0 – 4
Albany 2 1 0 0 – 3

1st Period-1, Albany, Matteau 13 (Tedenby, Timmins), 8:26. 2, Worcester, Tennyson 7 (Oleksuk), 11:07. 3, Albany, Tedenby 9 (Matteau, Zajac), 11:28. 4, Worcester, Oleksuk 16 19:00. Penalties-Tedenby Alb (tripping), 5:21.

2nd Period-5, Worcester, Hayes 9 (Higgs, Doherty), 6:14. 6, Albany, Zajac 10 (Tedenby, Urbom), 14:39 (PP). Penalties-Oleksuk Wor (holding), 2:27; Pelech Wor (tripping), 8:19; Matteau Alb (roughing), 9:24; Pelech Wor (hooking), 13:05.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-McPherson Alb (holding), 7:37.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Worcester 1 (Reid NG, Hamilton NG, DaSilva G, Carpenter NG, Oleksuk NG), Albany 0 (Boucher NG, Sislo NG, Tedenby NG, Matteau NG, Whitney NG).
Shots on Goal-Worcester 14-9-7-1-1-32. Albany 10-7-4-0-0-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Albany 1 / 3.
Goalies-Worcester, Grosenick 16-11-0 (21 shots-18 saves). Albany, Kinkaid 21-11-5 (31 shots-28 saves).
A-5,111
Referees-Chris Brown (86), Jarrod Ragusin (54).
Linesmen-Chris Low (88), Frank Murphy (29).

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WorSharks lose 2-1 to Providence in record-tying game

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Monday, March 24, 2014

The Worcester Sharks tied two records Sunday afternoon, with head coach Roy Sommer matching long time Hershey Bears coach Frank Mathers in career AHL games coached at 1,265 and Dan DaSilva tying Riley Armstrong and Mike Iggulden with 59 career WorSharks goals, but the thing Worcester desperately two of were points and it got none of those after dropping a 2-1 contest to the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island in front of a crowd announced at 8,869. The loss now means the WorSharks slim playoff hopes got a lot slimmer, and they’ll need a lot of help to even get their chances to “poor”.


Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer tied Frank Mathers in career AHL games coached
and Dan DaSilva equaled the WorSharks career goal scoring record during Worcester's 2-1 loss
Sunday to Providence. The WorSharks playoff chances dropped to .6% with the loss.
Photos courtesy of the WORCESTER SHARKS

For video highlights we once again point to AHLlive.com.

Because of a prior commitment Sharkspage did not catch any part of the game, so for the particulars and notes we’ll send a shout out to WorSharks beat reporter Bill Ballou with his game story “Providence deals Worcester crucial loss in playoff race” and notes column “Injuries sideline key players for Worcester Sharks”. The WorSharks have some further info on their site. There is virtually no information available for the Providence Bruins side of things, so we’ll not bother including any here.

The three stars of the game were
1. PRO – 37 Zach Trotman (g)
2. PRO – 17 Seth Griffith (2a)
3. PRO – 47 Malcolm Subban (38 saves)

Because the PBruins only seem to think there’s one team on the ice they make it simple to pick a Sharkspage player of the game without seeing a second of the contest: Worcester’s lone goal scorer Dan DaSilva.

BOXSCORE

Worcester 0 0 1 – 1
Providence 0 1 1 – 2

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Davison Wor (boarding), 4:41; Abeltshauser Wor (roughing), 6:26; Robins Pro (roughing), 6:26; Oleksuk Wor (hooking), 7:59; Davison Wor (fighting), 14:02; Moore Pro (fighting), 14:02; McCarthy Wor (fighting), 15:41; Camara Pro (fighting), 15:41.

2nd Period-1, Providence, Florek 16 (Spooner, Griffith), 18:00. Penalties-Robins Pro (charging), 6:47; Bigos Wor (fighting), 10:32; Flick Pro (fighting), 10:32.

3rd Period-2, Providence, Trotman 6 (Cunningham, Griffith), 13:10 (PP). 3, Worcester, DaSilva 16 (Kearns, Schwartz), 14:06. Penalties-Knight Pro (tripping), 3:29; Johnson Pro (hooking), 9:49; DeMelo Wor (hooking), 11:56.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 10-13-16-39. Providence 12-7-11-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Providence 1 / 3.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 17-21-1 (30 shots-28 saves). Providence, Subban 13-8-4 (39 shots-38 saves).
A-8,869
Referees-Dave Lewis (46), Pierre Lambert (39).
Linesmen-Jack Millea (23), Chris Millea (33).

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WorSharks rally in third period to stun Hershey 4-2

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Worcester Sharks played uninspired, mistake-filled hockey for most of the first 54 minutes of Saturday’s contest against the Hershey Bears to find themselves trailing by a goal and their playoff heartbeat rapidly approaching a flat line, but three quick strikes by Dan DaSilva at 14:04 of the third period, Taylor Doherty at 15:10 and Travis Oleksuk at 17:19 gave the WorSharks a shocking 4-2 win over the Bears at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 4,820 fans. DaSilva’s goal makes him the Worcester Sharks all-time leading scorer.


Dan DaSilva (#22), pictured from Friday night's game with former 'Crazed Rats' linemate John McCarthy (#7),
scored the game tying goal Saturday night to become the Worcester Sharks all-time leading scorer at 139
points. DaSilva is also just one goal shy of tying the WorSharks record for career goals.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we once again point to AHLlive.com.

Scratches for Worcester were Sena Acolatse (leg), Matt Pelech, Mike Pereira, Brodie Reid, Chad Rau, and Lane Scheidl (concussion). Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender.

With his goal DaSilva passed Tom Cavanagh to become the WorSharks all time leading scorer at 139 points. That total ties DaSilva for 7th all-time in Worcester scoring with Dan Corso and Stephane Roy. DaSilva’s 58 career goals is good enough for third all-time for the WorSharks, just one behind the 59 of both Riley Armstrong and Mike Iggulden. Presuming DaSilva gets into the 60s he’ll start picking off players on the career goals list pretty quickly with Stephane Roy (61), Jeff Panzer (62), and Jame Pollock (63) within easy reach. In one of the rare Worcester records not held by Terry Virtue, the all-time Worcester goals record is held by Marc Brown at 79.

As you may have expected, the DCU center got pretty rowdy late in the third period with the WorSharks stunning comeback. Save for Hamilton’s second period goal the loudest cheers early in the game came from the large Holy Cross contingent rooting on newcomer Adam Schmidt, who skated four years for the Crusaders. Schmidt holds the Holy Cross record for most career games played at 151 and lead the Crusaders in scoring this season (14-15-29). When asked recently about Schmidt this writer called him “a potential diamond in the rough”. While making any decisions about a player’s talent after one game is silly, Schmidt certainly didn’t do anything to change my opinion–there looks to be something there, and hopefully the Sharks organization can get his game to work at the pro level.

Another ATO player, Brock Higgs, has slowed his torrid scoring pace of last weekend but still looks like a keeper. After a ‘no so good’ first period–and to be honest, not many WorSharks looked good in the opening 20 minutes–he got back into the flow of things and led all players with six shots on goal. Higgs best bid came in the third period when Hershey goaltender David Leggio made two great acrobatic-style saves and still managed to get a pad down to stop Higgs from stuffing the puck in the net.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 22 Dan DaSilva (g)
2. WOR – 4 Taylor Doherty (gwg)
3. WOR – 12 Freddie Hamilton (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was John McCarthy

Even strength lines
McCarthy/Kearns/DaSilva
Tarasov/Oleksuk/Hamilton
Schwartz/Higgs/Schmidt
Bonneau/Viedensky/Hayes

Abeltshauser/Doherty
Davison/DeMelo
Comrie/Bigos

BOXSCORE

Hershey 1 0 1 – 2
Worcester 0 1 3 – 4

1st Period-1, Hershey, Wellman 16 (Deschamps, Stoa), 10:40. Penalties-Watkins Her (tripping), 12:05; Newbury Her (slashing), 13:29; Oleksuk Wor (slashing), 19:02; Kolomatis Her (hooking), 20:00.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Hamilton 19 (Tarasov, Davison), 18:47. Penalties-Kearns Wor (hooking), 1:36.

3rd Period-3, Hershey, Deschamps 14 (Wellman), 9:36. 4, Worcester, DaSilva 15 (McCarthy, Kearns), 14:04. 5, Worcester, Doherty 4 (Viedensky, Hayes), 15:10. 6, Worcester, Oleksuk 14 (Hamilton, Abeltshauser), 17:19. Penalties-Latta Her (cross-checking), 6:50; Newbury Her (high-sticking), 9:52.

Shots on Goal-Hershey 10-8-9-27. Worcester 16-6-18-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 / 2; Worcester 0 / 5.
Goalies-Hershey, Leggio 18-17-3 (40 shots-36 saves). Worcester, Sateri 17-20-1 (27 shots-25 saves).
A-4,820
Referees-Keith Kaval (40), Nic Leduc (12).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Todd Whittemore (70).

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