The Worcester Sharks started off their 2013-2014 campaign remembering a lesson they should have learned well after last season, that playing catch-up hockey is losing hockey, when they fell behind by two goals in the opening period and never getting back to even in dropping a 4-3 contest to the Springfield Falcons Saturday night at the MassMutual Center in Springfield Massachusetts in front of a crowd of 2,788.
Not shown on the video was the Falcons second goal, the first of two scored by center Jake Hansen. As soon as the puck entered the net the WorSharks immediately appealed to referee Ryan Hersey saying it was intentionally directed in by Hansen’s leg, and while it may have been the case Hansen was a good distance from the net and Worcester goaltender Harri Sateri should have made the save anyway. Sateri ended the game with 15 saves on 19 shots, and probably wants another chance on a couple of the ones that beat him.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Dylan Demelo, Lane Scheidl (knee), Curt Gogol (injured), Sena Acolatse, and Travis Oleksuk. Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. There were some number changes from last season, with Scheidl going from 39 to 11, Brodie Reid switching from 51 to 15, Eriah Hayes moving from 38 to 18, Rylan Schwartz from 24 to 27, and Dylan Demelo went from 15 to 2. That’s actually the third number Demelo has used as he had 44 in his brief stint with the team two season ago.
In what could be bad news for Worcester fans, forward Daniil Tarasov had to be helped off the ice with just over five minutes remaining in the third period after he was pasted against the boards by Will Weber. As he was helped off the ice Tarasov could not put any weight on his right leg. Weber received a cross checking minor.
It came as shock to no one that Rob Davison was named the sixth captain in team history. With John McCarthy, last season’s captain, likely to be spending a lot of time on the Worcester shuttle bringing in a veteran presence like Davison to help lead the team was a no-brainer. Bracken Kearns and Jimmy Bonneau are wearing the As for the WorSharks.
Prior to the start of the season one of the keys to getting the WorSharks back in to the playoffs was the team would be implementing the systems as San Jose uses. From this writer’s vantage point high up in the MassMutual Center–the only arena where I choose to sit high in a corner as it’s the best site line in the building–it looked exactly like last season as once again passes were going to players skating the wrong direction or to players not open. The zone entry looked the same, the power play looked the same, the penalty kill looked the same. It was exactly the same as last season. So much for changing.
It used to be that the automatic delay of game minor for accidentally shooting the puck out of play from a team’s defensive zone was the dumbest penalty in the rulebook (for the record, Springfield was called for it early in the third period), but that has been surpassed by the minor a center gets when a puck accidentally hits his hand on a face-off. Schwartz was called for it while Worcester was already shorthanded, and thirty seconds later the Falcons converted on their extended five on three power play.
The three stars of the game were
1. SPR – 21 Jake Hansen (2g)
2. SPR – 18 Jonathan Marchessault (g)
3. SPR – 6 Tim Erixon (3a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Bracken Kearns.
Worcester 0 2 1 – 3
Springfield 2 2 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Springfield, Sedlak 1 (Erixon, Goloubef), 3:05. 2, Springfield, Hansen 1 (Erixon, Chaput), 15:07. Penalties-Hayes Wor (slashing), 3:47; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 17:16; Smith Spr (fighting), 17:16; McNeill Spr (delay of game), 18:26.
2nd Period-3, Worcester, Hayes 1 (Tarasov, Kearns), 3:14. 4, Springfield, Marchessault 1 (St. Denis, Madaisky), 14:39 (PP). 5, Springfield, Hansen 2 (Joudrey, Erixon), 16:16 (SH). 6, Worcester, Reid 1 (Tarasov, Viedensky), 17:41 (PP). Penalties-Davison Wor (fighting, game misconduct – secondary altercation), 3:43; Kearns Wor (fighting), 3:43; Boyce Spr (fighting, game misconduct – secondary altercation), 3:43; Weber Spr (fighting), 3:43; Chaput Spr (holding), 5:06; Tarasov Wor (slashing), 14:05; Schwartz Wor (delay of game – faceoff violation), 14:09; Collins Spr (holding), 15:21; Smith Spr (goaltender interference), 16:57.
3rd Period-7, Worcester, Livingston 1 (Kearns, Doherty), 5:22. Penalties-Little Spr (delay of game), 1:05; McCarthy Wor (slashing), 1:52; Doherty Wor (elbowing), 8:32; Weber Spr (cross-checking), 14:52.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 7-13-9-29. Springfield 9-6-4-19.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 6; Springfield 1 / 5.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 0-1-0 (19 shots-15 saves). Springfield, Smith 2-0-0 (29 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Glen Cooke (6), Robert St. Lawrence (10).