Worcester Sharks forward #11 Jon Matsumoto and Providence Bruins forward #10 Kyle MacKinnon fight for the puck during an in game face off. Mandatory credit: Allen Sullivan

Matsumoto The Grinch!!!!!!!!

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Matsumoto plays role of Grinch in Providence with late game-winner
December 21, 2012 Worcester Sharks at Providence Bruins
Dunkin Donuts Center
December 21, 2012
Meeting 5 of 12 vs. the Bruins
Sharks are 4-0-0-1 vs. the Bruins this season
By Matt Metcalf

Matsumoto plays role of Grinch in Providence with late game-winner
James Sheppard scored his fourth goal in his last three games

Worcester Sharks Alternate Captain and defenseman #23 Matt Pelech. Mandatory credit: Worcester Sharks media department.

Providence, RI– The Worcester Sharks (14-10-1-2, 31pts)defeated the Providence Bruins (14-10-0-2, 30pts) 5-4 in a game that featured 134 penalty minutes on Friday evening in front of 7,572 fans at the Dunkin Donuts Center. After a three day holiday break, the Sharks return to action on Wednesday night at 7pm in Manchester to battle the Monarchs.

Jon Matsumoto (5th) scored with 10.5 seconds remaining for the game winner and James Sheppard scored his 4th goal in three games and added an assist in the Sharks 9th straight one goal game (5-3-0-1). Alex Stalock was superb with 32 saves in his 10th win of the season and Matt Tennyson extended his point streak to four games (2-3-5) with his 3rd goal of the season in the victory.

The two teams traded chances in the first period, but no one found the back of the net. Towards the end of the period, the chippy play started to pick up. At 17:18 of the first period, a major scrum ensued in the Sharks zone, with Bobby Robins receiving a penalty for contact to the head of Worcester’s Matt Tennyson. At the end of the period, Providence’s Christian Hanson (2nd FM) and Worcester’s James Livingston (2nd FM) dropped the gloves in a quick bout that was a stalemate. The Sharks outshot the Bruins 13-12 in the period, despite going 0-for-4 on the power play.

Worcester Sharks forward #15 James Sheppard. Mandatory credit: Worcester Sharks media department.

The Sharks were able to strike first, capitalizing on their fifth power play chance of the game, on a blast from the point by Matt Tennyson (3rd), giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 4:39. Heavyweights Frazer McLaren (6th FM) and Bobby Robins (16th FM) were both ejected from the game, dropping the gloves during a television timeout, in a long fight with both players connecting on several bombs. The Bruins got the equalizer from Chris Bourque (3rd) on a 5-on-3 power player, when a shot that Alex Stalock appeared to make the save of the year on, was reviewed by the referees and ruled a goal at 10:31. Through two periods of play, the teams combined for 122 penalty minutes.

Worcester Sharks forward #11 Jon Matsumoto. Mandatory credit: Worcester Sharks media department

The two teams came out firing in the third period. It only took the Bruins 34 seconds to take the lead, with Chris Bourque (4th) burying his second goal of the game, on a nice feed from Carter Camper, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead. However, it didn’t take long for the Sharks to respond. Less than two minutes later, James Sheppard (7th) evened the game on a backhand shot that he roofed over the shoulder of Providence goalie Niklas Svedberg. The Sharks struck again less than a minute later, when Bracken Kearns (8th) tipped a shot from the point past Svedberg, giving the Sharks a 3-2 lead at 3:02. After the Bruins responded with two quick goals of their own by Craig Cunningham (4th) at 6:46 and Jamie Tardif (14th) at 8:16, the Sharks capitalized on a power play when Denny Urban found John McCarthy (4th) with a great slap pass, who redirected the puck past Svedberg, evening the game 4-4 at 13:12. Jon Matsumoto (5th) played the role of hero for Worcester, tucking a shot under the crossbar with only 10.5 seconds remaining, after a great shift by Matsumoto, Sheppard, and Brodie Reid, lifting the Sharks to a 5-4 win.

The Sharks overall record improves to 14-10-1-2 (31pts in 27gp) 9-5-0-1 (19pts in 15gp) on the road this season.

3 Stars of the game:

1. PRO – 17 Chris Bourque
2. WOR – 15 James Sheppard
3. WOR – 11 Jon Matsumoto

***** Official Post Game Report Link: www.sharksahl.com/story.asp?story_id=3337 ******

Article credit: Matt Metcalf and the Worcester Sharks media department

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