And that, as they say, is that…

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Monday, May 11, 2015

Well, we’ve reached the point that everyone knew would eventually come, the end of the Worcester Sharks. Technically the WorSharks still exist until June 30th and there is at least the slim possibility some worthy news will pop up that I’ll need to make a blog post about, but for all intents and purposes this is my last posting here on Sharkspage. Over the years it’s been my pleasure writing the post game stories and other assorted updates, and as there is some people that need to be acknowledged for their help in bringing you WorSharks news and others that need to be recognized for what they did here in Worcester, this post will hopefully take care of both of those things.

The first person I need to thank is of course Jon Swenson, owner here of Sharkspage, who gave me permanent home to blog about the WorSharks about eight years ago. One of the questions I get asked the most is what happened to Jon, and I honestly don’t know. One day we were talking about adding some different types of content to the site and the next day he literally disappeared from the blog. I presume he’s still out there somewhere because when there’s an issue I email a bunch of his addresses and eventually the issue gets fixed, but even then I don’t hear a word from him. I’ve kept the light on here as long as I could, hopefully at some point he’ll make his return. But in any case, thanks to him.

The next person I need to thank, who actually stands in front of the long line of people that make this all possible, is my wife Trish. It’s fitting that this posting goes up on our 19th wedding anniversary because nearly every single day of our relationship has involved hockey in some way. Whether it was me covering the Worcester IceCats for and the variety of other websites I wrote for, working with “Save our hockey” when the IceCats left, covering the WorSharks, or working with the booster club here in Worcester over the years, there has always been something hockey related going on somewhere. With the WorSharks leaving and my taking a backseat to others in the search for a new hockey team in Worcester I’ll suddenly have a lot more free time on my hands. She wants to fill it with baseball. I’m not complaining.

Big thanks go out to broadcaster and WorSharks PR man Eric Lindquist. I know I’ve caused some headaches for him over the years, but that was never my intent. I’ve just always figured that if I was going to do this whole blogging thing I was going to do it right and report the things that needed reporting. That didn’t always make Eric’s day easy. With the news now out that he’s moving to San Jose to work for the Barracuda I can now officially wish him good luck out there. Don’t ever give up on your dream of broadcasting NHL games Eric, and I’m looking forward to hearing you do that in the future.

I’ve got to give a hat tip to my minion Tyler Lowell. It started out as a joke me calling him “minion”, but the joke stuck and with his schedule allowing him to see a lot more road games his help on twitter made my life a lot easier. There is probably no person who I owe a beer to more than Tyler, and as soon as he’s old enough to legally drink it I’ll be glad to buy him one. Tyler is, as we say here in Worcester, “wicked smaht”, and is majoring in Sport Management at a local college. Don’t count out hearing his name in the future somewhere in the sports world.

Nearly all the photos used in my postings are courtesy of Team Shred, and I can’t thank those folks enough for allowing me to use them. They take some fantastic pictures. It’s funny that while I give them credit in the caption for each photo it’s now just dawning on me I should have linked folks to their website as I was doing that. Oh well, I promise to do that better if it ever comes up again in the future.

Special thanks goes out to Worcester Telegram and Gazette reporter Bill Ballou, who has covered Worcester AHL hockey since day one. I’ve always aimed to be as good at this as he is, but considering he does better work while sleeping than I do wide awake there was no chance I’d reach my goal. I’ve stolen a bit of my writing style from Ballou and a little from Connecticut Post reporter Michael Fornabaio, who covers the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. I figure if you’re going copy a style you should pick from the best. So I did, although I come up far short when compared to those two.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention WorSharks Business & Community Development guy Mike Myers. It would take tens of thousands of words to mention how important he’s been for the community here in Worcester, and he seldom gets the credit he deserves. His and the organization’s work in the Worcester school system will be sorely missed. What I will miss most is our occasional get-togethers during games at my perch in front of the press box. His insights into the game of hockey, and a ton of other tangentially related subjects, were far more interesting than some of those mid-week games could ever have been. I’ve said it in many places, if I ever win one of the big lottery games and have enough money to buy a team my first call is to Myers. And any team coming into the DCU Center should make him their first call too.

Another guy that doesn’t get enough credit is Worcester Sharks Booster Club president Rich Lundin. When it all comes down to it the reason we were able to get the Sharks to move here after the IceCats left is Rich. His tenacious efforts lit a fire under city leaders, and his non-stop pursuit of getting another team here ultimately led to the last nine years of WorSharks hockey. Lots of “suits” take credit for that, but I was there and know the real story. It was Rich. He then focused his efforts on running the booster club, and with that came over $70,000 in donations to local charities. As he did before, Rich is leading the efforts to bring another team to Worcester. Once again he’s lighting a fire under the establishment to get moving on it. This time it’s going to be tougher, but I’m confident he’ll still make a difference. I’m also confident he’ll get little credit again. Some things never change.

Over the years I’ve always mentioned my “man on the bus” or “man in the room” when talking about things going on behind the scenes here in Worcester, and I do want to thank the folks that passed along those little tidbits of information. I won’t be naming them because I’m sure they would prefer to remain anonymous, but I couldn’t have done it without you guys. A blogger is only as good as his sources, and for the most part the ones I had were pretty solid. They made me look good and believe me, that’s no easy task. Those that know me know there’s still two stories I want to know more about, and someday I’ll find out what really happened. Inquiring minds want to know.

Two other people I just want to briefly mention are Michael Lehr and Michael Mudd. Lehr is the one that took a chance on us here in Worcester, and he can’t be thanked enough for that. After Lehr was promoted away from the WorSharks Mudd took over and despite a losing team on the ice started to turn the business side around. Long time readers will remember after Mudd was fired I posted that you should bet that he would lead another NHL organization to a Stanley Cup before San Jose ever one won. I took a lot of heat for that remark. Well, Mudd is now the athletic director at Worcester State University, so he won’t be leading any NHL team to the Stanley Cup in the near future. Seeing as I still stand by original comment that doesn’t bode well for Sharks fans.

As for my future plans, well, in the past few days my plans have pretty much disintegrated. I had a really good gig all lined up on a reasonable well known sports blog where I would be writing a weekly column about whatever the major sports story of the previous few days was, but before my first story was published (was supposed to be last Friday) I’ve already had an issue with the editors and told them I wasn’t going to bother with them anymore. I guess I’m just set I’m my ways and like being my own boss. For those that care you can check me out on my “not as frequently updated as I hoped” sports blog at 210Sports.

My thanks to all that chose to spend a small part of their days reading the updates here on Sharkspage. It was my pleasure in bringing them to you, and I hope you enjoyed reading them. It really was a good run while the WorSharks were here. Not so much on the ice of course, where the team never once came close to its potential, but certainly off the ice and in the community. With San Jose making Worcester a stopping point on their minor league franchise’s cross country path there were tons of great friendships discovered, lots of folks helped by charities supported by the organization, and memories that will last a lifetime. The Worcester Sharks did things differently than the IceCats, just as whatever team eventually replaces the WorSharks will do things differently from the them, but in the end it’s all about the people you meet and the things that can be accomplished. And it’s the people and high standard of community involvement the WorSharks had that will be missed here in Worcester.

And that, as they say, is that…

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WorSharks final 2014-15 report card

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Thursday, May 7, 2015

Up next is the WorSharks 2014-15 report card. Most seasons there’s an in depth description, for this one there’s just a quick note about the player to go along with his grade. If you’re a reader of Sharkspage and a follower of mine on Twitter you’ve seen enough of my comments to know what the deal is with each player anyway. Forwards come first, then defenders and goaltenders, each listed by jersey numbers mostly because that’s how they’re listed on my spreadsheet.

After each player’s name is their stats, ending with their contract status for the 2015-16 season. After the blurb is the grade I feel they deserve. Grades are based on what was expected of them, how they performed to those expectations, and then against how others on the team performed.

7 Eriah Hayes RW (59 games; 8-17-25; +4; 40PIM; RFA)
Statistically Hayes had pretty much the same season as his rookie campaign last year, but he looked like a different player this time around as he showed significantly more poise and confidence on the ice. If San Jose truly is moving toward using younger players pencil Hayes into the Sharks 4th line for next season. Grade: B

11 Bryan Lerg LW (68 games; 13-28-41; +3; 10PIM; UFA)
Lerg started off 2014-15 slowly but once he got it going he was an offensive force for the WorSharks. After surgeries to both knees over the last two seasons there was some question as to if Lerg would be able to make an impact in Worcester. He answered those questions. Grade: A

13 Evan Trupp C (72 games; 16-24-40; +6; 26PIM; AHL/UFA)
Worcester fans have no idea why WorSharks Gm Joe Will decided to sign Evan Trupp, who had a nice 2013-14 in the ECHL but not exactly overwhelming stats. but they’re happy Will did as Trupp was an incredible pick-up that played extremely well with linemate Lerg. Trupp played a huge role in the success of Worcester this season. Grade: B

15 Melker Karlsson C (20 games; 5-5-10; -2; 6PIM; RFA)
It took a short while for Karlsson to get used to the North American game, but once he did his talent began to show though and soon after he was recalled to San Jose where he spent the rest of the season. It would have been nice to have his solid play in Worcester the whole year. Grade: B

17 John McCarthy LW (35 games; 9-9-18; +4; 8PIM; UFA[St Louis Blues property])
Rarely is an AHL “trade” so one-sided as the trade that brought McCarthy back to the WorSharks, and no matter what Adam Burish did in Chicago would tip the scales in favor of the Wolves. McCarthy quickly became the heart and soul of the team and was a key element to its success. His shoulder injury likely resulted in Worcester’s playoff run ending so soon. Grade: A

18 Micheal Haley LW (68 games; 18-13-31; -13; 106PIM; UFA)
Haley came to Worcester as one of its most hated opponents but his quick start endeared him to fans very early on. Unfortunately Haley’s hot start turned into an ice cold slump, but his toughness kept him in the lineup and he ended his WorSharks stint as one of Worcester’s better playoff performers this season. Grade: C

19 Daniil Tarasov RW (54 games; 16-17-33; -4; 27PIM; RFA)
If Tarasov ever finds a way to play more consistently he will eventually find himself in the NHL line-up full time, but right now his game play is so wildly inconsistent you don’t know what you’re going to get from shift to shift. You can see the talent in Tarasov, but unless someone can find a way to fully harness it he might end up being just a good AHL player. Grade: C

21 Travis Oleksuk C (69 games; 10-17-27; -8; 18PIM; Group VI UFA)
Oleksuk ended the 2013-14 season on fire, but none of that hot streak carried forward to the 14-15 campaign. Oleksuk is a nice complementary player in the AHL, but he’s never taken the next step that’s always been expected of him. He’ll get a shot somewhere next season because he’s still not considered an AHL veteran, but it will likely be his last chance. Grade: C

22 Ryan Carpenter RW (74 games, 12-22-34; +10; 40PIM; RFA)
San Jose may have found themselves a diamond in the rough with Carpenter, who isn’t a flashy player but is instead a player that just gets the job done night in and night out. He’s never going to turn into a top nine NHL type player, but he absolutely would be a great addition to any organization’s fourth line. It’s where he should end up if the Sharks are truly moving toward playing the youth next season. Grade: B

26 Willie Coetzee RW (46 games; 10-17-27; +0; 22PIM; AHL UFA)
The right guy at the right time, Coetzee joined the WorSharks at mid-season and really lit a fire under the offense. His style fit perfectly with the new, faster Worcester roster and even when his stats tailed off toward the end of the season his play was still good enough for his line to make a difference in games. A knee injury cut his season short, and word is he may not be ready to start the next season when it opens in October. Grade: B

27 Rylan Schwartz C (43 games; 5-10-15; +7; 11PIM; RFA)
It was a tale of two different season for Schwartz: before being sent to the ECHL he was basically invisible on the ice, and after his recall he was a truly serviceable third/fourth line player that made lots of great plays where all of his point total took place. I can see San Jose giving him another shot next season, but odds are it’s the last one he’ll get. Grade: C

28 Jeremy Langlois RW (42 games; 16-10-26; +4; 8PIM; 1 year ELC signed in April)
Were it not for a broken foot that limited him to half a season Langlois might have run away with the point total lead for the WorSharks. He was among the league leaders when he went down and his not being in the game was felt immediately by the Worcester line-up. He was so good in the first half that San Jose signed him to an entry level contract for next season. He will unfortunately be remembered in these parts for an ill-timed major penalty in the playoffs that may have cost Worcester a game. Grade: B

39 Trevor Parkes RW (20 games; 3-6-9; +8; 14PIM; AHL UFA)
A decent AHL depth player Parkes found his niche in Worcester as an energy-type player that unfortunately was used incorrectly by head coach Roy Sommer. Parkes is the kind of bottom six player most AHL teams look for, so he shouldn’t have a hard time finding a spot somewhere next season. Grade: C

43 Jimmy Bonneau LW (30 games; 0-3-3; -6; 80PIM; AHL UFA)
The only things Bonneau didn’t do for the WorSharks this season is drive the Zamboni and score a goal. He did pretty much everything else, from back-up goaltender to assistant coach to play-by-play man. No one will every confuse Bonneau with Wayne Gretzky, but as I’ve said many times before once Bonneau hangs them up for good he’s going to make a terrific coach somewhere. Maybe someday that will be behind the bench here in Worcester. Grade: B

50 Chris Tierney C (29 games; 8-21-29; +8; 10PIM; year 2 of 3 year ELC)
Tierney was the absolute best forward for the WorSharks every time he stepped on the ice. One can only imagine the numbers he would have put up in a full 76 game AHL schedule. He certainly would have set rookie records and he may have made a run at many WorSharks franchise season marks. He’s one of those guys we’ll be saying “I got to see him play live” for years to come. Grade: A

2 Dylan DeMelo (65 games; 5-17-22; -7; 32PIM; year 3 of 3 year ELC)
DeMelo saw a big improvement over last season by cutting down on the number of turnovers he committed, and that in turn helped improved other areas of his game. He still has a long way to go to become an everyday NHL player, but he did makes steps in that direction this season. Grade: C

3 Gus Young (65 games; 5-10-15; +14; 37PIM; AHL UFA)
For my money Young was the best all-around defenseman the WorSharks had this season. His solid play forced head coach Roy Sommer to keep him in the line-up, many times playing instead of others on NHL contracts. It would be a huge mistake if San Jose didn’t lock him up with an NHL deal in the offseason. Grade: A

4 Taylor Doherty (59 games; 2-5-7; -3; 93PIM; RFA)
I had originally written a joke for this one (What do Worcester and Taylor Doherty have in common? They’ll both never see the AHL again and are looking for an ECHL team.), but with Hershey and Hartford playing two playoff games here that joke is no longer true. Although the part of Doherty never seeing the AHL again and needing an ECHL job still probably is. He does nothing well and had fans wishing Nick Petrecki was still here. That says it all. Grade: F

5 Matt Tennyson (43 games; 4-11-15; +7; 30PIM; one-way NHL deal)
It’s a rarity that a player is significantly better in the NHL than in the AHL, but Tennyson absolutely is. He’s a decent defenseman here but it’s almost like the game is too slow for him. He reacts so quickly sometimes that he looks foolish out there when the slower, less talented players do the “wrong thing” and get past him. He should be full time in the NHL next season, and he should be fine up there. Grade: C

10 Konrad Abeltshauser (50 games; 3-16-19; +2; 19PIM; RFA)
Abeltshauser’s biggest issue is confidence. He gets down on himself far too quickly when he makes a mistake, and that in turn leads to other mistakes. When he playing well he’s as solid a defenseman as you’d expect, but one slip-up and he looks like an overmatched rookie. As I type this he’s lighting up the ECHL, so hopefully that will get him on the right track for next season. His upside it way too high for anyone to give up on him just yet. Grade: C

14 Taylor Fedun (65 games; 6-28-34; +12; 37PIM; UFA)
San Jose dipped their toe in the water by signing Fedun and they have to like what they saw. He was much more solid defensively than was expected, and that complimented his offensive skills quite nicely. Fedun likely is NHL bound next season, the only question is will it be with the Sharks or not. Grade: A

20 Matt Taormina (76 games; 11-27-38; -7; 24PIM; AHL UFA)
Taormina is a solid, puck moving AHL defenseman. He was a last minute signing by the WorSharks but played like a top round draft pick. No one will mistake Taormina for a defensive specialist, but his play in his own end is passible enough when you consider how good he is as a puck mover and offensive threat. You can’t win with an entire defensive corps like Taormina on the roster, but you also can’t win without at least one. Grade: B

37 Karl Stollery (14 games; 2-4-6; +2; 8PIM; UFA)
A mid-season acquisition when traded for Freddie Hamilton at the NHL trade deadline, despite just playing 14 games for Worcester he completely changed the back end of Worcester defense with his physical play. Suddenly forwards had to watch out for a WorSharks defenseman that had the ability to drive them into the second row. Stollery was also decent in the offensive end, and his play may have earned him a contract for next season. Grade: B

1 Troy Grosenick (36 games; 20-13-3; 2.63; 9.06; RFA)
Grosenick started the season on fire but after his NHL debut he never found his stride again with the WorSharks. It wasn’t like he was playing badly, he just wasn’t playing as well as everyone thought he should. You can see the talent in Grosenick, but unless someone can find a way to make it come out with consistency San Jose may have to look in another direction in the near future. Grade: C

29 Aaron Dell (26 games; 15-8-2; 2.06; .927; RFA)
Dell started the season third on the depth chart and on an AHL contract and ended it as the number one goalie for the WorSharks and an NHL contract in his pocket. No player can dream of a better scenario. His 2.06 GAA set the Worcester city record for season and career in that stat, and his .927 save percentage set season and career franchise marks for the WorSharks. Simply put; Dell is the reason Worcester made it to the playoffs. Grade: A

34 J.P. Anderson (16 games; 6-8-1; 2.71; .900; RFA)
All Anderson had to do to stay in the AHL was not be terrible, but unfortunately for him he was unable to be consistent enough while Grosenick was in the NHL and he was outplayed by Dell. Then in the ECHL Anderson got outplayed again by other goaltenders and wasn’t placed on the Allen Americans playoff roster. Anderson likely won’t be qualified, and without a huge season next year in the ECHL (if he can even land a job) he’s likely on the long list of promising goalies that didn’t make the cut. Grade: D

Hockey Ops
GM Joe Will
All in all, Will did a decent job of putting together a team and then not being afraid to go out and grab the pieces needed to make the WorSharks a playoff contender. Can’t ask for more I guess. Grade: B

Head coach Roy Sommer
Dead horse beating time. There’s a reason why he’s the losingest head coach in professional hockey. He’d maybe make a good developmental coach like the Sharks have in Bryan Marchment, Mike Ricci, and Corey Schwab, but Roy’s time as head coach needs to be over if the organization has any hipes in winning in the future. Grade: F

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The “210 Awards” for the WorSharks 2014-2015 season

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Monday, May 4, 2015

With the Worcester Sharks final season in Worcester now at its end 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: Captain Bryan Lerg gets the nod here, not just because he was the leading point getter for all forwards but because after an ice cold start to the season in the second half of the year he was one of the keys to the WorSharks getting into the playoff race. When he was recalled for a well deserved “cup of coffee” in the NHL Worcester was not the same team. Had Chris Tierney played more than 29 games his point per game pace would have made him a lock, but since we consider only everyday players it’s Lerg this season.

Best Defenseman: The WorSharks had a few good ones this season, but the best of the crop was easily rookie Gus Young. His +14 lead the WorSharks and was the highest plus/minus rating since Andrew Desjardins’ +14 in 2010-11. A solid two way performer Young was scratched a lot in the early going but his solid play forced head coach Roy Sommer to put him in the lineup, and Young answered with a very solid season. Young was on an AHL contract and should have no issues landing an NHL deal for next season if San Jose does not sign him.

Tough Guy Award: While he didn’t play in many games, 30 to be exact, Jimmy Bonneau is the winner here. It’s not for the fights he was in, but oddly enough for the ones he wasn’t. When Bonneau’s name was called to be in the lineup it was almost always because the opponent had a player that the WorSharks wanted kept in check, and with Bonneau on the bench that just about always happened. Unlike previous WorSharks teams this season Worcester didn’t have a ton of fighters, but they didn’t need them. They had the best, and that was all they needed.

Best Single Game Performance: Jeremy Langlois for his third period natural hat trick, which included the game winner, on January 21, 2015 at Portland in the WorSharks 3-2 win over the Pirates gets the nod here. Langlois could have had a fourth goal in that game too were it not for an incredible save by Portland goalie Louis Domingue.

Most Improved: While Eriah Hayes had pretty much the same year statistically as in 2013-14 you could see that he was significantly better in his play when compared to last season. He played “smarter” hockey for the whole season and showed more confidence than in his rookie year. If San Jose really is looking toward moving to younger players you can pencil Hayes into the NHL 4th line next season. He’s certainly better than what San Jose used this year.

Seventh Player Award: With two great candidates for the season, this year’s seventh player is sentimental favorite John McCarthy. He didn’t start the season with Worcester, but when he came back to the WorSharks in a trade it was both “addition by subtraction” in getting rid of Adam Burish and multiplication by getting a player that could play in every facet of the game. Truly one of the greats in Worcester hockey history, were it not for a late season injury McCarthy would be the lone franchise leader for almost everything WorSharks.

Rookie of the Year: On a team full of rookies one really stands out in goaltender Aaron Dell. With his arrival the WorSharks found that anchor goalie a team needs to have a legitimate shot at a long playoff run, and his play earned him an NHL contract for the remainder of the season. No other rookie in Worcester hockey history ever wrote himself into the record books as often as Dell did, with his 2.06 goals against average setting the city record for both season and career in that stat. He was also within a handful of saves of owning the Worcester city save percentage record for both season and career too.

Most Valuable Player: After much consideration, and two changes, this one finally goes to Dell. The WorSharks wouldn’t have gotten to the playoffs without him, and that’s the definition of an MVP. No more explanation needed.

The Sharkspage Player of the Year: Lerg, for being named Sharkspage Player of the Game nine times, the most of any other Worcester player.

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 “Two-By-Two Award”: Ryan Carpenter and Hayes, for each having the most penalty minutes (40) without a major.

The “Iron Man Award”: Matt Taormina for playing in all 76 regular season games and four playoff games.

The “Man In The Box Award”: Dylan DeMelo and Taylor Doherty, for being the reason Worcester was shorthanded when a power play goal was scored against them most often in the regular season.

The “Dead-Eye Award”: Doherty, for having the lowest shooting percentage of any player with 50 or more shots on goal.

The “Buzzer Beater Award”: Travis Oleksuk for his goal with 1.9 seconds remaining in the 2nd period vs Bridgeport on 12/30/14.

The “Brain Cramp Award”: Matt Tennyson, for somehow forgetting to drop his broken stick as he attempted to kick the puck deeper into the opponent’s zone.

The “Roster Award”: Head Coach Roy Sommer, for going all season without making a lineup error. This makes one season in a row for him doing that.

The “Keep Your Hat On Award”: Willie Coetzee, who was the first Worcester Sharks player to be penalized for playing without his helmet on.

The “Hey, You Aren’t A Goaltender Award”: Jimmy Bonneau, for being the first skater in Worcester hockey history to dress as a goaltender in game.

The “Hey, You Aren’t A Play-By-Play Guy Either Award”: Bonneau, for calling most of the game in Wilkes-Barre when broadcaster Eric Lindquist was suffering from bronchitis.

The “Kevin Henderson Award”: Barclay Goodrow, for continually giving himself in the best scoring opportunity possible and somehow not being able to put the puck in the net, just like Kevin Henderson used to.

The “Last Man Award”: Julius Bergman, who became the last WorSharks player ever for his one game on April 18th.

The “Check The Jersey Next Time Award”: Tennyson, for accidentally checking McCarthy and ending McCarthy’s season, which may have played a role in the WorSharks early playoff exit.

The “Oscar Mayer Award”: Andrew Blazek, for his interesting Christmas story at the WorSharks Booster Club Holiday party where he mentioned as a child he was thankful for his, well, you figure it out.

The “Mike Moore Award”: For the player that gives 100% every single shift no matter the score or the situation, Carpenter gets the nod here. He’s another of those young players we should be seeing on San Jose’s fourth line next season.

The “David Haas Award”: The award that goes to the player with the most talent that uses the least of it. While we were dusting this award off to give to Burish San Jose “traded” him for McCarthy. So we’ll put it back on the shelf yet again.

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WorSharks lose 3-1 to Hershey, now need miracle comeback to avoid elimination

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Worcester Sharks once again couldn’t solve Hershey Bears goaltender Pheonix Copley, and with only Eriah Hayes finding the back of the net the WorSharks now head off to Pennsylvania down two games to none in their best of five series against Hershey after a 3-1 loss to the Bears Saturday night at the DCU Center. Copley had 33 saves in the winning effort, while WorSharks netminder Aaron Dell stopped 26 shots in a losing effort. Game three will be in Hershey on Wednesday night.

WorSharks forward Eriah Hayes scored the only goal for Worcester in the
WorSharks 3-1 game two loss to the Hershey Bears. Hayes had the whole net
to shoot at after being set up by a nice pass from linemate Ryan Carpenter.
File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll use, hopefully not for the last time, the WorSharks YouTube channel.

Worcester head coach Roy Sommer went with the same lineup as Friday night, with J.P. Anderson, Julius Bergman, Jimmy Bonneau, Daniel Ciampini, Taylor Doherty, Daniel Doremus, John McCarthy (shoulder), Joakim Ryan, and Matt Willows all scratches. Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender.

Far too often this season the WorSharks have allowed an opponent to answer a Worcester goal back in the next couple of shifts, and that happened again Saturday against Hershey when just 48 seconds after Eriah Hayes tied the score for Worcester the Bears lit the lamp to retake the lead. That all comes down to coaching, and we won’t be beating that dead horse here again.

Although on second thought, maybe we will. With the WorSharks trailing by two goals with just over two minutes remaining in the game and applying some pressure on the Bears Worcester head coach Roy Sommer did what he always does, which is stand there with his hands in his pockets while Aaron Dell continually looked over to the bench for the signal to come off for the extra attacker. All the screaming the fans were doing trying to implore Sommer to pull Dell for the extra attacker must have woken Roy up, because he finally did pull Dell with just under 90 seconds left. Sommer’s tactics when trailing late in games are the things you’d see in pee-wee hockey, and on the long list of things Worcester fans will miss about the WorSharks leaving Roy Sommer’s coaching will not be one of them.

While the final score reads 3-1 Hershey actually beat Dell four times. Late in the second period Bears forward Liam O’Brien fired a wicked wrist shot that beat Dell cleanly and bounded away from the net quickly. Referee Chris Brown emphatically gave the “wash out” sign, meaning the puck didn’t go in. This writer immediately tweeted we would be going to video review because it was clear to those around my perch that the puck did go in, hit the middle support, and came out quickly. The end of the second period was the next whistle, and we all stood by waiting for the referee to review the goal. The Bears were quick to point out one should be done, but after a brief consultation with each other the officials skated off the ice. Worcester fans from that end of the building all agreed–good goal. Only for referee Brown, not so much.

Just a scheduling note, win or lose Wednesday night there will be no Sharkspage update for the game. With my work schedule as it is and Thursday afternoon and evening being taken up by another activity there just isn’t time to put one up. If the WorSharks win game four would be Friday night with the usual Saturday morning posting happening. If they are eliminated the regular “end of season” postings will begin on Monday afternoon.

The three stars of the game were
1. HER – 5 Cameron Schilling (g)
2. HER – 14 Jim O’Brien (g)
3. HER – 30 Pheonix Copley (33 save win)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Eriah Hayes.

Even strength lines



Hershey 0 3 0 – 3
Worcester 0 1 0 – 1

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Tarasov Wor (high-sticking), 1:29; Kennedy Her (high-sticking), 6:03; Fedun Wor (roughing), 6:03; Brown Her (slashing), 14:45.

2nd Period-1, Hershey, J. O’Brien 1 (Vrana), 1:03. 2, Worcester, Hayes 1 (Carpenter), 2:46. 3, Hershey, Conner 1 (Kennedy), 3:34. 4, Hershey, Schilling 1 (L. O’Brien), 13:58. Penalties-Mitchell Her (roughing), 14:41; DeMelo Wor (roughing), 14:41; Fedun Wor (tripping), 16:18.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-J. O’Brien Her (slashing), 8:44; Brown Her (tripping), 13:44.

Shots on Goal-Hershey 9-13-7-29. Worcester 13-10-11-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 / 2; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hershey, Copley 2-0-0 (34 shots-33 saves). Worcester, Dell 0-2-0 (29 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41), Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Robert St. Lawrence (10), Todd Whittemore (70).

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Major mistake costs WorSharks in game one loss to Hershey

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Worcester Sharks played nearly perfect hockey for the first 57 minutes of the opening game in their Eastern Conference quarterfinals matchup with the Hershey Bears at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, but despite totally outplaying their opponents the WorSharks could only get a late first period power play goal by Micheal Haley past Bears goaltender Pheonix Copley. Suddenly everything changed for Worcester when Jeremy Langlois accidentally boarded Hershey captain Steve Oleksy with just under three minutes to go in regulation, and the Bears converted for three power play goals during the major penalty to win 4-1. The two teams play again on Saturday.

Worcester Sharks forward Micheal Haley broke a 20 game goalless drought with
his first period power play goal Friday night against Hershey. It was Haley's
first playoff goal since the April 18, 2009 when he played with Bridgeport.
File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll use the WorSharks YouTube channel

Scratches for the WorSharks were J.P. Anderson, Julius Bergman, Jimmy Bonneau, Daniel Ciampini, Taylor Doherty, Daniel Doremus, John McCarthy (shoulder), Joakim Ryan, and Matt Willows. The rest of the injured list, Willie Coetzee (knee), Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), and Trevor Parkes (ankle), is out for the season so we won’t mention them again unless Worcester reaches the second round. Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender.

Since all anyone is really talking about is Jeremy Langlois’ late third period major penalty, we’ll start there. For the record, despite the officials calling the wrong penalty the end result was exactly as it should have been, a major penalty against Langlois. While many Worcester fans are claiming Bears captain Steve Oleksy put himself in peril and as such Langlois shouldn’t have been penalized that isn’t even close to what happened and, to be blunt, is homerism at its worst.
     Referees Geno Binda and Keith Kaval got together after the hit and called Langlois for “checking from behind”, which is rule 43. What Langlois was actually guilty of was boarding, which is rule 41. The difference is semantics, as rule 43 requires a player to unaware that he was about to be hit while boarding doesn’t have that stipulation. As the two players battled for position obviously each is aware of the other, so the call should have been boarding. A moot point as the resulting major was correctly called.
     For anyone unaware of the important part of the boarding rule is, we quote the following from the AHL rulebook:

A boarding penalty shall be imposed on any player who checks or pushes a defenseless opponent in such a manner that causes the opponent to hit or impact in the boards violently or dangerously. The severity of the penalty, based upon the impact with the boards, shall be at the discretion of the Referee. … The onus is on the player (or goalkeeper) applying the check to ensure his opponent is not in a defenseless position and if so, he must avoid or minimize contact.

     Now there is a stipulation about a defending player putting himself in danger by turning to the boards, but that didn’t happen as both Langlois and Olesky was battling each other for the puck as they raced toward the end boards. Even though Olesky’s head was down at the moment of Langlois’ hit it was the battle with Langlois that is the cause of Olesky’s head being down. With Olesky being injured a major penalty is appropriate. For those saying it should have been four minutes, there is no provision in the boarding rule for a double minor, and the “checking from behind” rule that was called is only a major penalty anyway.

The hit took away from what might have been the best played game by the WorSharks all season. Worcester completely dominated Hershey on all aspects of the game up until the penalty, with the Bears having just a few sporadic moments where the dominated the play. The tying goal by Connor Carrick with 89 second left in the second in one that goaltender Aaron Dell absolutely wants back, although the list of WorSharks skaters that want their attempts back for a second try is almost endless. Worcester had easily over a dozen great looks at the net and were it not for Bears goaltender Pheonix Copley this game would have been a laugher.

The playoffs is not usually a good time to start messing with your lineup, but WorSharks head coach Roy Sommer put on the ice a squad that had never played together before as an 18 man unit and it all worked to nearly perfection. Barring an undisclosed injury and a potential suspension to Langlois–unlikely, but still possible–Sommer should send those same 18 out again tonight vs the Bears.

The crowds in Worcester often lack in quantity but almost always make up for their small numbers with their enthusiasm, and Friday night was no exception. Despite it being the largest attended playoff game in the WorSharks era the 3,026 in the building were still outnumbered by empty seats, but the fans were louder than some of the better attended regular season games. Saturday’s crowd is expected to be even bigger. Hopefully they will have more to cheer about.

The three stars of the game were:
1. HER – 2 Nate Schmidt (gwg)
2. HER – 30 Pheonix Copley (41 saves win)
3. WOR – 29 Aaron Dell (20 saves loss)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Micheal Haley.

Even strength lines



Hershey 0 1 3 – 4
Worcester 1 0 0 – 1

1st Period-1, Worcester, Haley 1 (Goodrow, Tarasov), 19:46 (PP). Penalties-L. O’Brien Her (hooking), 2:37; Stephenson Her (hooking), 16:36; Mitchell Her (hooking), 18:20.

2nd Period-2, Hershey, Carrick 1 (Stephenson, L. O’Brien), 18:31. Penalties-Carrick Her (tripping), 1:29; Stollery Wor (tripping), 8:56.

3rd Period-3, Hershey, Schmidt 1 17:39 (PP). 4, Hershey, Galiev 1 (Schilling, Conner), 19:03 (PP). 5, Hershey, Brown 1 (Gazley, Newbury), 19:30 (PP EN). Penalties-Langlois Wor (major – checking from behind, game misconduct – checking from behind), 17:17.

Shots on Goal-Hershey 5-10-9-24. Worcester 14-17-11-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 3 / 5; Worcester 1 / 4.
Goalies-Hershey, Copley 1-0-0 (42 shots-41 saves). Worcester, Dell 0-1-0 (23 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22), Keith Kaval (40).
Linesmen-Jack Millea (23), Alex Stagnone (7).

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WorSharks caught looking forward in 5-4 loss to Portland

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Monday, April 20, 2015

The Worcester Sharks held a 4-2 lead going into the third period Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center against the Portland Pirates, and in the final 20 minutes with the Pirates skating for their playoff lives perhaps played it too casually as Portland struck for three unanswered goals to defeat the WorSharks 5-4 in what was essentially a meaningless game for Worcester but propelled the Pirates over the Springfield Falcons into eighth place in the AHL Eastern Conference and into the playoffs. Travis Oleksuk, Matt Taormina, Barclay Goodrow, and Gus Young all scored for Worcester, who finished the season in seventh place in the East and will face off against two seed Hershey in the first round.

Worcester Sharks forward Travis Oleksuk scores a first period goal for
his tenth tally of the season for the WorSharks. With its playoff spot
secure Worcester would go on to lose the game 5-4 to Portland.

For video highlights we’ll use the WorSharks YouTube channel

Scratches for Worcester were J.P. Anderson, Julius Bergman, Willie Coetzee (knee-out for season), Dylan DeMelo, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder-out for season), Eriah Hayes, Jeremy Langlois (foot), John McCarthy (shoulder), Trevor Parkes (ankle-out for season), Joakim Ryan, Daniil Tarasov, Evan Trupp. Troy Grosenick was the backup goaltender. Both Langlois and McCarthy are expected to be available to play at some point in the first round of the playoffs.

With the WorSharks loss they finish the regular season as the seven seed in the East, which is in this writer’s opinion a lot better than had they finished sixth and (obviously) eighth. By finishing seventh Worcester faces the Hershey Bears and misses out playing the three seed Hartford Wolf Pack, a team that has had Worcester’s number even through the IceCats days, and the top seed Manchester Monarchs. Because the two teams are more than 300 miles apart AHL rules dictate the best of five series is 2-3 instead of the standard 2-2-1, and as the higher seed Hershey gets to choose either the first two at home or the last three. They chose the last three at home, so their playoff series schedule looks like this:
Game 1: Friday, 4/24 Hershey at Worcester, 7:00
Game 2: Saturday, 4/25 Hershey at Worcester, 7:00
Game 3: Wednesday, 4/29 Worcester at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 4: Friday, 5/1 Worcester at Hershey, 7:00
*Game 5: Sunday, 5/3 Worcester at Hershey, 5:00

During the game the WorSharks announced several team awards, with captain Bryan Lerg being named MVP, goaltender Aaron Dell the Rookie of the Year, defenseman Guy Young was “Unsung Hero”, and Michael Haley won the Three Stars Award. Sharkspage will announce its winners at the end of the playoffs.

Dell went into Sunday’s game with several Worcester city records within reach, the season and career marks in both goals against average and save percentage. His final GAA of 2.06 beats Curtis Sanford’s 2.13 and sets the city mark for both season and career, but Dell’s 0.927 save percentage just misses Dwayne Roloson’s mark of 0.929. Dell’s total does establish WorSharks franchise records for season and career save percentage.

Missing the last five games due to an injury John McCarthy finishes his Worcester career with the WorSharks career marks in goals and points. His 277 games played is tied with Nick Petrecki for most in a WorSharks jersey and third all-time in Worcester. McCarthy finishes second on the WorSharks assist list, just four behind Tom Cavanagh’s 92. McCarthy’s 151 career points ranks him 5th all-time in Worcester hockey history, and his 63 goals ties him with Jame Pollock for 4th all-time. His 88 assists is also good for 4th all-time.

Bill Ballou stole my thunder this morning in his notes column, and nearly word for word too (something about “great minds” jumps to mind, but I suspect Ballou would say we’re a couple short in our cases), although my numerical total is different than his. We’ll have to work out why the numbers aren’t the same at some point, but the records will show that Julius Bergman will go down in the books as the last WorSharks player. He made his Worcester debut Saturday night in Manchester to become the (by my count) 226th and final player in franchise history. Ballou writes Bergman is player #224. Either way, he’s the last.

It was great to see Chris Roy of the Maine Hockey Journal in attendance along press row during Sunday’s game. Chris is a long time friend of Sharkspage and is just one on a very long list of things I will miss when San Jose moves their AHL affiliate out west for next season. I am hoping to see Chris one last time covering the AHL as it’s possible the Pirates and WorSharks could meet in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The three stars of the game were
1. POR – 49 Alexandre Bolduc (gwg)
2. POR – 19 Henrik Samuelsson (2g,a)
3. WOR – 23 Barclay Goodrow (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Matt Taormina.

Even strength lines



Portland 1 1 3 – 5
Worcester 2 2 0 – 4

1st Period-1, Portland, Dvorak 1 (H. Samuelsson, McNeill), 0:59. 2, Worcester, Oleksuk 10 (Tennyson, Taormina), 8:19 (PP). 3, Worcester, Taormina 11 (Tierney, Goodrow), 10:05. Penalties-Bolduc Por (slashing), 4:59; Dvorak Por (high-sticking), 8:01; Doremus Wor (slashing), 10:59; H. Samuelsson Por (hooking), 15:52; Tennyson Wor (roughing), 20:00.

2nd Period-4, Worcester, Goodrow 2 (Goldobin, Tierney), 2:35. 5, Portland, Shinnimin 22 (Reese, Dahlbeck), 10:52. 6, Worcester, Young 5 (Fedun, Schwartz), 12:16. Penalties-Shinnimin Por (high-sticking), 8:09; Doherty Wor (interference), 8:09; Lane Por (elbowing), 18:41.

3rd Period-7, Portland, H. Samuelsson 17 (McNeill, Gormley), 1:19 (PP). 8, Portland, H. Samuelsson 18 (Dvorak, P. Samuelsson), 6:46. 9, Portland, Bolduc 23 19:17. Penalties-Goldobin Wor (tripping), 0:34.

Shots on Goal-Portland 14-11-14-39. Worcester 12-7-6-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 1 / 3; Worcester 1 / 4.
Goalies-Portland, Domingue 11-6-1 (18 shots-14 saves); McKenna 27-18-1 (7 shots-7 saves). Worcester, Dell 15-8-0 (39 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41), Keith Kaval (40).
Linesmen-Robert St. Lawrence (10), Todd Whittemore (70).

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WorSharks beat Providence 5-2 to clinch playoff berth

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Worcester Sharks went into last weekend needing just a single point to clinch a spot in the American Hockey League’s 2015 Calder Cup playoffs and after going oh-fer in the three games fans began to worry if this was the beginning of something tragic, but after a dominating 5-2 Friday night against the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center all is right in WorSharks land. Chris Tierney had a goal and two assists in his return from San Jose, while Matt Taormina, Rylan Schwartz, Daniil Tarasov, and Matt Tennyson also lit the lamp for the WorSharks. Troy Grosenick had 25 saves in earning his 20th win on the season.

After a six week absence while under recall to San Jose, rookie forward Chris Tierney
returned to the Worcester Sharks line-up to help lead his team into the playoffs with
a three point night. Tierney now has 8 goals and 19 assists in 28 games for Worcester.
File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlight’s we’ll have to use as Providence is one of the few clubs that doesn’t host them on YouTube.

Scratches for Worcester were J.P Anderson, Julius Bergman, Jimmy Bonneau, Daniel Ciampini, Willie Coetzee (knee-out for season), Taylor Doherty, Daniel Doremus, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder-out for season), Jeremy Langlois (foot), John McCarthy (shoulder), Trevor Parkes (leg-out for season), and Joakim Ryan. Aaron Dell was the back-up netminder. With San Jose’s season being over there were several transactions since we last checked in with Barclay Goodrow, Bryan Lerg, Chris Tierney, Taylor Fedun and Karl Stollery all being returned to Worcester. Anderson was reassigned to the WorSharks by San Jose from the Allen Americans (ECHL) as their playoff rules only allow for two goaltenders on the roster. Bergman was assigned by San Jose after his season with the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League was over.

This will be Worcester’s first trip to the post season since 2010 and only one player, McCarthy, remains on the team from that season. There is some playoff experience on the roster, with Matt Taormina having 27 games with three different teams, Lerg with 21 playoff games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Fedun with 20 games with Oklahoma City, Bonneau with 15 with Hamilton, and Micheal Haley having 11 games with Bridgeport. Parkes, who is out for the season, also has three games with Grand Rapids.

With the end of the regular season being Sunday it’s awards time for the WorSharks, and while none took home any hardware from the official AHL awards several players won some in this season’s Booster Club award. The winners were:
Best Offensive Player: Bryan Lerg
Best Defensive Player: Matt Taormina
Tough Guy Award: Jimmy Bonneau
Seventh Player: John McCarthy
Fan Favorite: Bonneau
Best Single Game Performance: Jeremy Langlois for his natural hat trick in Worcester’s 3-2 win at Portland on 1/21
Rookie of the Year: Aaron Dell
MVP: Evan Trupp

At that same banquet this writer sat with Bonneau and Lerg, and when asked about his first NHL game and goal Lerg broke into a huge smile and recounted everything with an excitement that was contagious. There is nothing better in hockey than getting to hear from a player that just saw all his hard work pay off, and it’s something I will miss when the AHL leaves the city after this season. Bonneau, as usual, was a awesome conversationalist and had some great things to saw about hockey in Worcester. More on that in the coming weeks.

Technically the win by the WorSharks wasn’t the clinching moment, as during the second intermission of the Worcester/Providence game the Springfield Falcons lost in a shootout to the St John’s IceCaps on The Rock clinching a spot for Worcester. But with the 5-2 win for the WorSharks the Falcons losing becomes just a footnote in the story. It’s always better to “win” your way into the playoffs, and that’s how it will be written in years to come.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 50 Chris Tierney (g,2a)
2. WOR – 27 Rylan Schwartz (g)
3. WOR – 37 Karl Stollery (a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Troy Grosenick.

Even strength lines



Worcester 1 1 3 – 5
Providence 1 1 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Providence, Pastrnak 11 (Khokhlachev), 5:18. 2, Worcester, Tierney 8 (Goodrow, Stollery), 13:47. Penalties-Goodrow Wor (hooking), 7:06; Tennyson Wor (cross-checking), 11:30.

2nd Period-3, Worcester, Taormina 10 (Tierney), 3:51. 4, Providence, Flick 17 (Morrow, Florek), 7:14. Penalties-Haley Wor (fighting), 2:06; Randell Pro (fighting), 2:06; Pastrnak Pro (interference), 12:54; Young Wor (slashing), 16:05; Tarasov Wor (fighting), 19:06; Florek Pro (fighting), 19:06; Young Wor (fighting), 19:09; Sexton Pro (fighting), 19:09.

3rd Period-5, Worcester, Schwartz 5 (Willows, Oleksuk), 3:06. 6, Worcester, Tarasov 16 (Hayes), 10:20. 7, Worcester, Tennyson 4 (Tierney, Goodrow), 17:39. Penalties-Spooner Pro (interference), 8:40; DeMelo Wor (delay of game), 18:28.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 9-8-12-29. Providence 14-8-5-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 2; Providence 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Grosenick 20-12-1 (27 shots-25 saves). Providence, Subban 15-13-0 (29 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (8), Michael Mullen (18).
Linesmen-Chris Millea (33), Alex Stagnone (7).

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WorSharks sweep Pennsylvania swing with victories in Hershey and Wilkes-Barre

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, April 4, 2015

The Worcester Sharks spent their pre-Easter week in Pennsylvania to take on the Hershey Bears on Wednesday and the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Friday, and with both teams in front of them in the AHL’s Eastern Conference standings and still some clubs close by in the rearview mirror the WorSharks needed to get some points from the road swing in The Keystone State, and they could not have done better for themselves after gaining four points with a 3-2 shootout win over Hershey at the Giant Center and a 4-2 victory over Wilkes-Barre at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. Worcester’s magic number to clinch a Calder Cup playoff berth drops to six with the two victories.

Worcester Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell made 63 saves on 67 shots in the WorSharks
victories over Hershey and Wilkes-Barre in Pennsylvania. Dell also stopped six of
seven shootout attempts against the Bears. Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights of the win over Hershey we’ll use the Bears YouTube channel. For some unknown reason they’ve put some horrible stock music behind the highlights, so we’ll point to another highlights package on with play by play included.

For video highlights of the win over Wilkes-Barre we’ll use the Penguins YouTube channel.

Scratches for Worcester on Wednesday against Hershey were Jimmy Bonneau, Chris Crane, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder/out for season), Jeremy Langlois (foot), Trevor Parkes (right leg), and Joakim Ryan. After Wednesday’s game San Jose recalled defenseman Karl Stollery, which put Ryan in the line-up for the first time in a pro uniform Friday against Wilkes-Barre. San Jose’s first round pick in last season’s NHL entry draft Nikolay Goldobin was reassigned to the WorSharks from HIFK (Liiga) on Wednesday and took Rylan Schwartz’s spot in the lineup on Friday. Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender for both games.

While not listed as a scratch Friday night Worcester Sharks broadcaster Eric Lindquist was unable to call the entire game due to a respiratory issue, so Jimmy Bonneau helped with the play by play duties after the first period. You could tell Bonneau was nervous but in the opinion of this writer and many others on Twitter and various hockey message boards Jimmy did a really good job. With Lindquist healthy enough to provide color commentary and toss out some stats it was almost like the two of them were having a conversation about the game, which really worked for the pair. Doing play by play is just another line in the Legend of Jimmy Bonneau here in his stint with Worcester.

When two teams don’t play each other often as in the case with the Penguins and WorSharks, using dates as references occasionally makes streaks sound a lot longer than they really are. So when a stat pops up that says Wilkes-Barre hasn’t scored an even strength goal against Worcester since October 19, 2013, it’s often hard to tell how long it really has been. The third period goal by Dominik Uher last night was indeed the first even strength goal the Penguins have scored against the WorSharks since Andrew Ebbett scored on that October 19th date, a stretch that went 178:50 of play between the teams. No matter how you slice it, that’s a long time. It wasn’t like Wilkes-Barre went scoreless over that time though, as the Penguins had two power play goals and a penalty shot goal during the streak.

The three stars vs Hershey (which, as you can see, are a joke):
1. HER – 25 Connor Carrick (2a)
2. HER – 14 Jim O’Brien (a)
3. HER – 31 Philipp Grubauer (30 save loss)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Aaron Dell.

The three stars vs Wilkes-Barrer were:
1. WOR – 19 Daniil Tarasov (g,a)
2. WOR – 8 Nikolay Goldobin (g,a)
3. WBS – 14 Tom Kuhnhackl (2a)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Ryan Carpenter.

Even strength lines:




BOX SCORE vs Hershey

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

1st Period-1, Hershey, Wellman 23 (Carrick, J. O’Brien), 7:01. Penalties-Coetzee Wor (tripping), 1:24.

2nd Period-2, Hershey, L. O’Brien 3 (Carrick, Stephenson), 4:28. 3, Worcester, Oleksuk 9 (Haley, Stollery), 5:50. Penalties-Brown Her (tripping), 10:00; Carpenter Wor (holding), 13:05; Wellman Her (hooking), 13:10.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, Willows 3 (Taormina), 2:23. Penalties-Carrick Her (interference), 3:29; Brown Her (kneeing), 16:11.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Worcester 2 (Ciampini G, Lerg NG, Tarasov NG, Trupp NG, Oleksuk NG, Coetzee NG, McCarthy G), Hershey 1 (Stephenson NG, Burakovsky G, Mitchell NG, Brown NG, Carrick NG, Wellman NG, Gazley NG).
Shots on Goal-Worcester 10-10-7-5-1-33. Hershey 20-6-9-3-0-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 4; Hershey 0 / 2.
Goalies-Worcester, Dell 14-5-0 (38 shots-36 saves). Hershey, Grubauer 26-16-2 (32 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Tom Chmielewski (43), Cameron Voss (78).
Linesmen-Tom George (61), Bob Goodman (90).

BOX SCORE vs Wilkes-Barre

Worcester 1 1 2 – 4
W-B/Scranton 0 1 1 – 2

1st Period-1, Worcester, Goldobin 1 (Tarasov, Young), 19:48. Penalties-Tennyson Wor (holding the stick), 16:53.

2nd Period-2, W-B/Scranton, Syvret 6 (Kuhnhackl, Archibald), 11:15 (PP). 3, Worcester, Coetzee 10 (Oleksuk), 13:57. Penalties-Boak Wbs (tripping), 5:18; Trupp Wor (boarding), 9:27; Coetzee Wor (hooking), 14:40; Kostopoulos Wbs (hooking), 14:46; Harrington Wbs (boarding), 18:34; Tarasov Wor (hooking), 18:44.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, Carpenter 11 (Ciampini, Taormina), 5:33. 5, Worcester, Tarasov 13 (Haley, Goldobin), 9:49 (PP). 6, W-B/Scranton, Uher 12 (Marcantuoni, Kuhnhackl), 11:35. Penalties-Boak Wbs (interference), 6:26; Syvret Wbs (hooking), 9:30; Goldobin Wor (tripping), 17:17.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 10-19-7-36. W-B/Scranton 8-7-14-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 5; W-B/Scranton 1 / 5.
Goalies-Worcester, Dell 14-5-0 (29 shots-27 saves). W-B/Scranton, Zatkoff 15-14-3 (36 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Tim Mayer (19).
Linesmen-Matt McNulty (26), Luke Murray (92).

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WorSharks defeat Falcons 4-1 to earn a six point weekend

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Monday, March 30, 2015

The Worcester Sharks went into Sunday afternoon’s contest at the DCU Center with the Springfield Falcons with a chance to provide a cushion between them and ninth place in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference playoff race, but after a solid opening period where they held a two goals lead the WorSharks suddenly turned into the Keystone Cops and couldn’t do anything right. Goaltender Aaron Dell was forced to make several great saves over the final 40 minutes, and when it was all said and done Worcester escaped with a 4-1 victory for their fifth straight win and a six point weekend.

Worcester Sharks forward Daniel Ciampini had a goal and an assist in Sunday's 4-1 win for
the WorSharks over the Springfield Falcons. The former Union College standout has five
points in six AHL games this season. Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll once again point to the WorSharks YouTube channel

Scratches for Worcester were Konrad Abeltshauser, Jimmy Bonneau, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder/out for season), Jeremy Langlois (foot), Trevor Parkes (right leg), and Joakim Ryan. Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. There were two transactions after Saturday night’s 3-2 OT win against St John’s, with defenseman Taylor Fedun being recalled to the San Jose Sharks and goaltender Joel Rumpel being released from his ATO. Rumple is going to head to the Allen Americans (ECHL) as they are in need of a goaltender after an injury to Riley Gill. There was some great news on the injury front broken this morning by Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram concerning Trevor Parkes. It seems the initial thoughts of a fractured right leg have proved to be incorrect. While that will obviously shorten Parkes’ recovery time there was no official word from the WorSharks about the situation at all.

The WorSharks now start on a “it was four but now is five” game road trip before returning to the DCU Center on April 11th. This week it’s Wednesday in Hershey and Friday at Wilkes-Barre before having Easter weekend off. Worcester then heads to Bridgeport on Monday, April 6 in a make-up game from December 21st when the Sound Tigers allegedly had bus troubles and couldn’t make it back home from Norfolk in time for their Sunday afternoon contest. The following day Worcester is in Portland to take on the Pirates. Then it’s the beginning of a home and home series with Providence starting in Rhode Island on the 10th.

Math not being this writer’s strong suit, it appears the WorSharks magic number for clinching an AHL Calder Cup playoff berth is 12. The maximum points the Albany Devils can reach is 91, and for Springfield it’s 90. With Worcester currently at 80, that makes the magic number is 12. Worcester has ten games remaining. Their 80 points on the season already surpasses their end of season totals from the last three campaigns. If Worcester plays just .500 hockey the rest of the way they’ll end up with their third best point total in franchise history. Their 93 points from 2006-07 is well within reach, but the franchise record of 104 is safe as the maximum Worcester can get with 10 wins is 100.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 37 Karl Stollery (gwg)
2. WOR – 29 Aaron Dell (22 saves)
3. WOR – 13 Evan Trupp (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Daniel Ciampini

Even strength lines



Springfield 0 0 1 – 1
Worcester 2 1 1 – 4

1st Period-1, Worcester, Trupp 16 (Lerg, Ciampini), 6:15. 2, Worcester, Stollery 7 (DeMelo, McCarthy), 12:56 (PP). Penalties-Sifers Spr (slashing), 12:25.

2nd Period-3, Worcester, Willows 2 (Crane), 17:30. Penalties-Doherty Wor (interference), 10:13; St. Denis Spr (hooking), 13:27.

3rd Period-4, Springfield, Tynan 10 (Sifers, Craig), 4:22 (PP). 5, Worcester, Ciampini 3 18:58 (EN). Penalties-McCarthy Wor (tripping), 4:22; Craig Spr (goaltender interference), 6:59; Tynan Spr (slashing), 7:29; Collins Spr (high-sticking), 15:52.

Shots on Goal-Springfield 3-12-8-23. Worcester 11-8-8-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1 / 2; Worcester 1 / 5.
Goalies-Springfield, Korpisalo 0-2-0 (26 shots-23 saves). Worcester, Dell 12-5-0 (23 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson (47), Ryan Murphy (5).
Linesmen-Kevin Keenan (22), Todd Whittemore (70).

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Taormina’s overtime strike lifts WorSharks over IceCaps 3-2

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Worcester Sharks stumbled and bumbled their way through most of Saturday night’s game at the DCU Center against the St John’s IceCaps, including not getting a single shot on goal during a full two minute five on three skater advantage, and found themselves trailing in the third period when WorSharks all-time goal scoring leader John McCarthy connected for his 63rd franchise goal to help get Worcester into the extra stanza where defenseman Matt Taormina’s blast through traffic found the back of the net to give the WorSharks the 3-2 overtime win. Goaltender Troy Grosenick had 18 saves for his 19th win on the season.

Worcester Sharks defenseman Matt Taormina scored his second overtime goal of
the season to give the WorSharks a 3-2 victory over the St John's IceCaps.
The goal gives him nine on the season. Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll once again use the Worcester Sharks YouTube channel.

Scratches for Worcester were Konrad Abeltshauser, Chris Crane, Dylan Demelo, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder/out for season), Jeremy Langlois (foot), Trevor Parkes (broken leg), Joel Rumpel, and Joakim Ryan. Aaron Dell was the back-up goaltender. There was no official word from the WorSharks on Parkes’ injury, and as the team is in “playoff mode” odds are there won’t be, but it’s pretty clear that Parkes season is over unless Worcester makes a deep playoff run. As of posting time there was no word of a WorSharks defensive recall to San Jose with Marc-Edouard Vlasic being injured and unavailable for Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh.

Many games have a point where you can go back and say that was the moment the game was won or lost. For Worcester and St John’s it appeared that moment was going to be in the second period when IceCaps winger Joel Armia was called for holding and then got an unsportsmanlike minor for disagreeing with referee Kendrick Nicholson–the writer disagreed with Nicholson too but went unpenalized–and before his first minor expired teammate Patrice Cormier was sent off for hooking in a play that probably saved a goal. Had Worcester scored in the first 16 seconds of that five on three the two man advantage would have continued as Armia’s first minor would have been the penalty to come off the clock, but not only did the WorSharks not score in those opening seconds they failed to get off a shot in the entire two minutes of two man advantage. With Taormina’s overtime goal what could have been an important moment in the game became nothing but a footnote.

Prior to the game the Worcester Sharks, along with a handful of former WorSharks and IceCats players, raised a banner with the names of every player to dress in a game for Worcester–up until the point the banner was made, of course–in the American Hockey League’s twenty year run in the city. In the ceremonial puck drop Worcester Sharks Booster Club President Rich Lundin dropped the puck between WorSharks all-time scorer McCarthy and Worcester all-time leader in almost everything Terry Virtue.

With the goal and an assist McCarthy moved into a fourth place tie with Jame Pollcok for all-time goals for Worcester with 63, and inched closer to fourth all-time in points as he’s now just five behind Eric Boguniecki’s 155. McCarthy is also five shy of Tom Cavanagh’s WorSharks franchise assist record. Presuming he stays healthy McCarthy will pass Nick Petrecki’s franchise record for games played on April 12th against Albany, and with ten regular season games remaining McCarthy needs three goals to catch Justin Papineau for third all-time.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 20 Matt Taormina (OTgwg)
2. WOR – 17 John McCarthy (g)
3. STJ – 25 Blair Riley (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Bryan Lerg.

Even strength lines



St. John’s 1 1 0 0 – 2
Worcester 1 0 1 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Worcester, Trupp 15 (Lerg, Willows), 10:49. 2, St. John’s, Balisy 17 (Kichton, O’Neill), 17:39 (PP). Penalties-Riley Stj (fighting), 15:03; Doherty Wor (fighting), 15:03; Stollery Wor (cross-checking), 16:19.

2nd Period-3, St. John’s, Riley 6 (Blanchard), 10:28. Penalties-Lipon Stj (tripping), 0:17; Fedun Wor (tripping), 7:34; Armia Stj (holding, unsportsmanlike conduct), 10:45; Cormier Stj (hooking), 12:31.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, McCarthy 14 (Trupp, Lerg), 10:11 (PP). Penalties-Brouillette Stj (delay of game), 8:35; Walker Stj (hooking), 12:58; Kosmachuk Stj (high-sticking), 18:16.

OT Period-5, Worcester, Taormina 9 (McCarthy, Carpenter), 2:38. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-St. John’s 7-7-6-0-20. Worcester 13-8-12-3-36.
Power Play Opportunities-St. John’s 1 / 2; Worcester 1 / 7.
Goalies-St. John’s, Budaj 0-9-1 (36 shots-33 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 19-10-1 (20 shots-18 saves).
Referees-Kendrick Nicholson (44).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Todd Whittemore (70).

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WorSharks overcome slow start to defeat Springfield 6-3

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, March 28, 2015

The Worcester Sharks found themselves in a situation they’ve faced far too often during this season Friday night at the MassMutual Center against the Springfield Falcons: trailing in the first period. But unlike previous weeks the WorSharks started firing on all cylinders while still in the opening stanza and managed to take the lead after twenty minutes and then never looked back in a 6-3 victory over the Falcons to jump back into 8th place in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference standings. Eriah Hayes had two goals for the WorSharks, with Evan Trupp, franchise goal scoring leader John McCarthy, Daniel Ciampini, and newcomer Matt Willows each adding a goal a piece.

Worcester Sharks forward Eriah Hayes had two goals in the WorSharks 6-3 victory
over the Falcons in Springfield on Friday night. The win drops Worcester's
AHL playoff clinching magic number to 18. Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlight’s we’ll use the Springfield Falcons YouTube channel.

Scratches for Worcester were Konrad Abeltshauser, Jimmy Bonneau, Chris Crane, Dylan Demelo, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder/out for season), Jeremy Langlois (foot), Joel Rumpel, and Joakim Ryan. Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. Over the last week the WorSharks have had a slew of transactions, with Vincent Arseneau being loaned to the Allen Americans (ECHL) and forward Matt Willows from the University of New Hampshire being signed to an amateur try-out. Both defenseman Joakim Ryan (San Jose 2012 draft pick 7/198) and goaltender Joel Rumpel (NCAA free agent from University of Wisconsin) were signed to entry level contracts by San Jose and were assigned to Worcester.

The injury list for the WorSharks is about to get a little longer as reports have Trevor Parkes breaking his lower right leg after a big open ice hit Friday night in Springfield. The check was totally clean, and Parkes’ injury took place as his legs to tangled up underneath him as he fell to the ice. Obviously no time table for his return, but assuming it’s his fibula best case scenario is in the neighborhood of six weeks. Willows took Parkes’ spot on the top line and didn’t look out of place at all.

For a game that was as important to both clubs as Friday’s was and as physical games generally are between the two teams the WorSharks and Falcons were called for just three minors combined as referee Kendrick Nicholson let the boys play. Both teams scored a power play goal, with the Falcons getting one on their only power play of the game in the third period and Trupp’s goal coming late in the second with the man advantage.

WorSharks goalie Aaron Dell and Springfield netminder Scott Monroe really put on a clinic during the contest, with each making acrobatic saves and both had to make saves without a stick at one point. Despite the nine total goals score if either had been off their game it could have looked like a basketball score.

Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Sonny Milano made his AHL debut last night for Springfield, and to say he’s fast is akin to saying water is wet. His first period assist on the Falcons first goal where he outskated WorSharks defenseman Matt Tennyson behind the Worcester goal line is no doubt the first of many points Milano will get in the pros in his career.

With his third period goal Willows adds himself to the short list of Worcester Sharks players who scored a goal in the debut with the team. Who is on that list, you ask? That’s a good question as I can’t find where it is at the moment. More on that tomorrow, I hope.

The three stars of the game were
1. SPR – 12 Ryan Craig (g,a, became Falcons all-time goal scoring leader)
2. WOR – 7 Eriah Hayes (2g,a)
3. WOR – 5 Matt Tennyson (2a)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Aaron Dell

Even strength lines



Worcester 3 1 2 – 6
Springfield 2 0 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Springfield, Adam 15 (Milano, Tyrell), 4:43. 2, Springfield, Craig 14 (Labrie, Tynan), 6:39. 3, Worcester, Hayes 7 (Tennyson, Taormina), 8:55. 4, Worcester, Ciampini 2 (Tennyson), 11:08. 5, Worcester, McCarthy 13 (Hayes), 11:33. Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period-6, Worcester, Trupp 14 (Fedun, Taormina), 17:24 (PP). Penalties-Vogelhuber Spr (interference), 3:27; Hoeffel Spr (slashing), 17:16.

3rd Period-7, Springfield, Collins 15 (Weinstein, Craig), 8:22 (PP). 8, Worcester, Willows 1 12:19. 9, Worcester, Hayes 8 18:54 (EN). Penalties-Doherty Wor (hooking), 7:23.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 19-10-8-37. Springfield 16-11-10-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 2; Springfield 1 / 1.
Goalies-Worcester, Dell 11-5-0 (37 shots-34 saves). Springfield, Munroe 7-10-0 (36 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Kendrick Nicholson (44).
Linesmen-Glen Cooke (6), Brent Colby (7).

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McCarthy sets WorSharks franchise career goals mark in 6-1 win over Phantoms

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Worcester Sharks offense was firing on all cylinders Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts against Lehigh Valley, with 13 of the 18 skaters registering points in the WorSharks 6-1 victory over the Phantoms. Former Union College standout Daniel Ciampini led the way notching his first two pro points with a goal and an assist, and John McCarthy’s late third period strike gave him 61 goals in his WorSharks career, moving him into first place by himself in career goals for the franchise. Enforcer and fan favorite Jimmy Bonneau had just his second multi-point night in a Worcester jersey with two assists, and goaltender Aaron Dell had 29 saves for his tenth win of the season.

Worcester Sharks forward Daniel Ciampini scored his first two career pro points
Saturday night in the WorSharks 6-1 win over Lehigh Valley. Ciampini's first
period goal gave Worcester a lead they would never relinquish and his second
period assist helped put the game away. Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll once again use the Worcester Sharks YouTube channel:

Scratches for Worcester were Konrad Abeltshauser, Vincent Arseneau, Chris Crane, Dylan DeMelo (ankle), Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), and Jeremy Langlois (foot). Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. During the game defenseman Gus Young suffered a groin injury, and word afterwards was while it wasn’t serious he might not be ready for next weekend’s slate of games. DeMelo is expected to be able to play by that point, and with the NCAA down their 16 team tourney field set there will be a influx of players on amateur try-out deals heading to Worcester, including San Jose Sharks draft pick Joakim Ryan (2012 7th/198), a defenseman from Cornell.

John McCarthy just keeps writing himself into the WorSharks and Worcester all-time record books, and his third period goal Saturday night broke his tie with Dan DaSilva for the franchise mark for career goals at 61. That places him tied in sixth place all-time for Worcester with Stephane Roy, with Jeff Panzer’s 62 and Jame Pollock’s 63 easily catchable with 13 regular season games remaining. McCarthy’s 147 points are fifth in Worcester’s all-time AHL history, but he’s going to have to do some work to catch Eric Boguniecki’s 155 points for fourth. The only WorSharks record McCarthy doesn’t hold is career assists, where his 86 is six behind the late Tom Cavanagh.

If Micheal Haley finishes the season with 19 goals he can blame the AHL’s incredibly poor replay system for not getting to twenty as Haley had a goal stolen from him last night when the replay system at the DCU Center–the one that’s mandated by the American Hockey League–failed to work. It is an outright shame that the AHL demands its teams use an antiquated system that isn’t set up to handle some of the peculiarities of their buildings. Plus when the home video security system I use at my house is a better quality than a video goal system a professional league uses it shows an incredible lack of judgment by the league.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 25 Daniel Ciampini (g,a)
2. WOR – 43 Jimmy Bonneau (2a)
3. WOR – 5 Matt Tennyson (a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was John McCarthy

Even strength lines



Lehigh Valley 0 0 1 – 1
Worcester 3 2 1 – 6

1st Period-1, Worcester, Ciampini 1 (Bonneau, Young), 5:16. 2, Worcester, Lerg 13 (Taormina, Tennyson), 10:57. 3, Worcester, Schwartz 4 (McCarthy), 16:03. Penalties-Jones Lv (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:21.

2nd Period-4, Worcester, Carpenter 10 (Bonneau, Ciampini), 2:57. 5, Worcester, Coetzee 9 (Haley, Oleksuk), 11:55. Penalties-Stortini Lv (roughing), 5:17; Lauridsen Lv (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 6:29; Hayes Wor (goaltender interference), 6:29.

3rd Period-6, Lehigh Valley, Manning 11 (Stortini, Gordon), 4:55 (PP). 7, Worcester, McCarthy 12 (Hayes), 15:45. Penalties-Stollery Wor (interference), 2:53; Carpenter Wor (tripping), 3:59; Gordon Lv (tripping), 16:05.

Shots on Goal-Lehigh Valley 9-7-13-29. Worcester 13-12-5-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Lehigh Valley 1 / 2; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-Lehigh Valley, Stolarz 9-12-0 (30 shots-24 saves). Worcester, Dell 10-5-0 (29 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Chris Low (88).

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WorSharks jump back into playoff race with 3-1 win over IceCaps

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Worcester Sharks know all it will take for them to get into the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs is to just win games as they still control their own fate, and Friday night at the DCU Center the WorSharks got off to a quick start with two first period goals by captain Bryan Lerg and goaltender Aaron Dell made them stand up in Worcester’s 3-1 win over the St John’s IceCaps in front of a boisterous crowd of 5,291 to get back into the AHL’s playoff race.

Worcester Sharks captain Bryan Lerg scored two first period goals to lead the WorSharks
to a 3-1 victory over the St John's IceCaps. The two strikes by Lerg gave him 37 points
on the season, which puts him in the team lead. Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll use the WorSharks YouTube channel

Scratches for Worcester were Konrad Abeltshauser, Vincent Arseneau, Jimmy Bonneau, Dylan DeMelo (unknown injury), Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), and Jeremy Langlois (foot). Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. For those that missed my twitter update after Wednesday’s loss to Hershey Emanuelsson will be out for the remainder of the season after having surgery on his opposite shoulder that had been previously injured. Prior to Friday night’s game WorSharks beat reporter Bill Ballou of the Telegram & Gazette tweeted that former Union forward Daniel Ciampini has been released from his ATO and signed to an AHL contract for the remainder of the season. There was no official word from the WorSharks on that, but Ballou bats 1.000 on those kind of things so it’s obviously true.

Speaking of twitter, after Lerg’s second goal and fourth in a row for the WorSharks I tweeted I was fairly certain the four goals in a row was a franchise record. Yeah, not so much. After a review last night over some Chinese food it turns out the record is five by Daniil Tarasov, running from October 20th to the 26th in 2013 when Tarasov had single goal games against Portland and Manchester before a hat trick against Springfield.

Lerg’s first goal was reviewed after the IceCaps complained he kicked it into the net. Referees Michael Mullen and David Banfield talked about it, and then looked at the video replay before confirming the goal. Originally it looked like Worcester caught a break as Lerg’s kick was beyond the view of the goal line camera, but during a post game jersey auction Lerg told several people he did get his stick on it after he kicked it. Low and behold, watching the highlight video you can see Lerg just get his stick on the puck as it bounds away from him.

Looking at the box score you’d think John McCarthy didn’t have a great game with no points and being a minus-one for the night, but his play during one shift on the penalty kill shows why he was a great additions to the team. With the WorSharks down two skaters in the span of 40 seconds or so McCarthy blocked two shots, deflected a pass, and then blocked a third shot and was able to clear the puck. No box score categories in the AHL for those things, but they were just as big as any goal he’s scored this season.

During the 2010-2011 season while the injury bug was hitting pretty much every goaltender in the San Jose organization Worcester signed goalie Jeff Jakaitis to a PTO. He played in three games for Worcester, going 1-2-0, and while he wasn’t terrible he certainly didn’t write his name into any record books while he was here. That is certainly not the case in the ECHL as Jakaitis just recently broke the league’s shutout streak record. His streak currently is 319:32, less than period behind the all-time North American professional record of 332:01 set by Brian Boucher in 2003-04 with the Phoenix Coyotes.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 11 Bryan Lerg (2g)
2. WOR – 29 Aaron Dell (24 saves)
3. WOR – 17 John McCarthy (look up for why)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Gus Young.

Even strength lines



St. John’s 0 1 0 – 1
Worcester 2 0 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Worcester, Lerg 11 (Carpenter), 2:10. 2, Worcester, Lerg 12 (Trupp, Tennyson), 8:16. Penalties-Cormier Stj (boarding), 8:56; Hayes Wor (tripping), 11:39; Taormina Wor (boarding), 12:23; Parkes Wor (boarding), 15:22.

2nd Period-3, St. John’s, Lipon 4 (Olsen, Brassard), 18:40. Penalties-Parkes Wor (hooking), 2:43; Parent Stj (holding), 15:24; Stollery Wor (tripping), 19:11.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, Schwartz 3 (Young, Oleksuk), 18:00 (EN). Penalties-Walker Stj (hooking), 2:15; Haley Wor (boarding), 6:55; Lipon Stj (interference), 10:15.

Shots on Goal-St. John’s 8-11-6-25. Worcester 11-4-6-21.
Power Play Opportunities-St. John’s 0 / 6; Worcester 0 / 4.
Goalies-St. John’s, Hellebuyck 27-19-1 (20 shots-18 saves). Worcester, Dell 9-5-0 (25 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Michael Mullen (18), David Banfield (77).
Linesmen-Chris Low (88), Alex Stagnone (7).

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WorSharks bedeviled by Albany in 3-2 loss

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Worcester Sharks continued their first period woes by not scoring in the opening stanza in their seventh consecutive game, and despite coming back from a two goal deficit in the middle period the WorSharks didn’t have enough to get fully over the hump and dropped a 3-2 contest to the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center on Friday night. Defensemen Taylor Fedun and Karl Stollery had the goals for Worcester, while Troy Grosenick was the hard-luck loser despite making 31 saves, many of the spectacular variety.

Worcester Sharks defenseman Karl Stollery scored his first goal for the WorSharks
since being traded for Freddie Hamilton at the NHL trade deadline. Stollery has
three points in five games for Worcester. File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we get to use the Albany Devil’s YouTube channel.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Konrad Abeltshauser, Jimmy Bonneau, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), Jeremy Langlois (foot), Daniil Tarasov (potential recall), Matt Tennyson (lower body), and Evan Trupp (undisclosed injury). Aaron Dell was the back-up goaltender. The word that Tarasov might be recalled to San Jose reached Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer about a half-hour before the team bus departed to Albany, so as is usually the case Tarasov was left behind in Worcester. As of posting time his recall was not official.

Season after season the schedule released for the WorSharks by the AHL has had a few head-scratching entries, usually consisting of long bus trips between locations that had the games been in reverse order would have made for much easier trips. This season Worcester only had one mad dash, a home to Syracuse overnight trip that was made easier by an early start the previous day. This season it’s having basically an entire weekend off as the playoff rush begins. The WorSharks don’t take to the ice again until next Wednesday against Hershey while nearly everyone else in the AHL plays a three-in-three. The rest does come at a good time as the injury bug is starting to bite Worcester, and the extra couple days off will likely do wonders for the club.

Milestone alerts: John McCarthy is one goal short of the WorSharks franchise lead; Travis Oleksuk needs one point for 75 in his Worcester career, Matt Tennyson needs two for 60 and Dylan DeMelo two for 50.

The three stars of the game were
1. ALB – 23 Darcy Zajac (g,a)
2. ALB – 10 Rod Pelley (g,a)
3. WOR – 14 Taylor Fedun (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Bryan Lerg.

Even strength lines



Worcester 0 2 0 – 2
Albany 2 0 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Albany, Thompson 25 (Sestito), 7:36. 2, Albany, Pelley 6 (D. Zajac, Burlon), 15:14. Penalties-Hayes Wor (goaltender interference), 5:10; Sestito Alb (tripping), 5:10; Thomson Alb (hooking), 8:19; Doherty Wor (holding), 13:08; Thomson Alb (interference), 15:32.

2nd Period-3, Worcester, Fedun 6 (Lerg, Taormina), 4:57. 4, Worcester, Stollery 6 (Carpenter, DeMelo), 10:20. Penalties-Kelly Alb (elbowing), 2:52; Doherty Wor (slashing), 8:25; Whitney Alb (tripping), 9:04; Arseneau Wor (boarding), 15:49; Oleksuk Wor (hooking), 19:23.

3rd Period-5, Albany, D. Zajac 7 (Pelley, McPherson), 5:46. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Worcester 8-11-10-29. Albany 14-12-8-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 4; Albany 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Grosenick 18-9-1 (34 shots-31 saves). Albany, Clemmensen 6-8-1 (29 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Tim Mayer (19), Cameron Voss (78).
Linesmen-Frank Murphy (29), Francis Trempe (85).

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McCarthy becomes WorSharks all-time points leader in 5-1 win over Bridgeport

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Friday, March 13, 2015

The Worcester Sharks went down to the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut on Wednesday night with a little revenge in mind after losing to the Sound Tigers at the DCU Center on Saturday, and behind a record setting night by John McCarthy and a near flawless game by goaltender Troy Grosenick the WorSharks defeated Bridgeport 5-1 to jump into sixth place in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference standings. Dylan DeMelo, Daniil Tarasov, and Eriah Hayes were the other goal scorers for Worcester, while Willie Coetzee extended his point streaks to four games with an assist.

Worcester Sharks forward John McCarthy had two goals an and assist Wednesday night in
Bridgeport to become the WorSharks all-time points leader with 145 points. McCarthy is
also tied with Dan DaSilva for the Worcester Sharks all-time goal lead at 60.
File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’re going to point at Usually the Sound Tigers put together a great video package on their website, but for Wednesday’s game there was an obvious issue with the upload.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Konrad Abeltshauser, Jimmy Bonneau, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), Jeremy Langlois (foot), Bryan Lerg (knee), Matt Tennyson (lower body), and Evan Trupp (undisclosed injury). Aaron Dell was the back-up netminder. None of the recent injuries are thought to be serious, but it did make for an interesting stat for the game: half of Worcester’s top ten scorers out of the line-up with Trupp, Lerg, and Langlois injured, Chris Tierney still on recall to San Jose, and Freddie Hamilton traded to Colorado. Earlier in the week Worcester GM Joe Will made a trade with the Manchester Monarchs, getting forward Vincent Arseneau in exchange for future considerations. Arseneau made his WorSharks debut Wednesday wearing #16.

As noted above, John McCarthy continues to write his name in the WorSharks record books. Now possessing the Worcester Sharks all-time points record he needs just one goal to take over that category from Dan DaSilva, and seven more assists to catch Tom Cavanagh’s 92 for that record. McCarthy’s 85 is actually third on the WorSharks career assist list, with Steven Zalewski’s 87 next up. McCarthy also needs 13 games to catch Nick Petrecki at 277 for most games played for the Worcester Sharks. On the Worcester all-time list McCarthy is tied for 7th (with DaSilva) in goals but likely will not catch Marc Brown’s 79 for the IceCats. In assists McCarthy is tied with Daniel Cosro for sixth all-time, in career points he is sixth by himself, and games played he’s in fifth place. In those categories McCarthy has no chance of catching “Mr IceCats” Terry Virtue.

In Saturday’s game between the two clubs Colton Gillies was given a major and ejected for his hit on WorSharks captain Bryan Lerg, and even though Lerg came back to finish that game he’s been an injury scratch since. The AHL decided the hit wasn’t worthy of a suspension despite it being much more serious that the hit they suspended Jimmy Bonneau for last week. It was presumed that with Bonneau available to play Wednesday Worcester head coach Roy Sommer would send his tough guy out to extract some frontier justice, but Sommer scratched Bonneau. Worcester plays in Bridgeport one more time this season–the game rescheduled because the Sound Tigers allegedly had travel troubles in January–so we may still see Bonneau introducing himself to Gillies.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 17 John McCarthy (2g,a)
2. WOR – 1 Troy Grosenick (25 save win)
3. WOR – 7 Eriah Hayes (g)

We don’t usually give the Sharkspage player of the game to one of the top two stars, but we’ll make an exception for Wednesday’s game and give it to John McCarthy.

Even strength lines, courtesy of Michael Fornabaio from the CT Post:



Worcester 0 2 3 – 5
Bridgeport 0 0 1 – 1

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Fedun Wor (tripping), 10:20; Coetzee Wor (goaltender interference), 18:57; Reinhart Bri (roughing), 18:57.

2nd Period-1, Worcester, Hayes 6 (Carpenter, Schwartz), 6:06. 2, Worcester, McCarthy 10 (Haley, Fedun), 7:09. Penalties-Carpenter Wor (high-sticking), 15:31; Mouillierat Bri (slashing), 19:59.

3rd Period-3, Worcester, Tarasov 12 (McCarthy, Stollery), 7:46 (PP). 4, Worcester, DeMelo 6 (Coetzee, Oleksuk), 13:34 (PP). 5, Bridgeport, Zolnierczyk 18 (Ness, Mouillierat), 14:49 (PP). 6, Worcester, McCarthy 11 (Parkes), 18:58. Penalties-Parkes Wor (boarding), 3:34; Carkner Bri (tripping), 6:47; Mayfield Bri (boarding), 12:31; Hayes Wor (high-sticking), 14:27.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 8-12-9-29. Bridgeport 9-9-8-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 2 / 3; Bridgeport 1 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Grosenick 18-8-1 (26 shots-25 saves). Bridgeport, Poulin 15-15-1 (29 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Mike Baker (11).

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WorSharks create hill too high to climb, lose 4-3 to Bridgeport

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Worcester Sharks spotted the Bridgeport Sound Tigers a two goal first period lead and through uninspired play saw the deficit climb to three goals, but two late power play strikes from Chris Crane and Willie Coetzee got the WorSharks all the way to nearly even before time ran out on their comeback as Worcester dropped a 4-3 contest to the Sound Tigers at the DCU Center on “Troy Grosenick Bobblehead Night”. Micheal Haley had the other tally for the WorSharks while Travis Oleksuk contributed two assists.

Worcester Sharks forward Micheal Haley continued his assault on the 20 goal
plateau with a second period power play tally during the WorSharks 4-3 loss
to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Saturday night at the DCU Center.
File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we again get to use the WorSharks YouTube channel

Scratches for Worcester were Jimmy Bonneau (suspended, game two of three), Derek DeBlois, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), Jeremy Langlois (foot), and Rylan Schwartz. Aaron Dell was the back-up goaltender, and he’s scheduled to start Sunday in Providence. Just after Friday night’s win over Hartford Taylor Fedun was recalled to San Jose, and just after the Sharks game ended according to the AHL transactions Fedun was returned to the WorSharks. Saturday Worcester went with 11 forwards and seven defensemen, something WorSharks head coach Roy Sommer has done on more than a few occasions this season.

There are significant rumors saying the WorSharks are looking to make some additions to their line-up prior to the AHL trade deadline on Monday. Sources say the team is focused on some of the AHL teams unlikely to make the Calder Cup playoffs looking for a goal scorer whose NHL rights holder might want to see get some playoff time. WorSharks GM Joe Will was understandably quiet on the issue, only talking in general terms that adding players for a playoff run is something that obviously would be looked at if the opportunity arose. Based on the rumors, that opportunity is knocking on Will’s door.

Looking at the highlight video it’s clear to see Worcester escaped what might have been a killing blow to their playoff chances when WorSharks captain Bryan Lerg turned out to not be hurt by the elbow thrown by Sound Tigers forward Colton Gillies. While referee Evgeny Romasko ejected Gillies for kneeing the video clearly shows the knee to knee contact was incidental, and that the real hit was a shoulder that impacted Lerg’s head. After needing help to get off the ice and down to the dressing room it was only a few minutes before Lerg returned to the bench and continued playing looking no worse for wear. With Taylor Doherty getting an instigator minor for jumping Gillies Worcester ended up with a three minute major power play out of the deal, but could not capitalize.

The three stars of the game were
1. BRI – 20 Dustin Jeffrey (g.a)
2. BRI – 16 Harry Zolnierczyk (g,a)
3. WOR – 26 Willie Coetzee (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Travis Oleksuk.

Even strength Lines



Bridgeport 1 2 1 – 4
Worcester 0 1 2 – 3

1st Period-1, Bridgeport, Zolnierczyk 17 (Pelech, Quine), 19:12. Penalties-Gillies Bri (fighting, major – kneeing, game misconduct – kneeing), 1:57; Doherty Wor (instigating, fighting, misconduct – instigating), 1:57; Stollery Wor (tripping), 8:56; Parkes Wor (slashing), 13:01.

2nd Period-2, Bridgeport, McMillan 1 (Zolnierczyk, Sundstrom), 4:01. 3, Worcester, Haley 18 (Coetzee, Oleksuk), 6:49 (PP). 4, Bridgeport, Jeffrey 19 (Persson, Collberg), 18:37. Penalties-Zolnierczyk Bri (hooking), 1:54; Reinhart Bri (interference), 5:29.

3rd Period-5, Bridgeport, Collberg 4 (Jeffrey), 6:11. 6, Worcester, Crane 1 (McCarthy), 15:03 (PP). 7, Worcester, Coetzee 8 (Oleksuk, Grosenick), 17:46 (PP). Penalties-Trupp Wor (high-sticking), 2:08; Vaughan Bri (tripping), 9:21; Sundstrom Bri (tripping), 13:14; Poulin Bri (delay of game), 16:45; Ness Bri (interference), 19:39; Haley Wor (roughing), 19:39.

Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 9-7-9-25. Worcester 16-13-13-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 0 / 3; Worcester 3 / 6.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Poulin 15-14-1 (42 shots-39 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 17-8-1 (25 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Evgeny Romasko (6).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Frank Murphy (29).

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WorSharks thump Wolf Pack 5-2 in record setting night

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Worcester Sharks started off Friday night’s game against the Hartford Wolf Pack at the DCU Center looking unfocused and uninterested, and as a result found themselves down 2-0 after twenty minutes of play. Whatever the WorSharks did in the first intermission they may wish to do every night as Worcester came storming out of the gate in the second period and scored five unanswered goals, with the last two coming a franchise record six seconds apart, to defeat Hartford 5-2. Micheal Haley had two goals, while Willie Coetzee and Bryan Lerg each added two assists on the night. Troy Grosenick picked up the win in a 33 save performance.

Worcester Sharks forwards Daniil Tarasov (left) and Micheal Haley scored goals
just six seconds apart in the second period, a franchise record for the two
quickest goals, to help led the WorSharks to a 5-2 victory over Hartford.
SHARKSPAGE graphic from file photos courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we once again get to use the WorSharks YouTube channel. Missing from the video is Worcester’s second goal, and absolute laser by Taylor Fedun from the blue line on the power play a minute or so after Haley’s first goal.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Konrad Abeltshauser, Jimmy Bonneau (suspended, game one of three), Taylor Doherty, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), Jeremy Langlois (foot), and Rylan Schwartz. Aaron Dell was the back-up goaltender. The NHL trade deadline had an impact on Worcester’s roster as San Jose sent Freddie Hamilton to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Karl Stollery, who was immediately assigned to the WorSharks. San Jose also assigned and recalled Chris Tierney and Barclay Goodrow to make them both eligible for the AHL playoffs. With Bonneau being suspended the WorSharks dipped into the ECHL and signed forward Derek DeBlois to a PTO. DeBlois started the season with Worcester but because of a glut of forwards was released without playing a game. He went on to the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL), where he won the ECHL’s rookie of the month for February.

This is the time of the year when teams get a little more closed mouth about injuries, and being in the playoff hunt Worcester is joining the ranks of teams saying little about potential injures. That being the case, there hasn’t been a significant update on the conditions of Emanuelsson and/or Langlois. This writer hasn’t seen either of them in the building lately so guessing what’s going on is impossible. It should be noted that not seeing injured players prior/during games isn’t all that uncommon, so nothing should be read into the fact they aren’t around. One player that has been a scratch for many recent game and the WorSharks are adamant about not being inured is defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser. No matter how I worded the question to WorSharks Public Relations Director Eric Lindquist the answer was the same: he’s a healthy scratch.

The second period goals by Tarasov (16:47) and Haley (16:53) have been announced as the quickest two goals in franchise history. It breaks a record of 12 seconds set way back in the inaugural season on February 2, 2007 when Garrett Stafford and Tomas Plihal scored 12 seconds apart against Bridgeport at the DCU Center. Those goals were just like the Tarasov/Haley goals, with a quick even strength strike following a power play tally.

Friday night’s game saw another oddity on Gus Young’s goal as it was the first time in franchise history three defenseman got points on the same goal. After Matt Tennyson left the penalty box after serving a tripping minor he joined an odd man rush up ice, and his pass to Dylan DeMelo was the secondary assist on Young’s deflection of DeMelo’s blast. It is, as near as I can tell, just the third time in franchise history the WorSharks have scored a goal with three defensemen on the ice. The second time may not even count as Brad Staubitz was listed as a defenseman but was likely playing forward that game.

The WorSharks five goal second period outburst was the first time since April 7, 2010 that Worcester had as many goals in a single period. Ironically, that night was a 9-2 win at Hartford.

Every WorSharks skater had a shot on goal except for Travis Oleksuk, and even without a shot Oleksuk had a pretty decent game. After the lackluster opening period most of Worcester’s lines looked real good in the final 40 minutes.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 18 Micheal Haley (2g)
2. WOR – 14 Taylor Fedun (g)
3. WOR – 26 Willie Coetzee (2a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Bryan Lerg.

Even strength lines



Hartford 2 0 0 – 2
Worcester 0 5 0 – 5

1st Period-1, Hartford, Lindberg 17 (Klingberg, Bourque), 8:33 (PP). 2, Hartford, Hrivik 9 (Bodie, R. Bourque), 16:35. Penalties-Lindberg Hfd (high-sticking), 4:15; Hayes Wor (tripping), 7:47.

2nd Period-3, Worcester, Haley 16 (Coetzee), 1:34. 4, Worcester, Fedun 5 (Taormina, Lerg), 2:47 (PP). 5, Worcester, Young 3 (DeMelo, Tennyson), 13:04. 6, Worcester, Tarasov 11 (Lerg, Trupp), 16:47 (PP). 7, Worcester, Haley 17 (Coetzee), 16:53. Penalties-Vaive Hfd (holding the stick), 2:41; Haley Wor (interference), 3:49; Tennyson Wor (tripping), 10:51; Klingberg Hfd (goaltender interference), 16:14.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Nehring Hfd (fighting), 6:44; Crane Wor (fighting), 6:44; Bourque Hfd (hooking), 8:41; DeMelo Wor (cross-checking), 16:00.

Shots on Goal-Hartford 14-12-9-35. Worcester 8-22-8-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 4; Worcester 2 / 4.
Goalies-Hartford, Malcolm 5-2-0 (30 shots-25 saves); Danis 9-11-1 (8 shots-8 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 17-7-1 (35 shots-33 saves).
Referees-Jon McIsaac (45).
Linesmen-Chris Low (88), Todd Whittemore (70).

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Evan Trupp gets hat trick, WorSharks melt IceCaps 6-3

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Worcester Sharks, fresh off a sweep of last weekend’s three-in-three with a pair of victories over the Norfolk Admirals and a Sunday win in Manchester, went into Friday night’s game against the St John’s IceCaps with a little revenge in mind after being banged around a bit on The Rock two weeks ago and eventually blowing a four goal lead. Worcester got some payback both on the ice and on the scoreboard with a mammoth tone-setting fight from Jimmy Bonneau at the opening puck drop and a timely offensive outburst to defeat the IceCaps 6-3 at the DCU Center. Evan Trupp led the WorSharks with his first professional hat trick and an assist, while Trevor Parkes had his first three assist game as pro. Aaron Dell had 29 saves in the victory. The two teams play again Saturday at 7pm.

Worcester Sharks forward Evan Trupp scored his first pro hat trick
in the WorSharks 6-3 win over the St John's IceCaps Friday night
at the DCU Center. File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll point to the Worcester Sharks YouTube channel, where 2008–09 James H. Ellery Memorial Award winner Kevin Shea joined WorSharks play by play man Eric Lindquist with the call.

Scratches for Worcester were Konrad Abeltshauser, Chris Crane, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), Jeremy Langlois (Foot), and Daniil Tarasov. Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. With this writer being off for nearly two weeks we’re a little behind in the transactions. Since our last update Dylan DeMelo, Matt Tennyson, and Tarasov have all been assigned to Worcester by San Jose, while the WorSharks have sent three down to the ECHL in J.P. Anderson (Allen Americans), Kyle Bigos (Ontario Reign), and Nick Jones (Indy Fuel).

With his hat trick Trupp became the second WorSharks player to score a hat trick and assist on all three goals of another player’s hat trick in the same season. Trupp assisted on all three of Langlois’ goals on January 21st in Portland. Mathieu Darche was the first to do it, scoring the franchise’s first hat trick on December 22, 2006 against Manchester and then assisting on all of Mike Iggulden’s goals on March 31, 2007 in Houston. Tarasov has also accomplished the feat, although it took two season for him to do it, scoring his hat trick October 26, 2013 at Springfield and then exactly one year later assisting on all three of Freddie Hamilton’s goals against Portland.

The Worcester Sharks booster Club announced their player of the month awards for the first portion of the season in a pregame ceremony, with Micheal Haley winning for October, Matt Taormina for November, and captain Bryan Lerg for December. After the ceremony the WorSharks surprised longtime season ticket holder Chris O’Shea by having her take part in the ceremonial puck drop.

To call Friday night’s contest one of the poorest officiated games in recent memory would be a massive understatement. Referee Garrett Rank, working alone for the game, apparently panicked after the opening faceoff battle between Jimmy Bonneau and Blair Riley and ejected both players for “continuing altercation”, a rule that exists solely for the purpose of referees ejecting players. Rank then seemed to forget he was officiating a hockey game and let everything go until late in the second period when Taylor Doherty had enough and absolutely went bonkers on IceCaps forward JC Lipon, literally picking Lipon up and driving him into the boards. In the third period Rank called Eriah Hayes for high sticking even after watching Hayes get slashed multiple times beforehand. Somehow the least penalized team in the AHL was the only team killing penalties in the game. Seems a tad odd to this writer.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 13 Evan Trupp (hat trick, assist)
2. WOR – 39 Trevor Parkes (3a)
3. STJ – 24 Scott Kosmachuk (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Eriah Hayes.

Even strength lines
Bonneau (everyone)/Schwartz/Coetzee



St. John’s 2 1 0 – 3
Worcester 2 2 2 – 6

1st Period-1, Worcester, Trupp 11 (Parkes, Taormina), 1:12. 2, St. John’s, Albert 15 (Lipon, Kosmachuk), 4:17. 3, Worcester, Hayes 5 (Carpenter), 8:42. 4, St. John’s, Balisy 13 (Kichton, Armia), 16:11. Penalties-Riley Stj (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting, game misconduct – continuing altercation), 0:02; Bonneau Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting, game misconduct – continuing altercation), 0:02.

2nd Period-5, Worcester, Schwartz 2 (Trupp, Parkes), 12:33. 6, St. John’s, Kosmachuk 12 (Lipon, Albert), 13:17. 7, Worcester, Trupp 12 (Lerg), 15:41. Penalties-Doherty Wor (roughing, roughing), 16:21.

3rd Period-8, Worcester, McCarthy 9 18:12 (EN). 9, Worcester, Trupp 13 (DeMelo, Parkes), 19:35 (EN). Penalties-Hayes Wor (high-sticking), 9:55.

Shots on Goal-St. John’s 8-10-14-32. Worcester 14-6-9-29.
Power Play Opportunities-St. John’s 0 / 3; Worcester 0 / 0.
Goalies-St. John’s, Hellebuyck 24-16-1 (27 shots-23 saves). Worcester, Dell 8-3-0 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Garrett Rank (48).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Chris Low (88).

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WorSharks break IceCaps hearts with 3-1 victory over St John’s

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Worcester Sharks overcame canceled flights, aborted landings, and missing equipment during their trip north to St John’s, Newfoundland, and when if finally came time to just go out and play some hockey Saturday night that’s what the WorSharks did as Gus Young, Bryan Lerg, and newcomer Trevor Parkes all scored for Worcester while goaltender Aaron Dell was solid in net again during Worcester’s 3-1 win over the IceCaps on Valentine’s Day night at the Mile One Centre.

Worcester Sharks defenseman Gus Young (white, #3) defends against St John's forward
Eric O'Dell while WorSharks goaltender Aaron Dell takes a peek around the players
looking for the puck. Young scored Worcester's first goal while Dell had 24 saves.
Photo courtesy of ST. JOHN'S ICECAPS

For video highlights we’ll use the IceCaps YouTube channel, and we get to hear the voice of Brian Rogers, who is one of the best in the business.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Kyle Bigos, Jimmy Bonneau, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), Troy Grosenick, and Jeremy Langlois (broken foot). J.P. Anderson was the back-up goaltender. The good news is Grosenick is no longer an injury/illness scratch and is working his way back into game shape. He is with the team on the trip. One person not listed who didn’t make the trek to Newfoundland is head coach Roy Sommer, who stayed behind in Worcester after suffering a “minor medical issue” that required a brief hospitalization. Word from the team is Roy will be OK, and will rejoin the team when they arrive back home early next week.

In Roy’s absence assistant coach Ryan Mougenel took over the reins while developmental coach Bryan Marchment worked as his assistant. It’s the second time in his AHL assistant coaching career that Mougenel has taken the helm for an ill head coach, the first time was January 26, 2014 when Mougenel took over for Hershey Bears head coach Mike Haviland when he took ill before a game against Wilkes-Barre. The Bears won that game 2-0. There’s another Worcester connection to that story as Patrick Wellar, a scratched Bears defenseman and former IceCats player, worked as Mougenel’s assistant behind the bench in that game. Ironically, referee Tim Mayer has worked both games Mougenel was acting head coach. Mayer will make it three for three Sunday afternoon when the two teams meet up again.

Like baseball, hockey is a game of inches where just a small amount space makes a play onside or offside, or turns a booming body check into a glancing blow, or turns a goal into a harmlessly bouncing away puck. That last example is often the most heartbreaking for one team while extremely relieving for the other. It was the WorSharks that were on the happier end of that scale as the IceCaps found the iron behind goaltender Dell four times in the contest. An inch here and an inch there and we’d have had a whole different game going on.

With Saturday’s game John McCarthy moves into second place in WorSharks team history, and 5th in Worcester pro hockey all-time, for games played at 254. Next up on the all-time lest is Jame Pollock’s 270. Nick Petrecki has the Worcester Sharks team record at 277 games, and is third all-time in Worcester hockey history. McCarthy also is 4 goals, 10 assists, and 6 points short of WorSharks franchise records in those categories. He’s also 461 penalty minutes shy of the team record but it’s probably unlikely he makes that ground up.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Grosenick is healthy enough to play. Dell, who started the season with the Allen Americans of the ECHL as third on the WorSharks goaltender depth chart, has outplayed both Grosenick and Anderson by a significant margin. Due to the way NHL contracts work there’s virtually no way he replaces Grosenick, but Anderson still being on his entry level deal can be assigned to the ECHL. Don’t be shocked when the smoke clears if it’s Dell staying and Anderson leaving. Then the real controversy begins on who gets the most starts, Grosenick or the AHL-contracted Dell.

The three stars of the game were apparently picked randomly by the IceCaps:
1. WOR – 18 Micheal Haley (a)
2. WOR – 3 Gus Young (g)
3. STJ – 37 Connor Hellebuyck (28 save loss)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Aaron Dell.

Even strength lines



Worcester 1 2 0 – 3
St. John’s 0 0 1 – 1

1st Period-1, Worcester, Young 2 (Abeltshauser, Haley), 12:32 (PP). Penalties-Armia Stj (interference), 10:35.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Parkes 1 (Crane), 12:13. 3, Worcester, Lerg 8 (Trupp, Fedun), 13:40 (PP). Penalties-Hayes Wor (hooking), 2:30; O’Dell Stj (delay of game), 13:15; Cormier Stj (hooking), 16:10; Coetzee Wor (high-sticking), 17:22; Cormier Stj (delay of game), 19:54.

3rd Period-4, St. John’s, Brassard 3 (Balisy, O’Neill), 8:38. Penalties-Young Wor (interference), 11:37; Fedun Wor (tripping), 17:26; Armia Stj (tripping), 17:26; Carpenter Wor (hooking), 18:50.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 8-13-10-31. St. John’s 9-5-11-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 2 / 4; St. John’s 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Dell 5-3-0 (25 shots-24 saves). St. John’s, Hellebuyck 22-15-1 (31 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Tim Mayer (19).
Linesmen-Jim Vail (75), Sheldon Keough (63).

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WorSharks blank Admirals to earn split of weekend series

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Worcester Sharks embarked on a five game road trip earlier this week, and after a 4-3 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allentown, Pennsylvania Wednesday night the WorSharks headed to Norfolk, Virginia for a pair against the Admirals. On Friday night Worcester was blanked by Norfolk as Admirals goaltender John Gibson had 36 saves in a 3-0 win over the WorSharks, but on Saturday Aaron Dell returned the favor with a 38 save performance of his own as Worcester defeated Norfolk 4-0 to split the two game set.

Worcester Sharks forward Micheal Haley scored his 13th goal of the season Saturday
night by deflecting Evan Trupp's high pass out of the air and past Norfolk Admirals
goaltender Jason LaBarbera on the power play during the WorSharks 4-0 victory.
Photo courtesy of JOHN WRIGHT/

For video highlights we were going to use the Norfolk Admirals YouTube channel, but there seems to be an issue with the uploaded highlights so we’ll just point to

Scratches for the WorSharks were J.P. Anderson (illness), Kyle Bigos, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), Troy Grosenick (illness), and Jeremy Langlois (foot). With Anderson falling ill Saturday Worcester had to scramble for a back-up goaltender, and not wanting to use Jimmy Bonneau again someone in the organization dug deep into their phone books to call 23 year old Jackson Winkler to be the emergency backup goaltender. Winkler is currently serving in the US Coast Guard and stationed in Yorktown. He wore #30, and got to keep his jersey for his night of sitting on the bench.

There were a few milestones reached Saturday night, with John McCarthy playing in his 253rd game for the Worcester Sharks tying him with Mike Moore for second all-time in franchise history behind Nick Petrecki’s 277. The 253 games for Worcester ties McCarthy and Moore with the IceCats Blake Evans for fifth all-time in Worcester’s AHL history. It will be a while before McCarthy gets to number four on that list as Jame Pollock is next at 270. McCarthy’s goal tied him with Tom Cavanagh for second in franchise history for points at 138. McCarthy is just six behind Dan DaSilva’s franchise mark of 144. Saturday was also Taylor Doherty’s 208th game for the WorSharks, tying him with Riley Armstrong for 11th in franchise history.

McCarthy’s goal at 3:40 of the first period broke Worcester’s scoreless treat at The Scope of 162:17. That stretched over three games, but somehow they managed a shootout win and an overtime loss for three out of a possible six points during the streak.

In one of those head scratching stats on Friday Admirals goaltender Gibson had a shutout and was called for a minor penalty, and on Saturday Dell did the same thing in being called for a penalty while shutting out Norfolk. It’s the third time a WorSharks goaltender has had a shutout and penalty in the same game, with Alex Stalock and Harri Sateri doing in over the past couple of seasons. Dell’s minor is the first WorSharks goaltender penalty since Sateri had one on March 16, 2014 vs Manchester.

Long time WorSharks fans will remember the name of Norfolk’s goaltender Jason LaBarbera as he was a pain in Worcester’s side during the 2006-07 season while he played for the Manchester Monarchs. It’s been a long while since he faced Worcester in a game, the last time being the WorSharks heartbreaking double OT loss in game six of the 2007 Calder Cup playoffs.

There was one fight in the contest with Bonneau taking on Norfolk’s Andrew O’Brien. Bonneau had initially gone after Admirals defenseman Mark Fistric in the third period in retaliation for Fistric’s check from behind to Konrad Abeltshauser in the second period. O’Brien showed some heart taking on Bonneau, and got pounded for his troubles. To add insult to potential injury O’Brien was called for an instigator minor after the battle, as if Bonneau’s attempt to fight Fistric never happened. This writer doesn’t mind the instigator rule when it’s called correctly. That time, like unfortunately most of the time it’s called, it was incorrectly applied. With nine minutes in penalties Bonneau passed the 400 mark in his WorSharks career (403).

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 29 Aaron Dell (38 save shutout)
2. WOR – 22 Ryan Carpenter (g,a)
3. NOR – 2 Mat Clark (for no apparent reason)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Eriah Hayes.

Even strength lines



Worcester 2 1 1 – 4
Norfolk 0 0 0 – 0

1st Period-1, Worcester, McCarthy 7 (Hayes, Carpenter), 3:40. 2, Worcester, Haley 13 (Trupp, Hamilton), 12:41 (PP). Penalties-Dell Wor (delay of game – restricted area), 9:11; Leblanc Nor (slashing), 11:23.

2nd Period-3, Worcester, Oleksuk 5 (DeMelo, Hamilton), 16:44 (PP). Penalties-Bonneau Wor (goaltender interference), 2:48; O’Brien Nor (slashing), 15:05.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, Carpenter 8 (Hayes, Young), 10:22. Penalties-Doherty Wor (holding), 1:15; Wagner Nor (slashing), 1:34; Laganiere Nor (interference), 3:54; DeMelo Wor (roughing), 6:34; Bonneau Wor (roughing, fighting), 13:32; O’Brien Nor (instigating, fighting, misconduct – instigating), 13:32.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 14-14-7-35. Norfolk 12-15-11-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 2 / 4; Norfolk 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Dell 4-3-0 (38 shots-38 saves). Norfolk, LaBarbera 5-8-1 (35 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Jason Rollins (37), Peter MacDougall (57).
Linesmen-Luke Murray (92), Scott Pomento (25).

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