WorSharks struggle in St John’s, lose 3-2

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Saturday, February 4, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment


The Worcester Sharks traveled to St. John’s, Newfoundland on Thursday but apparently left their game back in the Bay State as the IceCaps totally dominated Friday night’s contest and only the incredible play by WorSharks goaltender Harri Sateri kept them even close, but close doesn’t earn any points as Worcester dropped a 3-2 decision at the Mile One Centre.

Right from the opening puck drop it was all IceCaps, which hemmed the WorSharks into their own zone for huge stretches of time. It was so persistent that Sena Acolatse, who started the game with defensive partner Mike Moore, got stuck on the ice for the first 1:55 of the contest until St John’s ended up offside to draw a whistle. It didn’t get much better for Worcester throughout the period as at one point the IceCaps had an 8-0 shots on goal advantage, and many of those eight shots were labeled. Sateri made several nice saves to keep Worcester from being blown out of the building early, including great stops on breakaway bids by Shawn Wellar and Ben Maxwell inside the first seven minutes of the game.

Worcester’s best bids in the opening period came while shorthanded. With Nathan Moon sitting in the box after showing some frustrations by throwing several gloved punches at an unwilling dance partner Marek Viedensky had the puck knocked away from him while on a partial breakaway in the IceCaps zone. Viedensky followed the puck into the far corner and swung back to the net, hitting the near post with a backhand spin-o-rama after St John’s netminder Edward Pasquale stopped his return bid. The WorSharks crashed the net and thought they had pushed the puck over the goal line but referee Marcus Vinnerborg, who was in pretty good position, ruled they had not and that was it for the play.

Soon after Moon’s minor was up the IceCaps would finally beat Sateri when Arturs Kulda blasted one from the blue line into traffic that hit a WorSharks stick in front and deflected off the near post and past the goaltender at 17:44.

Newcomer Tim Kennedy showed he’s already developing some chemistry with his new teammates with a nice feed from behind the IceCaps’s goal line. After stealing the puck Kennedy found Mike Connolly moving from the right wing halfboards toward the slot. Connolly held the puck through traffic and as soon as an opening developed fired a laser to the low stick side that beat Pasquale clean to knot the game 1-1 at 3:50 of the second period.

The IceCaps would retake the lead at 5:25 with a booming laser of their own while on the power play when Paul Postma smoked one past Sateri from about 40 feet out just above the left wing circle. St. John’s would make it 3-1 when Jason Gregoire fired a shot on goal that Sateri made an easy save on. Unfortunately for Worcester Nick Petrecki lost sight of Kevin Clark, and the winger flew in and gathered the rebound to beat the hapless Sateri for the goal at 15:35.

The WorSharks got back to within a goal on a play that proves you should play until you hear the whistle. After a Jack Combs bid was turned aside by Pasquale James Livingston took IceCaps center John Albert into the boards from behind on a play that could have very easily been called as boarding. As play continued three IceCaps players went into the corner to challenge Livingston, but because referee Vinnerborg wasn’t calling a penalty on the original hit he allowed the Worcester advantage to continue. Combs fed Chad Costello from behind the goal line to the slot, and as Combs moved to the near post Costello returned the favor with a nice easy pass that Combs batted into a wide open net at 18:51.

That was a close as it would get as the IceCaps and Pasquale fended off several WorSharks challenges. Any real chance of a late goal was diminished when Frazer McLaren took two consecutive minors in the second half of the period, one borderline and one boneheaded, to keep Worcester in their own zone defending. The WorSharks were able to get Sateri off for an extra attacker very late in the period, but it was far too little far too late.

The two clubs face off again Saturday with a 6pm EST start.

GAME NOTES
Prior to the game the Worcester Shuttle picked up Tyson Sexsmith, who was needed to back up Thomas Greiss against Dallas when Antti Niemi was slightly injured and was not available. Rumor is Sexsmith is heading back to join the WorSharks as of this posting. Antero Niittymaki was loaned to Worcester and backed up Harri Sateri. The scratches for Worcester were Cam MacIntyre, Ben Guite,Tony Lucia, Ryan Del Monte, and Curt Gogol.

If the WorSharks are looking for more success on the powerplay the tactic of using a backward pass just as the puck carrier reaches the opponent’s blueline has to stop. It leaves four attackers standing flatfooted waiting for the fifth to gain possession and skate into the zone, and actually leads to more missed opportunities than it generates. On top of that the number of shorthanded breakaways because of fumbled passes that results is totally unacceptable.

The three stars of the game were
1. STJ – Postma (g)
2. WOR – Sateri (28 saves)
3. STJ – Clark (gwg)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Jack Combs

BOXSCORE

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

1st Period-1, St. John’s, Kulda 4 (Holzapfel), 17:44. Penalties-Moon Wor (roughing), 15:16; McArdle Stj (high-sticking), 18:14.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Connolly 9 (Kennedy), 3:50. 3, St. John’s, Postma 8 (Redmond, Klingberg), 5:25 (PP). 4, St. John’s, Clark 8 (Gregoire), 15:35. 5, Worcester, Combs 8 (Costello, Livingston), 18:51. Penalties-Petrecki Wor (delay of game), 5:02; Petrecki Wor (hooking), 6:34; Cormier Stj (hooking), 6:44.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-McLaren Wor (boarding), 12:25; McLaren Wor (high-sticking), 14:45.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 10-8-7-25. St. John’s 12-13-6-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 2; St. John’s 1 / 5.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 9-7-0 (31 shots-28 saves). St. John’s, Pasquale 11-6-0 (25 shots-23 saves).
A-6,287
Referees-Marcus Vinnerborg (45).
Linesmen-Jim Vail (5), Matt MacPherson (83).

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