The Worcester Sharks went into Saturday night’s contest with something to prove after their lackluster performance against Portland on Wednesday, and behind multiple point nights by Daniil Tarasov, Konrad Abeltshauser, Jeremy Langlois, and Matt Taormina, and with 11 different players on the score sheet the WorSharks defeated the Hershey Bears 5-4 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts to finish their six game home stand with a 3-2-1 record. Worcester now takes to the road for a Sunday matinee in Hartford against the Wolf Pack.
Worcester Sharks forward Danill Tarasov, pictured from Wednesday's loss to
Portland, scored his first two goals of the season to help the WorSharks
defeat the Hershey Bears 5-4. Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED
For the video highlights we once again use the WorSharks YouTube channel.
Scratches for Worcester were Jimmy Bonneau, Chris Crane, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder),Travis Oleksuk (shoulder) and Gus Young. Word is Oleksuk’s shoulder injury wasn’t as serious as first though and he may be ready sooner than later. Emanuelsson’s injury is the same one he had in camp and there’s no definitive word as to how long he’ll be out. J.P. Anderson was in his usual spot as back-up goaltender, but if all goes according to plan he will be making his AHL debut Sunday in Hartford.
Tyler Kennedy, down in Worcester on an injury rehab stint from San Jose, really looks like the NHL forward that he is. Word was Kennedy was fast, but he’s leaving other players behind after just a couple of strides. As you can see from the highlight video his backhander goal was exactly the kind of thing a confident NHLer can do that many AHLers still are learning. Despite his having just a single goal in two games his leaving, which will be at most in a week or so, will impact the WorSharks significantly offensively.
Saturday was one of those “advantage” game for Worcester as they had Friday night off and Hershey had to play in Manchester. The WorSharks are a perfect 2-0 in those “advantage” games. Sunday is another “advantage” for Worcester as they only have to go an hour south to get to Hartford while the Wolf Pack has to make a mad dash from Allentown, Pennsylvania after taking on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
In an odd occurrence, the WorSharks have no captain but Hershey has two from Worcester. Former Worcester Sharks captain Mike Moore plays for the Bears, and former IceCats captain Bryan Helmer is an assistant coach with Hershey. The Bears also have another former Worcester player on their roster, forward Tim Kennedy.
There was one fight in the contest, and it’s one we’ve seen before albeit from a different angle as former WorSharks defenseman Moore did battle with Worcester’s Micheal Haley. The two have had some memorable bouts going back through the years, including an epic battle on March 18, 2012 when Haley played for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Both players got into a fight and were sent to the penalty boxes. Despite several attempts from the penalty box attendants and PA booth to warn the linesmen it was going to happen as soon as the penalty box doors opened to let the two out Moore charged right at Haley and the two went at it in a long brawl that earned them the rest of the night off. On Saturday Haley dropped the gloves and helmet–which is now an additional penalty in the AHL and NHL–while Moore just dropped the gloves. After Haley taunted him Moore finally took off the lid. He probably wished he’d kept it on as Haley won decisively.
Hershey’s goaltender, Pheonix Copley entered the game with a very impressive stat line, being 3-0 with a 0.64 goals against average and a save percentage of .971. After giving up five goals in 28 shots to Worcester he dropped to 1.71GAA and .927S%. Still great numbers, but it shows what one game can do to stats early in the season. Copley is from North Pole, Alaska, which would be a lot more impressive in it wasn’t located in the middle of the state.
The WorSharks will never say this, but we sure can: last night was an embarrassment for referee Kendrick Nicholson. It wasn’t just the more than half dozen easy calls he missed, it was also the ones he did make. Of the five non-automatic minors he did call only two were legitimate penalties, with the other three being beyond terrible calls. The boarding call against Hershey’s Chandler Stephenson very weak, with Stephenson riding a WorSharks defender into the side boards in about as non-violent a fashion as a body check can legitimately be called. Nicholson later called Haley for interference despite Haley checking–and he barely did that–the puck carrier. To exacerbate the issue when Haley complained Nicholson gave Haley an additional two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct when the rules call for a 10 minute misconduct.
In all, Worcester had 11 penalty minutes called against them, and all were against Haley. He had a fighting major, and unsportsmanlike conduct minor for taking his helmet off while fighting, a terrible interference minor, and another unsportsmanlike conduct minor for letting referee Nicholson know about his displeasure. With a goal, the game winner by the way, Haley was just an assist short of a Gordie Howe hat trick. In a fact that’s almost hard to believe Haley has never had one of those in the AHL. And while we’re talking about it, can someone please change the name of the penalty for taking your helmet off while fighting to something other than “unsportsmanlike conduct”? Seriously, is there anything more “sportsmanlike” than removing your helmet so your opponent doesn’t risk breaking his hand?
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 19 Daniil Tarasov (2g)
2. WOR – 10 Konrad Abeltshauser (2a)
3. WOR – 20 Matt Taormina (2a)
The Sharkspage player of the game is Jeremy Langlois.
Even strength lines
Hershey 1 1 2 – 4
Worcester 2 2 1 – 5
1st Period-1, Worcester, Tarasov 1 (Langlois, Abeltshauser), 1:50. 2, Hershey, Broda 2 (Gazley, Kundratek), 2:04. 3, Worcester, Kennedy 1 (Lerg, Taormina), 8:57. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-4, Hershey, Schilling 1 (Burgdoerfer, Kennedy), 5:15. 5, Worcester, Hamilton 4 (Langlois, Abeltshauser), 6:17. 6, Worcester, Tarasov 2 (Hayes, Karlsson), 16:30. Penalties-Oleksy Her (cross-checking), 2:57; Moore Her (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 10:35; Haley Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 10:35.
3rd Period-7, Worcester, Haley 5 (Fedun, Taormina), 2:00 (PP). 8, Hershey, Newbury 5 (Kundratek, Byers), 4:46. 9, Hershey, Oleksy 3 (Gazley, Newbury), 18:44. Penalties-Stephenson Her (boarding), 0:27; Haley Wor (interference, unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:04; Burgdoerfer Her (cross-checking), 15:24.
Shots on Goal-Hershey 11-5-7-23. Worcester 10-11-7-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Hershey 0 / 2; Worcester 1 / 3.
Goalies-Hershey, Copley 3-1-0 (28 shots-23 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 5-2-0 (23 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Kendrick Nicholson (44).
Linesmen-Alex Stagnone (7), Joe Ross (92).