WorSharks Grab Shootout Victory Over Bridgeport, 4-3

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, December 12, 2010 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The Worcester Sharks got three second period goals to battle back from an early two goal deficit, and were eight seconds away from victory when the Bridgeport Sound Tigers tied the contest with a shorthanded goal. The WorSharks continued to play hard through the extra stanza and on through the shootout where they came out on top 4-3 Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center in rainy Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 3,333 fans.

The first five minutes of the contest belonged to Bridgeport left wing Micheal Haley, who scored his second and third goals of the season. Unfortunately for Worcester, they helped the winger put the puck in the net both times. The first came at 1:48 when Haley took a Tomas Marcinko feed and skated into the WorSharks zone down the right wing side and drove to the net. Worcester goaltender Alex Stalock made the easy save, but the rebound hit defenseman Joe Loprieno in the backside and bounced into the net. The second was a power play tally at 4:52 on a rebound of a David Ullstrom shot when Haley and Kevin Henderson both make contact with the puck at the same time. The puck bounced up and into the net to light the lamp.

The WorSharks continued to play hard in the opening stanza despite the two bad bounces and had several golden chances to get back within one, but Sound Tigers netminder Nathan Lawson stood firm. The second period was all Worcester, and they scored three times while holding Bridgeport shotless in the period.

Jason Pitton would open the second period scoring for Worcester with his second goal in as many games on a goal that was almost a carbon copy of Haley’s first period tally. Pitton was sprung down the right wing side by a nice Nick Petrecki feed and the winger broke in Lawson. His first shot was stopped by Lawson, but Pitton was able to slap at the loose puck as he skated by the net to poke it past Lawson at 1:06.

Jonathan Cheechoo would tie the game on a great individual effort that was very similar to the Pitton tally, only Cheechoo didn’t shoot as he broke down the right side and instead wheeled the net and beat Lawson to the far post at 3:17. Jay Leach and Nick Schaus had the assists on the play.

Haley would play a role in Worcester’s third goal of the period by sitting in the penalty box after taking a roughing minor, and Matt Irwin would grab the power play tally at 17:49 on a booming slapshot from the top of the left wing circle. Worcester put continued pressure on the Sound Tigers throughout the man advantage, and the WorSharks caught a break when a Cheechoo rebound bounced over the stick of James Marcou and rolled out to Irwin.

Lately Worcester has had problems in the third period keeping leads, and while Bridgeport did tie it with eight seconds remaining it took an NHL quality slapshot to do so as the WorSharks continued to play at full throttle throughout the final twenty minutes of regulation. In what will go down as a shorthanded goal although the teams were skating five on five as the Sound Tigers had pulled Lawson, Jeremy Colliton won a clean draw in the WorSharks zone right back to Josh Bailey standing in the slot just outside the circle. Bailey’s blast rang like a rifle shot–and looked nearly as fast–and beat Stalock clean as the netminder’s water bottle rocketed into the air from the force of the puck hitting the back of the net.

Bridgeport would have the best shot to win the game in overtime when Sound Tiger forward and former New York Islander Josh Bailey threw a blind backhand pass right to the stick of Trent Campbell. The former WorSharks forward wasted no time firing the puck at an empty 24 square feet of net, aiming high just under the crossbar. But out of nowhere dove Stalock across the net, nabbing the shot out of the air with a highlight reel worthy glove save. The game went to a shootout, where Cam MacIntyre beat Lawson in round two but had the puck ring off the iron to the left of the netminder. T.J. Trevelyan went high over Lawson and just under the crossbar in round three to light the lamp, and when Mark Katic fanned on a spin-o-rama style shot the WorSharks had the extra point and took four of a possible six points for the weekend.

The WorSharks went with the same line-up as Saturday night in Albany; the lone exception being Stalock getting the start and Carter Hutton being the back-up netminder. And as with Saturday night, Mike Ricci again joined head coach Roy Sommer and assistant Dave Cunniff behind the bench.

The one thing goaltenders hate more than anything is being shown up, and that held true after Mark Katic failed spin-o-rama. Stalock had gone for a poke check, which missed as Katic tried to spin around and fumbled away the puck, and his stick was between Katic’s skates. As the two exchanged words Stalock gave a good yank and challenged the defensemen, but the linesmen came between the two players and skated Katic away from a potential bench clearing confrontation.

Bill Ballou of the Telegram and Gazette will undoubtedly have more tomorrow on Worcester holding Bridgeport without a shot in the second period, hopefully recounting a story he told some of us after the stanza was over. The Sound Tigers also are great about posting video highlights of games on their website, so check back here tomorrow afternoon for links to both.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 14 Jonathan Cheechoo (g,a)
2. BRI – 11 Josh Bailey (game tying goal)
3. WOR – 20 Matt Irwin (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Jason Pitton.

Even Strength Lines


Penalty Kill Lines


Power Play Lines


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

1st Period-1, Bridgeport, Haley 2 (Marcinko, Klementyev), 1:48. 2, Bridgeport, Haley 3 (Ullstrom, Hisey), 4:52 (PP). Penalties-Pitton Wor (high-sticking), 3:05; Marcou Wor (cross-checking), 10:41; Klementyev Bri (tripping), 13:08.

2nd Period-3, Worcester, Pitton 2 (Petrecki), 1:06. 4, Worcester, Cheechoo 11 (Leach, Schaus), 3:17. 5, Worcester, Irwin 5 (Marcou, Cheechoo), 17:49 (PP). Penalties-Katic Bri (slashing), 8:07; Svendsen Bri (holding the stick), 11:37; Hisey Bri (hooking), 15:57; Haley Bri (roughing), 17:18; MacIntyre Wor (slashing), 17:18.

3rd Period-6, Bridgeport, Bailey 4 (Colliton), 19:52 (SH). Penalties-Loprieno Wor (hooking), 2:43; Friesen Bri (holding), 9:13; DiBenedetto Bri (roughing), 12:11; Labelle Bri (charging), 15:33; Leach Wor (roughing), 15:33; Labelle Bri (slashing), 18:43.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties

Shootout – Bridgeport 0 (Hisey NG, Bailey NG, Labelle NG, Ullstrom NG, Katic NG), Worcester 1 (Cheechoo NG, MacIntyre NG, Trevelyan G, Marcou NG, Mashinter NG).
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 7-0-12-4-0-23. Worcester 8-16-10-3-1-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 1/3; Worcester 1/7.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Lawson 2-4-2 (37 shots-34 saves). Worcester, Stalock 13-9-2 (23 shots-20 saves).
Referee-Chris Brown (86). Linesmen-Bob Bernard (42), Jack Millea (23).

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