The Worcester Sharks went into Wednesday night’s contest in the middle of the pack on special teams but managed to score four power play goals against the American Hockey League’s best penalty killing team and go a perfect five for five while shorthanded en route to a 5-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of an intimate crowd of 2,419.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Mike Brennan (lower body), Jimmy Bonneau, Brodie Reid (shoulder), and Denny Urban. Thomas Heemskerk was the back-up goaltender.
The real turning point in the contest started with Taylor Doherty getting called for a pretty weak tripping call and thirteen seconds later Matt Tennyson losing his cool and getting a well deserved minor for roughing, both with a little less than six minutes remaining in the opening period. The Worcester penalty killers really played well while down two men, with the best scoring chance for either team being Marek Viedensky breaking in on Penguins goaltender and usual WorSharks killer Jeff Zatkoff. Viedensky looked to have Zatkoff beat for the rare goal down two skaters, but Wilkes-Barre defenseman Joe Morrow just got a piece of the shot to deflect it away. A little later during the kill captain John McCarthy showed a physical side you don’t normally see by clearing out two Penguins attackers from in front of Worcester netminder Harri Sateri.
The goal posts got a good work out in the game, with my unofficial count having the teams combine for six shots off the iron. Two of them were very loud ringers, a sound that’s great when you’re on defense and not so great while on offense.
This writer was joined for the early portions of the third period by WorSharks Senior Director of Business & Community Development Mike Myers, who like this writer was in awe at Adam Comrie’s lob pass to Bracken Kearns on Worcester’s fourth goal. The video, which is shot from the radio booth located at the same height at the first row of seats in the upper 200 sections, does not adequately show how high Comrie really got that pass. And then to see it land almost perfectly in the exact right spot was astonishing. A true highlight goal.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 16 Bracken Kearns (2g,a)
2. WOR – 44 Adam Comrie (g,3a)
3. WOR – 25 Marek Viedensky (g, solid on PK)
The Sharkspage player of the game was John McCarthy.
W-B/Scranton 0 0 1 – 1
Worcester 0 2 3 – 5
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Grant Wbs (high-sticking), 1:53; Comrie Wor (hooking), 2:08; Gibbons Wbs (interference), 3:19; Kolarik Wbs (slashing), 5:42; Doherty Wor (tripping), 14:36; Tennyson Wor (roughing), 14:49; Thompson Wbs (slashing), 19:10.
2nd Period-1, Worcester, Viedensky 4 (McCarthy, Comrie), 0:16 (PP). 2, Worcester, Tarasov 9 (Gourde, Hamilton), 16:13 (PP). Penalties-McCarthy Wor (hooking), 7:12; Holzapfel Wbs (hooking), 14:48.
3rd Period-3, Worcester, Comrie 1 (McCarthy, Kearns), 9:20 (PP). 4, W-B/Scranton, Peters 10 (Morrow, Samuelsson), 10:32. 5, Worcester, Kearns 16 (Comrie, Sateri), 11:46. 6, Worcester, Kearns 17 (Comrie, Tarasov), 13:44 (PP). Penalties-Pelech Wor (interference), 6:50; Morrow Wbs (slashing), 8:59; Sill Wbs (interference), 12:17; MacIntyre Wbs (roughing, roughing, misconduct), 17:55; Pelech Wor (roughing, misconduct), 17:55.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 13-6-10-29. Worcester 15-13-12-40.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 0 / 5; Worcester 4 / 8.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Zatkoff 19-18-0 (40 shots-35 saves). Worcester, Sateri 13-12-3 (29 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson (47), Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Kiel Murchison (79), Robert St. Lawrence (10).