The Worcester Sharks finally broke their long drought of even strength goals with tallies by Sebastian Stalberg, Freddie Hamilton, and John McCarthy, but the lack of an real goal scoring reared its ugly head in the shootout where defenseman-playing-forward Denny Urban was the lone WorSharks skater to light the lamp as Worcester went a woeful 1-7 for the bonus point round to drop a 4-3 contest to the Providence Bruins Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of a crowd of 7,804.
Apparently there was some confusion and controversy about Trent Whitfield’s shootout goal against WorSharks netminder Harri Sateri, where the goal light didn’t go on and it took until referee Terry Koharski skated past the red line and pointed at center ice for it to be official, but from where this writer sits it was clearly a goal as both Sateri and the puck ended up in the net. To paraphrase rule 24, which is the penalty shot rule that shootouts are governed by, the shot is not complete until the puck stops or crosses the goal line. The puck obviously crossed the goal line and entered the net before it stopped, therefore it was a goal. The confusion stemmed from neither referee signalling goal and the goal light not going on. Neither of those things happening doesn’t change the fact the puck was in the net.
The goal by Stalberg at 7:40 of the first period ended the WorSharks streak of minutes with an even strength goal at 201:27. The time between Stalberg’s and Hamilton’s even strength tallies was just 25:22, but it could have been just seconds were it not for PBruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg, who made about a dozen really nice saves. Svedberg was fighting the puck all night and giving up some juicy rebounds, but the WorSharks couldn’t convert on any of them. At the other end of the ice Sateri was just as good, having no chance at all on either of Craig Cunningham’s backdoor power play goals.
Someone will need to explain to me why Worcester changed lines with 13 seconds left in regulation and breaking into the Providence zone. This is not a single time occurrence either, it’s a long running issue of terrible line changes and line changes at times that make no sense to anyone with an ounce of hockey knowledge. And while the roster doesn’t have a whole lot of goal scorers on it perhaps putting Curt Gogol, Travis Oleksuk, James Livingston, and Taylor Doherty all on the ice down a goal and with less than four minutes remaining in regulation might not be the best strategy.
A good rule of thumb is referee Koharski is going to have 55 minutes of calling a decent game and five minutes where it’s like he’s never seen the game before. Unfortunately for the WorSharks that’s exactly what happened with quick consecutive minors to Adam Comrie (cross-checking) and Freddie Hamilton (hooking). were both of them really penalties? Maybe, maybe not. But considering what was let go by Koharski and fellow referee Trevor Hanson both before and after those calls neither should have been called. This is one of the issues this writer has had for a long time in the AHL–consistent call levels. Maybe someday someone from the AHL will be interested in speaking to me about it.
More on referee Hanson; he appeared to injure himself trying to avoid the play deep Providence zone early in the third period and really labored in his skating afterward. Hanson is scheduled to work the Connecticut at Providence game Sunday afternoon so it will be interesting to see if he is able to work that game.
It’s been a long time since the Worcester Shuttle was this busy, with Bracken Kearns heading to San Jose and back again. Goaltender Alex Stalock was recalled Friday as Thomas Greiss is day to day with a neck injury, and San Jose apparently though Stalock needed some help carrying his bags so they summoned Matt Pelech to take the flight too. Thomas Heemskerk was brought in from the Sharks’ ECHL affiliate in San Fransisco to wear a ball cap and open and close the bench door.
Worcester had just one healthy scratch, Jimmy Bonneau. PTO defenseman Mike Brennan (lower body) and Brodie Reid (shoulder) comprise the injury list. While the WorSharks have issued no recent updates about Reid’s shoulder the buzz is it appears this is not a short term injury and might be bad enough to end Reid’s season.
What would have been an odd fight never materialized as both Providence forward Bobby Robins and WorSharks defenseman Sena Acolatse were wearing full face cages to protect facial injuries. This writer occasionally points out other blogs, and Robins’ blog is a great one. It’s worth the time to check it out.
The three stars of the game were
1. PRO – 14 Craig Cunningham (2g)
2. WOR – 7 John McCarthy (gtg)
3. PRO – 1 Niklas Svedberg (45 saves)
The Sharkspage player of the game is Harri Sateri.
Providence 0 2 1 0 – 4
Worcester 1 1 1 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Worcester, Stalberg 9 (Urban, Grant), 7:40. Penalties-Miller Pro (hooking), 1:16; Tarasov Wor (slashing), 19:06.
2nd Period-2, Providence, Cunningham 19 (Krug, Bourque), 0:21 (PP). 3, Providence, Cunningham 20 (Bourque, Krug), 11:39 (PP). 4, Worcester, Hamilton 8 (Oleksuk, Sateri), 13:02. Penalties-Gogol Wor (hooking), 2:15; Comrie Wor (cross-checking), 10:16; Hamilton Wor (hooking), 10:53.
3rd Period-5, Providence, Hanson 9 (Bartkowski, Florek), 16:36. 6, Worcester, McCarthy 9 (Kearns, Tarasov), 19:00. Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Providence 2 (Sauve NG, Tardif NG, Bourque NG, Spooner NG, Cunningham G, Mink NG, Whitfield G), Worcester 1 (Matsumoto NG, Urban G, Tarasov NG, Viedensky NG, Oleksuk NG, Acolatse NG, Hamilton NG).
Shots on Goal-Providence 13-15-11-3-1-43. Worcester 15-11-17-5-0-48.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 2 / 4; Worcester 0 / 1.
Goalies-Providence, Svedberg 28-7-2 (48 shots-45 saves). Worcester, Sateri 11-12-3 (42 shots-39 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Trevor Hanson (47).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Bob Goodman (90).