The Worcester Sharks found themselves down by two goals in the second period again at St. John’s, but used a couple of lucky bounces along the way to score four unanswered third period goals to defeat the St. John’s IceCaps 5-3 Sunday afternoon at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.
Just like Friday night’s contest the WorSharks came out of the gate flying, and the IceCaps tried to match the physicality of Worcester but that’s not what their game is really about. St John’s defenseman Travis Ramsey showed a little bit of frustration behind his own net with some after the whistle jamming with Ryan Del Monte. Despite giving up four inches and thirty pounds Del Monte would have no part of being pushed around and dropped the gloves with his much larger opponent. Seventy-three seconds later Jimmy Bonneau and Tommy Maxwell reacquainted themselves with each other, with the same result as Friday as Bonneau handled his opponent easily.
It looked like the WorSharks would grab the first goal of the game while on the power play midway through the opening period when Taylor Doherty blasted the puck through traffic that IceCaps netminder Peter Mannino kicked aside. The rebound went right to Sean Sullivan low in the left wing circle and he fired a backhander right back at the yawning net but Mannino robbed the defenseman with a highlight level save. At the other end of the ice WorSharks goaltender Harri Sateri was just as sharp keeping the IceCaps at bay.
The period looked like it was going to end scoreless despite Worcester having a decent power play at the end of the stanza, especially when Benn Ferriero had the puck up at the blueline and not in a position to get a shot off as time was winding down. But his quick pass to Ben Guite, who in turn found John McCarthy, allowed the WorSharks one final scoring chance. McCarthy’s shot went just under the crossbar to beat the green light by .1 seconds as the WorSharks went into the locker room up 1-0.
In the opening minute of the second period Tommy Wingels had an absolutely golden chance to put his team up by two goals when he took a Ferriero feed to the IceCaps zone and skated hard to the net, but Mannino was there again to make the save. Wingels would get his revenge later, but not before the WorSharks gave up three second period goals.
The IceCaps would get their first goal of the period after Sateri had made two great saves, the first on Marco Rosa and the second on Ben Maxwell. As the rebound of the second shot bounced through traffic in front Sateri he couldn’t scramble back into his crease and the WorSharks defense couldn’t control the puck and St John’s winger Spencer Machacek was able to bang the puck home at 4:18.
Defenseman Paul Postma would give the IceCaps a 2-1 lead at 6:55 with an absolute laser that beat Sateri over the shoulder, and the WorSharks fourth line didn’t take falling behind sitting down as all three would get involved in fisticuffs within 45 seconds of the goal. The first was Nathan Moon taking on Eric O’Dell at the center ice dot right after the puck drop in a pretty even bout. Two seconds later Matt Pelech made Ramsey pay for picking on Del Monte with several hard hits to the body and head. After almost a full shift of play Curt Gogol went after Garth Murray, but the linesmen jumped into the battle before any real punches could be thrown.
St John’s would get their third goal of the period while on the power play after a borderline hooking minor called on McCarthy when Aaron Gagnon banged home Kevin Clark’s cross slot pass at 17:57. The WorSharks had three great chances to grab a goal back, but some great saves by Mannino on bids by McCarthy, Ferriero, and Guite kept the two goal lead for the IceCaps. The WorSharks would get a power play chance late in the period, and then when Brett Festerling accidentally high sticked Wingels the WorSharks would begin the third period with a two skater advantage.
With a clean sheet of ice the WorSharks were able to move the puck with ease around the IceCaps zone, so McCarthy’s pass to Guite all alone at the near post was perfect and the veteran center buried it into the wide open net 37 seconds into the period to draw Worcester back to 3-2. Sena Acolatse had the second assist on the goal.
On occasion it takes a lucky bounce to score a goal and Wingels got three of them in the span of a couple of seconds to get some revenge on Mannino. After taking a Sullivan feed and going in on a breakaway Wingels attempted to go to the top glove side corner on Mannino, but Wingels shot the puck high and missed the net completely. The puck bounded off the glass and back toward the net, bounced off the top of the net and rolled over the crossbar. As the puck dropped down it hit Mannino in the back and rolled into the net at 3:51 of the third to get the WorSharks back to even.
Both teams would have good chances to get the lead, but Mannino’s great glove save on Brodie Reid’s bid and Ferriero’s play to sweep the puck off the WorSharks goal line after Worcester was called for a too many men minor kept the two squads even. And it looked like it would stay tied through regulation until Tony Lucia stole a clearing attempt in the IceCaps zone and headed to the net. Lucia spotted Wingels all alone at the bottom of the right wing circle and hit him with a great pass. As there was no one even near him Wingels didn’t one time the puck, he instead chose to hold it until Mannino dove across the mouth of the goal. Wingels then fired the puck high just under the crossbar at 18:35. The red light didn’t go on but referee Terry Koharski immediately signaled the puck had entered the net.
Because of the WorSharks tenacious forechecking it took some time before the IceCaps could pull Mannino, and when they finally did get him off the ice St John’s couldn’t get much offense going. Eventually Guite’s soft clear was picked up by Marek Viedensky, who deposited the puck into the empty net for his first pro goal with 8 seconds left on the contest.
Prior to the start of the game the Worcester Shuttle made as top in the Maritimes to pick up Matt Irwin. Scratches for the WorSharks were Mike Moore (concussion), Cam MacIntyre (unknown), Mike Connolly (lower body), and Brandon Mashinter (unknown). Tyson Sexsmith was the back up goaltender. Sean Sullivan returned to the line-up after missing eight games.
Through three games of their season long seven game road trip the WorSharks are 2-0-0-1. In ten road games so far this season Worcester has gotten at least a point in nine of them. The current trip continues Tuesday night in Springfield.
Streaking WorSharks: Tony Lucia has points in five straight games (2g,3a). John McCarthy (g,4a) and Benn Ferriero (2g,2a) have points in two straight. Taylor Doherty and James Livingston have been even or better in seven straight contests.
Sena Acolatse easily had a half dozen blocked shots in the game, including a penalty kill where it seemed like he blocked every attempt on goal.
Add Ben Guite (g,2a) to Friday’s list of WorSharks with a three point games this season.
What a difference a year makes. Last season the WorSharks were (-33) in goal differential in the third period; this season through 22 games Worcester is +10.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – Wingels (2g, including gwg)
2. STJ – Maxwell (2a)
3. WOR – McCarthy (g,a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Ben Guite.
Even strength lines
Worcester 1 0 4 – 5
St. John’s 0 3 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Worcester, McCarthy 4 (Guite, Ferriero), 19:59. Penalties-Del Monte Wor (fighting), 10:35; Ramsey Stj (fighting), 10:35; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 11:48; Maxwell Stj (fighting), 11:48; DeSantis Stj (cross-checking), 12:06; McCarthy Wor (slashing), 16:00; Redmond Stj (slashing), 17:59.
2nd Period-2, St. John’s, Machacek 8 (Maxwell, Rosa), 4:18. 3, St. John’s, Postma 5 (Maxwell, Rosa), 6:55. 4, St. John’s, Gagnon 6 (Clark, DeSantis), 17:57 (PP). Penalties-Moon Wor (fighting), 6:57; O’Dell Stj (fighting), 6:57; Pelech Wor (fighting), 6:59; Ramsey Stj (fighting), 6:59; Gogol Wor (fighting), 7:40; Murray Stj (fighting), 7:40; McCarthy Wor (hooking), 16:49; McArdle Stj (roughing), 18:59; Festerling Stj (high-sticking), 19:44.
3rd Period-5, Worcester, Guite 2 (McCarthy, Acolatse), 0:37 (PP). 6, Worcester, Wingels 6 (Sullivan), 3:51. 7, Worcester, Wingels 7 (Lucia), 18:35. 8, Worcester, Viedensky 1 (Guite), 19:52 (EN). Penalties-Lucia Wor (delay of game), 5:42; Ferriero Wor (roughing), 6:11; Clark Stj (roughing), 6:11; served by Wor (bench minor – too many men), 13:34.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 9-15-17-41. St. John’s 11-13-3-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 4; St. John’s 1 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 5-4-0 (27 shots-24 saves). St. John’s, Mannino 4-5-0 (40 shots-36 saves).
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42), Terry Koharski (10).
Linesmen-Justin Day (79), Sheldon Keough (63).