The WorSharks got two goals from rookie Yanni Gourde, three assists from Tim Kennedy, and a Gordie Howe hat trick from Brodie Reid to pound the Portland Pirates both on the scoreboard and in most of the eight fights in the contest during their 5-1 victory Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts.
Worcester Sharks forward Brandon Mashinter skates away after knocking Portland
Pirates defenseman Mathieu Brodeur to the ice during their second period fight.
(photo courtesy of Worcester T&G/STEVE LANAVA)
Despite there being nothing even close to an altercation between the two teams during warm-ups as word made it through the DCU Center that both teams were dressing their heavyweights the fans on hand knew it might be a long night for the official scorers. As it turns out the AHL should have sent Mills Lane and Richard Steele to officiate the contest instead of Graham Skilliter and Chris Brown, as the latter pairing dished out 143 minutes in penalties–all deserved, mind you–including 15 majors for fighting.
The WorSharks would grab the only goal in the opening period while the teams skated four on four after Yanni Gourde and Bob Klinkhammer got into a mini-altercation in front of the Pirates net at 6:33 of the period. Thirteen seconds later Reid collected Matt Tennyson’s pass and played a little give and go with Freddie Hamilton. Portland defenseman David Rundblad got a piece of the return pass, but Reid stuck with it and was able to push a backhander through the five hole of Portland goaltender Mark Visentin for the 1-0 lead.
Early in the second period was when the writer’s cramp for the official scorers started to kick in as Curt Gogol and Chris Brown–the Pirates right wing, not the referee, that would be a pretty big deal one would think–at 1:42 that was really nothing more than a wrestling match. At 2:12 Frazer McLaren took on Mark Louis as the WorSharks wanted a little payback for Louis taking captain John McCarthy into the endboards hard late in opening period. Louis got the win in that contest.
Two seconds later the true heavyweights took the stage as Jimmy Bonneau and Joel Rechlicz went at it in the Worcester zone. Both landed some decent punches in a battle that home town scoring gives an edge to Bonneau. At 3:06 the real fireworks started when Phil Lane wanted to get at Hamilton at the Portland blue line. Lane instead ended up going with Sena Acolatse, and Lane got pummeled for his troubles. While that fight was starting Brandon Mashinter picked off Mathieu Brodeur as Brodeur skated toward Hamilton, and Mashinter used Brodeur as a punching bag before knocking him to the ice with a nasty right hand.
Not only did Lane get beaten up, to add insult to injury he got an additional minor for unsportsmanlike conduct. A few moments later Pirates defenseman Chris Summers was called for crosschecking Gourde, giving Worcester a two man advantage for 1:19. Danny Groulx would only need 30 seconds of that time when he took a Sebastian Stalberg feed and blasted a one-timer from above the left wing circle off the far goal post in. Kennedy had the second helper on the play.
Late in the period the WorSharks would put the game out of reach with two goals in 90 seconds. Gourde had the first one after the rebound from Reid’s blast from the blue line went sky high in the air. Leave it to the smallest skater on the ice to be the first one to locate the puck after it landed, and the rookie batted the puck home at 17:17. Acolatse was credited with the second assist. Gogol would make it 3-1 Worcester skating on the top line with McCarthy being no longer available when Kennedy sent him in alone on a mini-breakaway against Visentin.
Tempers would flare again in the third period after Acolatse jacked up Portland center Brendan Shinnimin at the back end of the Worcester bench by driving him into the stanchion with a legal check. Louis took exception to the hit and slashed Acolatse and then jumped him to prevent Acolatse from landing any clean shots. The WorSharks would get a power play out of the deal, and Gourde would connect again at 7:18 when he collected a Kennedy pass and buried it past Visentin.
At 11:47 of the period all hell would break loose again after Rechlicz high sticked Taylor Doherty behind the Worcester net and all ten skaters paired off. Rechlicz was pulled from the pile by the linesmen but escapted the official and skated to the top of the crease to challenge Stalock, but the netminder just stood in the blue paint like Rechlicz wasn’t even standing there. The WorSharks bench, and Bonneau in particular, went nuts as Rechlicz was skated past the bench and off the ice by the linesmen. Unfortunately for Worcester Reid and Darian Dziurzynski got into an altercation while the Rechlicz’ meltdown was taking place, and Reid fell on his previously injured shoulder.
Three second later Matt Pelech had apparently seen enough, and after the puck drop in the Pirates zone jumped center Jordan Martinook for his own mini-meltdown. Martinook wisely turtled, so Pelech turned his sights on Lane, who probably should have turtled. In the ensuing four on four play Rundblad ruined Worcester goaltender Stalock’s shutout bid at 13:45, and the way the defenseman celebrated you’d have thought he’d just won the Calder Cup.
The two teams meet again next Friday in Portland.
The scratches for Worcester were Jon Matsumoto (upper body), Nick Petrecki (hand), Travis Oleksuk, and James Livingston. With both John McCarthy and Brodie Reid going down Saturday night both Livingston and Oleksuk will probably be in the line-up Sunday against Syracuse. Harri Sateri was the back-up goaltender.
Reid’s Gordie Howe hat trick is the first for the WorSharks since Brandon Mashinter had one on February 4, 2012 At St John’s. Mashinter also had the three previous ones for Worcester with another on December 30th 2011 vs Connecticut and two his rookie season, Veterans Day in 2009 vs Lowell October 9, 2009 at Bridgeport.
In the third period Yanni Gourde came within inches of getting his hat trick goal but Pirates the bouncing puck hit Pirates goaltender Mark Visentin and the rebound bounced just out of reach of Gourde.
How good was Alex Stalock Saturday? In warm-ups the only two players to beat Stalock were Taylor Doherty and Jimmy Bonneau.
According to the WorSharks, over 300 teddy bears were thrown to the ice after Reid scored early in the first period to benefit the Pernet Family Health Services courtesy of Bay State Savings Bank.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 18 Yanni Gourde (2g)
2. WOR – 32 Alex Stalock (37 saves)
3. WOR – 51 Brodie Reid (Gordie Howe hat trick)
For the second game in a row, the Sharkspage player of the game is Tim Kennedy.
Portland 0 0 1 – 1
Worcester 1 3 1 – 5
1st Period-1, Worcester, Reid 2 (Hamilton, Tennyson), 6:46. Penalties-Klinkhammer Por (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:33; Gourde Wor (slashing), 6:33; Dziurzynski Por (roughing), 12:16; Mashinter Wor (roughing), 14:14.
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Groulx 2 (Stalberg, Kennedy), 4:17 (PP). 3, Worcester, Gourde 4 (Reid, Acolatse), 17:17. 4, Worcester, Gogol 3 (Kennedy), 18:47. Penalties-Brown Por (fighting), 1:42; Gogol Wor (fighting), 1:42; Louis Por (fighting), 2:15; McLaren Wor (fighting), 2:15; Rechlicz Por (fighting), 2:17; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 2:17; Brodeur Por (fighting), 3:06; Lane Por (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 3:06; Acolatse Wor (fighting), 3:06; Mashinter Wor (fighting), 3:06; Summers Por (cross-checking), 3:47; Stalberg Wor (tripping), 11:06.
3rd Period-5, Worcester, Gourde 5 (Kennedy, Irwin), 7:18 (PP). 6, Portland, Rundblad 1 (Bolduc, Szwarz), 13:45. Penalties-Tennyson Wor (interference), 0:13; Louis Por (slashing, fighting), 6:25; Acolatse Wor (fighting), 6:25; Reid Wor (hooking), 8:01; Dziurzynski Por (fighting), 11:47; Rechlicz Por (high-sticking, roughing, roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct, game misconduct – continuing altercation), 11:47; Acolatse Wor (roughing), 11:47; Doherty Wor (roughing), 11:47; Reid Wor (fighting), 11:47; Lane Por (roughing), 11:50; Pelech Wor (instigating, fighting, misconduct – instigating, game misconduct – aggressor), 11:50; Irwin Wor (hooking), 16:28.
Shots on Goal-Portland 9-12-17-38. Worcester 8-14-7-29.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 0 / 7; Worcester 2 / 8.
Goalies-Portland, Visentin 2-4-1 (29 shots-24 saves). Worcester, Stalock 8-3-0 (38 shots-37 saves).
Referees-Graham Skilliter (48), Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Bob Paquette (18).