WorSharks overpower Devils in front of sell out crowd, 6-1

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, October 16, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The Worcester Sharks picked up right where they left off in their road season opener last Sunday and used multiple point nights from seven players to totally overwhelm the Albany Devils 6-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 7,239 fans Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts to open the home portion of their schedule.

Excepting for the early portions of the second period when the Devils showed some signs of life the WorSharks completely dominated the play, so much so that it looked like the Zamboni would only need to resurface the end Albany was defending as huge areas of the ice in the Worcester zone was unblemished.

Albany did have one highlight in the game when Vladimir Zharkov was able to slide a puck through the legs of WorSharks netminder Tyson Sexsmith after Sexsmith couldn’t control Stephen Gionta’s shot and somehow got turned around so he was facing into his net. It was Albany’s first and second shots of the contest, with the goal coming at 15:39 to cut Worcester’s lead to 2-1.

But the rest was all Worcester.

Benn Ferriero would get the game winner just 6:07 into the contest in what the scoresheet says is an unassisted tally, but without the forechecking of linemates Mike Connolly and Brodie Reid to force a bad clearing attempt the scoring chance wouldn’t have happened. Ferriero’s blast from just inside the circle at the half-boards beat Albany goaltender Jeff Frazee along the ice just inside the far post.

Matt Irwin had the WorSharks second goal of the opening period at 8:52 with the first of the team’s four power play markers when his blast from the middle of the sheet at the blue line pinballed in off two Devils defenders. Connolly and Ferriero had the assists.

Worcester came out a little tentative in the middle stanza and Albany grabbed the advantage by taking it to the WorSharks, but the Devils couldn’t convert on any of their chances. After a great penalty kill on a borderline hooking call to Mike Moore the WorSharks flipped the switch back to full throttle and got back on track.

When half the building is yelling “too many men” odds are at least one of the officials will notice it, and seeing the Devils had seven skaters on the ice referee Jamie Koharski was right on top of it. Ben Guite made Albany pay for the error when he collected a Sean Sullivan rebound in front of the Albany net and banged the puck home at 13:24.

Tempers flared in the Albany zone at 14:51 as all the players got together, and it looked like Curt Gogol and Tim Sestito were going to go at it, but Sestito wouldn’t drop the gloves with the rookie. However fans weren’t disappointed when out of the scrum of players skated Nick Petrecki and former WorSharks captain Jay Leach engaged and ready to do battle. Petrecki, who has been on the wrong end of his share of one-sided battles, took it to Leach and pounded the veteran with seven clean shots that forced Leach to take Petrecki to the ice to stop the battle.

The WorSharks took their 3-1 lead into the final stanza, and longtime fans know that last season the team had a hard time putting away their opponents late in games. Those ghosts were mentioned more than a handful of times along the concourse of the DCU Center between period, but before many fans had a chance to retake their seats to start the period James Livingston banked a pass off the left wing board to Justin Braun at the point for an open shot on goal. The blast snuck its way through traffic and hit Frazee, who never saw it, and Livingston swooped in and knocked the puck into the yawning net just 28 ticks into the period. Guite would have the second helper on the play.

Connolly would make it 5-1 Worcester just 77 seconds later with Worcester’s third power play marker when he stood at the near post and tipped Braun’s huge blast from the right point past Frazee. Irwin had the second assist on the goal.

A few minutes later Cam MacIntyre and Matthew Corrente dropped the mitts after an icing play in which left Worcester fans scratching as to why and Corrente sitting in the box with an extra minor, the WorSharks would have their fourth power play goal when Livingston banged home his second of the game from John McCarthy and Sullivan at 5:32 for the 6-1 final.

Worcester is off until Friday when they head back down route 146 to take on Providence for the second time in this young season. They return home Saturday night to take on the Manchester Monarchs.

Worcester’s scratches were forwards Jimmy Bonneau and Marek Viedensky, and defenseman Sena Acolatse. Thomas Heemskerk was the back-up goaltender. In a paper transaction Harri Sateri was assigned from San Jose to Stockton of the ECHL to keep him close to the NHL club. Once Antti Niemi is fully 100% Sateri will in all likelihood be assigned to Worcester.

After two games Worcester is a perfect 8-8 on the penalty kill. Last season the WorSharks were also perfect shorthanded after two games, going 5-5. Their power play is on a pace they likely can’t keep up at 33.3% (5 for 15), and is better than the 25% (4 for 12) mark at the same point last season. Hopefully those numbers won’t drop off as drastically as last season where the WorSharks finished 26th on the penalty kill (80.2%) and 21st on the power play (17.0%).

Players with points in both games so far: Matt Irwin, Benn Ferriero, Ben Guite, and Sean Sullivan. Going back to last season Irwin has a three game point scoring streak and Guite, who played last season for the Springfield Falcons, has a five game streak going.

Two former WorSharks now playing for Albany returned to the DCU Center for the first time, with former captain Jay Leach going (-1) and getting beat up by Nick Petrecki, and Steven Zalewski, who was as invisible for Albany as he was for most of the games he played for Worcester.

The three stars of the game were:
1 – WOR: Livingston (2g)
2 – WOR: Ferriero (g,a)
3 – WOR: Irwin (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Justin Braun.

Even Strength Lines
Gogol/(everyone)/Del Monte


Power Play Lines


Penalty Kill Lines
Del Monte/Gogol



Albany 1 0 0 – 1
Worcester 2 1 3 – 6

1st Period-1, Worcester, Ferriero 2 6:07. 2, Worcester, Irwin 1 (Connolly, Ferriero), 8:52 (PP). 3, Albany, Zharkov 1 (Gionta, Urbom), 15:39. Penalties-Gionta Alb (tripping), 8:39; Pelech Wor (major – charging), 11:49; Taormina Alb (interference), 14:32; Irwin Wor (tripping), 18:37.

2nd Period-4, Worcester, Guite 1 (Sullivan), 13:24 (PP). Penalties-Veilleux Alb (interference), 4:21; Moore Wor (hooking), 8:08; served by Perkovich Alb (bench minor – too many men), 11:26; Leach Alb (fighting), 14:51; Sestito Alb (roughing), 14:51; Gogol Wor (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 14:51; Pelech Wor (roughing), 14:51; Petrecki Wor (fighting), 14:51; Henrique Alb (roughing), 15:56; Del Monte Wor (roughing), 15:56; Harrold Alb (tripping), 17:11.

3rd Period-5, Worcester, Livingston 1 (Braun, Guite), 0:28. 6, Worcester, Connolly 1 (Braun, Irwin), 1:45 (PP). 7, Worcester, Livingston 2 (McCarthy, Sullivan), 5:32 (PP). Penalties-Urbom Alb (slashing), 1:37; Corrente Alb (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 4:45; MacIntyre Wor (fighting), 4:45; Gionta Alb (holding), 7:18; Zajac Alb (tripping), 8:30; Zalewski Alb (tripping), 11:11; Gionta Alb (misconduct – instigating), 16:40; Sestito Alb (misconduct – instigating), 16:40; Moon Wor (slashing, misconduct – instigating), 16:40; Livingston Wor (hooking), 17:52.

Shots on Goal-Albany 5-6-5-16. Worcester 10-6-15-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Albany 0 / 5; Worcester 4 / 9.
Goalies-Albany, Frazee 0-2-0 (31 shots-25 saves). Worcester, Sexsmith 2-0-0 (16 shots-15 saves).
Referees-Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Brian MacDonald (72), Ed Boyle (81).

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