Hutton, WorSharks Earn Point In 2-1 Shootout Loss in Portland

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, November 21, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The Worcester Sharks offensive woes continued Saturday night against the Portland Pirates with their second single goal game in a row, but this time that lone goal was good enough to take a point after dropping a 2-1 shootout contest in Portland, Maine in front of 4,505 fans.

Despite controlling play in the first period with two power play chances and outshooting the Pirates 9-2, the offensively challenged WorSharks were unable to light the lamp. Steven Zalewski and Brandon Mashinter would both get pucks past Pirates netminder David Leggio on consecutive shots, but as is often the case when teams can’t find the net both chances rang off the iron. Instead Worcester would find themselves the team giving up the first goal on Portland’s first power play chance of the game in the second period. With Cory Quirk in the penalty box for his first of two minors of the game Pirates rookie defenseman Alex Biega would grab his first professional goal when his wrist shot from the left face-off circle beat WorSharks goaltender Carter Hutton. Hutton had a chance on the shot, but the puck glanced off his glove and caromed into the net at 5:49.

Portland would have a golden chance to add to the single goal lead with Quirk sitting in the box again when Nick Schaus joined his teammate in the sin bin giving the Pirates 1:31 of two man advantage. The WorSharks, who have one of the better penalty killing units in the AHL, would survive the penalties unscathed. As is often the case down two men they did need a little luck, and they got some after frequent WorSharks killer Mark Mancari missed a great chance when he whiffed with a wide open net in front of him.

The game would stay 1-0 through the second period and much of the third when Worcester showed that they do have some firepower when needed. With the first line on the ice and battling behind the net the puck would end up on the stick of Jonathan Cheechoo in the right corner. The veteran of over 500 NHL games held the puck until the defense committed to him, and then fired a pass to Sean Sullivan in the slot. Sullivan, who was calling for the puck as soon as he was heading to the slot, blasted the pass by Leggio at 13:26 to knot the game 1-1. Benn Ferriero had the second assist on the goal.

The game would head to overtime where Worcester held a 5-2 shot advantage, but the best scoring chance came in the waining seconds of the extra stanza on Pirates center Travis Turnbull’s bid, but Hutton came up huge to keep the game going into the shootout. Worcester entered the shootout winless in their two previous chances, and Portland was 3-0 in their opportunities. In the end Worcester would still be winless and Portland still undefeated when Cheechoo, Ferriero, Tommy Wingles, and Mashinter would all fail to score for the WorSharks, while Luke Adam and Corey Tropp connected for the Pirates. There was some discussion if Tropp’s shot, which appeared to ring off the post, went past the gaol line or not, but in the long run all that mattered was Worcester couldn’t put the puck in the net and Portland did at least once.

With the arrival of Frazer McLaren the WorSharks finally had 12 healthy forwards available, so head coach Roy Sommer went with the normal six defensemen in the contest. That may not last long as McLaren is expected to be recalled back to San Jose after Sunday’s matinee against Springfield. Matt Irwin and Joe Loprieno were the healthy scratches for Worcester, with Tony Lucia and Cam MacIntyre still on the injured list. Alex Stalock was the back-up netminder.

The three stars of the game were
1. POR – 33 David Leggio (29 saves)
2. POR – 4 Alex Biega (g)
3. POR – 14 Corey Tropp (shootout goal)

A 2-1 contest where your team is outplayed for huge stretches of the contest and no visiting player makes it as a star of the game? Come on Pirates, you used to be better than that at naming stars.

The Sharkspage player of the game is Sean Sullivan.

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

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Whitmore Por (holding), 13:13; Adam Por (tripping), 16:29.

2nd Period-1, Portland, Biega 1 (Byron, Parrish), 5:49 (PP). Penalties-Quirk Wor (holding), 4:26; Roloff Por (high-sticking), 9:20; Quirk Wor (interference), 12:45; Schaus Wor (tripping), 13:06.

3rd Period-2, Worcester, Sullivan 4 (Ferriero, Cheechoo), 13:26. Penalties-Henderson Wor (hooking), 1:04.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Worcester 0 (Cheechoo NG, Ferriero NG, Wingels NG, Mashinter NG), Portland 2 (Adam G, Tropp G, Whitmore NG).
Shots on Goal-Worcester 9-8-8-5-0-30. Portland 2-10-6-2-1-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0/3; Portland 1/4.
Goalies-Worcester, Hutton 1-0-2 (20 shots-19 saves). Portland, Leggio 8-1-0 (30 shots-29 saves).
Referee-Tim Mayer (19). Linesmen-Joe Ross (92), Landon Bathe (80).

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