WorSharks can’t steal a victory for Sexsmith, lose 3-2 in OT

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

The Worcester Sharks hit the road for the first time in three weeks with an hour trip west down the Mass Pike and twice overcame one goal deficits before finally falling 3-2 in overtime to the Springfield Falcons Wednesday night at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts in front of an announced crowd of 2,029.

With Worcester going 1-4-1 in their six game home stand the last the the WorSharks wanted to do was come out flat against the Falcons, but unfortunately that’s exactly what they did. The one thing going for Worcester early on was goaltender Tyson Sexsmith, who made three big saves in the first half of the period to keep the game scoreless. After killing two Springfield power plays the WorSharks would get a chance with the man advantage, and Sena Acolatse would break Worcester’s 0 for 19 slump with a booming slapshot from the blueline that beat Falcons netminder Manny Legace at 14:20 on the WorSharks second shot of the period. Matt Irwin and Benn Ferriero had the assists on the goal.

The second period began on an odd note, with Ferriero’s blast from the top of the right wing circle ripping the right stick out of Legace’s hand. Worcester couldn’t capitalize on that brief advantage, and soon after they would run afoul of referee Ryan Hersey. While already shorthanded Tommy Wingels went on a breakaway after being sent away by a great outlet pass. Wingels was hauled down from behind by Falcons defenseman Cody Goloubef, but Hersey did not call a penalty on the play. Seconds later Hersey called Tony Lucia for high sticking; a penalty that does not appear on the video despite clearly showing Lucia for the entire play.

Skating with a two man advantage Springfield was able to knot the game at 11:29 when Tomas Kubalik was uncovered at the far post and banged the puck home after some nice tape to tape passing by the Falcons. Officially it was a five on four goal as Irwin’s holding minor has expired, but he was unable to get back into the play before the goal was scored.

Brandon Mashinter had two great chances to get Worcester back on top but each time couldn’t control the bouncing puck to put it into a yawning net. Marek Viedensky also had an opportunity very early in the period when Legace couldn’t control Brodie Reid’s rebound, but he too couldn’t get a stick on the puck to put it into an empty net. On the other end of the ice Sexsmith was stellar, making many great saves in the middle stanza.

The WorSharks started the third period by breaking one of the most important unwritten rules of hockey: never give up a goal in the opening minute of a period. After a bad pass from Wingels that missed everyone in the offensive zone Springfield broke out on a three on one against Irwin. Sexsmith and Irwin were both helpless as the tic-tac-toe passing resulted in Kubalik shooting the puck into an empty net for his second of the game just 50 seconds into the period.

After showing no consistent offense in the period Worcester would get their second power play chance of the game in the middle of the stanza, and the WorSharks would again connect on the man advantage when Acolatse threw a pass to the high slot from the left wing halfboards. Irwin one-timed the pass passed a screened Legace at 11:41 to knot the score at 2-2. Ferriero had the second assist on the marker. Worcester had a golden chance to take the lead when Falcons winger Nick Drazenovic was called for a double minor after high sticking Tony Lucia, but the veteran Legace drew a very borderline goaltender interference penalty on Wingels to break up Worcester’s momentum.

Sexsmith again rose to the challenge in the period making many key saves to keep Worcester in it and then after the tying goal to keep the Falcons from taking the lead again.

In the opening moments of overtime Mike Connolly was awarded a penalty shot after referee Hersey ruled Connolly was tripped from behind on a breakaway. The video clearly shows the defenseman was even with Connolly and it was likely not a penalty at all. legacy was able to glove Connolly’s backhand attempt. Hersey would later get the tripping call on Nathan Moon correct, and Alexandre Giroux buried a slapshot from the top of the right wing circle past Sexsmith at 2:22 of overtime for the game winner.

The scratches for Worcester were Jimmy Bonneau (healthy), Ryan Del Monte (charlie horse), Curt Gogol (healthy), Ben Guite (foot), Mike Moore (head). Harri Sateri was the back-up netminder.

Wednesday was the first game between Springfield and Worcester where they weren’t in the same division. The WorSharks were sorry to see them leave the Atlantic as they fared very well against the Falcons going 26-7-2-1 all time.

The three stars of the game were:
1. SPR – Kubalik (2g)
2. SPR – Giroux (gwg)
3. WOR – Irwin (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Tyson Sexsmith.

Even strength lines

The WorSharks seemed to rotate the defensive pairings all game.


Worcester 1 0 1 0 – 2
Springfield 0 1 1 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Worcester, Acolatse 2 (Irwin, Ferriero), 14:20 (PP). Penalties-Connolly Wor (boarding), 3:32; Pelech Wor (interference), 9:36; Goloubef Spr (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:48.

2nd Period-2, Springfield, Kubalik 2 (St. Pierre, Atkinson), 11:29 (PP). Penalties-Irwin Wor (holding), 9:27; Lucia Wor (high-sticking), 11:18.

3rd Period-3, Springfield, Kubalik 3 (Drazenovic, Byers), 0:50. 4, Worcester, Irwin 5 (Acolatse, Ferriero), 11:41 (PP). Penalties-St. Pierre Spr (interference), 10:46; Drazenovic Spr (double minor – high-sticking), 12:29; Wingels Wor (goaltender interference), 13:26.

OT Period-5, Springfield, Giroux 4 (Savard, St. Pierre), 2:22 (PP). Penalties-Moon Wor (tripping), 1:50.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 7-9-8-2-26. Springfield 11-10-11-1-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 2 / 3; Springfield 2 / 6.
Goalies-Worcester, Sexsmith 2-3-2 (33 shots-30 saves). Springfield, Legace 1-3-0 (26 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (46).
Linesmen-Rich Patry (52), Brent Colby (7).

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