WorSharks clawed by Falcons, lose 4-2

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Thursday, January 26, 2012 - Save & Share - One Comment

The Worcester Sharks took to the ice Wednesday but played most of the game like they had the night off and dropped a 4-2 decision as the Springfield Falcons converted several WorSharks mistakes into goals at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 2,222 fans.

Despite a slow start that would see most of the play in the Worcester end of the ice and the WorSharks behind on the shot total it was the hometown team that would jump out to a 1-0 lead with a power play goal at 8:39. A few minutes after a WorSharks brain cramp play almost resulted in the Falcons getting what would have been an easy goal into an empty net Worcester got one of their own when Matt Irwin fired the puck around the boards and Falcons netminder Paul Dainton went behind the cage to stop the puck. Jack Combs met Dainton behind the net and out-muscled him for the puck, and then fended him off long enough to throw a pass to the slot where Mike Connolly stood. With Springfield players sliding across the open net and Dainton scrambling to get back Connolly calmly shot at the open side of the net to light the lamp.

WorSharks goaltender Harri Sateri started the contest with a chance to break Alex Stalock’s team shutout minutes record, and with a few great early saves eclipsed the old mark of 135:30 in the opening period. Unfortunately for Sateri the streak would come to an end at 7:25 of the second period–for a total of 157:37–when Alexandre Giroux tipped a cross slot backhand pass from Dane Byers over Sateri as the Worcester defense stood around and watched to knot the game 1-1. The goal by Giroux was his 354th career AHL goal, moving him into 9th place all-time on the AHL career goal scoring list.

During that second period Dainton almost single-handedly held the WorSharks at bay with great saves on bids by Marek Viedensky and Connolly, and then had three quick saves on consecutive high quality shots by Combs, Costello, and Connolly. Dainton also stopped a penalty shot by Brandon Mashinter, one that this writer thought was poetic justice as the call likely should have just been a tripping minor.

Turnovers in their own zone have been an issue all season for the WorSharks, and the Falcons grabbed two early third period goals directly off turnovers. Giroux would net his second of the game when Mashinter backpassed the puck to his own slot to Brodie Reid, who didn’t have a stick. Reid did a great job in trying to glove the puck out of the zone but Giroux picked the clearing attempt off and skated in on Sateri and beat him at 5:10. Byers would convert at 8:39 when the WorSharks twice failed to clear the puck, and Tomas Kubalik added a back breaking power play goal at 16:34 to round out the scoring for the Falcons.

The WorSharks would get a rare full two minute five on three power play after some shenanigans in the game’s last minute, and would double up the Falcons skaters when head coach Roy Sommer pulled Sateri in favor of a sixth attacker. Matt Irwin would break an 18 game goalless drought by banging one off the far post and in, assisted by Combs and Sena Acolatse, with six second remaining in the game. But it was far too little far too late.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Cam MacIntyre, Ben Guite, Tony Lucia, Ryan Del Monte, and Nick Petrecki. John McCarthy was reassigned to Worcester prior to the game but was held out as it would have been his fourth game in five days. Tyson Sexsmith was the backip goaltender.

There’s been nothing said here in Worcester, either officially or unofficially, about the Antero Niittymaki waiver situation. That’s not all that surprising as all player decisions like that situation are made in San Jose and previous comments here on player transactions are along the lines of “we play the guys that are here”.

The three stars of the game were
1. SPR – Giroux (2g)
2. SPR – Dainton (37 saves)
3. SPR – Byers (g,a)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Jack Combs.


Springfield 0 1 3 – 4
Worcester 1 0 1 – 2

1st Period-1, Worcester, Connolly 8 (Combs, Irwin), 8:39 (PP). Penalties-served by MacLeod Spr (bench minor – too many men), 5:40; Atkinson Spr (hooking), 7:30; Moon Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:57; Gogol Wor (tripping), 18:13; Calvert Spr (high-sticking), 18:16.

2nd Period-2, Springfield, Giroux 14 (Byers, Cullity), 7:25. Penalties-Doherty Wor (roughing), 5:15; Giroux Spr (roughing), 9:25; Doherty Wor (roughing), 9:25; Calvert Spr (high-sticking), 10:05; Irwin Wor (delay of game), 12:20.

3rd Period-3, Springfield, Giroux 15 (Cullity, Drazenovic), 5:10. 4, Springfield, Byers 9 (Joudrey, Mayorov), 8:39. 5, Springfield, Kubalik 8 (Savard, St. Pierre), 16:34 (PP). 6, Worcester, Irwin 8 (Combs, Acolatse), 19:54 (PP). Penalties-Joudrey Spr (high-sticking), 0:04; Combs Wor (boarding), 12:44; Irwin Wor (hooking), 15:44; Kubalik Spr (roughing), 16:34; O’Hanley Wor (cross-checking), 16:34; served by MacLeod Spr (bench minor – unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:04; Giroux Spr (roughing, slashing), 19:04; Gogol Wor (roughing), 19:04.

Shots on Goal-Springfield 10-10-7-27. Worcester 16-12-11-39.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1 / 6; Worcester 2 / 7.
Goalies-Springfield, Dainton 2-2-0 (39 shots-37 saves). Worcester, Sateri 9-6-0 (27 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41), Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Bob Bernard (42), Chris Millea (33).

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Time January 27, 2012 at 3:42 PM

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