WorSharks Grab A Point In 4-3 Overtime Loss to Providence

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, October 24, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


The Worcester Sharks got late third period goals from Benn Ferriero and Justin Braun, who both had multiple point nights, to force overtime before dropping a 4-3 decision to the Providence Bruins during Saturday night’s home opener at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of a sellout crowd of 7,450.

After an opening ceremony that included fireworks and a banner raising the WorSharks came out with some fire of their own, hitting everything in sight and forcing P-Bruins netminder Nolan Schaefer to make some quality saves early. Unfortunately for Worcester a bad habit of giving up early goals is starting to develop, and Saturday night was no exception. With Dan DaSilva in the penalty box for a well deserved tripping minor P-Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer fired a hard wrister from the left point. As the shot got to the slot Wyatt Smith made a great stab at the puck as it flew by and deflected it down off the ice and past WorSharks goaltender Alex Stalock for the 1-0 Providence lead on their first shot on goal at 6:27.

Providence would make it 2-0 at 16:49 after what looked like a harmless play turned bad for the WorSharks. With Worcester putting some pressure on the P-Bruins, rookie defenseman Nick Schaus tried to help the offense out by trying to keep the puck in the zone despite being outnumbered along the boards. Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman came out of the pack with the puck and skated down left wing side, where WorSharks defenseman Sean Sullivan was able to keep the onrushing forward away from the net. But Schaus was unable to get back to mark Jamie Arniel as the onrushing forward streaked to the net and tipped LaVallee-Smotherman’s cross slot pass beyond an outstretched Stalock to light the lamp.

The one thing that is firing on all cylinders for Worcester this season is the power play. The WorSharks would cut the deficit to 2-1 at 18:10 with their first of three extra-man goals of the game. With Worcester passing the puck along the perimeter looking for a good scoring opportunity against the aggressive P-Bruins penalty kill the puck ended up on the stick of T.J. Trevelyan at the top of the left wing circle. With the P-bruins blocking all the passing lanes Trevelyan skated to the middle of the circle and tried for force the puck through the defense in the slot to Jonathan Cheechoo at the far post. The puck never made it that far as his pass hit Providence defenseman Matt Bartkowski in the leg and bounded by Schaefer. Cheechoo and Braun assisted on the goal.

Although they had a little momentum at the start of the second period the WorSharks couldn’t convert on a couple of early scoring opportunities, and would in fact give up what looked to be a back breaking goal after a bad turnover deep in their own end. While on the forecheck Levi Nelson stole the puck right off the stick of Schaus in the circle to the left of Stalock and skated in unmolested, firing a backhander just under the crossbar for the unassisted marker at 1:56.

The P-Bruins would have a golden opportunity to add to their lead at 6:38 of the period when Antoine Roussel was awarded a penalty shot after referee Terry Koharski claimed Cheechoo fouled Roussel on a breakaway attempt. After seeing the play live, and then three times on replay, this writer still has no idea when or where that foul occurred. But Koharski’s opinion is the only one that counts, and Stalock stuffed the one on one chance to keep it a two goal game. Stalock has stopped all three penalty shots against him in his AHL career.

Despite the brief WorSharks surge after the penalty shot save the P-Bruins generally held both the WorSharks and the home fans quiet with solid hockey to make it look like their two goal lead would easily stand up. But Team Teal still had some life left in it, just waiting for Providence to make a mistake that they could pounce on. And they did just that when rookie Matt Bartkowski got called for an unsportsmanlike conduct minor for continuing to argue with Koharski after the defenseman though he’d been tripped in the Worcester zone.

Worcester used the same tactic as their earlier power play goal, moving the puck along the perimeter trying to find the outlet to get the puck cleanly on net for a rebound chance. This time the puck ended up on the stick of Ferriero in the high slot. Ferriero reared back as if to shoot, but held the puck as the other WorSharks forwards crashed the net to screen Schaefer. With all the traffic in front and P-Bruin penalty killers diving to stop the blast Ferriero simply out-waited the defense and fired a wrist shot along the ice that found an opening and the twine as the crowd exploded at 12:01 of the third. Braun and James Marcou had the assists.

But Worcester still needed another tally to tie the contest, and they got their chance after Providence took a totally brainless penalty deep in the WorSharks zone. After a P-Bruins dump in defenseman Joe Loprieno headed to the backboards to grab the loose puck where he was absolutely blown up by Roussel with a check from behind. Loprieno was momentarily dazed but not injured on the hit, and after a WorSharks timeout Stalock took a seat on the home bench as Worcester went out six on four trying to tie the contest.

Just like their two earlier power play goals, Worcester showed a lot of patience with their numbers advantage, not willing to settle for anything but a solid opportunity. Luckily for the WorSharks they got several, and after a couple of bounces the puck ended up on Braun’s stick high in the slot. It was almost a carbon copy of Ferriero’s tally as Braun held the puck as players converged on the net, but instead of a low wrist shot the rookie defenseman ripped a slap shot into the pile of players that banked off the far post and into the net for his first pro goal at 19:16. Ferriero and Steven Zalewski had the helpers.

After securing a point by getting into overtime the WorSharks seemed to lose a little of the wind from their sails, and Providence took advantage of Worcester’s lethargy when Arniel fired a tough angle shot on Stalock that found an opening for the game winner at 3:26 of overtime for the 4-3 P-Bruins’ win.

GAME NOTES
Worcester had two transactions during the week, releasing forward Leigh Salters from his ATO and having Thomas Greiss reassigned by San Jose to Brynäs IF of the Swedish Elite League. The WorSharks scratches were defenseman Matt Irwin and forwards Tony Lucia and Cam MacIntyre. Carter Hutton was the back-up goaltender.

Prior to the game the Worcester Sharks raised a banner to commemorate their division championship from last season. Andrew Desjardins joined Worcester City Manager Mike O’Brien, Worcester Sharks CEO Mike Lehr, Worcester Sharks President Mike Mudd, and WorSharks head coach Roy Sommer on the red carpet to raise the banner. The team also held a moment of silence for Jack Butterfield, the former AHL president who passed away on October 16th at the age of 91. Butterfield, a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, is credited with saving the AHL from folding by turning it into the top developmental league for the NHL in the mid 1970′s.

There was one fight in the contest, with Brandon Mashinter (6’4″ 222#) taking on P-Bruins captain Jeremy Reich (6’1″ 198#). After both were assessed matching roughing minors at 15:10 of the third it was obvious by the chirping going on in their respective penalty boxes that the two had some unfinshed business, and just ten seconds after the minors were over both went at it just inside the Worcester zone. Both players skated around each other looking for an opening and once they engaged it was all Mashiner, who landed several clean blows before both fell to the ice.

The Worcester Sharks are going with different players being alternate captains on the road and at home, with Johnathan Cheechoo and Nick Petrecki wearing the A’s on the road and Andrew Desjardins and Sean Sullivan wearing the letters at home. Jay Leach is the captain of the team.

Alex Stalock got some help last night from the net behind him as three Providence blasts squarely found the iron and bounced away harmlessly. Worcester hit the post just once, and got a better bounce as the puck went into the net for Braun’s tying goal.

The three stars of the game were
1. PRO – 12 Jamie Arniel (2g, including the OT game winner)
2. WOR – 27 Justin Braun (g,2a)
3. PRO – 19 Wyatt Smith (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Benn Ferriero.

Even Strength Lines
Trevelyan/Ferriero/Cheecho
Mashinter/Desjardins/Wingles
DaSilva/Henderson/Zalewski
Hunt/Quirk/Marcou

Braun/Leach
Schaus/Sullivan
Petrecki/Loprieno

Penalty Kill Lines
Desjardins/Wingles
Quirk/Hunt
Henderson/DaSilva

Braun/Leach
Schaus/Sullivan

Power Play Lines
Trevelyan/Ferriero/Marcou
Mashinter/Zalewski/Wingles

Braun/Cheechoo
Schaus/Sullivan

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

1st Period-1, Providence, Smith 1 (Kampfer, Colborne), 6:27 (PP). 2, Providence, Arniel 2 (LaVallee-Smotherman), 16:49. 3, Worcester, Trevelyan 1 (Cheechoo, Braun), 18:10 (PP). Penalties-DaSilva Wor (tripping), 5:40; Trevelyan Wor (hooking), 10:55; MacDonald Pro (tripping), 17:10; Kampfer Pro (hooking), 18:33.

2nd Period-4, Providence, Nelson 1   1:56. Penalties-Kampfer Pro (roughing), 2:15; Schaefer Pro (roughing), 2:15; Petrecki Wor (roughing), 2:15; Braun Wor (hooking), 3:27; Schaus Wor (goaltender interference), 12:23.

3rd Period-5, Worcester, Ferriero 4 (Braun, Marcou), 12:01 (PP). 6, Worcester, Braun 1 (Ferriero, Zalewski), 19:16 (PP). Penalties-Bartkowski Pro (unsportsmanlike conduct), 11:30; Reich Pro (roughing), 15:10; Mashinter Wor (roughing), 15:10; Reich Pro (fighting), 17:20; Mashinter Wor (fighting), 17:20; Roussel Pro (boarding), 18:25.

OT Period-7, Providence, Arniel 3 (Penner), 3:26. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Providence 5-9-8-6-28. Worcester 12-7-13-2-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 1/4; Worcester 3/5.
Goalies-Providence, Schaefer 1-1-1 (34 shots-31 saves). Worcester, Stalock 1-3-1 (28 shots-24 saves).
A-7,450
Referee-Terry Koharski (10). Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Brian MacDonald (72).

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