The Worcester Sharks got two even strength goals from Brandon Mashinter but allowed three goals while shorthanded, which turned out to be the difference in a 3-2 loss to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Tuesday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of a intimate crowd in a game delayed over an hour by ice issues.
With the 2012 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships at the DCU Center over the weekend adding a layer of paint and about an inch and a half of ice on top of the hockey surface some work had to be done to bring the sheet back to playable conditions, and with one of the Zambonis breaking down causing the already tight schedule to fall apart the WorSharks pushed the start time from 7pm up an hour to 8pm. When Sharkspage arrived at 6:30pm there was still some question if the game could be played as the sheet looked more like a frozen river as opposed to an indoor hockey rink.
A one point the trainers for both teams were on the ice surveying the surface, and their body language made it clear it was in tough shape. Just before the original scheduled start time both head coaches, Roy Sommer for the WorSharks and Brent Thompson for Bridgeport, were together on the sheet watching the repairs being made. With no corresponding open dates for the clubs the decision was to attempt to play, and to the credit to the DCU center staff the ice was in playable shape for the start of the game. The same couldn’t be said for Worcester’s special teams, which were atrocious in the contest.
After a power play that saw them generate no scoring chances the WorSharks ended up two men short on very borderline calls. Tony Lucia was whistled for goaltender interference at 5:53 after he was tripped into Sound Tigers netminder Kevin Poulin, and 36 seconds later John McCarthy was sent off for tripping on what looked like a clear dive by the Bridgeport forward. Worcester goaltender Harri Sateri made a great save early in the five on three, but with all the open ice eventually Rhett Rakhshani was eventually able to beat a screened Sateri from the top of the left circle at 7:06.
After two power play chances late in the opening period saw the WorSharks fail to get a shot on goal Worcester would finally connect at 9:28 of the second period at even strength on a nice tip by Mashinter. Matt Irwin’s original shot was blocked by Tomas Marcinko, one of more than a handful of shots blocked by the Sound Tigers on the night. McCarthy picked up the loose puck in the left wing corner and fed it back to Irwin at the point, and his blast on net was deflected by Mashinter and past Poulin to make it 1-1.
Bridgeport would retake the lead with their second power play goal after the WorSharks couldn’t clear the puck out of the zone. Matt Pelech threw a clearing attempt up the boards that was picked off by Aaron Ness, who then fed Marcinko at the near post. Marcinko then tried to pass the puck through the crease to Kael Mouillierat on Sateri’s back side, but the puck deflected off Pelech and into the net at 18:27.
Rakhshani would make it 3-1 Sound Tigers at 3:53 of the third period with Bridgeport’s third power play goal of the game when he picked up a loose rebound after Sateri stopped bids by Calvin de Haan and Micheal Haley.
Mashinter would get the WorSharks back into the game at 5:48 when he deflected Tim Kennedy’s centering feed from the right wing circle to the slot past Poulin, with McCarthy grabbing the second assist on the goal, but Worcester couldn’t convert again and skated off 3-2 losers.
Sena Acolatse was the only “healthy” scratch, but he only barely qualifies as healthy as he battles a facial injury suffered some time ago. Worcester official injury list includes Ben Guite, Frazer McLaren, Marek Viedensky, Cam MacIntyre, and Andrew Murray. Tyson Sexsmith was the back-up goaltender.
Brandon Mashinter’s two goals extends his point streak to four games (3g,2a). Tim Kennedy’s assist gives him a three games steak (2g,2a). Matt Irwin has a two game streak going (2a).
Taylor Doherty’s goal scoring drought has reached 51 games, but he came within an inch of breaking that last night when he took a booming slapshot that went through a whole the size of an index card as if winged into a mash of players in front of Sound Tigers goaltender Keven Poulin. The shot beat the netminder clean, but rang hard off the iron and bounced away harmlessly.
How poorly was the game officiated? Irwin, who this writer can not recall ever complaining about a penalty called against him, got a ten minute misconduct for arguing a tripping minor against him at 15:54 of the third period. The video shows he likely got the misconduct for being right.
With two genuine heavyweights on the ice–Jimmy Bonneau for Worcester and Trevor Gillies skating for Bridgeport–everyone was hoping to see a good battle. No such luck as the few times they did get together each time ended with one, or both, of them laughing and skating away.
The three stars of the game were
1. BRI – Rakhshani (2g)
2. WOR – Mashinter (2g)
3. BRI – Romano (2a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was John McCarthy.
Bridgeport 1 1 1 – 3
Worcester 0 1 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Bridgeport, Rakhshani 11 (Donovan, Romano), 7:06 (PP). Penalties-Landry Bri (hooking), 1:33; Lucia Wor (goaltender interference), 5:53; McCarthy Wor (tripping), 6:29; DiBenedetto Bri (hooking), 14:03; Mouillierat Bri (high-sticking), 16:30.
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Mashinter 13 (Irwin, McCarthy), 9:28. 3, Bridgeport, Marcinko 7 (Ness, Romano), 18:27 (PP). Penalties-Rakhshani Bri (hooking), 9:43; Gogol Wor (interference), 12:24; Doherty Wor (roughing), 16:57.
3rd Period-4, Bridgeport, Rakhshani 12 (Haley, de Haan), 3:53 (PP). 5, Worcester, Mashinter 14 (Kennedy, McCarthy), 5:48. Penalties-Pelech Wor (holding), 2:48; Frischmon Bri (delay of game), 8:38; Gogol Wor (tripping), 11:38; served by Rakhshani Bri (bench minor – too many men), 15:31; Irwin Wor (tripping, misconduct), 15:54.
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 6-8-11-25. Worcester 8-13-13-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 3 / 7; Worcester 0 / 6.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Poulin 17-14-1 (34 shots-32 saves). Worcester, Sateri 11-11-0 (25 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41), Tim Mayer (19).
Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Jack Millea (23).