The Worcester Sharks bussed two and a half hours north to take on the American Hockey League’s Atlantic Division leading Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine where the WorSharks record was a woeful 4-25-4. After trailing 2-0 halfway through the game they looked to be heading toward loss 26, but a power play tally by Tim Kennedy and a late third period goal by rookie Daniil Tarasov got the WorSharks to even and into overtime for a much needed point. Despite several nice bids during the extra session and two solid ringers off the posts in the shootout Worcester couldn’t light the lamp again and dropped a 3-2 contest in a shootout Friday night.
Despite Kennedy’s power play goal and Tarasov’s goal coming just a couple seconds after a Portland penalty expired the WorSharks as a whole looked pretty poor with the extra attacker, officially going just one for nine power play. The WorSharks were at one point in the top ten in the AHL on the power play, but have dropped like a stone to tied for 19th (15.9%). A small portion of that was due to all the recalls during San Jose’s training camp, but for the most part the line-up being used by head coach Roy Sommer is the one we all expected for Worcester. And with all the puck moving defensemen on the squad there’s no reason for that group to be playing so poorly.
Another area that needs to be addressed is Worcester going to the net on rushes into the attacking zone. Far too many times players pull up and peel off with the puck instead of forcing the issue by going to the net. So many players are doing it it’s obvious that’s some sort of system that’s been implemented. You’d be hard pressed to find any knowledgeable hockey fan that will tell you that tactic is working.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Sena Acolatse, Mike Banwell, Jimmy Bonneau, Taylor Doherty, Curt Gogol, and Travis Oleksuk. Prior to the game Worcester announced defenseman Danny Urban was signed to an AHL contract for the remainder of the season. Earlier during the AHL’s All-Star break veteran forward Patrick Rissmiller was released from his PTO. Rissmiller was 0-2-2 in six games with the WorSharks. On Thursday forward Frazer McLaren was claimed off waivers away from the San Jose organization by the Toronto Maple Leafs. In a scheduling oddity instead of facing off against the Providence Bruins Saturday night at the DCU Center it looks like McLaren will instead face the Boston Bruins at the Air Canada Centre.
Tarasov’s assist on Tim Kennedy’s 2nd period goal made Tarasov the 22nd different WorSharks player to register a point against Portland this season. In total Worcester has used 32 skaters against the Pirates. When this writer posted that stat in twitter (@210Darryl) the question was raised about what was the most players used by Worcester in a season. Unofficially, that number appears to be 51 during the 2010-11 season. So far this season Worcester has had 37 players appear in games. A quick rundown of the unoffocial count of players used by season for the WorSharks is:
The three stars of the game were
1. POR – 31 Mike Lee (36 saves)
2. POR – 12 Rob Klinkhammer (g,a)
3. WOR – 22 Tim Kennedy (g,a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Daniil Tarasov.
Worcester 0 1 1 0 – 2
Portland 1 1 0 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Portland, Klinkhammer 10 (Lane, Sinkewich), 5:42. Penalties-Summers Por (interference), 0:23; Hextall Por (holding, unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:04; Wilson Wor (interference), 12:02; Werek Por (hooking), 14:45; Reid Wor (checking to the head), 19:10.
2nd Period-2, Portland, Werek 8 (Klinkhammer, Summers), 8:56 (PP). 3, Worcester, Kennedy 13 (Tarasov, Kearns), 15:05 (PP). Penalties-Conner Por (high-sticking), 2:39; Tennyson Wor (tripping), 4:18; Hamilton Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:14; Valabik Por (slashing), 9:40; Brodeur Por (delay of game), 14:29; Groulx Wor (holding the stick), 16:46; Tam Wor (roughing, fighting), 19:32; Lane Por (fighting), 19:32.
3rd Period-4, Worcester, Tarasov 3 (Urban, Kennedy), 16:43. Penalties-Tennyson Wor (interference), 5:06; Dziurzynski Por (high-sticking), 7:25; Szwarz Por (slashing), 14:41.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Worcester 0 (Tarasov NG, Urban NG, Kennedy NG, Matsumoto NG, Reid NG), Portland 1 (Klinkhammer NG, Szwarz NG, Werek NG, Brown G).
Shots on Goal-Worcester 14-12-7-5-0-38. Portland 5-8-14-3-1-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 9; Portland 1 / 7.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 8-9-2 (30 shots-28 saves). Portland, Lee 3-0-0 (38 shots-36 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), T.J. Luxmore (49).
Linesmen-Joe Andrews (32), Jeremy Lovett (78).