(Originally published at Kukla’s Korner, March 11, 2013)
News that I completely missed last week: Sena Acolatse is back in the Worcester lineup, has been since March 1st. I may be inattentive but I think that is exciting, awesome and a good thing for the Sharks.
Worcester only played two games since last Monday, a relatively leisurely schedule for the AHL. Saturday, Sebastian Stalberg scored the only first period goal to give the Sharks the lead over the Providence Bruins. The Sharks had a fair chance to take a two goal lead when James Livingston was awarded a penalty shot but Bruins’ goalie Niklas Svedberg stopped that. The Bruins came back in the second to score two power play goals and take the lead away. A couple of minutes later, James Livingston tied the game back up. In the third, the Bruins retook the lead and it wasn’t until 19:00 of the regulation that John McCarthy tied it again. The game went to a seven-round shootout that the Bruins won with goals from Craig Cunningham and Trent Whitfield. The one Sharks shootout goal was scored by Denny Urban.
Scoring & saves, 03/9/13:
Providence: Craig Cunningham(19)(PPG, Krug, Bourque), Cunningham(20)(PPG, Bourque, Krug), Christian Hanson(9)(Bartkowski, Florek). Niklas Svedberg made 45 saves for the win.
Worcester: Sebastian Stalberg(9)(Urban, Grant), Freddie Hamilton(8)(Oleksuk, Sateri), John McCarthy(9)(Kearns, Tarasov). Harri Sateri made 39 saves for Worcester. The Sharks power play went 0/1, their penalty kill 2/4.
Sunday’s 5-3 final score doesn’t describe accurately how suspenseful the Sharks’ game against the Portland Pirates was. It started out as a one-sided affair, but turned into a nail-biter. The Sharks went into the third period with a 3-1 lead after goals from James Livingston, Bracken Kearns and Daniil Tarasov. At that point, the Sharks were being outshot 25-18, with each team having one power play (and one power play goal) in the first two periods. By 1:34 of the third period, Portland had tied the game. It took the Sharks 23 seconds to take the lead again with Adam Comrie’s first of the season. Bracken Kearns sealed it up with an empty-netter at 18:56.
@210Darryl: With today’s assist by Nick Petrecki the #WorSharks had 26 different players notch points against the Portland Pirates this season.
Scoring & saves, 03/10/13:
Worcester: James Livingston(5)(Gogol, Oleksuk), Bracken Kearns(14)(PPG, Groulx, Comrie), Daniil Tarasov(8)(Petrecki, Tennyson), Adam Comrie(1)(Viedensky, Hamilton), Kearns(15)(ENG, Hamilton, Comrie). Harri Sateri made 29 saves for the win. The Sharks’ power play was 1/2, their penalty kill also 1/2.
Portland: David Rundblad(7)(PPG, Gormley, Martinook), Alexandre Bolduc(21)(Dziurzynski, Brodeur), Jordan Martinook(6)(Miele, Szwarz). Chad Johnson made 22 saves for the Pirates.
It would be so cool to list as many goals from the other Sharks. Just sayin’. Still, that isn’t a very common occurrence for the WooSharks either. After Saturday’s loss, Darryl Hunt tweeted this:
@210Darryl: If the #WorSharks had anything closely resembling a goal scorer they win tonight pretty handily. This is not a playoff team. Not even close.
One game isn’t enough to say the situation has changed, but maybe Yanni Gourde will help. More about that below.
The Bulls dropped their first game at home since February 17. They lost a close game to the aptly named Alaska Aces, and I don’t mean it’s a good name because they’re from Alaska. They are really very good. In that light, a 2-1 loss was not an awful start to a lengthy homestand for the Bulls. The lone Bulls’ goal was scored by Yanni Gourde, who has played like a man possessed since arriving in San Francisco.
The bad news: they would play Alaska two more times before sending them on their way, and lose both of them. The first was another tease of a 3-2 loss, in which the Bulls even managed to out-shoot Alaska. The third and final game was a brutal mess, ending 6-2. You can click the links if you want the demoralizing details, I don’t want to talk about those games anymore.
The Bulls won Sunday’s game against the Las Vegas Wranglers, 4-1. It started just 16 hours after the last loss to Alaska. If the losses to the Aces undermined the Bulls’ confidence, it didn’t show Sunday afternoon. They came out fast and furious and ran roughshod over the Wranglers. Despite the fact that the Aces are the ECHL leaders this season, the Bulls had beaten them more often than they beat the Wranglers. Heck, the Wranglers handed the Bulls a 5-0 loss at the Cow Palace a little over a month ago. No matter, the Bulls needed a win, they took it with conviction. 4-1 Bulls.
Scoring & saves, 03/10/13:
San Francisco: Christian Ouellet(14)(PPG, Gourde, Sivak), Peter Sivak(29)(Gourde, Walsh), Tristan King(21)(Cameron, D. Ouellet), Yanni Gourde(4)(C. Ouellet). Taylor Nelson made 16 saves for the win. The Bulls power play went 1/2, their penalty kill 2/2.
Las Vegas: Sarauer(20). Mitch O’Keefe made 29 saves for the Wranglers.
Up, down and around:
Yanni Gourde was recalled by Worcester today. He will be missed by the Bulls, but he left some points and a long-needed win to remember him by. Truly, watching him play was a joy and I am glad I got the chance to see it.
According to the AHL website, Tommy Grant of the Brandon Mashinter NYR trade will be taking Gourde’s place in San Francisco.
Friday, the Sharks called up Alex Stalock, and, as most Sharks fans know by now, he stepped in when McLellan pulled Niemi Saturday. I thought he looked great, even if that near-collision with Braun made me nervous. I guess Stalock likes to leave net. Still, he looked good and it is wonderful to see him all better and rearing to go.
Because the Sharks called up Stalock, the Worcester Sharks recalled Thomas Heemskerk from San Francisco. Heemskerk practiced with the SJ Sharks Friday and went to Worcester for the weekend. Unlike Stalock, he has not been put in the game yet.
The Bulls signed Dave Guy to backup Taylor Nelson, presumably until Thomas Greiss is ready to play again.
Bulls’ winger Kris Belan has played five games with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs. It doesn’t sound like a lot of games but it seems like he has been gone an awfully long time, so they must like him. No reason they shouldn’t love his skill and toughness. His skating too. Yeah, he’s a helpful guy to have around.
Last Tuesday, Taylor Carnevale joined the team, having just returned from a back injury sustained at the start of the season. He had been sent to San Francisco by the Worcester Sharks.
Also joining the Bulls last week was Nick Walsh, the final piece of the January trade with the Gwinnett Gladiators. As you can see above, he has already earned some points for his new team.