WORCESTOR, MA — The Worcester Sharks (24-27-3-1, 52pts) dropped a close contest to the Springfield Falcons (34-17-1-5, 74pts) 2-1 before 4,176 fans at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. The game marked the opening ceremony of the 2014 Massachusetts Special Olympics where participants lit a torch to kick off the games during the first intermission.
John McCarthy (2nd) netted Worcester’s only goal in the second period as the Sharks fell to the Falcons 2-1 at home. Both the first and third periods accounted for zero goals for either side, allowing Jack Skille (7th) and Jean-Francois Jacques (10th) second period goals to seal the game for Springfield and Jeremy Smith made 28 saves in net for the Falcons.
The first period of action ended scoreless as neither team could break through the opposing goaltender. Worcester outshot Springfield 10-4 in the opening 20 minutes, with 10 different Sharks getting a chance on Falcons tender Jeremy Smith. Springfield’s offensive efforts were led by Austin Madaisky, who took two of the Falcons’ four shots, but Worcester’s Harri Sateri remained solid pushing all of them aside.
The second period of play resulted in three goals and a 2-1 Springfield lead. The Falcons opened the game’s scoring at 3:29 when Jack Skille (7th) split through two Sharks defenders as he sped down the left side and shot the puck past Sateri’s left. After keeping the offensive pressure on, Worcester evened the game with their lone goal of the second. At 12:18 John McCarthy (2nd) wheeled down the left after picking up a pass at the center line. On the 3-on-2 McCarthy found an opening to the left of Smith with a wrister, evening the game. The Falcons then regained their one-goal lead at 17:01 when Skille delayed a pass across the front of the net until Jean-Francois Jacques (10th) was open in the slot to finish the play. The clock expired with a bout between Bracken Kearns (4th FM) and Will Weber (4th FM), who dropped their gloves after the horn sounded. Worcester outshot Springfield 10-6 in the middle period.
The third ended scoreless as well, allowing the Falcons to carry their one-goal lead through the end of the game. Worcester again outshot Springfield in the third with shots for the period at 9-1, but couldn’t get the puck to the back of the net. Though Sharks pulled Sateri with 54 seconds left and even took a time out with 37.2 seconds left to develop a play, they came up short in the end.
The Sharks’ overall record falls to 24-27-3-1, 52pts and 12-12-0-1, 25pts at home.
Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Jean-Francois Jacques (1-0-1, GWG) 2nd star: John McCarthy (1-0-1, 4 Shots) 1st star: Jack Skille (1-1-2) ….Final shots were 29-11 in favor of Worcester…Jeremy Smith made 28 saves on 29 shots for Springfield…Harri Sateri made 9 saves on 11 shots for Worcester….Worcester went 0-2 on the power play while Springfield went 0-1…Matt Pelech (inj), J.P. Anderson (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Brodie Reid, Chad Rau and Dan DaSilva (inj) did not dress for Worcester…The Sharks are 39-25-3-0 in 67 career matchups with the Falcons…The Sharks are now 1-8-0-0 in the past nine games…In the past nine games Worcester has been outscored 38-13…Travis Oleksuk (2-1-3) extended his point streak to three games with an assist on McCarthy’s goal…Two different Sharks picked up assists tonight including Travis Oleksuk and Konrad Abeltshauser.