Both the Worcester Sharks and Wednesday night’s opponent the Hartford Wolf Pack had one path to the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs–to win out and have the Albany Devils lose all their remaining games in regulation. Unfortunately for the WorSharks it was the Wolf Pack that came out of the game with a 2-1 victory ending Worcester’s longshot playoff hopes. Adam Schmidt had the lone WorSharks tally with his first professional goal, but it was head coach Roy Sommer’s son Marley who stole the show with a rousing rendition of the national anthem.
Former Holy Cross standout Adam Schmidt (#26), pictured from last Saturday's game
against the Hershey Bears, scored his first professional goal Wednesday for the
Worcester Sharks in their 2-1 loss against the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED
For video highlights we once again point to AHLlive, but the best highlight from the game follows just below.
Prior to the start of the game Marley Sommer, wearing last season’s Autism Awareness jersey with his nickname “Mo” emblazoned on the back of it, was to sing the national anthem while standing on the bench next to his dad Roy. As you will see in the video, Mo, who suffers from both Down’s syndrome and is autistic, was having no part of standing on the bench to sing. He was also having no part of Coach Sommer stealing his spotlight. What follows is one of the greatest moments ever in Worcester hockey.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Sena Acolatse (leg), Jimmy Bonneau, Adam Comrie, Taylor Doherty (lower body), John McCarthy (hand), and Daniil Tarasov (back). Harri Sateri was the backup goaltender. Earlier in the week the Worcester shuttle swung by to pick up Bracken Kearns for the fourth time this season. Marek Viedensky returned to action after missing a handful of games, but it looks like Konrad Abeltshauser might be taking his place on the injured list as in the first period after Hartford had pinned the WorSharks in their own zone for a long spell Abeltshauser intentionally iced the puck and then labored to the bench and off down the tunnel. He did not return. Worcester went with a five man defensive rotation from that point, with Matt Pelech playing defense on the penalty kill.
Worcester had a rare six on three skater advantage late in the third period after Hartford was called for consecutive penalties and Sommer pulled Grosenick for an extra attcker. It speaks volumes that the WorSharks did not have a legitimate scoring chance despite have twice as many skaters on the ice as the Wolf Pack. It then turned to a six on four advantage and all Worcester could manage was a single weak shot on goal. Not the type of play a team wants with their playoff lives on the line.
Upon further review, defenseman Matt Tennyson had a “minus” taken away from him from a recent game to improve, so to speak, his rating to (-25) on the season. Just like was mentioned when he was briefly at (-26), that is the lowest a WorSharks player has ever been at any point during the season. Tennyson is tied for fourth worse in the AHL with Tyler Graovac of Iowa and Mark Flood of Charlotte. Only Iowa’s Zack Phillips (-26), Portland’s James Melindy (-27), and Brian Connelly of Rockford (-33) are worse. The WorSharks record low in that category is (-20) set in 2009-10 by Dwight Helminen and tied the next season by T.J. Trevelyan.
The three stars of the game were
1. HFD – 32 David LeNeveu (35 save win)
2. HFD – 44 Aaron Johnson (2a)
3. WOR – 1 Troy Grosenick (29 saves)
Like there would be any doubt, the Sharkspage “player” of the game was Marley Sommer.
Even strength lines
Starting defensive pairings:
Hartford 1 1 0 – 2
Worcester 0 0 1 – 1
1st Period-1, Hartford, Hrivik 11 (Johnson, Lindberg), 13:17 (PP). Penalties-Davison Wor (cross-checking), 11:25.
2nd Period-2, Hartford, Powe 13 (Hensick, Johnson), 15:14. Penalties-Oleksuk Wor (high-sticking), 15:27.
3rd Period-3, Worcester, Schmidt 1 10:45. Penalties-served by DaSilva Wor (bench minor – too many men), 4:39; Hayes Wor (slashing), 9:11; McCarthy Hfd (tripping), 10:04; Allen Hfd (tripping), 17:01; Johnson Hfd (interference), 17:56.
Shots on Goal-Hartford 10-15-6-31. Worcester 11-10-15-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Hartford 1 / 3; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-Hartford, LeNeveu 10-8-0 (36 shots-35 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 17-13-0 (31 shots-29 saves).
Referees-T.J. Luxmore (49), Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Scott Whittemore (96).