The Worcester Sharks looked to take advantage of some offensive momentum gathered in their Saturday night win in Providence but the scoring doldrums popped right back up again in their contest Sunday afternoon against the Portland Pirates. Luckily for the WorSharks their two goals were enough to grab a point in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine.
While the WorSharks lost a key player just before the NHL trading deadline the Pirates were one of a number of AHL clubs that had deals made for them that bolstered their line-up. Two of those players scored for Portland to put Worcester down 2-0. The first was Kenndal McArdle, who is Winnipeg property but was assigned to the Pirates in an exchange of loans by their parent clubs, when banged home a Alexandre Bolduc pass from behind the goal line to the slot at 8:58 of the opening period. The second was AHL sniper Brett Sterling, acquired by Portland from Peoria, deflecting Brett MacLean’s pass past Worcester goaltender Tyson Sexsmith at 10:30 of the middle stanza.
Down at the other end Pirates netminder Justin Pogge was on autopilot, making the saves he needed to make and not really giving Worcester any quality second chances. Just when it looked like the WorSharks would be heading into the second intermission down a pair of goals Pogge had a brain cramp and fired a clearing attempt right to Tim Kennedy in the left circle. Kennedy, who wears number 22, scored with 22.2 seconds remaining in the period to give Worcester a lift up entering the third period.
For most of the third period the defenses kept alternating in taking scoring chances away from each other’s forwards, but it also lead to some fireworks later in the period after Sterling high sticked Matt Irwin in the Worcester zone. As the play continued a huge brawl broke out deep in the Pirates end to the right of Pogge, and both benches got involved with objects being thrown back in forth.
Late in the contest Worcester would pull Sexsmith for an extra attacker but Pogge stood tall for much of it, saving everything he could get at. The good news for WorSharks fans was with 11.4 seconds remaining Kennedy was able to put the puck to a place Pogge couldn’t get to, off the far post and into the net to force overtime. Brandon Mashinter and Irwin had the assists.
In the extra session the WorSharks had several great chances to grab the bonus point, including a bang-bang play where John McCarthy beat Pogge only to have the puck ring off the crossbar. Matt Pelech then grabbed that loose puck and had all 24 square feet to shoot at but fired it over the net. Mashinter was the only Worcester shooter to beat Pogge in the shootout, while the Pirates beat Sexsmith three times for the 3-2 win.
WorSharks scratches were Ben Guite (concussion), Sena Acolatse (banged up), Frazer McLaren (groin), Jimmy Bonneau (healthy), Cam MacIntyre (concussion), and Andrew Murray (concussion). Harri Sateri was the back-up goaltender.
The three stars of the game were
1. POR – Pogge (34 saves)
2. WOR – Kennedy (2g)
3. POR – McArdle (g)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Brandon Mashinter.
Worcester 0 1 1 0 – 2
Portland 1 1 0 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Portland, McArdle 8 (Bolduc, Watkins), 8:58. Penalties-Ross Por (tripping), 10:23; Ross Por (tripping), 19:40; Kennedy Wor (high-sticking), 19:54.
2nd Period-2, Portland, Sterling 23 (MacLean, Ross), 10:30 (PP). 3, Worcester, Kennedy 7 19:38. Penalties-Oystrick Por (high-sticking), 0:22; Del Monte Wor (hooking), 3:38; Viedensky Wor (interference), 9:06; Watkins Por (hooking), 11:21.
3rd Period-4, Worcester, Kennedy 8 (Mashinter, Irwin), 19:48. Penalties-Livingston Wor (goaltender interference), 4:59; Del Monte Wor (roughing), 13:49; Gogol Wor (fighting), 13:49; Livingston Wor (fighting, game misconduct – secondary altercation), 13:49; Pelech Wor (roughing), 13:49; Brodeur Por (roughing), 13:49; Louis Por (fighting, game misconduct – secondary altercation), 13:49; Miele Por (fighting), 13:49; Sterling Por (high-sticking), 13:49.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Worcester 1 (Kennedy NG, McCarthy NG, Mashinter G, Reid NG), Portland 3 (Duncan NG, Miele NG, Beaudoin G, Sterling G, Pouliot G).
Shots on Goal-Worcester 9-16-8-3-0-36. Portland 7-6-6-1-1-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 4; Portland 1 / 3.
Goalies-Worcester, Sexsmith 11-10-7 (20 shots-18 saves). Portland, Pogge 13-12-3 (36 shots-34 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (46).
Linesmen-Joe Andrews (32), Bob Goodman (90).