WorSharks pound IceCaps on ice and on scoreboard, win 4-2

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Sunday, February 5, 2012 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The Worcester Sharks played like kittens on Friday night but on Saturday came out of the gate like lions and took it straight to the St John’s IceCaps, and on the strength of Brandon Mashinter’s Gordie Howe hat trick punched their way to a 4-2 win in snowy St John’s, Newfoundland at the Mile One Centre.

With no fights on Friday but certainly some scores to settle WorSharks fans knew it wouldn’t take long for some fisticuffs to break out, and it certainly didn’t when just three seconds into the contest Sena Acolatse and Garth Murray dropped the mitts. After a minute or so of skating around Acolatse caught the veteran with several rights to win the battle.

While Worcester was skating around trying to drive every IceCaps player into the fifth row St John’s was trying to play their game of wide open offense, so WorSharks netminder Harri Sateri had to come up just as big on Saturday as in his incredible Friday night performance. Sateri showed he was unfazed by the loss 24 hours earlier with a nice save on Jason King’s bid from the far circle a few minutes in. It was a good thing Sateri was sharp because like Friday most of the early scoring chances were in the IceCaps favor.

With the WorSharks continuing their physical play in the period it was inevitable that another altercation would break out, and a huge hit by Curt Gogol on IceCaps winger Carl Klingberg behind the St John’s net resulted in the game’s second fight when Patrice Cormier jumped to his teammate’s defense. Both threw some punches but it was mostly a nothing battle as they ended up on the ice rather quickly at 17:11. Fight number three was under similar circumstances, only this time it was a high stick by Murray on Mike Connolly that drew the ire of Brandon Mashinter. Murray didn’t get an extra minor for the high stick; what he got instead was pounded by Mashinter at 18:36.

The first period would end scoreless, but with the IceCaps on a power play that straddled intermission the new sheet of ice in period number two was the little edge St John’s would need as they connected on a fluky goal just 55 seconds into the stanza. IceCaps defenseman Paul Postma unleashing a bombing slapshot that went wide of the net to the left of Sateri, and while Sateri scrambled back to his crease after coming out to cut down the angle the netminder lost sight of the puck. While looking over his right shoulder the puck slid along the ice into the crease to his left and the rookie accidentally kicked the puck into his own net. On the other end of the sheet Worcester, who weren’t getting many good chances, couldn’t put the ones they did get behind IceCaps goaltender David Aebischer. With great saves on quality bids by Jack Combs and Tim Kennedy it was looking like it might be another long night for the WorSharks offense.

There were more fisticuffs at 9:59 of the second period when Kenndal McArdle took Brodie Reid hard into the boards with clean hit. Gogol went after McArdle and got beat up for his trouble. While that fight was going on Nathan Moon and Murray dropped the gloves in a bout that should have given Murray a rare hat trick of game misconducts–one for three fights in a game, one for a secondary altercation, and one for losing his jersey in the Moon battle–but referee Marcus Vinnerborg just tossed the veteran with one, saving him from what would be an automatic suspension.

Worcester would finally solve Aebischer when two players had a chance at an open net. Nick Petrecki started the play with a booming blast that Aebischer easily turned aside. Frazer McLaren chased the puck into the far corner and fired it back into the maze of bodies in front of the net. The puck somehow bounced through the traffic and out in the open right in front of James Livingston and Ryan Del Monte. Both players swept at the puck but it was Livingston who got to it first to light the lamp at 16:26. What Del Monte got for his near goal was being dumped by the IceCaps while celebrating the goal as both teams got together just outside the crease.

The fresh sheet of ice to start the third period would again be to the WorSharks detriment as the IceCaps swarmed the Worcester zone. After a couple of nice saves by Sateri the puck ended up on the stick of defenseman Postma at the point. His blast was going well wide until Klingberg extended his stick out to deflect the puck and it slid past Sateri at 1:04.

Del Monte would get some revenge on the IceCaps for interrupting the WorSharks celebrating their earlier goal when he took a feed from Gogol and skated into the slot between the two face-off dots. Del Monte threw a backhander on net that seemed to fool Aebischer and beat him to the stick side at 5:57. Before the public address announcer could finish announcing their second goal the WorSharks would stun the IceCaps with a third just 18 seconds later when Mike Connolly flipped a lose puck past Aebischer after Aebischer stopped Tim Kennedy’s bid. Brandon Mashinter had the second assist on the play.

Tempers would flare again moments later when Arturs Kulda jumped Del Monte at center ice. Del Monte was holding his own in the battle but McLaren had seen enough of the IceCaps attacking Del Monte and jumped into the fray. Inexplicable referee Vinnerborg did not give McLaren a game misconduct for beijng the third man into the battle, and even more head scratching was Del Monte getting an extra minor for roughing.

After the WorSharks killed a minor to Petrecki for slashing–considering the stuff let go by referee Vinnerborg it was a borderline call at best–tempers would flare again after a rush up ice resulted in Aebischer losing his mask. Play was correctly stopped but for some reason Aebischer chose to go after Petrecki in the crease who had nothing to do at all with Aebischer being bowled over, and the defenseman simply shrugged off the netminder as both were called for roughing minors. On his next shift on the ice Petrecki was called for goaltender interference on a play where he was pushed into Aebischer and barely touched the goaltender.

Late in the game the IceCaps were called for holding forcing them to pull Aebischer just to remain five on five, and Mashinter completed his Gordie Howe hat trick with an empty net power play goal at 19:54, assisted by Kennedy and Connolly.

Worcester scratches were Cam MacIntyre, Ben Guite, Tony Lucia, Brian O’Hanley, and Jimmy Bonneau. With O’Hanley being scratched Matt Pelech returned to his normal spot on defense. Tyson Sexsmith was reassigned to the WorSharks but did not meet the team in St John’s and will instead join the team when they return to Worcester Sunday evening. Sena Acolatse took a puck up high in the first period and didn’t return. There was no word on his condition after the game. Antero Niittymaki was the backup goaltender for Worcester.

The six fighting majors in the game for each club appears to be the season high in the American Hockey League so far. The two teams combined for 112 penalty minutes. Worcester claimed 64 of them. It was a terrible officiated game by referee Marcus Vinnerborg, and hopefully the AHL (and NHL) will be looking at the game video and will discipline the official for his obvious errors in the rules and many non-calls that could have easily resulted in players being injured.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – Livingston (g)
2. STJ – Cormier (a)
3. WOR – Connolly (gwg)

The Sharkpage player of the game was Brandon Mashinter


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

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Acolatse Wor (fighting), 0:03; Murray Stj (fighting), 0:03; Gogol Wor (interference), 10:06; Acolatse Wor (cross-checking), 14:14; Gogol Wor (fighting), 17:11; Cormier Stj (fighting), 17:11; Mashinter Wor (fighting), 18:36; Murray Stj (fighting), 18:36; Livingston Wor (roughing), 18:51.

2nd Period-1, St. John’s, Postma 9 0:55. 2, Worcester, Livingston 5 (McLaren, Petrecki), 16:26. Penalties-Kulda Stj (interference), 1:36; Gogol Wor (fighting), 9:59; Moon Wor (fighting, game misconduct), 9:59; McArdle Stj (fighting), 9:59; Murray Stj (fighting, game misconduct), 9:59; Festerling Stj (cross-checking), 13:05.

3rd Period-3, St. John’s, Klingberg 12 (Postma, Cormier), 1:04. 4, Worcester, Del Monte 4 (Gogol), 5:57. 5, Worcester, Connolly 10 (Kennedy, Mashinter), 6:15. 6, Worcester, Mashinter 8 (Kennedy, Connolly), 19:54 (PP EN). Penalties-Del Monte Wor (roughing, fighting), 6:47; McLaren Wor (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:47; Kulda Stj (fighting), 6:47; Petrecki Wor (slashing), 9:51; Petrecki Wor (roughing), 12:05; Aebischer Stj (roughing), 12:05; Petrecki Wor (goaltender interference), 14:34; Holzapfel Stj (hooking), 17:55.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 3-11-9-23. St. John’s 10-8-11-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 3; St. John’s 0 / 6.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 10-7-0 (29 shots-27 saves). St. John’s, Aebischer 13-6-1 (22 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Marcus Vinnerborg (45).
Linesmen-Joe Maynard (24), Matt MacPherson (83).

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