WORCESTER, Mass – The Worcester Sharks (34-30-4-2, 74pts) tied the game late in the third period to force overtime but the Hershey Bears (36-25-4-4, 80pts) picked up a 3-2 overtime win before 4,024 fans Saturday evening at the DCU Center on Tommy Wingels You Can Play bobblehead night. With just six games remaining in the regular season, the Sharks are now seven points out from the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, held by the Norfolk Admirals.
After a scoreless opening period, the Sharks broke the stalemate first with an early second period marker by Chad Rau (3rd). The Bears responded within the period with two of their own, however, first by Caleb Herbert (2nd) followed by a tally from Chay Genoway (4th) to take the lead. With 34.3 seconds on the clock and an extra skater on the ice, Dan DaSilva (17th) forced overtime with his franchise record breaking 60th career goal. Less than halfway through overtime Casey Wellman (17th) capitalized on a Sharks defensive error and sealed the game with a breakaway goal.
The first period made for lots of transition hockey, some odd man rushes on each end and a slated scoreboard as neither team was able to take a lead. The Sharks saw the only power play action of the period, but could not find the back of the net with the extra man, while the Bears made some offensive efforts on the fore-check, but couldn’t muster up a goal. Both tenders played consistently well with Philipp Grubauer pushing aside all 13 of Worcester’s shots and Troy Grosenick clearing away all six Hershey attempts.
The middle period resulted in three goals as the Bears took a 2-1 edge over the Sharks after 40 minutes of play. The Sharks lit the lamp first with an early goal at just 1:34 after a long pass was sent from the neutral zone into the left circle of the Sharks offensive end. Rylan Schwartz got a long stick on the puck and batted it across the slot to Chad Rau (3rd), who slipped it five-hole of Grubauer from in front of the net. Hershey answered back at 8:28 when David Kolomatis sent a drive in from the blue line that ricocheted off the boards behind Grosenick out to Caleb Herbert (2nd) on the stick-side post where he buried it to even the score. The Bears took the lead minutes later at 12:22, when Chay Genoway (4th) sniped a shot from just above the left circle that snuck between Grosenick and his right post. Hershey took an edge in the shooting as well, outshooting the Sharks 13-10.
After multiple attempts to even the score in the final period of regulation, a much-needed tying goal for the Sharks came with just 34.3 seconds on the clock and an extra skater on the ice. After a face-off win, Dan DaSilva (17th) was found open on the outer edge of the slot, where he ripped a wrister between the near-side post and Grubauer to force extra hockey. Worcester controlled the shots in the final period, outshooting Hershey 12-3.
Following the Sharks’ late rally in regulation, the lone shot of overtime by the Hershey Bears decided the game. After neutral zone turnover by Worcester, Dane Byers gained possession and sent pass to Casey Wellman (17th) that split the recovering defense and sent him on a breakaway, in which he faked out Grosenick sending a low shot into the net for the win.
The Sharks’ overall record shifts to 34-30-4-2, 74pts and 17-13-1-1, 36pts at home.
Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Philipp Grubauer (33 saves) 2nd star: Dan DaSilva (1-0-1, career goal record) 1st star: Casey Wellman (1-0-1, GWG in OT) …Final shots were 35-23 in favor of Worcester…Philipp Grubauer made 33 saves on 35 shots for Hershey…Troy Grosenick made 20 saves on 23 shots for Worcester….Worcester went 0-3 on the power play while Hershey went 0-1…Sena Acolatse (inj), John McCarthy (inj.), Daniil Tarasov (inj.), Marek Viedensky (inj), Adam Comrie, Matt Pelech and Nick Jones did not dress for Worcester…Coach Sommer, who’s now coached 1,262 AHL games was honored before the game for breaking the former 1,256 record…Dan DaSilva broke the Shark’s franchise record with his 60th career goal.