WorSharks beat Portland 3-2, keep slim playoff hopes alive

By Darryl Hunt - Last updated: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

The Worcester Sharks got goals from Travis Oleksuk, Freddie Hamilton, and Matt Pelech and used a 21 save performance from Troy Grosenick to defeat the Portland Pirates 3-2 Tuesday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of a sparse but vocal crowd. The win for the WorSharks keeps their faint playoff hopes alive, while Portland’s loss mathematically eliminates them from the Calder Cup chase.

San Jose Sharks first round draft pick from 2013 Mirco Mueller (#41) made his AHL debut
Tuesday night for the Worcester Sharks and he notched an assist on Matt Pelech's game
winning goal in the WorSharks 3-2 victory over the Portland Pirates.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED

For video highlights we’ll have to point to SendItToNews.com as AHLLive.com appears to be having issues again.

Scratches for the WorSharks were Sena Acolatse (leg), Rob Davison (suspended, game three of three), Nick Jones, John McCarthy (hand), Brodie Reid (flu), Daniil Tarasov (back), Marek Viedensky (unknown injury). Harri Sateri was the back-up goaltender. There were two transactions over the past couple days, with San Jose reassigning Mirco Mueller from the Everett Silvertips (WHL) to Worcester and the WorSharks signing Mercyhurst (AHA) defenseman Nick Jones to an ATO. Jones was a healthy scratch Tuesday. Acolatse has just started skating with the team in a non-contact jersey during practices, and while he intends to play before the regular season is over there is no timetable for his return.

This writer often gets deluged with twitter and email questions when a new player joins Worcester, and it was the case once it was announced Mueller was playing Tuesday. This was a post I made last night on Hockey’s Future about my first impression on Mueller after just one game:

Mueller needs about three dozen cheeseburgers. He really needs to put some weight on that frame, but he’s young so I have little doubt it will happen.

He made a few mistakes, but as I mentioned to folks at the game I liked that he was confident in the plays he made despite it not always being the right thing to do. I prefer young defensemen to be confident in their decisions even if it’s the wrong thing; doing the right thing but hesitating before doing it is often times worse than confidently doing the wrong thing.

He’s very smart, and it’s easy to see that in the decisions he made. Pinched at the right moments, covered for his partners as the game went on when needed (started with DeMelo and about halfway through the first was with Doherty–Mueller is easily more talented than both)…he just made really smart hockey plays most of the time.

Very confident with the puck…has the “I got this” look when a forechecker approaches. Looked good on the power play. I liked his low, hard shot into traffic early and I loved that he never stopped moving on offense.

Worcester Sharks Booster Club president Rich Lundin and I like to try to guess what the boxscore will say for the number of people in attendance. Over the years we’ve both gotten pretty good at it. While there was about 500 people in stands Lundin guessed 1744 would be the published number, while I went a more generic “high 1500s”. Announced total was 1544. I’m calling it a draw between us.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 21 Travis Oleksuk (g,a)
2. POR – 9 Tobias Rieder (2g)
3. WOR – 23 Matt Pelech (gwg)

The Sharkspage player of the game was Freddie Hamilton.

Even strength lines



Portland 0 1 1 – 2
Worcester 1 1 1 – 3

1st Period-1, Worcester, Oleksuk 17 (Hayes), 7:44. Penalties-Werek Por (kneeing), 10:58.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Hamilton 20 (Tennyson, Oleksuk), 3:43 (PP). 3, Portland, Rieder 25 (Miele, Jones), 8:17. Penalties-Hanley Por (slashing), 2:42; Yip Por (tripping), 3:27; Comrie Wor (cross-checking), 13:24.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, Pelech 3 (Mueller, Doherty), 6:32. 5, Portland, Rieder 26 (Martinook, Miele), 9:31. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Portland 6-9-8-23. Worcester 11-12-12-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 0 / 1; Worcester 1 / 3.
Goalies-Portland, Domingue 9-12-2 (35 shots-32 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 17-11-0 (23 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22), Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Bob Bernard (42), Scott Whittemore (96).

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