The Providence Bruins fell to the Worcester Sharks at the DCU Center in Worcester, MA on Saturday evening in a 5-3 loss that was uncharacteristic of the previous 11 meetings between the 2 teams. It was the last game between the divisional rivals this year and despite the loss, Providence came out on top with a 6-5-0-2 record. Instead of hitting the 40 win mark tonight, however, the P-Bruins hit the 20 loss mark and had their 5-game winning streak broken. They are now 39-20-0-5 with 12 games left in the regular season, still good for 1st in the division but fall to 3rd overall in the East.
Read more after the cut.Michael Hutchinson, getting his 3rd start in a row dating back to last Sunday, had his personal 2-game winning streak halted. He gave up 5 goals on just 20 shots from the Sharks. On the opposite end, Sharks goalie Harri Sateri made 28 saves on 31 Providence shots, including 11 in the final period.
The 1st goal of the game came at 16:09 of the 1st period when Worcester’s Freddie Hamilton, with assists from Yanni Gourde and Matt Tennyson, netted his 9th goal of the season.
Providence was able to tie the game up before the end of the opening frame on a goal from their leading goal-scorer, Jamie Tardif. He notched his 27th goal of the season with 43 seconds left in the 1st period with assists credited to Kevan Miller and Kyle MacKinnon.
Worcester grabbed a 2-goal lead in the 2nd period. Just 3:33 into the middle period when 1 of 2 Sharks players making their AHL debuts tonight scored his 1st career AHL goal. Peter Sivak, who turned 31 on Thursday, spent the first decade of his professional career playing in European hockey leagues in Slovakia and his native Czech Republic before making the jump to the ECHL this season. In 64 games with the San Francisco Bulls of the ECHL, Sivak scored 33 goals – 4th most in the league. He was signed to a professional tryout contract (PTO) with the Sharks on Wednesday. Sivak’s goal was assisted by John McCarthy and Matt Tennyson.
The 2nd player making his AHL debut tonight also turned up on the score sheet when he got an assist on the Sharks 3rd goal, which came halfway through the 2nd period to give them a 3-1 lead. Lane Scheidl, who signed an amateur tryout contract (ATO) on Wednesday, played the first 23 games of his WHL career with the Vancouver Giants – the team that Milan Lucic was drafted from. Craig Cunningham is also a product of the Giants and was a teammate of Scheidl’s in his stint with the team. Scheild, who was undrafted, had 80 points with the Regina Pats this season in 72 games. The 21-year-old led the WHL in points as well as power play goals (16).
Travis Oleksuk scored the goal that Scheidl assisted on. Oleksuk’s 3rd of the season was also assisted by Taylor Doherty. The goal came after Providence successfully killed off the 1st penalty of the game – a slashing minor to Garnet Exelby. The P-Bruins were not dispirited, however. They struck back twice before the end of the period.
Carter Camper scored his 7th goal of the season at 16:04 of the 2nd period. Miller and and Cunningham assisted on the goal. It was Carter’s first goal since February 10th against Manchester.
Torey Krug then tied the game at 3 with just 12 seconds left in the 2nd period. Worcester’s Jon Matsumoto was assessed a late hooking minor that would end up being the only penalty on the Sharks in the game. The power play goal was Krug’s 10th goal of the season, assisted by Cunningham and Colby Cohen. The goal marked Krug’s 8th point in the last 7 games. The assist extended Cohen’s point-streak to 4 games; he has 1 assist in each of the last 4 games, which is a personal best for him this season.
In a game that had only 3 penalties, 2 power play goals were scored. Miller was whistled for hooking at 14:24 of the 3rd period and Sebastian Stahlberg converted on the man-advantage. McCarthy and newly acquired Derek Joslin received assists on the goal that put the Sharks ahead 4-3 at 15:04 of the 3rd.
With just over a minute left in the game, defenseman Denny Urban got Worcester the insurance goal to put them ahead 5-3. His 4th of the season was assisted by Sena Acolatse and Daniil Tarasov.
6 different P-Bruins finished the game with a -2 rating, including every single starting player – Justin Florek, Alex Fallstrom, Bobby Robins, Zach Trotman, and Exelby – as well as Krug. Miller, who earned the 3rd star of the game, was a team-best +2. 2nd star honors went to Worcester’s Tennyson and 1st star to Worcester’s Stahlberg.
Miller and Cunningham had 2 assists apiece, which gives Cunningham 4 points in 2 games and 12 total points in the month of March. The 2 assists marked the first multi-point game of the season for Miller. Cunningham had the most shots on net in the game of any player with 7:
The Bruins had a couple of golden opportunities to tie the game following Stalberg’s goal but Sateri came up huge for the Sharks with a point blank save on Bruins rookie center Alexander Khokhlachev and another save on Bruins left winger Craig Cunningham. (Fear the Fin recap)
Alex Khokhlachev did not earn any points in his 2nd AHL game. He had just 1 shot on net but was on the ice for the goal from his linemate, Jamie Tardif. Unfortunately he was also on the ice for Oleksuk’s goal. In the late minutes of the game when the team trailed 4-1, Khokhlachev was replaced by Trent Whitfield on his line, presumably for the purpose of taking face-offs. The P-Bruins still hurt in the absence of their face-off leader Christian Hanson.
Hanson has been sitting out since March 10th when he sustained a hand injury. Meanwhile, Chris Bourque missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury. The injured Tyler Randell, who sat out 3 games with a finger injury, returned to the line-up tonight, which put Alden Hirschfeld on the sidelines as a healthy scratch.
The Bruins next play on Wednesday against the Portland Pirates, who are trailing Providence in the Atlantic division standings by 8 points at the moment. It will be the 10th and final meeting between the 2 teams this season. Through the first 0 games, Providence has the advantage with an 5-3-1 record.