Worcester, MA – The Worcester Sharks (27-27-3-1, 56pts) earned their second shootout victory of the weekend against the Albany Devils (30-20-3-6, 69pts) with a final score of 4-3 before 3,678 fans on Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center. With the win, the Sharks sweep a weekend, earning 6-of-6 points for first time since January 10th, 11th and 12th when they won consecutive contests at home against Hartford, Norfolk and Portland. Netminders Troy Grosenick and Keith Kinkaid met again in opposing nets after both playing for Union in college.
After an exciting and close 60 minutes of regulation, the game was decided in a shootout with goals from Daniil Tarasov and Freddie Hamilton, while Grosenick made four of five shootout saves and 37 in regulation for the win. Worcester took an early 2-0 lead after Marek Viedensky (6th) and Rylan Schwartz (5th) scored, but the Devils kept the game close after a second period tally by Reid Boucher (16th). Worcester regained its lead in the third period with a goal from John McCarthy (3rd), but the Devils forced a scoreless overtime after back-to-back third period marks by David Wohlberg (4th) and Harri Pesonen (9th).
The Sharks scored the only goal of the first period and took a 1-0 lead of the game in the opening 20 minutes. The lone score came in the final minutes, at 16:21, when Dylan DeMelo rifled a shot from the right side that Kinkaid pushed aside with his left pad. Marek Viedensky (6th) then attacked the rebound and buried the biscuit into the open left side of the net, nabbing the lead for Worcester. The Sharks were outshot 15-3 in the period, but tender Troy Grosenick put on a great performance stopping all 15 of Albany’s attempts.
The middle 20 minutes resulted in a-goal-a-piece as the Sharks held onto their lead for the entire second period of action and took a 2-1 lead into the third. Worcester brought the game to 2-0 at 8:52 when Eriah Hayes fed the puck to the slot from behind the Devils’ net where Viedensky ripped a shot in attempt to notch his second of the game. Kinkaid went down to make the save, but Rylan Schwartz (5th) scooped up the rebound giving the Sharks a two-goal lead. At 16:34, Reid Boucher (16th) lit the lamp behind Grosenick for the first time making the score 2-1. Mattias Tedenby wrapped around the right of the net and dished the puck across the paint to Boucher who had the entire left side open to complete the play. The Devils outshot the Sharks again, with shots at 13-10 for the period.
The third period forced overtime action as the Devils tied the game at 3-3 after the Sharks went ahead 3-1. The Sharks scored first at 3:16 after great forechecking by Bracken Kearns and Dan DaSilva caused a Devils turnover behind their net. Kearns gained possession and gave the puck to John McCarthy (3rd) who sent it home from just outside the right hash to make it 3-1. Albany then scored back-to-back at 5:26 and 14:24 to even the game and force extra time. The first occurred when David Wohlberg (4th) went to send the puck to the front of the Worcester net from behind, but it took a bounce off the back of Grosenick and proceeded over the goal-line. Harri Pesonen (9th) then evened the game with a tally off a rebound from Grosenick’s pad after an initial shot by Mike Sislo. Shots in the final period of regulation were at 11-6, with Albany holding the upper hand.
Neither team found the back of the net in overtime despite three shots for Worcester and one try for Albany. Both tenders were on their game and pushed aside all of the opposing team’s attempts to seal the game with an overtime goal, forcing the game to be decided in a shootout.
Worcester took the game, and their third of the weekend, after going 2 for 5 in the shootout with goals by both Daniil Tarasov and Freddie Hamilton. Grosenick was solid in net nabbing the win for the Sharks with four huge saves between the pipes, while Mike Sislo earned Albany’s only goal.
The Sharks’ overall record improves to 27-27-3-1, 58pts and 14-12-0-1, 29pts at home.