The Worcester got first time professional goals from two different players and an incredible goaltending performance from Harri Sateri, but twice committed the hockey cardinal sin of surrendering goals in the last minute of periods and had a goal disallowed due to a quick whistle to result in a 3-2 overtime loss to the St John’s IceCaps Saturday night at the DCU Center. The IceCaps have never lost in Worcester.
The WorSharks are undefeated when scoring first and had the best opportunity early on in the opening period when they had a five on three power play for just over a minute, but two missed passes across the slot killed great chances and a nifty save by IceCaps netminder Mark Dekanich kept the game scoreless. It wouldn’t stay scoreless for very long when the IceCaps got a lucky bounce off an odd man rush.
When Danny Groulx got caught pinching in the offensive zone, something that happens on occasion with offensive minded defensemen, St. John’s broke in three against defender Taylor Doherty. The second year defenseman could have played it a little better, but the end result of a shot wide of Sateri was exactly what Worcester was looking for. Unfortunately for the WorSharks the lively boards at the DCU Center came back to haunt them as the puck bounded off the backboards and over to the near side of the net where Maxime Macenauer tapped the puck into a yawning net at 9:10.
In the opening minutes of the second period it was all IceCaps, and that was where Sateri single handedly kept the home town team in the game by ripping off three or four great saves in quick succession. That allowed Worcester weather the storm and regain some momentum, and they would eventually knot the game on Doherty’s first pro goal in his 70th AHL game.
The play started innocently enough with Jon Matsumoto grabbing an errant St John’s clearing attempt in the neutral zone and passing it over to Sebastian Stalberg in the middle of the ice just outside the IceCaps blue line. Stalberg threw a pass along the blue line to James Sheppard at the near side boards, and then Sheppard attempted to fire a return pass to Stalberg to lead the break in. But the pass was intercepted by Doherty as he skated into the St. John’s zone with a head of steam, and from the right wing circle with Dekanich leaning toward the near post Doherty fired a wrist shot just beyond the blocker and inside the far post at 5:14.
After another IceCaps flurry that Sateri again looked very sharp during the WorSharks would grab a lead when Travis Oleksuk took a James Livingston feed and broke into the St John’s zone. Oleksuk threw a backhand centering feed that hit either IceCaps defenseman Ben Chiarot or Worcester winger Curt Gogol–this writer thinks it was Gogol–and bounded into the net at 8:36. Doherty was credited with the secondary assist for his first two point pro game.
It looked like that despite being outshot 15-5 the WorSharks were going to escape the period with the lead, but after a nice cross crease save by Sateri the Worcester defense cleared neither the puck nor the IceCaps and on St John’s 16th shot of the period with six seconds remaining John Albert was able to push the puck over the goal line to knot the score at 2-2.
In the third period while the shots were in the WorSharks favor most of the play took place on the Worcester end of the ice, and again it was Sateri keeping his team in the game. It looked like his play would pay off for Worcester when Yanni Gourde hit a yawning open net from the right wing circle at 18:56 of the third period, but referee Darcy Burchell was out of position as he trailed the rush into the IceCaps zone and blew the whistle when he lost sight of the puck just before it crossed the goal line.
With the clock winding down on the overtime period once again the WorSharks got caught running around in their own end and with just 12 ticks remaining on the clock Paul Postma roofed a 30 foot shot over Sateri to give St John’s the extra point.
Scratches for Worcester were Brodie Reid (shoulder), Jimmy Bonneau, Frazer McLaren (groin), Mikael Tam (foot), Marek Viedensky, Matt Pelech, and Daniil Tarasov. Alex Stalock was the back-up netminder.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 4 Taylor Doherty (g,a)
2. STJ – 4 Paul Postma (OT gwg)
3. STJ – 16 John Albert (g,a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Harri Sateri.
St. John’s 1 1 0 1 – 3
Worcester 0 2 0 0 – 2
1st Period-1, St. John’s, Macenauer 3 (Sawada, Albert), 9:10. Penalties-Burmistrov Stj (cross-checking), 1:36; Albert Stj (tripping), 2:35; Gogol Wor (slashing), 9:24; Kennedy Wor (roughing), 12:35; Burmistrov Stj (holding), 17:33.
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Doherty 1 (Sheppard, Stalberg), 5:14. 3, Worcester, Oleksuk 1 (Livingston, Doherty), 8:36. 4, St. John’s, Albert 2 (Macenauer, Sawada), 19:54. Penalties-Gourde Wor (high-sticking), 11:09; Mashinter Wor (roughing), 16:31.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period-5, St. John’s, Postma 1 (King, Jaffray), 4:48. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-St. John’s 7-16-6-3-32. Worcester 4-5-7-2-18.
Power Play Opportunities-St. John’s 0 / 4; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-St. John’s, Dekanich 3-0-0 (18 shots-16 saves). Worcester, Sateri 0-3-1 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Darcy Burchell (42).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Bob Paquette (18).