WorSharks Iced By Penguins, 2-0

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, November 14, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The Worcester Sharks played one of their best games of the season but made two costly defensive mistakes and couldn’t convert on any of their 38 shots on goal in route to dropping a 2-0 decision to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 5,007 fans on Alex Stalock bobble head night.

While Wilkes-Barre/Scranton doesn’t have the most points in the AHL–only because they’re tied for the fewest games played in the league–they do own the league’s highest winning percentage at .846, and last night Worcester fans saw why the Penguins are the cream of the AHL crop. Saturday night’s effort from Worcester would have been good enough to beat the Bridgeports and Hartfords of the league, but when you’re playing a bigger, faster team like the Penguins it takes more than just hard work to put the puck in the net. And none of the bounces went the way of the WorSharks, including several great third period chances turned aside by goaltender Brad Thiessen.

Depending on how you look at it, Worcester either had no luck or Thiessen had a ton of it. In one quick third period spurt Thiessen made two blind saves, lost his stick, made a blocker save without the stick, and then had a WorSharks chance killed when the puck bounded off the lost stick. But Thiessen didn’t just rely on that luck, making several great saves to keep Worcester at bay.

Alex Stalock was nearly as good on the other end, and did enjoy a lucky bounce or two of his own. The only blemishes on his night were because of defensive errors, and unfortunately for Worcester fans those mistakes came from players that are expected to be the backbone of the team.

Mike Moore made the first costly defensive error late in the first period while Worcester was killing the Penguins first power play chance. After recovering a loose puck instead of clearing it out of the zone Moore attempted to stick handle through a little traffic, and the puck bounced off his stick and right on to the tape of Penguins captain Ryan Craig. Craig wasted no time in firing the puck past Stalock for the 1-0 lead at 18:58 of the first.

Despite the recent trend by WorSharks head coach Roy Sommer of dressing seven defensemen Worcester uses four forwards on the power play, and every so often doing that bites you in the backside. Saturday night was one of those times when Benn Ferriero playing the left point missed both the puck and the player as he tried to keep the puck in the Penguins zone. Robert Bortuzzo’s outlet pass sent Dustin Jeffrey and Tim Wallace off on a two on one against Justin Braun. Braun played it well, but Jeffrey was able to get a pass over to Wallace who flipped it into the net for a 2-0 lead at 12:44.

From that point on it was all Thiessen, and unfortunately for Worcester Superman wore a Penguins’ logo Saturday night.

After getting boarded Friday night Matt Irwin got the night off in favor of Joe Loprieno. Worcester’s injury list remains unchanged with Cam MacIntyre, Carter Hutton, and Tony Lucia all still sidelined. Riley Gill wore the ball cap on the bench as the backup netminder.

As opposed to Friday night’s two referee contest to apparently see who could call the most penalties, referee Chris Cozzan called a pretty good game considering all the huge hits thrown by both squads. He did have an interesting situation where he correctly called coincidental tripping minors when Worcester’s Sean Sullivan tripped Penguins’ captain Ryan Craig, who in turn tripped Sullivan as he tried to skate away. The stoppage in play resulted in the only fight in the contest, with Nick Petrecki (6’4″ 220#) taking on Keven Veilleux (6’5″ 219#) in a battle of heavyweights. Neither player landed anything worth mentioning although Petrecki did earn the take down. Cozzan’s late interference call on Petrecki was a bit of a head scratcher though as the Penguins player he was charged with fouling actually ran into defenseman as the play went back toward the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton end.

It was Alex Stalock bobble head night Saturday evening, with the first 3,000 fans through the doors receiving one. There was also a contest where if a fan received a gold painted bobble head they had a chance to win the jersey off of Stalock’s back. Stalock himself should have gotten a gold statue for his Oscar worthy performance for collapsing to the ice after being “crashed” into by Penguins winger Geoff Walkerto draw a penalty¬†with under ten seconds remaining in the opening period.

Bryan Marchment joined head coach Roy Sommer and assistant coach Dave Cunniff behind the Worcester bench.

The three stars of the game were
1. WBS – 39 Brad Thiessen (38 save shutout)
2. WBS – 22 Ryan Craig (gwg)
3. WBS – 25 Eric Tangradi

The Sharkspage player of the game was Nick Petrecki.

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

1st Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Craig 3 (Walker, Veilleux), 18:58 (PP). Penalties-Potter Wbs (high-sticking), 2:46; Sullivan Wor (cross-checking), 17:50; Walker Wbs (goaltender interference), 19:51.

2nd Period-2, W-B/Scranton, Wallace 6 (Jeffrey, Bortuzzo), 12:44 (SH). Penalties-Vitale Wbs (high-sticking), 8:30; Potter Wbs (boarding), 11:22; Craig Wbs (tripping), 14:32; Veilleux Wbs (fighting), 14:32; Petrecki Wor (fighting), 14:32; Sullivan Wor (tripping), 14:32.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Petrecki Wor (interference), 15:49.

Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 10-10-6-26. Worcester 12-11-15-38.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 1/2; Worcester 0/4.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 7-0-0 (38 shots-38 saves). Worcester, Stalock 5-5-1 (26 shots-24 saves).
Referee-Chris Cozzan (18). Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Ed Boyle (81).

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