Crazed Rats, WorSharks Devour Falcons, 4-3

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

Worcester Sharks AHL Kevin Henderson goal Springfield Falcons

Worcester Sharks AHL Springfield Falcons

The Worcester Sharks got a goal from each member of the Crazed Rats line and a fourth tally from Sean Sullivan to defeat the Springfield Falcons 4-3 in a Sunday matinee at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 3,185 fans.

With the WorSharks having huge problems scoring goals as of late the last thing Worcester wants to have happen was to fall behind to the new look Falcons, but that’s exactly what they did at 15:20 of the first when Springfield winger Matt Calvert fired a shot on WorSharks netminder Alex Stalock. The rebound of the pad save bounced right on to the stick of Tomas Kubalik, who was standing all alone at the far post. Kubalik had all 24 square feet to shoot at and didn’t miss putting Worcester down 1-0.

Just 35 seconds later Benn Ferriero was called for a very borderline hooking minor, and Worcester’s penalty killer took to the ice to try and keep the score even. Kevin Henderson did one better by grabbing his first goal of the season, an unassisted shorthanded tally, to get the WorSharks back to even. After some miscommunication by Springfield deep in the Worcester zone Henderson picked up the loose puck and skated up the left wing side. With his angle to the net cut off he wheeled the net, firing a bad angle shot over the left shoulder of Falcons goaltender Gustaf Wesslau and just inside the far post at 16:58.

Springfield would grab the momentum back under a minute later on the same power play when David Savard’s blast from the right point hot the far post behind Stalock and bounded right on the tape of Steven Goertzen. The winger wasted no time firing the puck back on net, but amazingly Stalock was able to regain his balance and dive across to catch the shot before it hit the twine. Unfortunately for Worcester, Stalock caught it over the goal line and referee Chris Brown correctly called the goal good despite the red light not going on to make it 2-1 Falcons at 17:53. It was one of the few things Brown got right all game.

A bad turnover by Worcester got Springfield’s lead up to two just 23 seconds into the second period. With the Falcons forechecking deep in the Worcester zone Steven Zalewski came up with the loose puck and fired an inexplicably hard pass to Justin Braun at the top of the crease. Braun could not handle the hard pass and the puck went into his skates and then off his stick as he tried to control the puck. Nick Tarnasky swooped in and picked up the loose puck and deposited it past Stalock, who appeared to not know where the puck was until the very last second.

Sullivan would get Worcester within one with his second goal in as many games when his 55 foot slapshot found its way past a screened Wesslau and into the far top corner at 3:05 of the second. Andrew Desjardins, who was the player screening Wesslau, and Brandon Mashinter got the assists on the play.

The Falcons went into a defensive shell in the third period trying to protect their one goal lead, a tactic that on paper looked good with Worcester having so many issues putting the puck into the net as of late. But if you take enough shots eventually someone will find the back of the net, and the WorSharks kept playing hard and got several good scoring chances. It was Dan DaSilva being very opportunistic that found the back of the net at 8:47. Desjardins picked up a loose puck along the right wing half boards and skated toward open ice, which was toward the point occupied by Nick Schaus. The rookie defenseman saw the winger headed in his direction and instead of moving along the blue line chose to switch places with Desjardins, skating deeper into the Falcons zone. Desjardins hit Schaus with a nice pass, and Schaus fired a hard shot into traffic. Wesslau made the save but couldn’t control the rebound, and DaSilva was right there to gather the puck out of the crowd and switched to his backhand to tie the game 3-3.

With his two Crazed Rats line mates putting the puck in the net it was only fair that Desjardins would get a chance, and after a great defensive play by Nick Petrecki he would get his chance. With Springfield breaking through the neutral zone Petrecki was able to seal off the onrushing Falcon forward along the boards and poke the puck ahead to DaSilva, who broke into the Springfield zone. DaSilva fed the puck to his left over to Desjardins, and the center ripped a booming shot that deflected off defenseman Grant Clitsome’s stick and over the blocker of Wesslau for the game winner at 14:03.

Ferriero just missed grabbing an insurance goal when his blast rang off the iron to the left of Wesslau with about 80 seconds left in the contest, but luckily for Worcester that miss didn’t come back to haunt them.

Except for Stalock getting the start the WorSharks went with the same line-up as Saturday. Worcester also went with their teal 5th anniversary jerseys.

There were just two penalties called by referee Chris Brown in the game, and neither was even close to a good call. Benn Ferriero’s hooking minor was a very borderline call, and the boarding minor to Andrew Desjardins was one of the worst seen in these parts in a long while as the player he checked never actually hit the boards. Add to that several non calls and many missed high sticks and hand passes and you get a pretty poor night for the referee.

Unlike the last few seasons where Springfield was a perennial cellar dweller as the AHL affiliate of the Edmonton Oilers, this season they are affiliated with the Columbus Blue Jackets and have a much better team. The one bad thing is they’ve replaced their very nice looking jerseys with ones that more closely resemble the red, white, and blue color scheme of Columbus.

Prior to the start of the game the WorSharks held a moment of silence for Michael T. Ellsessar, a Sutton, Massachusetts teen who passed away while playing in a junior varsity football game last week. He was also a varsity member of the Northbridge Rams hockey team and a former player for the MidState Junior Sharks.

After the three in three weekend Worcester will have tomorrow off and will practice Tuesday morning. After practice the team will head to Hershey, Pennsylvania for the Wednesday night game against the defending Calder Cup champion Bears.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 22 Andrew Desjardins (g,2a,+4)
2. WOR – 47 Kevin Henderson (shg, +3)
3. SPR – 18 Tomas Kubalik (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Dan DaSilva.

Even Strength Lines


Penalty Kill Lines


Springfield 2 1 0 – 3
Worcester 1 1 2 – 4

1st Period-1, Springfield, Kubalik 6 (Guite, Calvert), 15:20. 2, Worcester, Henderson 1   16:58 (SH). 3, Springfield, Goertzen 2 (Holden, Savard), 17:53 (PP). Penalties-Ferriero Wor (hooking), 15:55.

2nd Period-4, Springfield, Tarnasky 1   0:23. 5, Worcester, Sullivan 5 (Mashinter, Desjardins), 3:05. Penalties-Desjardins Wor (boarding), 18:04.

3rd Period-6, Worcester, DaSilva 2 (Schaus, Desjardins), 8:47. 7, Worcester, Desjardins 3 (DaSilva, Petrecki), 14:03. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Springfield 12-7-8-27. Worcester 10-11-9-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1/2; Worcester 0/0.
Goalies-Springfield, Wesslau 2-2-0 (30 shots-26 saves). Worcester, Stalock 7-6-1 (27 shots-24 saves).
Referee-Chris Brown (86). Linesmen-Brian MacDonald (72), Todd Whittemore (70).

A photo gallery from the game is available here.

Bookmark and Share
Posted in Worcester Sharks • • Top Of Page