Braun, WorSharks Silence Sound Tigers, 3-2

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, January 29, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


The Worcester Sharks got two goals from Justin Braun and a third period game winner from Dan DaSilva to defeat the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 3-2 Friday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 3,468 fans.

The WorSharks would get on the board first after some hard work from the Crazed Rats in the far corner produced an open shot for Braun. With Worcester flying around the ice like a pack of, well, crazed rats, Bridgeport got caught with three defenders in the right wing corner. DaSilva and Kevin Henderson out muscled the Sound Tigers for the puck, and DaSilva skated out of the pack and threw an easy pass to the point. Braun wasted no time in blasting a shot on Sound Tigers netminder Kevin Poulin, who despite getting a piece of the puck couldn’t keep it out of the net for a 1-0 WorSharks lead at 2:22 of the first.

Braun would have the WorSharks second goal of the opening period while skating with a two man advantage. Although they didn’t get to do much skating five on three as it took just five seconds to light the lamp. After a clean face-off win by Benn Ferriero to Jonathan Cheechoo playing at the point, the former Rocket Richard winner sent the puck over to Braun at the right point. The defenseman teed it up and let it fly, beating Poulin cleanly at 13:58.

Worcester would go on to out shoot Bridgeport 24-6 in the opening 20 minutes, and were it not for several highlight reel saves by Poulin the WorSharks could have easily ended the period with five or six goals. In the span of about three minutes Poulin robbed sure goals away from John McCarthy, Frazer McLaren, Cam MacIntyre, and a hat trick bid from Braun. Tommy Wingles and Matt Irwin also got counted among the Worcester players skating away shaking their heads.

But the true highlight of the opening period came with about 90 seconds remaining in the stanza when Sean Sullivan threw the biggest hit seen in these part in quite some time. With Bridgeport on the penalty kill former WorShark turned Sound Tiger Jason Pitton was skating down the right wing side along the boards. Sullivan lined up his former teammate and threw a huge hip check at the onrushing forward, hitting Pitton mid thigh and sending him flying through the air where Pitton landed on his back. As play continued Pitton skated back to the bench on his own, but Sharkspage did not notice the forward on the ice again after the hit.

Despite everything going the way of Worcester in the first period the WorSharks are still a team that has issues playing for a full 60 minutes, and that rang true again Friday night. Bridgeport would take advantage of Worcester’s lackluster middle stanza play with two goals. Justin DiBenedetto would have the first when he took a pass from behind the Worcester net by Tony Romano that may have gone through the legs of WorSharks captain Jay Leach. No matter how it got to him DiBenedetto didn’t miss from between the circles at 4:32. Dylan Reese grabbed the game tying goal at 10:06 on an absolute laser from the high slot that beat a partially screened Alex Stalock high to the glove side and just inside the corner.

But unlike most nights Worcester’s collapse happened in the second period, giving themselves some time to wright the ship. After several more great saves by Poulin the WorSharks would finally get another past the netminder when DaSilva was just able to tip a Nick Schaus blast through the five hole of Poulin and barely over the goal line to light the lamp at 8:18 of the third period. A great keep in by Andrew Desjardins earned him the second assist on the goal.

Undisciplined play by Bridgeport kept them shorthanded for most of the rest of the third period, and despite getting Poulin off for an extra attacker–one that put the teams at five skaters a piece–the Sound Tigers were unable to generate any significant chance to equalize the game.

GAME NOTES
The Worcester shuttle was in full swing as the NHL reaches its All Star break, with Benn Ferriero, John McCarthy, Jamie McGinn, and Alex Stalock all being assigned to the WorSharks. There are rumblings that only Ferriero will be returning to the NHL roster next week. With the influx of players from San Jose and some returning from the injury list Worcester released defenseman Ryan Lannon and forward Ryan Del Monte from their PTOs. With Stalock being recalled to San Jose during the week Tyson Sexsmith was reassigned from Stockton to Worcester, and then was returned to the ECHL Friday.

Worcester’s scratches were Joe Loprieno (healthy), Tony Lucia (concussion), Cory Quirk (concussion), James Marcou (concussion), Nick Petrecki (back), and T.J. Trevelyan (groin/lower body). Carter Hutton was the back-up netminder.

Jamie McGinn became the first player to play in five different season for the WorSharks. He wore his usual #44, a number that was previously worn this season by Ryan Lannon, Erick Lizon, and Jim McKenzie who combined for 1 assist and 28 penalty minutes, along with a woeful minus-5, in 14 games in the jersey.

For the first time this season every Worcester skater had at least one shot on goal. The last time the WorSharks did that was January 16, 2010 in a 5-2 victory against the visiting Manchester Monarchs. In an oddity, the time before that was just 18 days earlier, also in a 5-2 victory in Worcester over Manchester. Their 24 shots in the first period sets a home record for the team, and ties the team record.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 27 Justin Braun (2g)
2. BRI – 38 Kevin Poulin (45 saves)
3. WOR – 23 Dan DaSilva (g,a,+2)

Justin Braun was also the AHL’s number three star of the night.

The Sharkspage player of the game was Sean Sullivan.

Even Strength Lines
McGinn/Ferriero/Cheechoo
Mashinter/McCarthy/Wingels
Henderson/Desjardins/DaSilva
McLaren/Zalewski/MacIntyre

Moore/Braun
Irwin/Schaus
Leach/Sullivan

Power Play Lines
Cheechoo/Ferriero/McGinn
MacIntyre/Wingles(McCarthy)/Mashinter
Henderson/Desjardins/DaSilva

Braun/Irwin(Ferriero)
Sullivan/Schaus

Penalty Kill Lines
McCarthy/Desjardins
Ferriero/McGinn

BOXSCORE
Bridgeport 0 2 0 – 2
Worcester 2 0 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Worcester, Braun 3 (DaSilva, Henderson), 2:22. 2, Worcester, Braun 4 (Ferriero, Cheechoo), 13:58 (PP). Penalties-Svendsen Bri (goaltender interference), 12:14; Haley Bri (delay of game), 13:53; Joensuu Bri (slashing), 16:56.

2nd Period-3, Bridgeport, DiBenedetto 9 (Romano, Kohn), 4:32. 4, Bridgeport, Reese 3 (Hisey, Joensuu), 10:06. Penalties-Joensuu Bri (holding), 1:43; Mashinter Wor (roughing), 8:04.

3rd Period-5, Worcester, DaSilva 10 (Schaus, Desjardins), 8:18. Penalties-Moore Wor (hooking), 9:00; Katic Bri (boarding), 10:18; Labelle Bri (slashing), 13:59; Klementyev Bri (holding), 17:08; Wishart Bri (cross-checking), 18:58.

Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 6-10-3-19. Worcester 24-6-18-48.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 0/2; Worcester 1/8.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Poulin 10-5-0 (48 shots-45 saves). Worcester, Stalock 18-17-4 (19 shots-17 saves).
A-3,468
Referee-Chris Brown (86). Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Brian MacDonald (72).

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