WorSharks melt IceCaps with late game winning goal

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, December 10, 2011 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


Despite scoring first the Worcester Sharks found themselves trailing by two goals before half the game was over, but WorSharks offense finally showed signs of life and scored three goals in a row to shock the St. John’s IceCaps 4-3 Friday night at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

After landing in St. John’s on Thursday the WorSharks hit the ice flying, taking it to the Eastern Conference leaders from the opening puck drop. All four of the Worcester lines dominated during their opening shift, and it was the top line that connected early to give the WorSharks a 1-0 lead. The WorSharks first line broke into the IceCaps zone on a three on two with Tommy Wingels carrying the puck up the right wing side. Wingels tried to stickhandle around defenseman Jake Marto and lost control of the puck, but John McCarthy was there to pick it up and continue the rush. McCarthy threw a nice backhand pass to Benn Ferriero deep in the left wing circle for a one-timer that beat St John’s goaltender Peter Mannino and snuck just under the crossbar at 3:15.

IceCaps defenseman Zach Redmond gave his team a 2-1 lead with two consecutive power play goals off a couple of fairly impressive one-timers. The first came at 16:46 of the first period when Worcester was not only shorthanded but penalty killer Tony Lucia was also without a stick. Redmond drifted to the left wing circle where Tom Maxwell was able to get him a pass, and Redmond’s one-timer beat WorSharks netminder Tyson Sexsmith. His second goal was 49 seconds into the middle stanza when he took a feed from Paul Postma and beat Sexsmith from the high slot. Postma had originally blasted the puck on net but it was blocked by Ferriero. The bounding puck ended up back on the tape of his stick for the cross ice pass to Redmond.

Just after Sexsmith made a great pad save on Kenndal McArdle’s shorthanded breakaway St. John’s would give themselves a two goal cushion when they made a great play to isolate WorSharks defenseman Matt Pelech during a break in. Ben Maxwell skated directly at Pelech forcing the defenseman to play him, which allowed Patrice Cormier to race to the net unchecked. Maxwell hit his charging line mate with a pass in stride, and Cormier’s shot beat Sexsmith to the blocker side at 5:52. Pelech would have his revenge a few minutes later.

Despite not scoring a lot of goals the WorSharks are still considered one of the hardest working teams in the AHL, and that hard work paid off with a goal to break the IceCaps momentum on the scoreboard. McCarthy broke into the IceCaps zone and after a short while hit Pelech with a pass at the blueline. The defenseman’s blast looked to be going wide to the left of Mannino but Ferriero was able to get a stick on it from a bad angle and deflected the puck into the net at 14:50.

Sixty-three seconds later Pelech would assist on the game tying goal, this time by throwing a cross ice pass along the blueline to Nick Petrecki. Despite not being a goal scorer no one needs to tell Petrecki to shoot the puck, and while Mannino made the save the rebound went right to Lucia standing just above the high post. Lucia didn’t miss the yawning net and the WorSharks found themselves back to even at 3-3.

The WorSharks came out firing on all cylinders to start the third period, and Brodie Reid had two great chances in the opening minute but couldn’t convert either of them. The first can when he skated across the goal mouth with the puck but Mannino was able to stay with the forward and keep Reid from getting a good shot off. The second was a breakaway chance, but his bid went just wide on the blocker side.

Worcester would complete their comeback at 15:53 of the third when Ferriero found McCarthy all alone in the slot. McCarthy’s first bid was blocked by Mannino, but the rebound came right back to him and he fired again. The puck his Mannino’s stick and bounded into the air toward the far post where Wingels was standing, and while avoiding referee Terry Koharski who had skated toward the net to get a view of the goal line, batted the puck into the net.

The WorSharks had a golden opportunity to take a two goal lead late in the period when Ryan Del Monte and Lucia broke in on a two on zero chance, but Lucia’s shot went over the crossbar and out of play. St John’s then picked up the pace going for the game tying goal but Worcester held firm, and after a great glove save by Sexsmith on Jason DeSantis’ bid the WorSharks sent the sellout crowd home disappointed.

After an off day the two squads will play again Sunday at Noon EST (9am PST).

GAME NOTES
During the week the Worcester Shuttle stopped by to pick up Justin Braun, but both Taylor Doherty and Ben Guite returned from injuries to keep the WorSharks from needing to sign any players to fill out their game roster. Mike Connolly (unknown), Brandon Mashinter (unknown), Mike Moore (concussion), Sean Sullivan (lower body), and Marek Viedensky (healthy) did not dress for Worcester. Harri Sateri was the back-up goaltender. Sullivan did go on the trip with the team.

It was the second time this season John McCarthy had three assists in a game. He first did it on October 15th against Albany. Mike Connolly also has two three point games this season. Benn Ferriero had his first three point game of the season in Friday’s.

There were two fights in the contest, with Jimmy Bonneau taking on and pummeling IceCaps enforcer Tom Maxwell, and seconds later Curt Gogol fighting Garth Murray in a bout where the rookie slipped and fell before any real blows could be thrown.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – Ferriero (2g,a,+3)
2. STJ – Redmond (2g)
3. WOR – Wingels (gwg,a,+3)

The Sharkspage player of the game was John McCarthy

Even Strength Lines
McCarthy/Ferriero/Wingels
MacIntyre/Guite/Reid
Lucia/Del Monte/Livingston
Gogol/Moon/Bonneau

Irwin/Acolatse
Petrecki/Doherty
Pelech/O’Hanley

BOXSCORE

Worcester 1 2 1 – 4
St. John’s 1 2 0 – 3

1st Period-1, Worcester, Ferriero 7 (McCarthy, Wingels), 3:15. 2, St. John’s, Redmond 3 (Maxwell, Postma), 16:47 (PP). Penalties-O’Dell Stj (kneeing), 6:41; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 12:58; Maxwell Stj (fighting), 12:58; Gogol Wor (fighting), 12:59; Murray Stj (fighting), 12:59; McCarthy Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:08; Clark Stj (unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:08; Irwin Wor (tripping), 14:53; Acolatse Wor (slashing), 19:17.

2nd Period-3, St. John’s, Redmond 4 (Postma), 0:49 (PP). 4, St. John’s, Cormier 5 (Maxwell, O’Dell), 5:52. 5, Worcester, Ferriero 8 (Pelech, McCarthy), 13:09. 6, Worcester, Lucia 2 (Pelech, Petrecki), 14:50. Penalties-Machacek Stj (roughing), 3:08; Ramsey Stj (boarding), 7:16; Ferriero Wor (cross-checking), 17:38.

3rd Period-7, Worcester, Wingels 5 (McCarthy, Ferriero), 15:53. Penalties-Ramsey Stj (cross-checking), 7:22; Guite Wor (hooking), 12:22.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 14-9-9-32. St. John’s 7-9-11-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 4; St. John’s 2 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Sexsmith 5-5-3 (27 shots-24 saves). St. John’s, Mannino 4-4-0 (32 shots-28 saves).
A-6,287
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42), Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Jim Vail (34), Todd Horwood (56).

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