The Worcester Sharks know all it will take for them to get into the American Hockey League’s Calder Cup playoffs is to just win games as they still control their own fate, and Friday night at the DCU Center the WorSharks got off to a quick start with two first period goals by captain Bryan Lerg and goaltender Aaron Dell made them stand up in Worcester’s 3-1 win over the St John’s IceCaps in front of a boisterous crowd of 5,291 to get back into the AHL’s playoff race.
Worcester Sharks captain Bryan Lerg scored two first period goals to lead the WorSharks
to a 3-1 victory over the St John's IceCaps. The two strikes by Lerg gave him 37 points
on the season, which puts him in the team lead. Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED
For video highlights we’ll use the WorSharks YouTube channel
Scratches for Worcester were Konrad Abeltshauser, Vincent Arseneau, Jimmy Bonneau, Dylan DeMelo (unknown injury), Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder), and Jeremy Langlois (foot). Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. For those that missed my twitter update after Wednesday’s loss to Hershey Emanuelsson will be out for the remainder of the season after having surgery on his opposite shoulder that had been previously injured. Prior to Friday night’s game WorSharks beat reporter Bill Ballou of the Telegram & Gazette tweeted that former Union forward Daniel Ciampini has been released from his ATO and signed to an AHL contract for the remainder of the season. There was no official word from the WorSharks on that, but Ballou bats 1.000 on those kind of things so it’s obviously true.
Speaking of twitter, after Lerg’s second goal and fourth in a row for the WorSharks I tweeted I was fairly certain the four goals in a row was a franchise record. Yeah, not so much. After a review last night over some Chinese food it turns out the record is five by Daniil Tarasov, running from October 20th to the 26th in 2013 when Tarasov had single goal games against Portland and Manchester before a hat trick against Springfield.
Lerg’s first goal was reviewed after the IceCaps complained he kicked it into the net. Referees Michael Mullen and David Banfield talked about it, and then looked at the video replay before confirming the goal. Originally it looked like Worcester caught a break as Lerg’s kick was beyond the view of the goal line camera, but during a post game jersey auction Lerg told several people he did get his stick on it after he kicked it. Low and behold, watching the highlight video you can see Lerg just get his stick on the puck as it bounds away from him.
Looking at the box score you’d think John McCarthy didn’t have a great game with no points and being a minus-one for the night, but his play during one shift on the penalty kill shows why he was a great additions to the team. With the WorSharks down two skaters in the span of 40 seconds or so McCarthy blocked two shots, deflected a pass, and then blocked a third shot and was able to clear the puck. No box score categories in the AHL for those things, but they were just as big as any goal he’s scored this season.
During the 2010-2011 season while the injury bug was hitting pretty much every goaltender in the San Jose organization Worcester signed goalie Jeff Jakaitis to a PTO. He played in three games for Worcester, going 1-2-0, and while he wasn’t terrible he certainly didn’t write his name into any record books while he was here. That is certainly not the case in the ECHL as Jakaitis just recently broke the league’s shutout streak record. His streak currently is 319:32, less than period behind the all-time North American professional record of 332:01 set by Brian Boucher in 2003-04 with the Phoenix Coyotes.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 11 Bryan Lerg (2g)
2. WOR – 29 Aaron Dell (24 saves)
3. WOR – 17 John McCarthy (look up for why)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Gus Young.
Even strength lines
St. John’s 0 1 0 – 1
Worcester 2 0 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Worcester, Lerg 11 (Carpenter), 2:10. 2, Worcester, Lerg 12 (Trupp, Tennyson), 8:16. Penalties-Cormier Stj (boarding), 8:56; Hayes Wor (tripping), 11:39; Taormina Wor (boarding), 12:23; Parkes Wor (boarding), 15:22.
2nd Period-3, St. John’s, Lipon 4 (Olsen, Brassard), 18:40. Penalties-Parkes Wor (hooking), 2:43; Parent Stj (holding), 15:24; Stollery Wor (tripping), 19:11.
3rd Period-4, Worcester, Schwartz 3 (Young, Oleksuk), 18:00 (EN). Penalties-Walker Stj (hooking), 2:15; Haley Wor (boarding), 6:55; Lipon Stj (interference), 10:15.
Shots on Goal-St. John’s 8-11-6-25. Worcester 11-4-6-21.
Power Play Opportunities-St. John’s 0 / 6; Worcester 0 / 4.
Goalies-St. John’s, Hellebuyck 27-19-1 (20 shots-18 saves). Worcester, Dell 9-5-0 (25 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Michael Mullen (18), David Banfield (77).
Linesmen-Chris Low (88), Alex Stagnone (7).