SHARKS SINK P-BRUINS IN SHOOTOUT
Christian Hanson and Justin Florek Score in Regulation
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins fell to the Worcester Sharks 3-2 in a shootout at the Dunkin' Donuts Center this afternoon despite registering a season-high 53 shots on net. Christian Hanson and Justin Florek scored in regulation for the Bruins. James Sheppard netted the game-winner for the Sharks in the shootout.
Worcester's Harri Sateri edged Niklas Svedberg in a head-to-head battle between Scandinavian goaltenders facing their opponents for the first time this season. Sateri turned aside 51 shots in the contest and denied all five Bruins attempts in the shootout. Svedberg made 30 saves in regulation and stopped three of four Worcester attempts in the shootout.
The Bruins, who did not trail at any point during regulation, saw their two-game win streak come to an end, falling to 9-8-0-2 overall on the season with the shootout loss, while Worcester improved to 11-8-1-1 with the victory. The Sharks have won all three meetings between the two teams this season.
Providence set the tempo early, outshooting the Sharks 9-2 in the first five minutes of the contest and would go on to outshoot Worcester 25-8 in the first period. The Bruins went on the man advantage for the first time after Sharks defenseman Mikael Tam was sent to the penalty box at the 6:24 mark for slashing, but were unable to beat Sateri despite several quality scoring chances. Both teams had power play opportunities early in the period but were unable to capitalize. The Bruins best chance to jump out to the early lead came just over 10 minutes into the period when left winger Lane MacDermid's wrist shot made it through a crowd in front of the Sharks net and rang off the post.
The game remained scoreless until center Hanson scored on wrist shot from the corner that deflected in off the post to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead at the 14:23 mark in the first period. Hanson's third goal of the season was set up by a heads up pass from defenseman Matt Bartkowski after a shot by right winger Bobby Robins was sent around the back of the net by Sateri.
Despite outshooting their opponent by a sizeable margin, Providence was unable to hold onto the early lead as Worcester responded with a late goal by left winger Yanni Gourde, his sixth of the season, to tie the game at 1-1 in the final minute of the first period. Gourde's wrist shot beat Svedberg high on the glove hand side and ricocheted off the crossbar and was not called a goal initially. The officials on the ice took a look at the replay and determined that Gourde's shot had in fact went in and awarded him the game-tying goal.
The contest remained tied until left winger Florek gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead when scored his first goal of the season at the 3:59 mark in the second period after he corralled a loose puck behind the Sharks net and fired it off the netminder Sateri's pads and into the back of the net.
The fast-paced, back and forth affair continued when the Sharks knotted the game at 2-2 on a power play goal by center Tim Kennedy with just over 10 minutes remaining in the second period. Kennedy's team-leading 11th goal of the season, a top-shelf wrist shot from the slot that beat Svedberg glove hand, was set up by a nice give-and-go passing play by right winger Brodie Reid and defenseman Sena Acolatse, who picked up the assists on the goal.
The two teams battled back and forth at even strength with neither team generating a quality scoring change in the third period until the Bruins went on the power play with 4:46 remaining after Sharks center Sheppard was sent to the box for boarding. Despite several quality looks from the point, Sateri was equal to the task, and the game remained tied. Worcester's best scoring chance came in the final minute of the stanza, but defenseman Mike Brennan's wrist shot from the slot was turned aside by Svedberg.
The Bruins had the better of the chances in overtime including an excellent opportunity to end the game on a Bartkowski wrist shot from the slot, but Sateri made an outstanding glove save to keep the Sharks alive.
In the shootout, Worcester's first shooter, Sheppard beat Svedberg, with what turned out to be the game-winner, with a well-aimed snap shot. Svedberg denied the Sharks next three shooters, Kennedy, center John Matsumoto and Reid. Sateri denied all five Bruins shooters, right winger Jamie Tardif, center Ryan Spooner, Hanson, left winger Chris Bourque and with the game on the line made a glove save on left winger Craig Cunningham to earn the win.