The Worcester Sharks seemed to have finally awakened from their recent offensive slumber as they twice came back from one goal deficits and then finally put the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the rearview mirror with five unanswered strikes to win Tuesday night’s contest at the DCU Center 6-2. Freddie Hamilton and Dylan DeMelo led the WorSharks with four points each, and Travis Oleksuk added two momentum changing buzzer-beater goals. Konrad Abeltshauser and Adam Burish also had multi point night for Worcester, and goaltender Troy Grosenick had several key saves while the game was still in doubt.
Worcester Sharks forwards Travis Oleksuk (#21) and Freddie Hamilton (#12) both
finally broke out of offensive slumps as their combined six points helped lead
the WorSharks to a 6-2 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers
File photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED
For highlights of the game we’ll once again use the Worcester Sharks You-Tube channel.
The WorSharks went with the same line-up as their Saturday victory over Syracuse, with Andrew Blazek, Taylor Doherty (hand), Eriah Hayes (left leg), and Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder) all scratched. J.P. Anderson was in his usual spot as the back-up netminder. Earlier in the day San Jose loaned Chris Tierney back to Worcester, and he’ll be available for the WorSharks games this upcoming weekend.
Worcester got a scare early in the first period when on the penalty kill defenseman DeMelo ended up going head first into the boards as several players scrummed for the puck. DeMelo was on the ice for several moments before play was stopped, but as trainer Matt White got to him DeMelo slowly began to get up and was able to get off the ice and to the dressing room under his own power. Obviously an effects of the collision were minor as DeMelo went on to score a goal and added three assists.
For folks that don’t know, the game between Bridgeport and Worcester originally scheduled to be played at 3pm EST on December 21 had to be postponed because, according to the Sound Tigers, they had bus trouble heading back from a pair of games in Norfolk. The fact that Bridgeport had attempted to reschedule the game to a later time, which the WorSharks could not do due to several players having late night flights in advance of the AHL’s holiday break, and had even released schedules with the game listed at 7pm makes the bus trouble, well, troubling. Reportedly there were also many folks in hockey operations here that predicted that the Sound Tigers would have some sort of issue–most thought it would be a building problem–and that the game wouldn’t be played. While the AHL is “looking into the matter” the WorSharks have offered no comment on the issue. Matt Jacobs, the sound man for Worcester’s games at the DCU Center, made a nice comment the best way he knows how; when Bridgeport took to the ice Jacobs played “Magic Bus” by The Who. It drew noticeable laughs.
When is a hat trick not a hat trick? Well, obviously, when the player doesn’t get credit for three goals in a game. Oleksuk may have had one, but was never announced as having one, and doesn’t think he got one. And yet, he might indeed have one. The late first and second period goals are not in doubt, both clearly belong to Oleksuk. The key is Worcester’s second goal, originally credited to Daniil Tarasov and then switched to DeMelo. DeMelo’s shot was tipped at least once in front of Bridgeport goaltender David Leggio, and this writer tweeted it was DeMelo’s because he was the first to head back to the bench. Despite Oleksuk’s postgame comments saying to the contrary the video, while not crystal clear, does seem to show the puck glancing off Oleksuk in front. Oleksuk actually did clearly put the puck in the net a third time, but a goaltender interference minor to Hamilton negated that score.
Speaking of Leggio, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a goaltender as mad as he was after Adam Burish’s late third period goal. The puck just barely made it over the goal line, but apparently Leggio felt the puck didn’t make it entirely over the goal line and made his opinion very apparent on that reason. Just before the puck drop after the goal referee Garrett Rank hit Leggio with a two minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, and on the ensuing power play after making a save threw the puck out toward center ice. At that point the second referee, Mark Lemelin, had a discussion with Leggio and you didn’t need to be a lip reader to understand that Leggio was still unhappy with the officiating.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 21 Travis Oleksuk (2g)
2. WOR – 12 Freddie Hamilton (4a)
3. WOR – 2 Dylan DeMelo (g,3a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Konrad Abeltshauser.
Even strength lines, courtesy of Michael Fornabaio of ctpost:
Bridgeport 1 1 0 – 2
Worcester 1 2 3 – 6
1st Period-1, Bridgeport, McDonald 12 (Mouillierat, Collberg), 2:24. 2, Worcester, Oleksuk 2 (Hamilton, DeMelo), 19:48. Penalties-Jones Wor (tripping), 3:12; Mouillierat Bri (hooking), 6:51; Hanson Wor (cross-checking), 9:17; Mouillierat Bri (hooking), 15:11.
2nd Period-3, Bridgeport, Pulock 12 (McDonald, Quine), 7:13 (PP). 4, Worcester, DeMelo 2 (Abeltshauser, Hamilton), 10:07 (PP). 5, Worcester, Oleksuk 3 (Hamilton, Tarasov), 19:18. Penalties-DeMelo Wor (roughing), 6:32; Langkow Bri (tripping), 9:15; Reinhart Bri (high-sticking), 15:18.
3rd Period-6, Worcester, Hanson 1 (Burish, DeMelo), 6:04. 7, Worcester, Abeltshauser 2 (DeMelo, Hamilton), 9:16 (PP). 8, Worcester, Burish 4 (Coetzee), 17:11. Penalties-McDonald Bri (tripping), 0:18; Hamilton Wor (goaltender interference), 1:41; Czuczman Bri (delay of game), 8:16; Leggio Bri (unsportsmanlike conduct), 17:11.
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 7-8-8-23. Worcester 15-13-12-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 1 / 4; Worcester 2 / 7.
Goalies-Bridgeport, Leggio 5-6-0 (40 shots-34 saves). Worcester, Grosenick 9-5-1 (23 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Mark Lemelin (41), Garrett Rank (48).
Linesmen-Alex Stagnone (7), Robert St. Lawrence (10).