The Worcester Sharks couldn’t hold on to a couple one goal leads and then allowed a power play goal with less than a minute to play in the contest to lose 3-2 to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Saturday night in a fight filled contest at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in the WorSharks home opener in front of 5,476 fans. The home loss was the tenth in a row for Worcester extending back into last season. They last won on home ice on March 25.
Below are video highlights from Sendittonews.com, but this video from AHLlive is much better but cannot be imbedded.
The start of the game was delayed about 20 minutes when after the Worcester player introductions and the national anthem the carpet laid on the ice for the opening ceremony caused an issue with the ice to the left of the Penguins net. The zamboni was called out for a quick repair, and while that was going on the two linesmen were pressed into duty to fill in a couple of gaps between the ice and the boards. With the Ringling Brothers circus and Pearl Jam playing at the DCU Center since it reopened from renovations the ice sheet hadn’t gotten “broken in” so to speak, and it showed early on in the game.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Collin Bowman (head), Riley Brace, Adam Comrie, Dylan DeMelo, Lane Scheidl (knee), and Daniil Tarasov (lower body). Troy Grosenick was the backup goaltender. Springfield Falcons defenseman Will Weber was suspended one game for his hit on Tarasov last Saturday. Tarasov was not seriously injured and is expected back soon. There was some confusion amongst fans when Worcester recalled Bowman earlier this week, but it turns out that Bowman was injured in the first preseason game between Worcester and Providence and has not recovered yet. Just like the NHL rule prohibiting injured players from being assigned to the AHL the American Hockey League has the same rule about assignment of injured players to lower league, which necessitated Bowman being added to Worcester’s roster.
One has to wonder if WorSharks head coach Roy Sommer notices when one of his players is not having a good game. Marek Viedensky looked pretty bad last night and yet Sommer had him out on the last game penalty kill. You could see that something was going to happen and when Viedensky was slow to get over to cover Penguins defenseman Brendan Mikkelson within a couple seconds the puck was behind Worcester goaltender Harri Sateri.
There was a scary moment last in the second period when Rob Davison was struck in the head by a booming slap shot. Davison crumpled to the ice and referee Gino Binda quickly blew the play dead. Davison skated to the dressing room under his own power and returned to start the third period.
It’s great that Bracken Kearns is willing to stand up for his teammates and himself, but being in the penalty box for 17 minutes–an instigator to go with his fighting major–is far too long for Worcester’s best offensive threat to be sitting. He needs to pick his spots better. Kearns’ 22 minutes in penalties in two games leads the WorSharks, and that’s not what you want from the player that’s supposed to be your best offensive weapon.
The three stars of the game were
1. WBS – 14 Tom Kuhnhackl (2g)
2. WOR – 12 Freddie Hamilton (g)
3. WBS – 25 Andrew Ebbett (g,a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was John McCarthy
Even strength lines
W-B/Scranton 0 0 3 – 3
Worcester 1 0 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Worcester, Hamilton 1 (Reid, Schwartz), 9:27. Penalties-McNeill Wbs (fighting), 1:43; Gogol Wor (boarding, fighting), 1:43; Gibbons Wbs (fighting), 1:54; Kuhnhackl Wbs (tripping), 1:54; Thompson Wbs (misconduct – continuing altercation), 1:54; Kearns Wor (instigating, fighting, misconduct – instigating), 1:54.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Letourneau-Leblond Wbs (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 0:00; Bonneau Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 0:00; Acolatse Wor (interference), 2:02; Harrington Wbs (interference), 9:19; Schwartz Wor (goaltender interference), 12:27; Letourneau-Leblond Wbs (fighting), 15:16; Doherty Wor (fighting), 15:16; Livingston Wor (hooking), 18:14.
3rd Period-2, W-B/Scranton, Kuhnhackl 2 (Ebbett, Payerl), 1:48. 3, Worcester, McCarthy 1 (Acolatse, Kearns), 4:02. 4, W-B/Scranton, Ebbett 1 (Carman, Dumoulin), 12:45. 5, W-B/Scranton, Kuhnhackl 3 (Mikkelson, Harrington), 19:20 (PP). Penalties-Payerl Wbs (roughing), 1:48; Acolatse Wor (roughing), 1:48; Uher Wbs (hooking), 12:53; Tennyson Wor (holding), 17:40.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 4-10-9-23. Worcester 11-6-13-30.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 1 / 5; Worcester 0 / 2.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Mannino 1-0-0 (30 shots-28 saves). Worcester, Sateri 0-2-0 (23 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Brian MacDonald (72), Todd Whittemore (70).
The Worcester Sharks started off their 2013-2014 campaign remembering a lesson they should have learned well after last season, that playing catch-up hockey is losing hockey, when they fell behind by two goals in the opening period and never getting back to even in dropping a 4-3 contest to the Springfield Falcons Saturday night at the MassMutual Center in Springfield Massachusetts in front of a crowd of 2,788.
Not shown on the video was the Falcons second goal, the first of two scored by center Jake Hansen. As soon as the puck entered the net the WorSharks immediately appealed to referee Ryan Hersey saying it was intentionally directed in by Hansen’s leg, and while it may have been the case Hansen was a good distance from the net and Worcester goaltender Harri Sateri should have made the save anyway. Sateri ended the game with 15 saves on 19 shots, and probably wants another chance on a couple of the ones that beat him.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Dylan Demelo, Lane Scheidl (knee), Curt Gogol (injured), Sena Acolatse, and Travis Oleksuk. Troy Grosenick was the back-up goaltender. There were some number changes from last season, with Scheidl going from 39 to 11, Brodie Reid switching from 51 to 15, Eriah Hayes moving from 38 to 18, Rylan Schwartz from 24 to 27, and Dylan Demelo went from 15 to 2. That’s actually the third number Demelo has used as he had 44 in his brief stint with the team two season ago.
In what could be bad news for Worcester fans, forward Daniil Tarasov had to be helped off the ice with just over five minutes remaining in the third period after he was pasted against the boards by Will Weber. As he was helped off the ice Tarasov could not put any weight on his right leg. Weber received a cross checking minor.
It came as shock to no one that Rob Davison was named the sixth captain in team history. With John McCarthy, last season’s captain, likely to be spending a lot of time on the Worcester shuttle bringing in a veteran presence like Davison to help lead the team was a no-brainer. Bracken Kearns and Jimmy Bonneau are wearing the As for the WorSharks.
Prior to the start of the season one of the keys to getting the WorSharks back in to the playoffs was the team would be implementing the systems as San Jose uses. From this writer’s vantage point high up in the MassMutual Center–the only arena where I choose to sit high in a corner as it’s the best site line in the building–it looked exactly like last season as once again passes were going to players skating the wrong direction or to players not open. The zone entry looked the same, the power play looked the same, the penalty kill looked the same. It was exactly the same as last season. So much for changing.
It used to be that the automatic delay of game minor for accidentally shooting the puck out of play from a team’s defensive zone was the dumbest penalty in the rulebook (for the record, Springfield was called for it early in the third period), but that has been surpassed by the minor a center gets when a puck accidentally hits his hand on a face-off. Schwartz was called for it while Worcester was already shorthanded, and thirty seconds later the Falcons converted on their extended five on three power play.
The three stars of the game were
1. SPR – 21 Jake Hansen (2g)
2. SPR – 18 Jonathan Marchessault (g)
3. SPR – 6 Tim Erixon (3a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Bracken Kearns.
Worcester 0 2 1 – 3
Springfield 2 2 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Springfield, Sedlak 1 (Erixon, Goloubef), 3:05. 2, Springfield, Hansen 1 (Erixon, Chaput), 15:07. Penalties-Hayes Wor (slashing), 3:47; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 17:16; Smith Spr (fighting), 17:16; McNeill Spr (delay of game), 18:26.
2nd Period-3, Worcester, Hayes 1 (Tarasov, Kearns), 3:14. 4, Springfield, Marchessault 1 (St. Denis, Madaisky), 14:39 (PP). 5, Springfield, Hansen 2 (Joudrey, Erixon), 16:16 (SH). 6, Worcester, Reid 1 (Tarasov, Viedensky), 17:41 (PP). Penalties-Davison Wor (fighting, game misconduct – secondary altercation), 3:43; Kearns Wor (fighting), 3:43; Boyce Spr (fighting, game misconduct – secondary altercation), 3:43; Weber Spr (fighting), 3:43; Chaput Spr (holding), 5:06; Tarasov Wor (slashing), 14:05; Schwartz Wor (delay of game – faceoff violation), 14:09; Collins Spr (holding), 15:21; Smith Spr (goaltender interference), 16:57.
3rd Period-7, Worcester, Livingston 1 (Kearns, Doherty), 5:22. Penalties-Little Spr (delay of game), 1:05; McCarthy Wor (slashing), 1:52; Doherty Wor (elbowing), 8:32; Weber Spr (cross-checking), 14:52.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 7-13-9-29. Springfield 9-6-4-19.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 6; Springfield 1 / 5.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 0-1-0 (19 shots-15 saves). Springfield, Smith 2-0-0 (29 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Ryan Hersey (8).
Linesmen-Glen Cooke (6), Robert St. Lawrence (10).
The Worcester Sharks, or at least a bunch of guys wearing WorSharks jerseys, took on the Providence Bruins in preseason action Friday night at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Massachusetts and defeated their division rivals 2-1. Two “locks” for the opening night roster, rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser and fan-favorite enforcer Jimmy Bonneau both scored against Providence goaltender Malcolm Subban. Jared Knight beat Worcester netminder Troy Grosenick for the PBruins lone goal.
Worcester Sharks rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser scored the WorSharks opening goal
in a 2-1 win over Providence in AHL exhibition action Friday night.
Photo courtesy of STEVE CONWAY
For the particulars of the game, Darcy Hamilton has the recap on WorSharks official site, and Bill Ballou took some time off from covering the playoff bound Boston Red Sox to throw together a brief recap with a feature on Bonneau for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. The Providence Bruins have their version of the events on their site.
Worcester broadcaster Eric Lindquist was taking some video of the game and just happened to catch Bonneau’s game winner.
The spotlight was on Abeltshauser Friday and if last night was any indication teams are going to have to pay close attention to him because he was often times the best player on the ice for the WorSharks. Paired with Sena Acolatse most of the night Abeltshauser looked like a professional out there, something that many young players have an issue with early in the season as they settle in. Obviously this was just an exhibition game and Abeltshauser played against many guys that won’t be making the PBruins opening night roster, but those are the guys he needs to dominate over and he did.
Another player that looked good was Marek Viedensky, who is trying to get his career back on track after a season that saw him split time between San Francisco (ECHL) and the WorSharks and suffer a couple of injuries. To show how confident the organization in is his abilities Viedensky is wearing the captain’s “C” here in the preseason. And he wore it well, looking like a player that’s ready to have a breakout year.
To complete the record, James Livingston and Acolatse wore the “A” for Worcester.
Grosenick looked decent in net, and made several big stops in the second period to keep the WorSharks in the lead. The third period was a different story as Providence beat him five times in the stanza, but three found the iron behind him and a fourth trickled just wide. Knight’s knuckleball of a shot that beat Grosenick five-hole is the only official stain on his record.
The WorSharks even strength lines were
I didn’t keep any notes about special teams lines, but it’s entirely possible the only player that didn’t kill penalties last night for Worcester was back-up goaltender J.P. Anderson.
There were no official three stars of the game, so after a quick polling of the usual suspects Sharkspage will go with:
1) WOR- Jimmy Bonneau (gwg)
2) WOR- Konrad Abeltshauser (g)
3) PRO- Malcolm Subban (29 saves)
For longtime Worcester Sharks fans the 2013-2014 schedule will look a lot like previous seasons, and that’s actually good news for WorSharks fans. Thirty-three of the 38 WorSharks home games will be played on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Of the five remaining weekday games, two are during the Christmas school vacation.
The schedule breakdown by team is division rivals Providence, Portland, and Manchester twelve times each and remaining division member St John’s ten times. Worcester will play Springfield six times, and Bridgeport, Hartford, Hershey, and Norfolk four times a piece. Two games with Adirondack, Albany, Binghamton, and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton round out the schedule.
As has become tradition, Sharkspage tries to predict the number of nights the WorSharks will spend in hotels. Knowing that the team will take advantage of an extra travel day or two built into the schedule it looks like Worcester will be spending 15 nights on the road. If the WorSharks head up to Lewiston, Maine a day early to take on the Pirates that number would jump to 18.
Sat 10/12/13 7:00 PM @ Springfield
Sat 10/19/13 7:00 PM W-B/Scranton
Sun 10/20/13 5:00 PM Portland
Wed 10/23/13 7:00 PM Manchester
Sat 10/26/13 7:00 PM @ Springfield
Fri 11/1/13 7:30 PM Bridgeport
Sat 11/2/13 7:00 PM St. John’s
Fri 11/8/13 7:00 PM @ Portland (Lewiston)
Sat 11/9/13 7:00 PM Providence
Sun 11/10/13 3:00 PM Portland
Wed 11/13/13 7:30 PM @ St. John’s
Fri 11/15/13 7:30 PM @ St. John’s
Sat 11/16/13 7:30 PM @ St. John’s
Fri 11/22/13 7:00 PM @ Manchester
Sat 11/23/13 7:00 PM Bridgeport
Sun 11/24/13 3:00 PM Manchester
Fri 11/29/13 7:00 PM @ Portland (Lewiston)
Fri 12/6/13 7:30 PM Portland
Sat 12/7/13 7:00 PM Providence
Sun 12/8/13 3:00 PM @ Manchester
Fri 12/13/13 7:30 PM Manchester
Sat 12/14/13 7:00 PM @ Portland (Lewiston)
Fri 12/20/13 7:05 PM @ W-B/Scranton
Sat 12/21/13 7:00 PM @ Hershey
Sun 12/22/13 5:00 PM @ Hershey
Thu 12/26/13 7:00 PM Providence
Fri 12/27/13 7:30 PM St. John’s
Sat 12/28/13 7:00 PM @ Hartford
Tue 12/31/13 5:00 PM @ Adirondack
Fri 1/3/14 7:05 PM @ Providence
Sat 1/4/14 7:00 PM @ Hartford
Sun 1/5/14 3:05 PM @ Providence
Fri 1/10/14 7:30 PM Hartford
Sat 1/11/14 7:00 PM Norfolk
Sun 1/12/14 3:00 PM Portland
Fri 1/17/14 7:30 PM @ Norfolk
Sat 1/18/14 7:15 PM @ Norfolk
Tue 1/21/14 7:00 PM @ Portland
Fri 1/24/14 7:00 PM @ Manchester
Sat 1/25/14 7:00 PM Providence
Sun 1/26/14 3:00 PM Manchester
Wed 1/29/14 7:00 PM Binghamton
Fri 1/31/14 7:30 PM Springfield
Sat 2/1/14 7:00 PM Providence
Sat 2/8/14 7:30 PM @ St. John’s
Sun 2/9/14 4:00 PM @ St. John’s
Fri 2/14/14 7:00 PM @ Manchester
Sat 2/15/14 7:05 PM @ Binghamton
Sun 2/16/14 3:00 PM @ Springfield
Fri 2/21/14 7:30 PM St. John’s
Sat 2/22/14 7:00 PM St. John’s
Sun 2/23/14 3:00 PM @ Manchester
Fri 2/28/14 7:00 PM @ Portland
Sat 3/1/14 7:00 PM @ Bridgeport
Sun 3/2/14 3:00 PM Springfield
Fri 3/7/14 7:05 PM @ Providence
Sat 3/8/14 7:00 PM Portland
Sun 3/9/14 3:00 PM Albany
Fri 3/14/14 7:05 PM @ Providence
Sat 3/15/14 7:00 PM @ Bridgeport
Sun 3/16/14 3:00 PM Manchester
Fri 3/21/14 7:30 PM Springfield
Sat 3/22/14 7:00 PM Hershey
Sun 3/23/14 3:05 PM @ Providence
Wed 3/26/14 7:00 PM @ Portland
Fri 3/28/14 7:00 PM @ Manchester
Sat 3/29/14 5:00 PM @ Albany
Tue 4/1/14 7:00 PM Portland
Fri 4/4/14 7:05 PM @ Providence
Sat 4/5/14 7:00 PM Hershey
Sun 4/6/14 3:00 PM Manchester
Wed 4/9/14 7:00 PM Hartford
Fri 4/11/14 7:30 PM Adirondack
Sat 4/12/14 7:00 PM Norfolk
Fri 4/18/14 7:30 PM St. John’s
Sat 4/19/14 7:00 PM Providence
Professional hockey is a business. Sometimes players you like don’t make the cut, other times players are pushed out by cheaper alternatives or maybe by the latest up and coming future superstar taking over the spot of an aging fan favorite veteran. If a player has the ability to play at the next higher level he almost always gets that chance, because every team is looking for the “next guy” to make their team better. It might take a while, but talent usually wins out. Score enough goals, make enough solid defensive plays, save enough pucks and someone somewhere will notice. You’ll get your shot.
The same holds true for the front office people. Show your worth and your ability to make your team better, either on the ice or on the balance sheet, and up the ladder you’ll eventually go. Can you imagine how valuable a person that could increase attendance nearly 20%, increase revenues, and cut financial losses over the same three seasons that his team had the second fewest wins and third lowest winning percentage in the league? San Jose showed how valuable that kind of person is.
They fired him.
Make no mistake, despite the press release saying that former team President Mike Mudd had “stepped down”, he was fired. The American Hockey League’s Executive of the Year for 2011 went to work one morning and at the end of the day no longer had a job he still wanted to have because his employer told him he no longer worked for them. That’s “fired” no matter what business-speak San Jose uses.
Just when the Worcester Sharks were once again on the cusp of breaking through on the business side of things a decision from 3,000 miles away cuts them off at the knees. Usually it’s hockey operations failing to field even a marginally competitive team that reduced significant positive gains the business side had made that is the issue, but this time it was allegedly a business decision.
San Jose has indicated that John Tortora, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Sharks Sports & Entertainment (SSE), has been named as Mudd’s replacement in title only. He will generally remain in San Jose and, along with his other duties, run the WorSharks from California. As quoted by Bill Ballou in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette Tortora said, “This was not performance-related. We decided as an organization that we didn’t need the position of president of our minor league team, and that in doing this we could enhance the communication between San Jose and Worcester.”
So San Jose doesn’t need a guy that business-wise successfully promoted one of the very few AHL teams to not make the playoffs over the last three seasons? And how could removing such a successful executive “enhance the communication between San Jose and Worcester”?
Long time hockey fans in Worcester have seen this all before, and have asked similar questions. During the St Louis Blues years here owning the Worcester IceCats the organization had a very capable president running things in John Ferguson, Jr. He was so successful running the business side of the franchise that he was wooed away by the Toronto Maple Leafs to become their general manager. The Blues decided not to replace Ferguson and instead had Larry Pleau run the show from St. Louis. The folks in Worcester can tell you it was all a smoke screen because three season later the IceCats were sold to the owners of the Peoria Rivermen, the Blues ECHL affiliate at the time, and moved to Illinois. Until the very end the Blues denied the IceCats were for sale.
So with that history here in Worcester it’s only natural for folks to be a little concerned it’s happening again, especially when it’s well known here that Mudd had previously made several complaints to hockey operations in San Jose that the team needed to be better. Could the enhanced communications that Tortora refers to translate to “we won’t have to deal with Mudd complaining how poor the team is anymore”? With three more seasons left on San Jose lease with the DCU Center, are the Sharks simply biding their time until they can leave?
One other issue is the timing of Mudd’s termination, on a Friday afternoon before the most popular vacation week in the country and within 48 hours of the NHL draft starting. Could San Jose have been thinking that people would be distracted and not notice? A quick polling of fans and a reading of Facebook and twitter posts shows that virtually no one thinks this is any sort of positive move for the organization here in Worcester. Despite some poor teams on the ice the majority of fans speak highly of the front office here.
WorSharks Booster Club president Rich Lundin perhaps said it best, “Regardless of the Sharks future plans in Worcester, we need to support them, and back professional hockey in Worcester in general. We have a strong, positive relationship with the Worcester Sharks office, and we hope this continues for years to come. It is vital for the fiscal health of the DCU Center, surrounding businesses, local charities, and for all the relationships us fans have built amongst each other over the years.”
Professional hockey is a business. And Mike Mudd is really good at it. Don’t be surprised when he lands a job with another NHL organization and helps lead them to a Stanley Cup before San Jose can win one. In fact, you should probably bet on it.
As the American Hockey League playoffs continue on and many more teams join the Worcester Sharks in having the summer off it’s time to grade the WorSharks players. We’ve set the arbitrary limit at 30 games, and then made an exception for enforcer Jimmy Bonneau. The players are listed by position, with forwards going first, followed by the defense and goaltenders. The last section is off ice personnel.
Players have been graded on how well they’ve done against the expectations that have been set for them and how well they’ve done compared to the other players on the roster. When looking at the grades remember that a “C” is average, meaning the player has done what was expected of them or that their play based on the other players on the roster has been average in nature. The contract status listed is what they will be as July 1st at the time of this posting, and NHL salary listed is their potential amount against the NHL salary cap.
Bracken Kearns (66 games, 21-25-46, -2, 73PIM)
Contract status: NHL UFA
Statistically Kearns had an average season for him, but those numbers were good enough to be the WorSharks leader in goals, assists, points, shots, and was second only to Tim Kennedy in points per game. He was the WorSharks lone representative at this season’s AHL All-Star Classic, replacing the injured Kennedy. Simply put, Kearns was Worcester’s best all around player. He’s a player Worcester fans would love to have back next season.
Tim Kennedy (37 games, 13-24-37, +8, 19PIM)
Contract status: NHL UFA
When he was recalled to San Jose Kennedy was the team leader in every offensive stat you can think of. Despite playing in far less games that most of the top scorers Kennedy still ended up tied for fourth in goals, and second in assist and points. His +8 was second on the team, and he was one of only three regular players to be plus on the season. Kennedy was the only WorSharks player to average a point per game. Without him in the line-up Worcester’s anemic offense sputtered even more.
Jon Matsumoto (60 games, 14-18-32, -17, 30PIM)
Contract status: NHL UFA
Matsumoto was the biggest disappointment on Worcester’s roster this season. Entering this campaign on a five season 20 goal streak Matsumoto sleepwalked through most of the year netting just 14 goals and had a team worst (-17) on the season. His three game winning goals all came in a seven game span over the Christmas holidays, but other than that he was basically invisible. And for the highest paid player on the team, that is simply unacceptable.
Danill Tarasov (43 games, 14-14-28, E, 20PIM)
Contract status: 1st of 2 year NHL ELC ($800K/$60K)
After spending the first half of the season on the AHL roster but only playing in a single game (the WorSharks have never officially commented as to why that was) Tarasov was sent off to San Francisco. After posting 14 points in 17 ECHL games Tarasov was recalled to Worcester and never looked back, averaging a point per game over his next 12 AHL contests and ending up fourth on the team in scoring. Toward the end of the season it looked like many teams were shadowing Tarasov. High praise for a rookie.
Freddie Hamilton (76 games, 13-13-26, -9, 16PIM)
Contract status: 2nd of 3 year NHL ELC ($878,333/$67,500)
The scouting report on Hamilton was a shutdown defensive forward, but the rookie showed lots of offensive skills notching a team leading four game winning goals and two shorthanded tallies. It took Hamilton a little while to catch on to many of the pro “tricks” on taking face-offs, but by season’s end he was Worcester’s top centerman on draws in their defensive end. The WorSharks don’t have a “best prospect” award, but if they did Hamilton would be an easy winner.
John McCarthy (65 games, 9-16-25, -12, 12PIM)
Contract status: 2nd of 2 year NHL contract ($612,500)
It would take only a handful of seconds looking at the stats to see this was the worst season so far in McCarthy’s pro career. Effort wasn’t issue, it was purely a results problem. Perhaps it was the pressure of wearing the captain’s “C”, or maybe it was one of a myriad of possibilities, but obviously there was something different this season from the previous three. Despite the one-way contract for next season odds are good he’ll be starting the season in the AHL. It’s up to him how long he stays there.
James Sheppard (34 games, 8-15-23, E, 52PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
The only reason Sheppard was even here in Worcester was the NHL lockout, but it’s hard to tell who benefited more from him being here. Even though Sheppard had some rough games the WorSharks were a different team–and not in a good way–when he wasn’t here. Sheppard is a bona-fide NHL player, and it showed the vast majority of games he was out there. Short of a conditioning assignment Sheppard will likely never see the AHL again.
Brodie Reid (34 games, 10-11-21, -1 19PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
Reid matched his goal total from last season in half as many games, but the problem is he only managed to play in half as many games. Like last season when his season was cut short due to an injury Reid suffered two serious injuries that limited him to just 34 contests. Despite making huge gains in his offensive skills the big question about Reid is if he can stay on the ice for a full pro season. Hockey is full of players with lots of skill that can’t stay healthy. Hopefully for Reid doesn’t turn into one of those players.
James Livingston (67 games, 7-14-21, +13, 78PIM)
Contract status: 3rd of 3 year NHL ELC ($605K/$60K)
There’s a reason Livingston was a unanimous choice in the post season awards for 7th player/Unsung Hero, and his +12 on a roster full of minus players is the reason. While Livingston’s offensive numbers were virtually identical to last season he was a significantly better all-around hockey player. Not blessed with the talent that some of his teammates have Livingstone uses hard word and tenacity to overwhelm his opponents. If Livingston can find a way to add just a little more offense to his game he might find himself in the NHL sooner than later.
Yanni Gourde (54 games, 8-6-14, -11, 41PIM)
Contract status: AHL UFA
Gourde has all the tools to play at the AHL level but it took a long while, and a trip to the ECHL, for him to really catch his stride this season. He is without a doubt the fastest skater on the team but seemed reluctant to use that speed at times, many times peeling off with the puck in the offensive zone instead of going to the net. Despite Gourde not having the kind of season everyone was hoping he would have Worcester should look at bringing him back. The ability is there, the only question is if the WorSharks can tap into it.
Travis Oleksuk (60 games, 3-10-13, -13, 12PIM)
Contract status: 2nd of 2 year NHL ELC ($925K/$70K)
After a senior year at UMN-Duluth that saw Oleksuk score a point per game Worcester was looking for the pro rookie to generate some offense. Unfortunately, averaging under .25 points per game wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. Oleksuk was simply not able to compete at the AHL level, and the preseason talk of him getting spot duty in the San Jose line-up quickly died down. The holes in Oleksuk’s pro game are numerous, and a single off-season may not be enough to fix them.
Curt Gogol (38 games, 4-2-6, -4, 139PIM)
Contract status: 2nd year of 3 year NHL ELC ($551,667/60K)
Gogol has some talent to play hockey but it often gets lost with him looking to be an agitator. At some point in his career Gogol has to decide if he wants to be an AHL/NHL hockey player or a minor league side show. That point is probably now. And if he chooses to be a side show, his pro career will be a short one. There are lots of players at this level–and lower–that are better at that than he is. But he does get to make that choice. Hopefully he chooses wisely.
Jimmy Bonneau (26 games, 1-0-1, -3, 81PIM)
Contract status: AHL UFA
Ask Bonneau what he is and he’ll come right out and tell you: a fighter. But he probably has the most “hockey smarts” on the WorSharks roster. On the ice you get what you get with Bonneau, but because starting next season he’s classified as an AHL veteran he may have a hard time hooking on in the league. But when his career is over he’ll have no issues getting a job in the sport. Some day Bonneau could make the NHL…behind the bench.
Matt Tennyson (60 games, 5-22-27, -6, 44PIM)
Contract status: 2nd of 2 year NHL ELC ($1.175M/$70K)
After three years at Western Michigan this season was supposed to be the year he got his pro career seasoned a little to make a potential run at an NHL roster spot for 2013-14, but injuries in San Jose forced the organization to rush him to the big club maybe a little before he was ready. Despite it being a little too early for him it can’t be looked at anything but a positive in his development into a solid two-way NHL blueliner. He still has a little ways to get there, but the remaining journey will be a short one.
Sena Acolatse (50 games, 4-17-21, -7, 62PIM)
Contract status: 3rd of 3 year NHL ELC ($900K/$67,500)
For the second season in a row a freak facial injury required Acolatse to wear a cage for long periods of time, and that really took away from his physical style of game. It’s almost like Acolatse should get two grades, one before his injury and one after, because his play was remarkably different afterward simply because of the head gear he was forced to wear. A solid two way player, the loss of the threat of him dropping the gloves gave opponents a situation they were more than willing to take advantage of.
Denny Urban (36 games, 4-13-17, -11, 10PIM)
Contract status: AHL UFA
An offense-first defenseman Urban really shined when he first arrived in Worcester, grabbing more than half his points in his first 14 games with the WorSharks. But soon after teams were able to figure out his defensive shortcomings and started targeting him during odd man rushes. Urban is a decent AHL depth defenseman, but unless his defensive liabilities can be worked out he’s likely reached his developmental ceiling. Urban also saw spot duty at forward and didn’t look out of place.
Danny Groulx (33 games, 4-12-16, +4, 24PIM)
Contract status: NHL UFA
Without a doubt Groulx lost a step or two since his Eddie Shore Award (best AHL defenseman) winning campaign in 2009-10, but despite that he was still a viable AHL blueliner that breathed some life into the WorSharks power play. Perhaps because of his previous season in Worcester the bar was set too high for Groulx, and a concussion that caused him to miss nearly two months didn’t help. Groulx was eventually loaned to Chicago (AHL) by San Jose in exchange for Derek Joslis,
Matt Irwin (35 games 1-14-15, E, 26PIM)
Contract status: 1st of 2 year NHL contract ($1M)
Irwin was a solid two-way defenseman with the WorSharks, and was expected to see spot duty in the NHL this season. Due to injuries in San Jose Irwin spent a significant amount of time with the big club, and was named their “rookie of the year”. There’s a very good chance we’ve seen the last of Irwin as being an everyday player in Worcester.
Taylor Doherty (40 games, 1-9-10, -2, 67PIM)
Contract status: 3rd of 3 year NHL ELC ($840K/$67,500)
The best thing that can be said about Doherty is he got better since his rookie campaign last season. Of course, he really had no place to go but up. The defenseman with the offensive skills that San Jose drafted from the Kingston Frontenacs in 2009 is a thing of the past, and right now Taylor isn’t anywhere near close to being a defenseman with NHL level talent. At age 22 Doherty really needs to learn how to use his 6’8″ frame in the pro game, because being a physical shutdown defenseman is the only way he’s making it to the NHL.
Matt Pelech (58 games, 3-4-7, -16, 238PIM)
Contract status: NHL UFA
Arguably one of the most physical players in the AHL, Pelech split duty at forward and defense for Worcester this season. Starting–and ending–the campaign on the blue line it was obvious that onrushing players wanted no part of Pelech and his bone crunching body checks. Nearly every puck that went into the zone on his side was dumped in. At forward Pelech was just as much a monster, creating scoring chances by pulverizing opponents at they tried to break out of their zone. He’s the kind of player most teams want at the AHL level.
Nick Petrecki (42 games, 1-5-6, -2, 135PIM)
Contract status: NHL RFA
The last couple of season have been the same for Petrecki, where it looked like he was ready to make the jump to the NHL only to suddenly forget everything he learned and turn into that bumbling rookie player he was four seasons ago. San Jose has a big decision this off season in if they’ll keep Petrecki one more season or not. His flashes of brilliance show there’s something there, but his inability to keep his level of play high enough for NHL play is becoming an issue for him.
Harri Sateri (39 games, 14-21-3, 2.89, .903)
Contract status: NHL RFA
Statistically Sateri’s numbers are pretty close to last season, but his play was much better overall. Like many Finnish goaltenders Sateri really needs to work on catching the puck, but despite still not being very good at it even in that aspect of the game he improved greatly. Next season Sateri should start out as the number one goalie in Worcester–provided he re-signs–and will get ample opportunity to make his mark in the organization.
Alex Stalock (38 games, 17-16-4, 2.60, .912)
Contract status: NHL RFA
The heir presumptive to San Jose’s starting goaltender’s job in the near future, Stalock showed he was completely healed from his nerve injury of two seasons ago. Stalock’s play was nearly as good as his record setting rookie campaign, and had there been a better team playing in front of him Stalock may have come close to matching those numbers. There are no glaring holes in Stalock’s game, and after a season as the back-up in the NHL should easily step into the starting role in San Jose.
Off ice personel
Head coach Roy Sommer
On paper this was a team that should have had no issues making the AHL playoffs. Instead for the third season in a row they finish outside the playoffs and for the second time in as many season end up 13th in the conference. At some point hockey operations in San Jose has to realize the Roy Sommer era needs to end, and that some new blood in developing prospects might help them in winning the Stanley Cup.
Associate coach David Cunniff
Given a title bump before the season started and one of the final candidates for a vacant assistant coach job in San Jose over the summer its time to hand the reigns to Cunniff. He is the coach that specializes in the defenseman, and not too surprisingly that’s where many of San Jose’s better home-grown players have come from recently. The man deserves a chance, and it’s time the Sharks organization gave it to him
GM Wayne Thomas
Not sure how much more Thomas could have done this season. He went out and got what should have been solid players to start the season and signed some decent talent when the NHL lockout ended and Worcester needed bodies, but it all went for naught as the team once again missed the playoffs. This season, however, the only blame he’ll get is if he and San Jose GM Doug Wilson don’t make a coaching change here for the WorSharks during the off season.
WorSharks President Mike Mudd
Once again Mudd and his staff get this writer’s vote for the best in the AHL. There pretty much isn’t any more that can be said that I haven’t repeated multiple times already.
With the Worcester Sharks regular season campaign coming to an end without a playoff run for the third season in a row, it’s time to start with the end of season paperwork. Up first are the “210 Awards”. For those new to the “210 Awards”, they are a mix of serious and (hopefully) slightly humorous awards named for the moniker this writer uses on many message boards. This season’s winners are…
Best Forward: While some might think it’s lame to just name the team’s highest scorer as its best forward, for the WorSharks and Bracken Kearns it’s the right choice. With the departure of Tim Kennedy to San Jose Kearns was called upon night in and night out to generate offense on a club that was short on goal scorers. Kearns lead Worcester in goals, assists, and points. Kearns’ .7 points per game was second only to Kennedy (1.00) on the team.
Best Defenseman: In what was supposed to be the teams strength Worcester ended up dressing 17 blue liners, and none of them truly stood out head and shoulders above the rest. Had Matt Irwin played in more than 35 games this season he would have likely won the award simply because he was the player almost always against the opponent’s top line and the team was never really the same defensively after he left. So we’ll name rookie Matt Tennyson as the best defenseman as he was the most solid of the rest.
Tough Guy Award: There is no player on the WorSharks tougher to play against than Matt Pelech. Opponents do everything they can to avoid even getting near him knowing that he’s virtually impossible to get past without him blasting them into the boards. Bringing the same intensity at forward as he does on defense Pelech doesn’t look great statistically mostly because the AHL doesn’t officially track blocked shots. If they did he would most certainly he near the top of the list in that category.
Best Single Game Performance: Until last Friday night’s game in Wilkes-Barre Harri Sateri had this sewn up with his 50 save win against Providence on December 2nd, but then Freddie Hamilton came along and notched two shorthanded goals on the same penalty kill. Yeah, one of them was an empty netter, but it was still a big goal scored from his own end while the Penguins were throwing everything at the WorSharks.
Most Improved: When you look at James Livingston‘s points from last year to this you’d see they are virtually identical (7-13-20 this season vs 6-14-20 last). What the big difference is in plus/minus, which went from a (-1) to +12, and that is a direct result of improvements in every aspect of Livingston’s game. He settled in nicely to the third line checking role, and using a much more controlled physical game turned into one of the WorSharks best two way forwards.
Seventh Player: James Livingston. No contest here.
Rookie of the Year: Probably the toughest of all the awards to give out this season, in a close race it goes to Daniil Tarasov. While he lead all rookies in just about every offensive category it was the fact that opposing teams were usually putting their best defensive players on the ice against him that truly speaks to how good he really is. Entering the season Tarasov was on an AHL contract, but midway through the campaign San Jose signed him to an entry level deal that starts next season.
Most Valuable Player: Breaking a three year run of goaltenders winning the MVP award Bracken Kearns was undoubtedly not only the best player on the team all season but the one that when he wasn’t in the line-up was missed the most. He is an easy choice for the winner here.
The Sharkspage Player of the Year: Harri Sateri, for being named Sharkspage player of the game seven times this season, the most on the team.
So now that we’ve gotten the serious awards out of the way, here’s a few that this writer thinks should be handed out…
The Tom Cavanagh Award: If everything comes together this will likely become a real team award next season, but since right now the WorSharks don’t have an official award for perseverance and dedication to hockey we will add one here, and the first winner is goaltender Alex Stalock for his overcoming a potentially career threatening injury late in the 2010-2011 season. After missing almost a full season Stalock showed he was completely back from his injury by returning to his high level of play in the 2012-2013 campaign.
The Two-By-Two Award: Matt Tennyson, for having the most penalty minutes (44) without major.
The Iron Man Award: Freddie Hamilton for playing in all 76 regular season games.
The Man In The Box Award: For the first time we had a three way tie for this award with Adam Comrie, Nick Petrecki, and bench minors (yes, bench minors) being the reason Worcester was shorthanded when a power play goal was scored against them. Each was in the box five times, but Comrie “wins” the award due to fewer games played.
The Dead-Eye Award: Matt Irwin, for having the lowest shooting percentage of any player with 50 or more shots on goal (1 for 100, easy math says that’s 1%).
The Buzzer Beater Award: Freddie Hamilton, for his game tying goal vs Manchester on April 7th at 19:58.3 of the third period.
The Whose Jersey Is This? Award: Mike Banwell, Adam Comrie, Peter Sivak, and Rylan Schwartz all share this award, just as they all shared the #24 jersey this season.
The “It’s not how many, it’s when” Award: Nick Petrecki, who scored his only goal of the season against Springfield in overtime on January 11th.
The Welcome Back Award: Danny Groulx, who became the first player to leave the WorSharks and then return after playing for another organization. The funny thing is Groulx was traded midseason for Derek Joslin, who then became the second player to leave the organization and return.
The “35″ Award: Head coach Roy Sommer, who circled Harri Sateri’s number 35 in the starting line-up 12 times in a row this season. The only problem was it should have been 11, as the twelfth time he was supposed to circle Thomas Greiss’ number 1.
The “Don’t Tell That Story Again” Award: Matt Tennyson, for his slightly less than inspirational story at the WorSharks Booster Club Christmas Party
The WWE Award: The American Hockey League. Two separate groups of people asked this season if the AHL was fixed like wrestling. But the AHL doesn’t have an officiating problem, just ask them.
The SuperFan Award: Chris O’Shea, Worcester Sharks Booster Club treasurer, who made it to 67 of the WorSharks 76 games this season. The only two road cities she didn’t make it to this season were Norfolk and St. John’s.
The David Haas Award: For the sixth time in seven seasons, there is no winner of this “prestigious” award that goes to the player with the most talent that chooses to use none of it.
Historically the last award mentioned is the Haas, but last season we broke with tradition to give departing captain Mike Moore a shout out. This season we’re starting a new tradition and announcing a new award:
The Mike Moore Award: For the player that gives 100% every single shift no matter the score or the situation, and the inaugural Mike Moore Award goes to Matt Pelech. If you’ve seen him play in Worcester, you know why.
The Worcester Sharks final game was a lot like their whole 2012-2013 campaign, falling way behind early and then managing to rush forward to get back into it, only to trip up at the very end as the WorSharks dropped a 4-3 shootout contest to the Syracuse Crunch at the Onondaga County War Memorial at Oncenter in Syracuse, New York. Worcester got three out of a possible four points on the two game road trip to end their season.
Scratches for Worcester were Jimmy Bonneau, Yanni Gourde, Tommy Grant, Bracken Kearns, Christophe Lalancette, John McCarthy, Matt Pelech, Brodie Reid, Denny Urban, Marek Viedensky, and Dane Walters. Harri Sateri was the back-up netminder. With Lalancette being a scratch the WorSharks used an even 50 players in games this season, one off the team record. Only one player, Freddie Hamilton, skated in all 76 games this season.
The shootout loss dropped Worcester record to 31-34-4-7 for a .480 winning percentage, the second lowest in franchise history. It’s the second season in a row Worcester has failed to reach the .500 mark, and in the era of three point games that’s something that simply should never happen. This is also the third consecutive season the team has failed to win half its games played. With one day left in the AHL’s regular season the WorSharks sit 13th in the Eastern Conference and 26th overall. If St. John’s beats Toronto this afternoon Worcester will drop one spot in both the conference and league standings. Last season the WorSharks finished in nearly the same spots, 13th in the East and 27th in the AHL.
The three stars of the game were:
1. SYR – 28 Brett Connolly (g,a)
2. SYR – 9 Tyler Johnson (g)
3. WOR – 19 Daniil Tarasov (g)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Eriah Hayes.
Worcester 0 0 3 0 – 3
Syracuse 1 2 0 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Syracuse, Connolly 31 (Sexton, Barberio), 11:39. Penalties-Paradis Syr (roughing), 3:12; served by Gogol Wor (bench minor – too many men), 9:38; Lee Syr (holding), 14:13.
2nd Period-2, Syracuse, Devos 7 (Connolly, Namestnikov), 3:50. 3, Syracuse, Johnson 37 (Brown, Cote), 5:40. Penalties-Lee Syr (closing hand on puck), 14:54; Comrie Wor (interference), 15:11; Comrie Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 19:39.
3rd Period-4, Worcester, Gogol 4 (Comrie, Demelo), 6:37. 5, Worcester, Hayes 3 (Comrie, Tarasov), 8:20. 6, Worcester, Tarasov 14 12:26. Penalties-Hayes Wor (high-sticking), 2:21; Schwartz Wor (double minor – high-sticking), 10:46; Richard Syr (high-sticking), 12:07; Petrecki Wor (fighting), 15:57; Cote Syr (fighting), 15:57.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Worcester 0 (Tarasov NG, Hayes NG, Nieto NG), Syracuse 3 (Sexton G, Connolly G, Richard NG, Wyman G).
Shots on Goal-Worcester 7-7-8-0-0-22. Syracuse 8-11-7-3-1-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Syracuse 0 / 6.
Goalies-Worcester, Stalock 17-16-4 (29 shots-26 saves). Syracuse, Desjardins 15-18-3 (22 shots-19 saves).
Referees-David Banfield (77).
Linesmen-Justin Prusak (70), Jeff Walker (28).
The Worcester Sharks headed west for their final two games of the 2012-2013 season, and with nothing but pride left to play for got two late third period shorthanded goals from Freddie Hamilton to defeat the playoff bound Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 4-2 Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in front of 7,995 clearly stunned fans.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Mike Brennan, Curt Gogol, Yanni Gourde, Tommy Grant, Bracken Kearns, Christophe Lalancette, John McCarthy, Matt Pelech, Brodie Reid, Marek Viedensky, and Dane Walters. Lalancette is the only player to not see action so far, and if he does Saturday night he’ll become the 51st player to play for them this season. That would tie the team record for most players used in games over the course of the season with the 2000-01 squad, although technically in 2000-01 Worcester had a 52nd player dress for a game that didn’t play, PTO backup goaltender Billy Sauer.
It’s funny to listen to Penguins broadcaster Tom Grace talk about the Worcester Sharks in general and Alex Stalock specifically on the highlight video. Folks call me and WorSharks broadcaster Eric Lindquist “homers”, but holy moly Grace makes us look downright impartial.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 12 Freddie Hamilton (2shg/gwg)
2. WOR – 44 Adam Comrie (g,2a+3)
3. WBS – 26 Riley Holzapfel (g)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Rylan Schwartz.
Worcester 1 0 3 – 4
W-B/Scranton 1 0 1 – 2
1st Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Payerl 3 (Farnham, Gibbons), 3:08. 2, Worcester, Schwartz 1 (Comrie, Scheidl), 14:39. Penalties-Demelo Wor (hooking), 0:40; Payerl Wbs (high-sticking), 7:50; Doherty Wor (roughing, roughing), 16:16; Farnham Wbs (goaltender interference, roughing), 16:16.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Acolatse Wor (tripping), 2:46; Dumoulin Wbs (roughing), 12:14.
3rd Period-3, Worcester, Comrie 3 (Urban, Stalberg), 6:00 (PP). 4, W-B/Scranton, Holzapfel 21 (Dumoulin, Smith), 12:56. 5, Worcester, Hamilton 12 (Comrie), 18:06 (SH). 6, Worcester, Hamilton 13 (Demelo), 19:02 (SH EN). Penalties-Doherty Wor (interference), 3:24; Gibbons Wbs (goaltender interference), 5:00; Bonneau Wor (misconduct), 6:19; Doherty Wor (instigating, fighting, misconduct – instigating), 6:19; Petrecki Wor (fighting, game misconduct – secondary altercation), 6:19; Farnham Wbs (major – boarding, fighting, game misconduct – boarding), 6:19; Grant Wbs (fighting, game misconduct – secondary altercation), 6:19; Tarasov Wor (interference), 8:29; Schwartz Wor (roughing), 12:13; Kolarik Wbs (roughing), 12:13; Urban Wor (cross-checking), 17:08.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 9-7-9-25. W-B/Scranton 6-7-9-22.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 5; W-B/Scranton 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Stalock 17-16-3 (22 shots-20 saves). W-B/Scranton, Zatkoff 26-20-0 (24 shots-21 saves).
Referees-Jean Hebert (43).
Linesmen-Tom George (61), Scott Pomento (25).
The Worcester Sharks dug themselves a four goal hole in the first 25 minutes of Friday night’s contest against the Norfolk Admirals, but roared back with three of their own as team MVP Bracken Kearns, enforcer Matt Pelech, and newcomer and new fan favorite Riley Brace all lit the lamp to get the WorSharks within one, but that’s as close as it was get as Worcester couldn’t connect for another and dropped the game 4-3 at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 3,192 fans. The loss all but eliminates Worcester from the playoff chase.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Jimmy Bonneau, Mike Brennan, Adam Comrie (injured), Curt Gogol (injured), Yanni Gourde (injured), Christophe Lalancette, Brodie Reid (injured), Sebastian Stalberg, Denny Urban, Dane Walters, and Marek Viedensky (injured). Both Gourde (high ankle sprain) and Reid (shoulder) are out for the duration. The injury list may be growing a bit longer was captain John McCarthy didn’t return after being checked into the boards by Norfolk’s Patrick Maroon early in the first period. This writer won’t be shocked if tough guy Jimmy Bonneau replaces McCarthy in the line-up.
Sharkspage is saddened to read Bill Ballou reporting that linesmen Bob Paquette is retiring after the end of this season and that Friday was his last game in Worcester. Paquette, one of the more easily recognizable on ice officials, has been mentioned several times in this space over the years and is truly one of the best linesmen in the league.
ATO signee Riley Brace has become the second player in WorSharks history to score a goal in his first three pro games, joining Nate Raduns on the exclusive list. Raduns had a goal in each of his three first games and then added two more in his fourth for five goals in his first four games. Raduns also had an assist and went +5 over that span. Brace will need two goals and to go +3 on Saturday to match Raduns. Brace is out of luck in one category though as two of Raduns’ first three goals were game winners.
A personal note, if I may…those that follow me on twitter (@210Darryl) saw my tweet that said I had to walk away from the game for a short while because my nephew got hit with the puck late in the second period. The puck hit off the glass, hit a railing in front of him, and then hit him just under the eye. As a true hockey fan he saw he wasn’t bleeding and not being in any discomfort watched the rest of the period and then went to first aid “just in case”. After the application of an ice pack all is well and he ended up missing less of the game than I did. The WorSharks game staff, which I have heaped tons of praise on during numerous occasions, were outstanding during the whole episode. They were able to retrieve the puck for him (which had bounced away and under the seats) and had it signed by Mike Brennan.
The three stars of the game were
1. NOR – 23 Steven Whitney (2g)
2. NOR – 19 Patrick Maroon (2a)
3. WOR – 16 Bracken Kearns (g)
For the third game in a row the Sharkspage player of the game is Riley Brace.
Norfolk 2 2 0 – 4
Worcester 0 1 2 – 3
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Zolnierczyk 11 (Sarault), 12:29. 2, Norfolk, Whitney 2 (Clark, Maroon), 14:05. Penalties-Maroon Nor (fighting), 4:18; Kearns Wor (fighting), 4:18; Zolnierczyk Nor (tripping), 15:55; Crane Wor (slashing), 18:39.
2nd Period-3, Norfolk, Brittain 11 (Pelley, Letourneau-Leblond), 2:45. 4, Norfolk, Whitney 3 (Wagner, Maroon), 4:39. 5, Worcester, Kearns 21 (Tarasov, Schwartz), 12:01. Penalties-Whitney Nor (hooking), 7:42; Petrecki Wor (slashing), 12:40.
3rd Period-6, Worcester, Pelech 2 (Oleksuk, Acolatse), 3:27. 7, Worcester, Brace 3 4:05. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Norfolk 12-11-1-24. Worcester 12-17-13-42.
Power Play Opportunities-Norfolk 0 / 2; Worcester 0 / 2.
Goalies-Norfolk, Andersen 23-15-1 (42 shots-39 saves). Worcester, Stalock 16-15-3 (24 shots-20 saves).
Referees-Jeff Smith (49).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Bob Paquette (18).
The Worcester Sharks Booster Club held their 7th annual teams award ceremony Wednesday night at the DCU Center. The winners were:
Best offensive player: Bracken Kearns
Best defensive player: Sena Acolatse
“Tough Guy” award: Matt Pelech
Fan favorite: Alex Stalock
Rookie of the year: Daniil Tarasov
Seventh player award: James Livingston
Best single game performance: Harri Sateri, for his 50 save shootout win vs Providence on December 2, 2012
Most valuable player: Bracken Kearns
Voting was done in late March/early April by Booster Club members. Each winner received a small commemorative trophy.
The Worcester Sharks got 32 saves from goaltender Alex Stalock and goals from two amateur try-out players on their way to a 3-0 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers Tuesday night at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut to snap a franchise worse eight game winless streak.
Video courtesy of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers:
Press release courtesy of the Worcester Sharks:
Bridgeport, CT– The Worcester Sharks (30-31-3-6, 69pts) snapped a franchise worse eight game losing skid (0-6-2-0) with a 3-0 shutout victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (30-30-6-5, 71pts) on Tuesday evening in front of 5,378 fans at the Webster Bank Arena. With the win, the Sharks are now six points behind the 8th place Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with six games remaining.
Alex Stalock made 32 saves to surpass Thomas Greiss for his franchise leading 75th victory in a Worcester Sharks sweater. Riley Brace scored in his 2nd straight game for Worcester, Derek Joslin scored his 2nd as a Shark and Matt Nieto scored his 2nd professional goal in the win. Rylan Schwartz added an assist (Colorado College) and Eriah Hayes (Minnesota State-Mankato) each made their professional debuts for Worcester as the Sharks dressed 11 rookies.
Worcester scored the only goal in a quick moving first period to take a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes. Derek Joslin (4th) fried a puck from 50 feet through a screen at 15:15 past goaltender Rick DiPietro to give the Sharks a 1-0 edge. John McCarthy and Rylan Schwartz (1st pro point) picked up the helpers for Worcester. The Sharks outshot the Sound Tigers 10-7 in the first period.
The Sharks scored twice more in the second period to go ahead 3-0. Nick Petrecki sent a snap shot from the left point with Riley Brace (2nd) in front providing a screen and tip at 1:51 to put Worcester ahead 2-0. Dylan Demelo set up Matt Nieto (2nd) who then broke down the right side and ripped a shot past the glove of DiPietro at 19:05 to put the Sharks ahead 3-0. Alex Stalock had 15 saves through 40 minutes of play.
Bridgeport came out flying in the third period and had a goal disallowed with about seven minutes remaining. Slalock made several big saves as he saw 17 shots in final frame to preserve the shutout. After Taylor Doherty (4th FM) knocked down Matt Donovan (4th FM) with a series of rights at 19:49, a brawl almost broke out after the final horn as Brandon DeFazio jumped Travis Oleksuk after time expired.
Notes: FIVE GUYS BURGERS Three Stars: 3rd star: Matt Nieto (1-0-1) 2nd star: Derek Joslin (GWG) 1st star: Alex Stalock (32 save shutout)… Final shots were 32-28 in favor of Bridgeport… Rick DiPietro made 25 saves on 28 shots for Bridgeport… Alex Stalock made 32 saves on 32 shots for Worcester in the win…. Worcester went 0-for-3 on the power play, while Bridgeport went 0-for-6…Curt Gogol (inj), Adam Comrie (inj), Marek Viedensky (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Bracken Kearns (inj), Dane Walters (scr), Yanni Gourde (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Denny Urban (scr), and Brodie Reid (inj) did not dress for Worcester… with the one fight; the Sharks now have 78 through 70 games… on Monday, the San Jose Sharks reassigned forward Jon Matsumoto from Worcester to Chicago (AHL)…. With his roughing penalty in the 3rd period, Matt Pelech now has 1,000 penalty minutes in the AHL.
Worcester 1 2 0 – 3
Bridgeport 0 0 0 – 0
1st Period-1, Worcester, Joslin 4 (McCarthy, Schwartz), 15:15. Penalties-Acolatse Wor (hooking), 17:58; Donovan Bri (cross-checking), 18:51.
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Brace 2 (Petrecki, Livingston), 1:51. 3, Worcester, Nieto 2 (Demelo), 19:05. Penalties-served by Stalberg Wor (bench minor – too many men), 5:52; Sundstrom Bri (tripping), 11:13.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Demelo Wor (slashing), 4:03; Pelech Wor (roughing), 8:54; Sundstrom Bri (roughing), 8:54; served by DeFazio Bri (bench minor – too many men), 12:41; Hayes Wor (slashing), 14:52; Crane Wor (tripping), 18:29; Doherty Wor (elbowing, fighting), 19:49; Donovan Bri (fighting), 19:49; Oleksuk Wor (roughing), 20:00; DeFazio Bri (roughing, misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 10-12-6-28. Bridgeport 7-8-17-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Bridgeport 0 / 6.
Goalies-Worcester, Stalock 16-14-3 (32 shots-32 saves). Bridgeport, DiPietro 8-7-0 (28 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Jean Hebert (43).
Linesmen-Paul Simeon (66), Luke Galvin (2).
The Worcester Sharks once again found a way to lose two valuable points in the standings to a team they absolutely had to beat to keep their longshot playoff chances alive after surrendering another multi goal lead and then never getting back on track Tuesday night in dropping a 4-2 contest to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the DCU Center in front of the smallest crowd ever to catch a WorSharks game.
The scratches for Worcester Curt Gogol (ankle), Mike Brennan, Yanni Gourde, Marek Viedensky (upper body), Dane Walters, Lane Scheidl, and Brodie Reid (shoulder–out for season). Harri Sateri was the back-up goaltender.
The loss not only dropped the WorSharks playoff chances to around 5%–math is not this writer’s strong suit so someone smarter than he had to figure it out–it also spoiled the pro debut of one of the San Jose Sharks highest rated prospects Matt Nieto. The Boston University product left school with one year of eligibility remaining after BU was not one of the 16 teams selected to play for the NCAA championship. Nieto reportedly practiced with the line of Sebastian Stalberg and Freddie Hamilton, but Tuesday night played left wing on a line with John McCarthy and James Livingston. Ironically, Nieto’s first pro point came when he replaced Jon Matsumoto on a line change and had the secondary assist on Hamilton’s goal. Nieto got time on Worcester’s second power play unit and was part of the penalty killers in the third period.
Matt Nieto in his pro debut with the Worcester Sharks on April 2, 2013.
Photo courtesy of TEAMSHRED
The WorSharks even strength lines, courtesy of Michael Fornabaio of the CT Post:
The three stars of the game were
1. BRI – 18 Ryan Strome (g,a)
2. BRI – 32 Joe Diamond (g,a)
3. WOR – 40 Matt Nieto (a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Daniil Tarasov.
Bridgeport 1 2 1 – 4
Worcester 2 0 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Worcester, Tarasov 10 (Sivak, Kearns), 1:26. 2, Worcester, Hamilton 10 (Stalberg, Nieto), 6:54. 3, Bridgeport, Strome 1 (Nelson), 17:59. Penalties-Riley Bri (roughing), 1:26; Bonneau Wor (roughing), 1:26; Riley Bri (fighting), 3:29; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 3:29; Persson Bri (goaltender interference), 11:08.
2nd Period-4, Bridgeport, Wishart 6 (Backman, Sundstrom), 2:16. 5, Bridgeport, Diamond 1 (Strome), 19:07. Penalties-Strome Bri (high-sticking), 4:26.
3rd Period-6, Bridgeport, DeFazio 11 (Campbell, Ness), 5:10. Penalties-Diamond Bri (boarding, fighting), 0:35; Doherty Wor (fighting), 0:35; Acolatse Wor (boarding), 5:47; McIver Bri (fighting), 8:10; Doherty Wor (fighting), 8:10; Livingston Wor (boarding), 8:52; Persson Bri (elbowing), 10:59; Matsumoto Wor (holding the stick), 12:21; served by Nieto Wor (bench minor – too many men), 18:51.
Shots on Goal-Bridgeport 14-9-12-35. Worcester 11-8-6-25.
Power Play Opportunities-Bridgeport 0 / 4; Worcester 0 / 4.
Goalies-Bridgeport, DiPietro 6-5-0 (25 shots-23 saves). Worcester, Stalock 15-13-3 (35 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Geoff Miller (28).
Linesmen-Joe Ross (92), Brian MacDonald (72).
The Worcester Sharks were cruising along after three straight goals in the late second period and early third gave them a 4-2 lead and looked to have the game well in hand being backstopped by NHL netminder Thomas Greiss down on a conditioning assignment, but once again a team showed what happens when you take your foot off the accelerator as the St John’s IceCaps were able to race by them with two late third period goals and then a quick tally in overtime to defeat the WorSharks Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 4,143 stunned fans
Curt Gogol, Mike Brennan, Marek Viedensky, Dane Walters, Lane Scheidl, and Brodie Reid did not dress for Worcester. Prior to the game Matt Tennyson took the Worcester shuttle out west for the first time.
Just after both anthems were sung and while members of the Worcester Sharks Booster Club were at center ice handing out Player of the Month Awards (December’s was Daniil Tarasov, January’s was Harri Sateri) it was noticed that Thomas Greiss, the announced starter, was heading toward the WorSharks bench and Sateri was skating to take over the net. Greiss then went just a little bit down the player tunnel and began stretching his left shoulder, and then after a few moments he sat down on a stool in the runway and just sat there waiting with his mask on. 51 seconds later after the first whistle of the game Greiss skated back on the ice and relieved Sateri in net. There was no official explanation given by the Worcester Sharks for what happened, although there are rumors abound that Greiss purposely skated off so Sateri could start, extending his starting streak to 12 games.
The 12 game starting streak by Sateri bests his personal mark of 11 (from March 18 to April 13 last season), and is just four behind the WorSharks regular season team record for goaltender starts currently held by Greiss at 16 that he set from March 13 until the end of the 2008-2009 regular season on April 11. Greiss then tacked on 12 playoff starts to make the overall record an incredible 28 consecutive starts. Greiss also has a streak of 22 games in a row where he received the decision, but one of those games was a relief appearance against the Hershey Bears on March 16, 2007 when Dimitri Patzold gave up four goals in the first period and in a wild game Greiss eventually won 7-6 in a shootout.
The overtime loss now puts Worcester seven points out of the final playoff spot with 11 games to go, but they do have at least a game in hand–in most cases two–on everyone between them an eighth place. The big issue they face is they need to climb over four teams to get there and they play one of the toughest remaining schedules in the AHL. The WorSharks also need to land in eighth all by themselves as they don’t appear to own the tiebreaker against any of the teams they are competing against. People smarter than this writer, which is not exactly a small subset, say Worcester’s chances are well under 20%. No matter the actual number, it’s a long shot at best.
Matt Pelech’s roughing minor in the second period gave the defenseman turned forward 212 penalty minutes on the season, setting a new team record. The previous record was held by Brennan Evans, set during the 2007-08 campaign. Pelech has some work to do to set the city mark, which is 337 set by Sylvain Blouin in 1999-2000 for the Worcester IceCats. The odd part about Blouin’s season is not only did he set his personal high in penalty minutes that campaign but also set career marks in goals (16), assists (17), and points (34). He then tacked on 3-5-8 and 30PIMs in 8 playoff games. That’s a pretty good season for anyone, not just an enforcer type player.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 16 Bracken Kearns (2g,a)
2. STJ – 49 Ben Maxwell (2g,a)
3. STJ – 23 Will O’Neill (g,a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Daniil Tarasov.
St. John’s 1 1 2 1 – 5
Worcester 1 1 2 0 – 4
1st Period-1, Worcester, Sivak 3 (Tarasov, Kearns), 3:29. 2, St. John’s, Gregoire 10 14:41 (SH). Penalties-Ezekiel Stj (fighting), 2:24; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 2:24; Petrecki Wor (cross-checking), 5:22; Gourde Wor (boarding), 10:01; Sol Stj (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:42; Bonneau Wor (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 13:42; Cullity Stj (cross-checking), 13:55.
2nd Period-3, St. John’s, Gagnon 11 (Maxwell, Chiarot), 1:41. 4, Worcester, Kearns 18 (Tarasov, Doherty), 17:26. Penalties-Sol Stj (roughing), 4:10; Ezekiel Stj (roughing, unsportsmanlike conduct), 7:34; Pelech Wor (roughing), 7:34; Petrecki Wor (roughing), 14:08.
3rd Period-5, Worcester, Matsumoto 14 5:40 (TXT_PS). 6, Worcester, Kearns 19 (Stalberg, Tarasov), 7:33. 7, St. John’s, O’Neill 2 (Mouillierat), 17:16. 8, St. John’s, Maxwell 8 (O’Neill, Cullity), 19:07. Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period-9, St. John’s, Maxwell 9 (Gagnon, Pasquale), 0:23. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-St. John’s 9-10-7-1-27. Worcester 14-10-9-1-34.
Power Play Opportunities-St. John’s 0 / 3; Worcester 0 / 3.
Goalies-St. John’s, Pasquale 15-21-4 (34 shots-30 saves). Worcester, Sateri 14-17-3 (0 shots-0 saves); Greiss 0-1-0 (27 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Geno Binda (22).
Linesmen-Bob Paquette (18), Todd Whittemore (70).
The Worcester Sharks, who despite allowing goals in the final minute of two different periods and coughing up a two goal lead, got goals from five different first year AHL players and points from four more to give them a 5-3 win over the Providence Bruins Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 6,557 fans to keep the WorSharks slim playoff hopes alive.
The Sharks celebrate a goal by Peter Sivak, right, in the third period. (Photo Courtesy: T&G Staff/STEVE LANAVA)
Early in the contest the defense ruled as both squads really clamped down in their own end and shots–never mind scoring chances–were at a premium. With the defensive feel to the game it wasn’t that shocking when a nice play from a blueliner set up the first goal. Worcester had the puck in the PBruins zone but really couldn’t get anything going, and just when it looked like Providence was going to break out of their zone WorSharks defenseman Matt Tennyson stood his ground and poked the puck away from PBruins forward Alexander Fallstrom right on to the stick of Yanni Gourde. The quick turnaround allowed Freddie Hamilton to be all alone in the slot behind the Providence defense, and Gourde’s perfect pass right to the tape of Hamilton’s stick gave Hamilton ample time to throw a little deke at PBruins goaltender Michael Hutchinson and then beat Hutchinson to the far post for the 1-0 lead at 16:09.
One of the big unwritten rules of hockey is don’t give up goals in the first or last minute of periods, and this season the WorSharks have found lots of different ways to break that rule. In the first period it happened after Matt Pelech just absolutely destroyed Providence center Kyle MacKinnon with a nice open ice hit in the Worcester end. That check unfortunately opened a passing lane for defenseman Kevan Miller, who had skated down toward the goal line to the left of Worcester netminder Harri Sateri, to the high slot where winger Jamie Tardif was waiting for the pass. Tardif’s laser through traffic beat Sateri with 42.2 seconds remaining in the period.
Tennyson would grab his second assist of the game when John McCarthy outraced PBruins defenseman Garnet Exelby to a loose puck behind the Providence net after Tennyson’s pass up the right wing boards was too hot to handle and was going to be an icing call. Newcomer Peter Sivak, signed to a PTO contract earlier this week out of the WorSharks ECHL affiliate in San Fransisco, trailed the play down the right wing side and when McCarthy got full control Sivak went right to the net. McCarthy’s nice pass from the corner hit Sivak in stride, and the 13 year pro playing in his first season in North American and just his second AHL contest snapped a hard wrist shot from the low circle over the left shoulder of Hutchinson and just inside the corner of the net at 3:33 of the second period for the 2-1 lead.
Travis Oleksuk would give Worcester a 3-1 lead when his hard work in front of the net battling PBruins defenseman David Warsofsky paid off. Taylor Doherty, not exactly known great offensive skills, took a cross ice feed and fired a low, hard shot toward the front of the net where Oleksuk was providing a screen. The shot hit Oleksuk and bounded away off the end boards. Lane Scheidl, an amateur tryout signee from the Regina Pats (WHL) who had been streaking through the slot just prior to the shot, retrieved the puck and with no better option fired it back on net from a bad angle. Hutchinson was totally square to the bid and made the easy save, but the rebound went right back to the slot where Oleksuk banged it home at 10:57.
But nothing has come easy for the WorSharks this season, and as has happened too many times this season Worcester allowed an opponent back into the game by giving up a couple goals late in periods. The first went to Carter Camper, who was so wide open in the lower part of the left wing circle that the closest person to him was sitting in the stands. Camper one-timed Miller’s feed into a yawning net at 16:04 to make it 3-2. The PBruins would get back to even on a power play score with just 12 seconds remaining in the middle period when Torey Krug beat Sateri blocker side.
The early part of the third period was all Providence with the WorSharks hardly ever possessing the puck in the PBruins end, and not having much possession time in the neutral zone either. Worcester didn’t register a shot in the stanza until the 11 minute mark, but no one would classify that bid as anything resembling a legitimate scoring chance. Despite being outplayed all over the sheet the score remained tied, and when Sebastian Stalberg raced into the Providence zone and was hooked down by Miller it gave Worcester its second power play chance of the game. Fate being what it is it was Stalberg that would convert the opportunity into a 4-3 lead when he fed McCarthy and the captain took the puck to the net. McCarthy couldn’t get at the near post so he attempted to throw a pass through the slot to Bracken Kearns–and got buried by Exelby for his troubles–but the puck deflected right to Stalberg’s back hand. In a goal scorers move Stalberg froze the puck and wheeled to his forehand and beat Hutchinson low glove side at 15:04. Derek Joslin had the secondary assist on the goal.
As soon as the puck beat him Hutchinson appealed the play to referee Jamie Koharski apparently looking for a goaltender interference call on McCarthy, but Koharski adamantly signalled it was a good goal and pointed at Exelby as if to indicate Exelby had checked McCarthy into Hutchinson. The video shows that McCarthy never actually hit Hutchinson, that he instead hit the post and fell behind the net.
With the ice tilted again toward the Worcester end the WorSharks fans were hoping Sateri was up to the challenge, but out of the blue Denny Urban turned nothing into something when he skated down the left wing side and threw a soft backhander on Hutchinson. It’s a play that really was just putting the puck on net hoping something good would happen, and when that something happened the red light went on and Urban threw a fist pump in celebration that might have knocked out Mike Tyson. Sena Acolatse and Daniil Tarasov were credited with the assist on the goal at 18:39.
It took Providence a long while to get Hutchinson out of the net, and when they did it was Tarasov that had the best bid, but his shot after wheeling the net rang off the iron. From that point on the PBruins were just going through the motions and when the final horn sounded Worcester grabbed two badly needed points in regulation.
The only change in the line-up from Friday night was Derek Joslin replaced Nick Petrecki on the blue line.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 8 Sebastian Stalberg (gwg)
2. WOR – 5 Matt Tennyson (2a)
3. PRO – 28 Kevan Miller (2a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was John McCarthy
Providence 1 2 0 – 3
Worcester 1 2 2 – 5
1st Period-1, Worcester, Hamilton 9 (Gourde, Tennyson), 16:09. 2, Providence, Tardif 27 (Miller, MacKinnon), 19:17. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-3, Worcester, Sivak 1 (McCarthy, Tennyson), 3:33. 4, Worcester, Oleksuk 3 (Scheidl, Doherty), 10:57. 5, Providence, Camper 7 (Miller, Cunningham), 16:04. 6, Providence, Krug 10 (Cunningham, Cohen), 19:48 (PP). Penalties-Exelby Pro (slashing), 7:36; Matsumoto Wor (hooking), 19:02.
3rd Period-7, Worcester, Stalberg 10 (McCarthy, Joslin), 15:04 (PP). 8, Worcester, Urban 4 (Acolatse, Tarasov), 18:39. Penalties-Miller Pro (hooking), 14:24.
Shots on Goal-Providence 8-12-11-31. Worcester 7-7-6-20.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 1 / 1; Worcester 1 / 2.
Goalies-Providence, Hutchinson 9-13-3 (20 shots-15 saves). Worcester, Sateri 14-14-3 (31 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Jamie Koharski (84), Jeff Smith (49).
Linesmen-Bob Paquette (18), Ed Boyle (81).
The Worcester Sharks bussed an hour west down the Massachusetts Turnpike where their goal scoring woes continued, and the WorSharks inability to put the puck in the net despite having great scoring chances coupled with an early game brain cramp by Worcester’s top defensive pair lead to a painful 2-1 loss to the Springfield Falcons Friday night at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.
As you can see from the highlight video WorSharks defenseman Adam Comrie thought the play that resulted in the Falcons first goal was going to be whistled dead for icing, and you can also see WorSharks netminder Harri Sateri with his arm up to indicate to Comrie it was going to be icing. But there’s an old adage that says “play until the whistle blows” and Worcester did not do that. Notice that the Falcons did, and that’s how they jumped out to that early 1-0 lead. Several players indicated post game that there was no wave-off of the icing call, but the fact of the matter is there was no wave off because icing was never going to be called. For proof of that we take a still from the video, which clearly shows the linesman signaling the play onside instead of chasing the play which would be the usual for an impending icing call.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Gogol, Viedensky, Brennan, Bonneau, and Reid. Thomas Heemskerk was the back-up goaltender.
The Worcester line-up had two new faces, with Peter Sivak being signed to a PTO earlier in the week from San Francisco (ECHL) and Lane Scheidl being signed to an ATO now that his junior season with the Regina Pats is over. Both players got into the boxscore the wrong way as they each were whistled for a minor. Sivak was called for an automatic delay of game minor for accidentally shooting the puck out of play in his defensive end. This writer is on record many times saying this is an incredibly silly rule, and Sivak’s minor again proves that point as his intent was to bank the puck off the glass not to clear the puck but to send his line mate off on a breakaway. Scheidl’s minor was about as weak of a goaltender interference call as you will ever see when he brushed by Falcons netminder Curtis McElhinney after shooting the puck wide and with the play rushing off in the opposite direction.
Earlier in the day the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks made a trade of AHL loans when the Sharks sent Danny Groulx to the Chicago Wolves and Vancouver reassigned former WorSharks defenseman Derek Joslin to Worcester. Each player will remain the property of their loaning organization. On paper this “trade” seems a little one-sided in the favor of the Wolves, but the WorSharks organization is very excited to have Joslin back in the fold. When asked if there was a locker room issue with Groulx that led to the trade the WorSharks were adamant that there wasn’t and that Groulx has been a very good team player, which from personal experience with Groulx is undoubtedly a true statement. Only John McCarthy and Nick Petrecki remain with the team since the last time Joslin was here, although presuming Alex Stalock returns he’ll be added to that list. Joslin should be on the ice Saturday vs Providence, and upon learning he would be facing the PBruins reportedly Joslin was very excited to suit up against a team he historically has done well against. Groulx made his debut with Chicago last night, and as always seems to happen notched two assist in the contest.
The three stars of the game were
1. SPR – 30 Curtis McElhinney (win, 25 saves)
2. SPR – 5 Nick Holden (g)
3. SPR – 17 Sean (B.) Collins (g,a)
Ordinarily the Sharkspage player of the game would go to Comrie for the WorSharks lone goal, but his brain cramp the lead to the Falcons score takes him out of consideration. So it looks like the next best candidate is James Livingston.
Worcester 0 0 1 – 1
Springfield 1 1 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Springfield, Collins 8 (Machacek), 0:13. Penalties-Moon Spr (interference), 13:01; Scheidl Wor (goaltender interference), 15:48.
2nd Period-2, Springfield, Holden 6 (Craig, Collins), 16:24 (PP). Penalties-Sivak Wor (delay of game), 1:22; Holden Spr (closing hand on puck), 6:44; Audy-Marchessault Spr (slashing), 9:15; Pelech Wor (fighting), 13:01; Petrecki Wor (roughing), 13:01; Moon Spr (roughing), 13:01; Smith Spr (fighting), 13:01; Acolatse Wor (cross-checking), 15:48; Craig Spr (hooking), 17:48.
3rd Period-3, Worcester, Comrie 2 (Livingston, Gourde), 9:03. Penalties-Matsumoto Wor (hooking), 9:26; Helmer Spr (hooking), 11:37; Tennyson Wor (hooking), 19:12.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 12-6-8-26. Springfield 10-6-5-21.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 5; Springfield 1 / 5.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 13-14-3 (21 shots-19 saves). Springfield, McElhinney 25-13-3 (26 shots-25 saves).
Referees-T.J. Luxmore (49).
Linesmen-Luke Galvin (2), Frank Murphy (29).
The Worcester Sharks played twenty minutes of great hockey Friday night, unfortunately it was just about all in the final period after they were already trailing by two goals, and despite having a six skater on three advantage late in the third period couldn’t get the game tying goal and eventually dropped a 5-3 decision to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of 5,865 fans.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Mike Brennan (lower body), Jimmy Bonneau, Marek Viedensky (undisclosed, “banged up” was how it was described), and Brodie Reid (shoulder). Curt Gogol went awkwardly into the boards during the first period and went off to the locker room. After an attempt to play later in the period Gogol returned to the locker room and did not return. James Livingston took a stick up high that required some stitches, but returned to play and score a goal. Thomas Heemskerk once again did a stellar job opening and closing the bench door for Worcester.
There were some comments on social media after the game from some fans criticizing Worcester head coach Roy Sommer not returning Harri Sateri to the WorSharks net with a face-off deep in the Worcester zone with 11 seconds remaining in regulation, which resulted in Penguins center Warren Peters getting an easy empty net goal after winning the face-off. This writer has been a critic of many of Sommer’s coaching decisions in the past, but no one should fault him for leaving Sateri out of the net and going with a five skater on four advantage. The entire game comes down to winning that face-off, Worcester didn’t, and they lost. The empty net goal is irrelevant there to the equation.
A review of the game video may be in order to confirm this, but it appeared that in at least in the third period the Penguins were using left winger Chris Collins to shadow WorSharks forward Daniil Tarasov. It was either that or an odd coincidence that every time Tarasov was on the ice in the final period Collins was on the ice and about five feet away. If you look at the boxscore you’d think Tarasov had a poor game, no points, minus-two, 4 PIM), but the rookie had two great break-ups on back-checks to break up odd man rushes and deflected a couple long passes in the neutral zone to turn the play back toward the Wilkes-Barre end that don’t appear on the stat sheet.
The three stars of the game were
1. WBS – 23 Trevor Smith (2a)
2. WBS – 26 Riley Holzapfel (g,a)
3. WOR – 21 Travis Oleksuk (2a)
The Sharkspage player of the game was James Livingston.
W-B/Scranton 1 3 1 – 5
Worcester 0 1 2 – 3
1st Period-1, W-B/Scranton, Reese 6 (Dumoulin, Smith), 14:48 (PP). Penalties-Petrecki Wor (double minor – high-sticking), 11:29; Gourde Wor (closing hand on puck), 13:39.
2nd Period-2, W-B/Scranton, Kolarik 23 (Holzapfel, Smith), 3:07 (PP). 3, W-B/Scranton, Thompson 15 (Mormina, Peters), 3:30. 4, Worcester, Gourde 8 (Oleksuk, Livingston), 3:44. 5, W-B/Scranton, Holzapfel 17 (Kolarik, Grant), 16:35. Penalties-Comrie Wor (interference), 1:26; Collins Wbs (roughing), 4:04; Mormina Wbs (holding), 10:44; Samuelsson Wbs (interference), 20:00.
3rd Period-6, Worcester, Livingston 6 (Oleksuk, Doherty), 2:33. 7, Worcester, Matsumoto 13 (Kearns), 15:05. 8, W-B/Scranton, Peters 11 19:52 (EN). Penalties-Tarasov Wor (high-sticking), 0:19; Doherty Wor (slashing), 10:18; Peters Wbs (roughing), 17:45; Smith Wbs (slashing), 19:10; Tarasov Wor (high-sticking), 19:49.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 11-10-8-29. Worcester 12-10-15-37.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 2 / 6; Worcester 0 / 5.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Thiessen 14-10-1 (37 shots-34 saves). Worcester, Sateri 13-13-3 (28 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Trent Knorr (44), Ryan Fraser (14).
Linesmen-Todd Whittemore (70), Kevin Redding (16).
The Worcester Sharks went into Wednesday night’s contest in the middle of the pack on special teams but managed to score four power play goals against the American Hockey League’s best penalty killing team and go a perfect five for five while shorthanded en route to a 5-1 victory over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of an intimate crowd of 2,419.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Mike Brennan (lower body), Jimmy Bonneau, Brodie Reid (shoulder), and Denny Urban. Thomas Heemskerk was the back-up goaltender.
The real turning point in the contest started with Taylor Doherty getting called for a pretty weak tripping call and thirteen seconds later Matt Tennyson losing his cool and getting a well deserved minor for roughing, both with a little less than six minutes remaining in the opening period. The Worcester penalty killers really played well while down two men, with the best scoring chance for either team being Marek Viedensky breaking in on Penguins goaltender and usual WorSharks killer Jeff Zatkoff. Viedensky looked to have Zatkoff beat for the rare goal down two skaters, but Wilkes-Barre defenseman Joe Morrow just got a piece of the shot to deflect it away. A little later during the kill captain John McCarthy showed a physical side you don’t normally see by clearing out two Penguins attackers from in front of Worcester netminder Harri Sateri.
The goal posts got a good work out in the game, with my unofficial count having the teams combine for six shots off the iron. Two of them were very loud ringers, a sound that’s great when you’re on defense and not so great while on offense.
This writer was joined for the early portions of the third period by WorSharks Senior Director of Business & Community Development Mike Myers, who like this writer was in awe at Adam Comrie’s lob pass to Bracken Kearns on Worcester’s fourth goal. The video, which is shot from the radio booth located at the same height at the first row of seats in the upper 200 sections, does not adequately show how high Comrie really got that pass. And then to see it land almost perfectly in the exact right spot was astonishing. A true highlight goal.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 16 Bracken Kearns (2g,a)
2. WOR – 44 Adam Comrie (g,3a)
3. WOR – 25 Marek Viedensky (g, solid on PK)
The Sharkspage player of the game was John McCarthy.
W-B/Scranton 0 0 1 – 1
Worcester 0 2 3 – 5
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Grant Wbs (high-sticking), 1:53; Comrie Wor (hooking), 2:08; Gibbons Wbs (interference), 3:19; Kolarik Wbs (slashing), 5:42; Doherty Wor (tripping), 14:36; Tennyson Wor (roughing), 14:49; Thompson Wbs (slashing), 19:10.
2nd Period-1, Worcester, Viedensky 4 (McCarthy, Comrie), 0:16 (PP). 2, Worcester, Tarasov 9 (Gourde, Hamilton), 16:13 (PP). Penalties-McCarthy Wor (hooking), 7:12; Holzapfel Wbs (hooking), 14:48.
3rd Period-3, Worcester, Comrie 1 (McCarthy, Kearns), 9:20 (PP). 4, W-B/Scranton, Peters 10 (Morrow, Samuelsson), 10:32. 5, Worcester, Kearns 16 (Comrie, Sateri), 11:46. 6, Worcester, Kearns 17 (Comrie, Tarasov), 13:44 (PP). Penalties-Pelech Wor (interference), 6:50; Morrow Wbs (slashing), 8:59; Sill Wbs (interference), 12:17; MacIntyre Wbs (roughing, roughing, misconduct), 17:55; Pelech Wor (roughing, misconduct), 17:55.
Shots on Goal-W-B/Scranton 13-6-10-29. Worcester 15-13-12-40.
Power Play Opportunities-W-B/Scranton 0 / 5; Worcester 4 / 8.
Goalies-W-B/Scranton, Zatkoff 19-18-0 (40 shots-35 saves). Worcester, Sateri 13-12-3 (29 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Trevor Hanson (47), Jamie Koharski (84).
Linesmen-Kiel Murchison (79), Robert St. Lawrence (10).
The Worcester Sharks have had issues the last couple weeks putting the puck into the net, but Sunday against Portland it all seemed to come together for the WorSharks as four different players lit the lamp and 11 total players notched points during a 5-3 win over the Pirates at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of a crowd of 3,604 that sounded like ten thousand with each passing goal.
Not only did Worcester light the lamp five times they also hit the posts behind Pirates goalie Chad Johnson four times, with Freddie Hamilton doing it twice within a couple minutes. It has been a long time since the WorSharks swarmed the net like they did Sunday, and if they want to make the playoffs that’s the way they’re going to need to play.
Head coach Roy Sommer only made one change from Saturday night’s line-up, with Jimmy Bonneau taking Tommy Grant’s place in the line-up. Bonneau got into it with Joel Rechlicz at the 16:33 mark of the opening period, and this writer won’t be shocked if Rechlicz gets a phone call from the AHL over his abuse of linesman Todd Whittemore. The general consensus along press row was that Rechlicz should have gotten a game misconduct for his actions.
The regular season series between the WorSharks and Pirates is over, with Worcester going 6-5-0-1 against the division rivals. In the 12 games 26 different WorSharks players scored points against Portland.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 44 Adam Comrie (2a)
2. POR – 18 Jordan Martinook (g,a)
3. WOR – 26 James Livingston (g)
The Sharkspage player of the game is Bracken Kearns.
Portland 0 1 2 – 3
Worcester 2 1 2 – 5
1st Period-1, Worcester, Livingston 5 (Gogol, Oleksuk), 5:11. 2, Worcester, Kearns 14 (Groulx, Comrie), 16:39 (PP). Penalties-Rechlicz Por (unsportsmanlike conduct, fighting), 16:33; Bonneau Wor (fighting), 16:33; Gormley Por (cross-checking), 18:42.
2nd Period-3, Worcester, Tarasov 8 (Petrecki, Tennyson), 5:55. 4, Portland, Rundblad 7 (Gormley, Martinook), 11:14 (PP). Penalties-served by Stalberg Wor (bench minor – too many men), 2:57; Comrie Wor (tripping), 10:21.
3rd Period-5, Portland, Bolduc 21 (Dziurzynski, Brodeur), 0:43. 6, Portland, Martinook 6 (Szwarz, Miele), 1:34. 7, Worcester, Viedensky 3 (Comrie, Hamilton), 1:57. 8, Worcester, Kearns 15 (Hamilton, Doherty), 18:56 (EN). Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Portland 14-11-7-32. Worcester 13-5-9-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Portland 1 / 2; Worcester 1 / 2.
Goalies-Portland, Johnson 15-12-1 (26 shots-22 saves). Worcester, Sateri 12-12-3 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Jeff Smith (49), Chris Brown (86).
Linesmen-Kiel Murchison (79), Todd Whittemore (70).
The Worcester Sharks finally broke their long drought of even strength goals with tallies by Sebastian Stalberg, Freddie Hamilton, and John McCarthy, but the lack of an real goal scoring reared its ugly head in the shootout where defenseman-playing-forward Denny Urban was the lone WorSharks skater to light the lamp as Worcester went a woeful 1-7 for the bonus point round to drop a 4-3 contest to the Providence Bruins Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts in front of a crowd of 7,804.
Apparently there was some confusion and controversy about Trent Whitfield’s shootout goal against WorSharks netminder Harri Sateri, where the goal light didn’t go on and it took until referee Terry Koharski skated past the red line and pointed at center ice for it to be official, but from where this writer sits it was clearly a goal as both Sateri and the puck ended up in the net. To paraphrase rule 24, which is the penalty shot rule that shootouts are governed by, the shot is not complete until the puck stops or crosses the goal line. The puck obviously crossed the goal line and entered the net before it stopped, therefore it was a goal. The confusion stemmed from neither referee signalling goal and the goal light not going on. Neither of those things happening doesn’t change the fact the puck was in the net.
The goal by Stalberg at 7:40 of the first period ended the WorSharks streak of minutes with an even strength goal at 201:27. The time between Stalberg’s and Hamilton’s even strength tallies was just 25:22, but it could have been just seconds were it not for PBruins goaltender Niklas Svedberg, who made about a dozen really nice saves. Svedberg was fighting the puck all night and giving up some juicy rebounds, but the WorSharks couldn’t convert on any of them. At the other end of the ice Sateri was just as good, having no chance at all on either of Craig Cunningham’s backdoor power play goals.
Someone will need to explain to me why Worcester changed lines with 13 seconds left in regulation and breaking into the Providence zone. This is not a single time occurrence either, it’s a long running issue of terrible line changes and line changes at times that make no sense to anyone with an ounce of hockey knowledge. And while the roster doesn’t have a whole lot of goal scorers on it perhaps putting Curt Gogol, Travis Oleksuk, James Livingston, and Taylor Doherty all on the ice down a goal and with less than four minutes remaining in regulation might not be the best strategy.
A good rule of thumb is referee Koharski is going to have 55 minutes of calling a decent game and five minutes where it’s like he’s never seen the game before. Unfortunately for the WorSharks that’s exactly what happened with quick consecutive minors to Adam Comrie (cross-checking) and Freddie Hamilton (hooking). were both of them really penalties? Maybe, maybe not. But considering what was let go by Koharski and fellow referee Trevor Hanson both before and after those calls neither should have been called. This is one of the issues this writer has had for a long time in the AHL–consistent call levels. Maybe someday someone from the AHL will be interested in speaking to me about it.
More on referee Hanson; he appeared to injure himself trying to avoid the play deep Providence zone early in the third period and really labored in his skating afterward. Hanson is scheduled to work the Connecticut at Providence game Sunday afternoon so it will be interesting to see if he is able to work that game.
It’s been a long time since the Worcester Shuttle was this busy, with Bracken Kearns heading to San Jose and back again. Goaltender Alex Stalock was recalled Friday as Thomas Greiss is day to day with a neck injury, and San Jose apparently though Stalock needed some help carrying his bags so they summoned Matt Pelech to take the flight too. Thomas Heemskerk was brought in from the Sharks’ ECHL affiliate in San Fransisco to wear a ball cap and open and close the bench door.
Worcester had just one healthy scratch, Jimmy Bonneau. PTO defenseman Mike Brennan (lower body) and Brodie Reid (shoulder) comprise the injury list. While the WorSharks have issued no recent updates about Reid’s shoulder the buzz is it appears this is not a short term injury and might be bad enough to end Reid’s season.
What would have been an odd fight never materialized as both Providence forward Bobby Robins and WorSharks defenseman Sena Acolatse were wearing full face cages to protect facial injuries. This writer occasionally points out other blogs, and Robins’ blog is a great one. It’s worth the time to check it out.
The three stars of the game were
1. PRO – 14 Craig Cunningham (2g)
2. WOR – 7 John McCarthy (gtg)
3. PRO – 1 Niklas Svedberg (45 saves)
The Sharkspage player of the game is Harri Sateri.
Providence 0 2 1 0 – 4
Worcester 1 1 1 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Worcester, Stalberg 9 (Urban, Grant), 7:40. Penalties-Miller Pro (hooking), 1:16; Tarasov Wor (slashing), 19:06.
2nd Period-2, Providence, Cunningham 19 (Krug, Bourque), 0:21 (PP). 3, Providence, Cunningham 20 (Bourque, Krug), 11:39 (PP). 4, Worcester, Hamilton 8 (Oleksuk, Sateri), 13:02. Penalties-Gogol Wor (hooking), 2:15; Comrie Wor (cross-checking), 10:16; Hamilton Wor (hooking), 10:53.
3rd Period-5, Providence, Hanson 9 (Bartkowski, Florek), 16:36. 6, Worcester, McCarthy 9 (Kearns, Tarasov), 19:00. Penalties-No Penalties
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Providence 2 (Sauve NG, Tardif NG, Bourque NG, Spooner NG, Cunningham G, Mink NG, Whitfield G), Worcester 1 (Matsumoto NG, Urban G, Tarasov NG, Viedensky NG, Oleksuk NG, Acolatse NG, Hamilton NG).
Shots on Goal-Providence 13-15-11-3-1-43. Worcester 15-11-17-5-0-48.
Power Play Opportunities-Providence 2 / 4; Worcester 0 / 1.
Goalies-Providence, Svedberg 28-7-2 (48 shots-45 saves). Worcester, Sateri 11-12-3 (42 shots-39 saves).
Referees-Terry Koharski (10), Trevor Hanson (47).
Linesmen-Ed Boyle (81), Bob Goodman (90).