Tonight Worcester took their game on the road as the faced off against the St. John’s Ice Caps for the second time this season in game 1 of a two game mini series against their division rivals. In addition, the Ice Caps hosted the Worcester Sharks for the first time of the year in front a sellout crowd of 6,287 fans at the Mile One Centre.
Right after the opening face off, Worcester immediately put the afterburners on the Ice Caps and the pressure against their rivals. Their quick start paid off and at the right face off circle in the Ice Caps zone, Worcester’s Daniil Tarasov snapped a wicked shot past Pasquale to put the Sharks up 1-0 early at the 1:32 mark of the opening period. Tarasov’s tally was his fourth of the year and was assisted by Tim Kennedy and Bracken Kearns.
Worcester was awarded the first penalty of the game at 4:38 when Matt Pelech was caught with a tripping minor. However, the Ice Caps would make nothing of their first power play opportunity and the score remained 1-0 Sharks.
Moments after the Sharks killed off the games first penalty, Worcester got their chance when Ryan Schnell got a roughing minor at 8:12. On the man advantage, Ice Caps Captain Jaffray was presented with an opportunity and scored a shorthanded goal on a nice breakaway to beat Harri Sateri with a sweet forehand move at 10:05 of the first and made it a 1-1 tie. Jaffray’s shorthander would be his seventh goal of the season with the lone assist to Macenauer. In addition, the Sharks would not convert on their power play opportunity.
At the 12:16 mark of the first frame, things got a little chippy when Sharks Bracken Kearns and Ice Caps Jason Jaffray went at each other. During their scrum Kearns got a cross checking minor and Jaffary got awarded with a holding minor. Thus putting the game at 4 skaters aside for the first time. However, both teams kept one another off the scoresheet during the four on four session.
At the end of 20 minutes of play Worcester edged out the Ice Caps on the shot clock 12-10.
Within second period’s first minute, Worcester’s Bracken Kearns went off to the box for a hooking minor, thus putting the Sharks shorthanded for the third time of the contest. At 2:29 of the period the Sharks took another penalty when defenseman Nick Petrecki got caught for slashing, putting Worcester down two men. The good news for the Sharks, they killed off the five on three making them a perfect 4-4 on the penalty kill.
At 11:47 marker of the second, St. John’s Ice Caps Sawada marched off to the sin bin with a hooking minor. Unfortunately the Sharks would come up short on the man advantage opportunity as they were 0-3 on the power play.
Shortly after Worcester failed to convert on the power play, the Ice Caps came back with a power play of their own when defenseman Denny Urban of the Sharks went to the box for a holding minor at 15:23 of the second stanza. Much like Worcester’s power play chance, St. John’s failed to convert keeping the score at a 1-1 deadlock. Worcester added to their pk streak in the contest as they made it 5-5 on special teams duty.
Right after the Sharks killed off their penalty, the first fight of the game occurred at center ice when Worcester James Livingston dropped the gloves with St. John’s Patrice Cormier. After the ensuing fight, both combatants received five minute fighting majors for their efforts.
With 40 minutes in the books Worcester and St. John’s Ice Caps tied on the shot clock 20-20.
Over five minutes into the contest final period, Sharks Captain John McCarthy took an closing hand on the puck penalty, thus putting Worcester shorthanded for the sixth time of the night. Finally the Ice Caps broke thru on the power play thus ending the Sharks perfect penalty kill bid as their Captain Jaffray converted with his second of the night and eight of the season. His goal was assisted by Sawada and Meech at 6:31 of the third.
In the late stages of the third period, Ice Caps Maxime Macenauer tripped up Sharks Sebastian Stalberg at 15:34. The Sharks power play unit finally broke thru the brick wall as Bracken Kearns ripped the puck towards Pasquale and bank it off the Ice Caps net minder to get the much needed equalizer and tied the game up at 2-2.
At the 18:29 of the third Worcester’s Daniil Tarasov connected with the late strike to put the Sharks ahead 3-2. The go ahead goal was Tarasov’s second of the night and eight of year. Both Kearns and Kennedy picked up assists on Tarasov’s eventual game winner.
3 Stars of the Game:
1. WOR – 22 Tim Kennedy
2. STJ – 15 Jason Jaffray
3. WOR – 16 Bracken Kearns
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