Albany, NY – The Worcester Sharks (33-30-3-1, 70ts) improved to 10-1 in the shootout with a 4-3 victory over the Albany Devils (34-21-4-8, 80pts) in front of 5,111 fans at the Times Union Center on Saturday evening. With the win, the Sharks are now seven points behind the 8th place Norfolk Admirals for the final playoff spot in the East with nine games remaining.
Matt Tennyson (7th), Travis Oleksuk (16th), and Eriah Hayes (9th) scored for Worcester in regulation before the game headed to OT. After the five minute overtime period, Dan DaSilva was the only scorer in the shootout while Troy Grosenick stopped all five shooters to improve to 6-0 in the skills competition this season. Grosenick improved to 2-0 against fellow Union College alum goaltender Keith Kinkaid while Mathias Tedenby recorded three points (1-2-3) for the Devils in the Sharks win.
Each team scored twice in the first period with the Devils holding a one goal advantage on two separate occasions. Albany went ahead 1-0 at 8:26 as rookie Stefan Matteau (13th) drilled home a shot from on top of the Worcester crease past Troy Grosenick after a nice pass from behind the goal line by Mattias Tedenby. The Sharks tied the score with a 45 foot snap shot by Matt Tennyson (7th) past goaltender Keith Kinkaid at 11:07 after a clean faceoff win by Travis Oleksuk.
Albany went ahead 2-1 just 21 seconds later with a terrific rush down the left side and finish by Tedenby (9th) at 11:28. Worcester tied the score at 2-2 after the Devils turned the puck over behind their net and Travis Oleksuk (16th) snapped home an unassisted tally with one minute remaining in the opening frame. The Sharks held a 15-10 shot advantage through 20 minutes.
The Sharks grabbed their first lead of the night with a second period strike by Eriah Hayes (9th) at 6:14. Hayes deflected home a nice centering feed by Brock Higgs past the Devils netminder. Kelly Zajac (10th) snapped a shot past his former Union College teammate Troy Grosenick on the power play at 14:39 to tie the score at 3-3. Shots were 9-7 in favor of Worcester in the second period.
Neither team generated too many scoring chances in the third period with Worcester outshooting Albany 7-4 in the third period as the game headed to overtime tied 3-3. The Sharks recorded the only shot in overtime before the game went to the shootout.
Troy Grosenick stopped all five shooters and Dan DaSilva sent a back hander past Keith Kinkaid in the third round for the game winner as the Sharks won 4-3.