WorSharks Drop Another ‘Must Win’ Game; Playoff Hopes Looking Bleak

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, March 26, 2011 - Save & Share - One Comment


The Worcester Sharks twice overcame one goal deficits but couldn’t do it a third time as they dropped a 4-2 contest to the Providence Bruins Friday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 6,242 fans.

With the WorSharks chasing two teams for the final playoff spot in the AHL’s Eastern Conference every game falls into the “must win” category, but if they continue to play as they did Friday night they won’t have to worry about winning games as they’ll be quickly eliminated from playoff contention. All season long the WorSharks have been plagued by an astonishing lack of fundamentals, and that’s what caused Providence’s first goal when the entire WorSharks team stood around and watched Kirk MacDonald skate behind the net and throw a pass out front to a virtually uncovered Trent Whitfield at the top of the crease. Worcester netminder Harri Sateri had no chance on the one timer at 6:07.

Worcester would drag themselves back to even on a nice deflection by Patrick Davis. T.J. Trevelyan started the play with a nice backhand feed to the left point from the halfboards. Defenseman Matt Irwin delayed just long enough for a screen to begin to develop and blasted the puck on net, where Davis deflected the waist high blast past P-Bruins’ goaltender Anton Khudobin at 11:34.

The next shift is proof the WorSharks really miss center Andrew Desjardins. Head coach Roy Sommer just about always sends The Crazed Rats out on the ice after every goal that’s scored, but with Desjardins on recall to San Jose the Rats have been temporarily caged. After Worcester got caught too deep on the forecheck a bad bounce sent Providence on a two on one break against Sean Sullivan, and Jamie Arniel held the puck the entire way and beat Sateri five-hole with a wrist shot just 27 seconds after Davis’ tally.

Benn Ferriero showed why he’s already penciled into San Jose’s line-up next season with a great individual effort that got Worcester back to even again. Nick Petrecki grabbed a loose puck deep in the Worcester zone and started skating up ice, where he spotted Ferriero all alone along the left wing boards. The center collected Petrecki’s pass and skated wide around the left side face-off dot and cut to the front of the net around Providence defenseman Alain Goulet. Ferriero’s low shot beat Khudobin at 16:47. Sateri had the second assist on the play for his first point in North America.

Worcester would play well in the second period but never really got that great scoring chance to force Khudobin to make a big save. Their lack of fundamentals would come back to bite them again when Frazer McLaren made a lazy pass in the offensive zone into the slot that was intercepted by Providence allowing for an odd man rush back the other direction. The puck eventually ended up on Whitfield’s stick, and he fired a shot over a diving Joe Loprieno and into the net just before the cage was driven off the pegs at 12:15 of the second.

The WorSharks would have two power play chances after that point but couldn’t generate a single scoring chance on either, and as time ticked away in the third period MacDonald added an empty net goal to ice the game for the P-bruins and likely ice the season for Worcester.

GAME NOTES
Over the week the Worcester Shuttle dropped off Brandon Mashinter from the left coast. The WorSharks also released BU forward Joe Pereira from his ATO. Pereira was quickly signed to an ATO by Bridgeport (NY Islanders), who are now fielding a team that looks like it should be competing in the NCAA’s Frozen Four as opposed to the AHL. T.J. Trevelyan was back after missing one game due to injury, and Jon Landry was the team’s only healthy scratch. Carter Hutton was the backup goaltender.

There is one addition to the injury list for the WorSharks as Director of Youth Hockey and Community Relations and fill-in PA announcer Mike Myers suffered a minor head injury in a freak tricycle accident. Myers was originally scheduled to play goaltender for the Worcester Police and Fire Department team in a Guns n’ Hoses contest against the Bridgeport, CT Fire Department Saturday afternoon, but he will now miss the contest and is unofficially listed as “day to day”. The great news is his injury did not prevent him from enjoying his normal quantity of Reese’s Mini Peanut Butter Cups from the WorSharks Booster Club table, which was seen as a huge step in Myers making a full recovery.

In a scoring change from Sunday’s contest in Manchester, the first goal of that game was been switched from Patrick Davis to Frazer McLaren. McLaren’s backhander was originally thought to have hit Davis, but it instead deflected off the Monarchs defender and into the net. Davis was awarded the secondary assist on the goal, and newcomer Nathan Longpre’s assist was upgraded to the primary one.

Some streaking WorSharks: Patrick Davis has a two game goal streak and a three game point streak (2g,a). Matt Irwin (3a) also has a three game point streak going. In a not so positive streak, Frazer McLaren has gone 11 games without a fighting major. When your enforcer doesn’t fight one has to wonder why he’s even playing.

The three stars of the game were
1. PRO – 23 Trent Whitfield (2g, +3)
2. WOR – 21 Benn Ferriero (g)
3. PRO – 12 Jamie Arniel (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Patrick Davis.

Even Strength lines
DaSilva/Ferriero/Mashinter
McGinn/McCarthy/Wingels
Davis/Trevelyan/Henderson
Longpre/Quirk/McLaren

Moore/Sullivan
Petrecki/Loprieno
Irwin/Schaus

Penalty Kill lines
Ferriero/McGinn
McCarthy/Davis
Quirk/Henderson

Moore/Sullivan
Petrecki/Loprieno

Power Play lines
Wingels/McCarthy/McGinn
DaSilva/Trevelyan/Mashinter

Petrecki(Irwin)/Ferriero
Sullivan/Moore

BOXSCORE
Providence 2 1 1 – 4
Worcester 2 0 0 – 2

1st Period-1, Providence, Whitfield 15 (MacDonald, LaVallee-Smotherman), 6:07. 2, Worcester, Davis 6 (Irwin, Trevelyan), 11:34. 3, Providence, Arniel 20 (Caron, Goulet), 12:01. 4, Worcester, Ferriero 16 (Petrecki, Sateri), 16:47. Penalties-McLaren Wor (boarding), 3:18.

2nd Period-5, Providence, Whitfield 16 (LaVallee-Smotherman, MacDonald), 12:15. Penalties-Wingels Wor (high-sticking), 12:22; Miller Pro (roughing), 18:34.

3rd Period-6, Providence, MacDonald 13 19:06 (EN). Penalties-Moore Wor (hooking), 1:38; Cohen Pro (delay of game), 6:13.

Shots on Goal-Providence 9-5-10-24. Worcester 13-13-8-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 0/3; Worcester 0/2.
Goalies-Providence, Khudobin 25-13-2 (34 shots-32 saves). Worcester, Sateri 0-2-0 (23 shots-20 saves).
A-6,242
Referees-Chris Brown (86). Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Todd Whittemore (70).

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One Response to “WorSharks Drop Another ‘Must Win’ Game; Playoff Hopes Looking Bleak”

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Time March 26, 2011 at 12:56 PM

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