Tonight the proud AHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks were in action as Springfield hosted the Worcester Sharks for the first time this season in front of crowd of 4,021 at the Mass Mutual Center. The matchup was the second meeting of the season between these two state rivals. Worcester welcomed back into the lineup leading scorer Tim Kennedy and veteran defenseman Danny Groulx. Kennedy has missed the last nine games while Groulx was out for 21.
Shortly after the opening draw, Sharks Matt Pelech took an early penalty as he was charged with a cross checking minor. Worcester’s special teams unit on the penalty kill stepped up early and denied the Falcons from taking the early of the contest.
At 3:07 of the first, Howes of Springfield scored the first goal of the game from a deflection shot by Helmer and made it his second tally of the season. Howes goal was assisted by Joudrey and Helmer.
Worcester took another penalty when Mikael Tam was caught for boarding at 4:07 of the first frame. However, that did not matter for the Sharks.
While Shorthanded, Worcester’s Tommy Grant went into the Falcon’s zone on a breakaway and scored an unassisted goal at 4:18 to tie the game up at 1. That tally made it Grant’s first goal as a member on the Worcester Sharks and his 10th of the season.
Not long after the tying goal for the Sharks, Curt Gogol took the second called cross checking minor of the period. Thus making it a very busy period for the Sharks penalty unit. The good news for the Sharks was that the Falcons failed to convert on the man advantage keeping the score at 1-1.
Worcester nearly took the lead of the night during a mad scramble situation in front of Springfield’s net, but somehow the Falcons managed to clear the puck away from their crease with less then nine minutes remaining of the first period.
After 20 minutes of play, Springfield edged out Worcester on the shot clock 9-4. In addition, the Sharks remained perfect 3-3 on the penalty kill.
29 seconds into the second stanza, Worcester was awarded their first power play of the contest when Goloubef of Springfield marched off to the box for tripping minor. Worcester was unable to cash in on their first man advantage of the contest as Springfield kept the game locked at 1-1.
At 5:34 Tim Erixon slashed Sharks Brodie Reid as he when he went in on McElhinney. Moreover, putting the Sharks back on the power play. Unfortunately, Worcester came up short again on their second man advantage keeping the contest knotted at 1-1.
On a 3 on 1 situation for Worcester, they went into the Falcons zone and Livingston from the right circle ripped the puck past McElhinney to put the Sharks ahead 2-1. Livingston go ahead tally made it his third of season with the lone assist by Captain John McCarthy at 10:32 of the second.
Thru 40 minutes of play, Worcester maintained their 2-1 lead and trailed the Falcons on the shot clock 15-11.
Less then two minutes in the final period, Falcons were on the wrong end when Weber was called for an interference minor at 1:44. Giving the Sharks their third straight power play.
On the power play, Worcester’s Groulx sent a beauty cross ice pass to Tarasov and converted as he put the puck past McElhinney from the right face off dot. Tarasov’s marker was he second of the season with assists from both Groulx and Urban at 2:37 of the final frame. Giving the Sharks a two goal lead.
With 6:05 remaining of the third, Goloubef went off to the box for the second time of the night when took a high sticking minor. Seconds into the man advantage, Worcester misplayed the puck in their own end and Seteri made a hug save to keep their two goal lead intact.
Worcester held on and finally snapped their five game loosing skid as they defeated the Springfield Falcons for the second time this season by a 3-1 final. Not only did the Sharks snap their loosing skid, they also snapped the Falcons six game winning streak. Worcester’s overall record improves to 20-17-1-3 (44pts in 41gp) and 12-9-0-1 (25pts in 22gp) on the road this season. The Sharks finished to game behind the Falcons on the shot clock by four shots, 22-18.
The Sharks return home to battle the Providence Bruins on Saturday at 7pm at the DCU Center before enjoying the three day AHL All-Star break.
3 Stars of the Game:
1. WOR – 26 James Livingston
2. SPR – 28 Scott Howes
3. WOR – 19 Daniil Tarasov
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