The Worcester Sharks went into Sunday afternoon’s contest at the DCU Center with the Springfield Falcons with a chance to provide a cushion between them and ninth place in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference playoff race, but after a solid opening period where they held a two goals lead the WorSharks suddenly turned into the Keystone Cops and couldn’t do anything right. Goaltender Aaron Dell was forced to make several great saves over the final 40 minutes, and when it was all said and done Worcester escaped with a 4-1 victory for their fifth straight win and a six point weekend.
Worcester Sharks forward Daniel Ciampini had a goal and an assist in Sunday's 4-1 win for
the WorSharks over the Springfield Falcons. The former Union College standout has five
points in six AHL games this season. Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED
For video highlights we’ll once again point to the WorSharks YouTube channel
Scratches for Worcester were Konrad Abeltshauser, Jimmy Bonneau, Petter Emanuelsson (shoulder/out for season), Jeremy Langlois (foot), Trevor Parkes (right leg), and Joakim Ryan. Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. There were two transactions after Saturday night’s 3-2 OT win against St John’s, with defenseman Taylor Fedun being recalled to the San Jose Sharks and goaltender Joel Rumpel being released from his ATO. Rumple is going to head to the Allen Americans (ECHL) as they are in need of a goaltender after an injury to Riley Gill. There was some great news on the injury front broken this morning by Bill Ballou of the Worcester Telegram concerning Trevor Parkes. It seems the initial thoughts of a fractured right leg have proved to be incorrect. While that will obviously shorten Parkes’ recovery time there was no official word from the WorSharks about the situation at all.
The WorSharks now start on a “it was four but now is five” game road trip before returning to the DCU Center on April 11th. This week it’s Wednesday in Hershey and Friday at Wilkes-Barre before having Easter weekend off. Worcester then heads to Bridgeport on Monday, April 6 in a make-up game from December 21st when the Sound Tigers allegedly had bus troubles and couldn’t make it back home from Norfolk in time for their Sunday afternoon contest. The following day Worcester is in Portland to take on the Pirates. Then it’s the beginning of a home and home series with Providence starting in Rhode Island on the 10th.
Math not being this writer’s strong suit, it appears the WorSharks magic number for clinching an AHL Calder Cup playoff berth is 12. The maximum points the Albany Devils can reach is 91, and for Springfield it’s 90. With Worcester currently at 80, that makes the magic number is 12. Worcester has ten games remaining. Their 80 points on the season already surpasses their end of season totals from the last three campaigns. If Worcester plays just .500 hockey the rest of the way they’ll end up with their third best point total in franchise history. Their 93 points from 2006-07 is well within reach, but the franchise record of 104 is safe as the maximum Worcester can get with 10 wins is 100.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 37 Karl Stollery (gwg)
2. WOR – 29 Aaron Dell (22 saves)
3. WOR – 13 Evan Trupp (g)
The Sharkspage player of the game is Daniel Ciampini
Even strength lines
Springfield 0 0 1 – 1
Worcester 2 1 1 – 4
1st Period-1, Worcester, Trupp 16 (Lerg, Ciampini), 6:15. 2, Worcester, Stollery 7 (DeMelo, McCarthy), 12:56 (PP). Penalties-Sifers Spr (slashing), 12:25.
2nd Period-3, Worcester, Willows 2 (Crane), 17:30. Penalties-Doherty Wor (interference), 10:13; St. Denis Spr (hooking), 13:27.
3rd Period-4, Springfield, Tynan 10 (Sifers, Craig), 4:22 (PP). 5, Worcester, Ciampini 3 18:58 (EN). Penalties-McCarthy Wor (tripping), 4:22; Craig Spr (goaltender interference), 6:59; Tynan Spr (slashing), 7:29; Collins Spr (high-sticking), 15:52.
Shots on Goal-Springfield 3-12-8-23. Worcester 11-8-8-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Springfield 1 / 2; Worcester 1 / 5.
Goalies-Springfield, Korpisalo 0-2-0 (26 shots-23 saves). Worcester, Dell 12-5-0 (23 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson (47), Ryan Murphy (5).
Linesmen-Kevin Keenan (22), Todd Whittemore (70).