First Place Worcester Sharks skate into weekend verse Atlantic Division foes.
By Andrew Nawn
The Worcester Sharks will look to remain on top of the Atlantic Division and continue their early December success this upcoming weekend. The Sharks are coming off a three game road trip, collecting four out of a possible six points to take over first place in the Atlantic Division with 24 points (11-8-1-1). Over the past weekend, the Sharks lost to Portland 4-3 but then bounced back with back to back shootout wins verse Bridgeport and Providence as Harri Sateri made 85 saves between those games, with 50 coming verse Providence on Sunday.
Worcester will host Providence on Saturday at 7pm on Matt Irwin Bobblehead Night. Currently the Sharks are (3-0-0-0) versus the Bruins in their 12 game season series, with two of those wins coming from shootout victories. On Sunday the Sharks will travel to Manchester to take on the Monarchs in another Atlantic Division matchup at 3pm. Worcester holds a (2-1-0-0) record verses Manchester this year and will look to build separation from them in the division this weekend.
Here are the ways you can listen or watch the game if you can’t make the trip to the rink.
All 76 regular season games can be heard live on 580AM and 94.9FM WTAG or online at www.wtag.com. Email Sharks broadcaster Eric Lindquist at radio@Sharksahl.com to send questions or a special shout out!
For a small fee watch EVERY Worcester Sharks game online at www.AHLlive.com.
Get live updates at all three preseason games and all 76 regular season games through www.twitter.com/SharksAHLinGame (goals, assists, fights, and big saves)
Get the inside scoop and behind the scenes stuff on game days via www.twitter.com/WorcesterSharks
Interact with other Sharks fans on game day by following the Worcester Sharks on Facebook (www.facebook.com/WorcesterSharks). Exclusive game day photos will be posted after most games!
Visit www.SharksAHL.com every game day for previews, special features, game photos, post game highlights, and recap!
A look at Providence…
The Bruins currently sit in fifth place in the Atlantic Division and tenth in the Eastern Conference with 20 points (9-8-0-2) in 19 games. Providence is coming off a busy weekend with a 4-2 victory verse Connecticut, 5-2 victory at Portland, and a 3-2 shootout loss to Worcester. Two factors in the Bruins slow start this season has been their poor penalty kill which ranks 29th in the AHL at 77.6%. While their offense has struggled to put the puck in the net registering 33.53 shots game, (1st in the AHL) but only scoring 2.32 goals a game (28th in the AHL).
Bruins to watch out for;
Providence’s offense has been led by former Boston Bruins great Ray Bourque’s son, Chris Bourque who has collected 2 goals and 12 assists for 14 points and rookie forward Ryan Spooner who has tallied 5 goals and 8 assists for 13 points. Between the pipes is rookie Niklas Svedberg who has been quite impressive with a (8-4-1) record to accompany a 2.39 goals against average. Tommy Cross, a former Boston College defenseman has played nicely since his call-up from the ECHL by registering 2 assists and +2 in three games and hopes stick around with Providence for a while with his solid play.
A look at Manchester…
The Monarchs sit tied for second with the St. John Ice Caps in the Atlantic Division and tied for sixth overall in the Eastern Conference at a record of (10-8-2-1) good for 23 points. Manchester is coming off a weekend in which they split a home and home against Springfield and got shut out by Portland 4-0. Currently the team’s defense seems to their strong point with stellar goaltending play coming from Martin Jones and the team only allowing 2.52 goals a game which is fifth in the AHL.
Monarchs to watch out for…
From Jonathan Quick to Jeff Zatkoff, Manchester has always been known to have a strong netminder… and this year seems no different with Martin Jones. Jones comes into this weekend with an impressive stat line of 2.43 goals a game and a .919 save percentage to carry a subpar record of (7-9-0-1). The Monarchs offense has been sparked by the play of rookie forward Tyler Toffoli who has tallied a team leading 10 goals and 5 assists for 15 points good for second on the team and tenth among AHL rookies.
Sharks Goalie Harri Sateri made an AHL season high 50 saves in his last game verse Providence. He also went 5 for 5 in the shootout to propel the Sharks to a 4-3 victory!
The Sharks lead the AHL with 4 wins when trailing after 40 minutes of play this season!!
Brandon Mashinter is second all-time in Worcester Shark’s history in games played with 224 and trails former Sharks defeneman Mike Moore by 39 games to be the all-time leader.
Worcester currently holds the best divisional record in the Atlantic at (8-3-1-0.)
Saturday marks Matt Irwin Bobble Head Night verse Providence… First 3,000 fans receive a free Matt Irwin bobblehead.
First Period Woes….Worcester is tied with Rockford for allowing the most goals (25) in the 1st period this season.