WorSharks snowed in shootout loss to Connecticut, 3-2

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, October 30, 2011 - Save & Share - One Comment

The Worcester Sharks looked like boys among men for huge stretches of Saturday night’s contest, but got some inspired play in the third period to take the lead, only to eventually lose it and the game 3-2 in a shootout against the Connecticut Whale at the DCU Center in snowy Worcester, Massachusetts in front of an announced crowd of 2,639.

This isn’t the first time a team from Worcester has played with a howling snowstorm going on outside, and during pregame there was lots of talk of some of the great games that have taken place in front of the intimate crowds that result from less than ideal weather conditions. This game will likely not be added to that list.

For 40 minutes it was the Tyson Sexsmith show as the WorSharks rookie netminder matched Harri Sateri’s Friday night performance save for save. While Sateri had to make a big save just seconds into Friday’s contest Sexsmith had a few extra moments before he was called upon to make a tough save on Steve Avery–yes, that Steve Avery–after a Mike Moore turnover in the Worcester zone about 90 seconds into the contest.

And just like Sateri on Friday Sexsmith had a little luck with him in the opening period after making two saves when the loose puck rolled across the crease right on the stick of Chris McKelvie The winger’s backhander at the yawning net rolled just wide, and the period ended scoreless. The Whale would go on to out-shoot Worcester 9-4 in the opening 20 minutes, but the tilt in play was significantly worse than that.

It was the same story in the second period where again Sexsmith would be called upon to make several nice saves. The highlight save of the period was on another Avery attempt but Sexsmith stood tall to keep the game scoreless. Just after the save Avery showed a touch of frustration by earning a slashing minor.

Connecticut goaltender Chad Johnson wasn’t as busy as Sexsmith, having to make just 10 saves over the first two period, but still had to make a few key saves. The WorSharks did actually beat Johnson once in the middle stanza, but Sean Sullivan’s blast rang off the near post and bounced away harmlessly. Worcester was again out-shot in the period 13-6.

For the first time this season the WorSharks would find themselves trailing after the first goal of the game when Jimmy Bonneau couldn’t control a bouncing pass in the Worcester zone. Connecticut winger Andreas Thuresson pounced on the puck at the top of the right side circle and fired a blast past Sexsmith 5:01 of the third.

Finding themselves trailing the WorSharks picked up the pace and would finally get their attack going. After two great chances were turned aside by Johnson Worcester would get the equalizer on a broken play when Tommy Wingels gathered a pass from Cam MacIntyre at the right wing half boards to the slot. He misfired on his first attempt but his second try made it through to Johnson, who made the save. John McCarthy had a whack at the rebound but didn’t get off a great attempt, but MacIntyre was there to bang the puck home at 12:50 as he fell to the ice.

The box score lists Mashinter as having an assist, but that scoring should change as the video clearly shows it’s McCarthy.

Less that two minutes later the WorSharks would give themselves a 2-1 lead with a Matt Irwin power play goal. After Irwin’s initial shot was blocked the Whale looked poised to dump the puck out of the zone but Mike Connolly was able to get a piece of the clear to keep it in. The puck bounced to Sean Sullivan, who threw a pass back over to Irwin. With Ben Guite screening Johnson the shot streaked just inside the far post at 14:21. Unfortunately it would take the Whale just 60 seconds to tie it back up.

With Sena Acolatse in the box for a very ill-timed crosschecking minor Andre Deveaux would gather a Brendan Bell rebound and bang the puck past Sexsmith after he had brushed passed the netminder going for the slot. From Sharkspage’s perch just under the radio booth Alex Stalock, doing color commentary with broadcaster Eric Lindquist, could be heard calling for a goaltender interference penalty, but none was coming and regulation ended knotted 2-2.

The WorSharks had a great chance to win the game in overtime with a two minute power play, but with what looked like rubber legs on the ice and some interesting personnel choices by head coach Roy Sommer Worcester could generate no scoring chances as the game headed into a shootout.

Mats Zuccarello and Andreas Thuresson connected in the first two rounds for Connecticut, but Worcester charged back with a third round goal by Guite and a “must score” fifth rounder by Wingels to send the shootout into sudden death. Avery scored on his attempt, but Johnson made the save on Mashinter’s shot to send the WorSharks out into the snowy streets a 3-2 loser.

Worcester’s healthy scratches were Tony Lucia and Matt Pelech, with Marek Viedensky’s upper body injury keeping him on the injured list. Harri Sateri was the back-up netminder.

Several fans were very vocal in their wondering why Roy Sommer went with rookies Brodie Reid and Sena Acolatse during the overtime power play and in the shootout with what appears to be better choices available. Under the new conference playoff system points are at an even higher premium, so hopefully there is a good reason for the players Sommer picked.

Streaking WorSharks: Mike Connolly has a five game points streak (5g,4a) and has been even or better in all six games; Matt Irwin (2g,a) and Sean Sullivan (g, 2a) have three game streaks going and are also even or better in all six games. Tommy Wingels has a two game points streak (2a); James Livingston, Mike Moore, Nathan Moon, and Brodie Reid have all been even or better in all six games so far.

The three stars of the game were
1. CT – Avery (shootout gwg)
2. WOR – MacIntyre (g)
3. CT – Thuresson (g)

The Sharkspage player of the game is Tyson Sexsmith

Even Strength Lines
Gogol/Del Monte/Bonneau



Connecticut 0 0 2 0 – 3
Worcester 0 0 2 0 – 2

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Acolatse Wor (holding), 4:52; Connolly Wor (interference), 8:14; McKelvie Ct (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:07.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-McCarthy Wor (hooking), 0:23; Moore Wor (boarding), 7:02; Avery Ct (slashing), 8:48.

3rd Period-1, Connecticut, Thuresson 3 (Tessier), 5:01. 2, Worcester, MacIntyre 1 (Wingels, Mashinter), 12:40. 3, Worcester, Irwin 3 (Sullivan, Connolly), 14:21 (PP). 4, Connecticut, Deveaux 4 (Bell, Redden), 15:21 (PP). Penalties-Tanski Ct (fighting), 5:41; Moon Wor (fighting), 5:41; Mashinter Wor (goaltender interference), 8:20; Bickel Ct (cross-checking), 12:34; Acolatse Wor (cross-checking), 15:03.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Nightingale Ct (hooking), 0:55.

Shootout – Connecticut 3 (Zuccarello G, Thuresson G, Mitchell NG, Audy-Marchessault NG, Bell NG, Avery G), Worcester 2 (Connolly NG, Reid NG, Guite G, Acolatse NG, Wingels G, Mashinter NG).
Shots on Goal-Connecticut 9-13-7-0-1-30. Worcester 4-6-18-2-0-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Connecticut 1 / 6; Worcester 1 / 4.
Goalies-Connecticut, Johnson 3-0-2 (30 shots-28 saves). Worcester, Sexsmith 2-0-2 (29 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Brian MacDonald (72), Bob Paquette (18).

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Time October 30, 2011 at 11:21 AM

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