The Worcester Sharks embarked on a five game road trip earlier this week, and after a 4-3 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in Allentown, Pennsylvania Wednesday night the WorSharks headed to Norfolk, Virginia for a pair against the Admirals. On Friday night Worcester was blanked by Norfolk as Admirals goaltender John Gibson had 36 saves in a 3-0 win over the WorSharks, but on Saturday Aaron Dell returned the favor with a 38 save performance of his own as Worcester defeated Norfolk 4-0 to split the two game set.
Worcester Sharks forward Micheal Haley scored his 13th goal of the season Saturday
night by deflecting Evan Trupp's high pass out of the air and past Norfolk Admirals
goaltender Jason LaBarbera on the power play during the WorSharks 4-0 victory.
Photo courtesy of JOHN WRIGHT/norfolkadmirals.com
For video highlights we were going to use the Norfolk Admirals YouTube channel, but there seems to be an issue with the uploaded highlights so we’ll just point to SendToNews.com
Scratches for the WorSharks were J.P. Anderson (illness), Kyle Bigos, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), Troy Grosenick (illness), and Jeremy Langlois (foot). With Anderson falling ill Saturday Worcester had to scramble for a back-up goaltender, and not wanting to use Jimmy Bonneau again someone in the organization dug deep into their phone books to call 23 year old Jackson Winkler to be the emergency backup goaltender. Winkler is currently serving in the US Coast Guard and stationed in Yorktown. He wore #30, and got to keep his jersey for his night of sitting on the bench.
There were a few milestones reached Saturday night, with John McCarthy playing in his 253rd game for the Worcester Sharks tying him with Mike Moore for second all-time in franchise history behind Nick Petrecki’s 277. The 253 games for Worcester ties McCarthy and Moore with the IceCats Blake Evans for fifth all-time in Worcester’s AHL history. It will be a while before McCarthy gets to number four on that list as Jame Pollock is next at 270. McCarthy’s goal tied him with Tom Cavanagh for second in franchise history for points at 138. McCarthy is just six behind Dan DaSilva’s franchise mark of 144. Saturday was also Taylor Doherty’s 208th game for the WorSharks, tying him with Riley Armstrong for 11th in franchise history.
McCarthy’s goal at 3:40 of the first period broke Worcester’s scoreless treat at The Scope of 162:17. That stretched over three games, but somehow they managed a shootout win and an overtime loss for three out of a possible six points during the streak.
In one of those head scratching stats on Friday Admirals goaltender Gibson had a shutout and was called for a minor penalty, and on Saturday Dell did the same thing in being called for a penalty while shutting out Norfolk. It’s the third time a WorSharks goaltender has had a shutout and penalty in the same game, with Alex Stalock and Harri Sateri doing in over the past couple of seasons. Dell’s minor is the first WorSharks goaltender penalty since Sateri had one on March 16, 2014 vs Manchester.
Long time WorSharks fans will remember the name of Norfolk’s goaltender Jason LaBarbera as he was a pain in Worcester’s side during the 2006-07 season while he played for the Manchester Monarchs. It’s been a long while since he faced Worcester in a game, the last time being the WorSharks heartbreaking double OT loss in game six of the 2007 Calder Cup playoffs.
There was one fight in the contest with Bonneau taking on Norfolk’s Andrew O’Brien. Bonneau had initially gone after Admirals defenseman Mark Fistric in the third period in retaliation for Fistric’s check from behind to Konrad Abeltshauser in the second period. O’Brien showed some heart taking on Bonneau, and got pounded for his troubles. To add insult to potential injury O’Brien was called for an instigator minor after the battle, as if Bonneau’s attempt to fight Fistric never happened. This writer doesn’t mind the instigator rule when it’s called correctly. That time, like unfortunately most of the time it’s called, it was incorrectly applied. With nine minutes in penalties Bonneau passed the 400 mark in his WorSharks career (403).
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 29 Aaron Dell (38 save shutout)
2. WOR – 22 Ryan Carpenter (g,a)
3. NOR – 2 Mat Clark (for no apparent reason)
The Sharkspage player of the game is Eriah Hayes.
Even strength lines
Worcester 2 1 1 – 4
Norfolk 0 0 0 – 0
1st Period-1, Worcester, McCarthy 7 (Hayes, Carpenter), 3:40. 2, Worcester, Haley 13 (Trupp, Hamilton), 12:41 (PP). Penalties-Dell Wor (delay of game – restricted area), 9:11; Leblanc Nor (slashing), 11:23.
2nd Period-3, Worcester, Oleksuk 5 (DeMelo, Hamilton), 16:44 (PP). Penalties-Bonneau Wor (goaltender interference), 2:48; O’Brien Nor (slashing), 15:05.
3rd Period-4, Worcester, Carpenter 8 (Hayes, Young), 10:22. Penalties-Doherty Wor (holding), 1:15; Wagner Nor (slashing), 1:34; Laganiere Nor (interference), 3:54; DeMelo Wor (roughing), 6:34; Bonneau Wor (roughing, fighting), 13:32; O’Brien Nor (instigating, fighting, misconduct – instigating), 13:32.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 14-14-7-35. Norfolk 12-15-11-38.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 2 / 4; Norfolk 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Dell 4-3-0 (38 shots-38 saves). Norfolk, LaBarbera 5-8-1 (35 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Jason Rollins (37), Peter MacDougall (57).
Linesmen-Luke Murray (92), Scott Pomento (25).