The Worcester Sharks started a new game on Sunday afternoon but it looked a whole lot like just a continuation of Saturday night’s shutout loss to Providence with the WorSharks taking a large amount of shots but just not being able to put the puck into the net. Worcester was finally able to light the lamp but it was not enough as they dropped a 4-1 contest to the Adirondack Phantoms at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of s crowd of 3,963.
Former Boston Bruins forward and current Harvard University hockey head coach Ted Donato has a quote that says “catch-up hockey is losing hockey”, and that line should be painted right where the WorSharks can see it as they head to the DCU Center ice because far too often the team is playing catch-up hockey at home. Sunday was no exception as Worcester fell behind at 14:22 of the opening period when Adirondack turned defense to offense and into a quick goal before the WorSharks even knew what happened.
The play started in the Phantoms zone with Adirondack goaltender Michael Leighton making a save. Winger Rob Bordson grabbed the loose puck and lofted it over the Worcester defense to Shane Harper as the forward skated free towards the WorSharks end. The puck landed in front of Harper and bounced upwards, but the winger calmly batted the puck down in front of him and broke in on WorSharks netminder Harri Sateri, beating the rookie to the low glove side.
The Phantoms would make it 2-0 just 57 seconds into the second period when the WorSharks got a little careless with the puck in their own zone on the fresh sheet of ice. Bordson picked up the loose puck and blasted a shot on Sateri, who kicked the rebound hard into the slot. The puck went right to Matt Ford, who fired a low wrist shot past Sateri.
Jack Combs would finally end the WorSharks scoreless streak at 123:40 when he banged home a pass from Nathan Moon at 10:24 of the third period. After a Brodie Reid face-off win the puck ended up behind the Phantoms net, and the Adirondack defense made the cardinal sin of both defenders going behind the net to take on Moon. Combs stood all alone in the slot, and had no troubles converting Moon’s backhand pass into a wicked one-timer that beat Leighton.
But the Phantoms would have no part of a miracle comeback and regained their two goal lead when Bordson fired a laser from the point that Mike Testwuide tipped past Sateri at 12:30. Tye McGinn, younger brother for former San Jose forward Jamie McGinn, added an empty netter at 19:15 for the 4-1 final.
Worcester Sharks head coach went with the same line-up all weekend, with the only switch being Harri Sateri in goal and Tyson Sexsmith being the back-up for Sunday’s contest. The WorSharks injury list was unchanged before the game with Ben Guite, Frazer McLaren, Cam MacIntyre, and Andrew Murray all still hurting to one extent or another. Word is a couple of them may be back soon, but unfortunately for the WorSharks another name will be added to the list as Curt Gogol suffered an infamous “lower body injury” in the first period.
There was some question on Matt Pelech’s availability as the defenseman, who had blocked several shots on Saturday and was obviously still hurting, looked like an old man skating around during warm-ups. On more than one occasion Pelech fell down while participating in drills and he was the first player off the ice. During the game it was a completely different story as the veteran played his normal game without much issue.
Next weekend doesn’t get any easier for Worcester, with home games Friday against Providence and Sunday against Bridgeport. Saturday’s road game will be the second time in as many months the WorSharks make a mad dash into Pennsylvania when Worcester hits Wilkes-Barre to take on the Penguins.
The three stars of the game were
1. ADK – Leighton (40 saves)
2. ADK – Testwuide (g)
3. ADK – Bordson (3a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Jack Combs
Adirondack 1 1 2 – 4
Worcester 0 0 1 – 1
1st Period-1, Adirondack, Harper 13 (Bordson, Leighton), 14:22. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-2, Adirondack, Ford 20 (Bordson), 0:57. Penalties-Doherty Wor (hooking), 4:49; Walker Adk (holding), 14:50; served by Combs Wor (bench minor – too many men), 16:48.
3rd Period-3, Worcester, Combs 13 (Moon, Reid), 10:24. 4, Adirondack, Testwuide 10 (Bordson, Holmstrom), 12:39. 5, Adirondack, McGinn 10 (Ford, Walker), 19:15 (EN). Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 10-15-11-36. Worcester 11-21-9-41.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 2; Worcester 0 / 1.
Goalies-Adirondack, Leighton 21-21-0 (41 shots-40 saves). Worcester, Sateri 11-12-0 (35 shots-32 saves).
Referees-Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Bob Paquette (18), Jack Millea (23).