Matsumoto plays role of Grinch in Providence with late game-winner

Worcester Sharks at Providence Bruins
Dunkin Donuts Center
December 21, 2012
Meeting 5 of 12 vs. the Bruins
Sharks are 4-0-0-1 vs. the Bruins this season
By Matt Metcalf

Matsumoto plays role of Grinch in Providence with late game-winner
James Sheppard scored his fourth goal in his last three games

Providence, RI– The Worcester Sharks (14-10-1-2, 31pts)defeated the Providence Bruins (14-10-0-2, 30pts) 5-4 in a game that featured 134 penalty minutes on Friday evening in front of 7,572 fans at the Dunkin Donuts Center. After a three day holiday break, the Sharks return to action on Wednesday night at 7pm in Manchester to battle the Monarchs.

Jon Matsumoto (5th) scored with 10.5 seconds remaining for the game winner and James Sheppard scored his 4th goal in three games and added an assist in the Sharks 9th straight one goal game (5-3-0-1). Alex Stalock was superb with 32 saves in his 10th win of the season and Matt Tennyson extended his point streak to four games (2-3-5) with his 3rd goal of the season in the victory.

The two teams traded chances in the first period, but no one found the back of the net. Towards the end of the period, the chippy play started to pick up. At 17:18 of the first period, a major scrum ensued in the Sharks zone, with Bobby Robins receiving a penalty for contact to the head of Worcester’s Matt Tennyson. At the end of the period, Providence’s Christian Hanson (2nd FM) and Worcester’s James Livingston (2nd FM) dropped the gloves in a quick bout that was a stalemate. The Sharks outshot the Bruins 13-12 in the period, despite going 0-for-4 on the power play.

The Sharks were able to strike first, capitalizing on their fifth power play chance of the game, on a blast from the point by Matt Tennyson (3rd), giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 4:39. Heavyweights Frazer McLaren (6th FM) and Bobby Robins (16th FM) were both ejected from the game, dropping the gloves during a television timeout, in a long fight with both players connecting on several bombs. The Bruins got the equalizer from Chris Bourque (3rd) on a 5-on-3 power player, when a shot that Alex Stalock appeared to make the save of the year on, was reviewed by the referees and ruled a goal at 10:31. Through two periods of play, the teams combined for 122 penalty minutes.

The two teams came out firing in the third period. It only took the Bruins 34 seconds to take the lead, with Chris Bourque (4th) burying his second goal of the game, on a nice feed from Carter Camper, giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead. However, it didn’t take long for the Sharks to respond. Less than two minutes later, James Sheppard (7th) evened the game on a backhand shot that he roofed over the shoulder of Providence goalie Niklas Svedberg. The Sharks struck again less than a minute later, when Bracken Kearns (8th) tipped a shot from the point past Svedberg, giving the Sharks a 3-2 lead at 3:02. After the Bruins responded with two quick goals of their own by Craig Cunningham (4th) at 6:46 and Jamie Tardif (14th) at 8:16, the Sharks capitalized on a power play when Denny Urban found John McCarthy (4th) with a great slap pass, who redirected the puck past Svedberg, evening the game 4-4 at 13:12. Jon Matsumoto (5th) played the role of hero for Worcester, tucking a shot under the crossbar with only 10.5 seconds remaining, after a great shift by Matsumoto, Sheppard, and Brodie Reid, lifting the Sharks to a 5-4 win.

The Sharks overall record improves to 14-10-1-2 (31pts in 27gp) 9-5-0-1 (19pts in 15gp) on the road this season.

Notes: FIVE GUYS BURGERS Three Stars: 3rd star: Jon Matsumoto (1-1-2) 2nd star: James Sheppard (1-2-3) 1st star: Chris Bourque (2-1-3)… Final shots were 36-36… Niklas Svedberg made 31 saves on 36 shots for Providence… Alex Stalock made 32 saves on 36 shots for Worcester…. Worcester went 2-for-8 on the power play while Providence went 3-for-11… Danny Groulx (inj), Taylor Doherty (inj),Curt Gogol (inj), Sena Acolatse (inj), Matt Irwin (inj), Travis Oleksuk (inj), and Jimmy Bonneau (scr) did not dress for Worcester… defenseman Nick Petrecki returned to the lineup after missing 16 games with a hand injury and added an assist and was +3… defenseman Denny Urban played in his first career AHL and wore number 37 for Worcester and added an assist….the Sharks have won 9 of their last 11 road games, including four straight in Providence…. All five games this season vs. the Bruins have been decided by one goal, including three via the shootout…. Worcester has played nine straight one goal games (5-3-0-1)… Sharks improved to 32-33-6 in 71 meetings all-time vs. the Bruins….with the two fights; Worcester now has 37 majors through 27 games… Frazer McLaren picked up 27 of the 80 Worcester penalty minutes…. Tim Kennedy added two assists.

Coming up…
The Sharks head to Manchester, NH and take on the Monarchs on Wednesday, Dec 26 before returning home for a pair of promotion packed games at the DCU Center!

On Friday, Dec 28 the Sharks host the Manchester Monarchs at 7:30pm. Celebrate New Year’s Eve early with a post game fireworks display presented by Enterprise Cleaning Corporation! With every Friday night home game enjoy $2 hotdogs, sodas, and popcorn all night long!

On Saturday, Dec 29 the Sharks host the Providence Bruins at 7pm! The first 500 kids 12-and-under will receive a free Sharks winter hat!

Score a family fun pack today for only $79! Four tickets, four hot dogs, and four sodas for a portion of the price! Available only through the Sharks front office for every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday games this season! Click HERE to purchase today!

2012-13 Flex ticket packages are on sale now! Score your 40 or 10 ticket flex package by contacting the Worcester Sharks front office at 508-929-0500. You decide how many tickets and how many games YOU want to attend while saving $$$ off box office pricing! It is that EASY!

Bring a group to sing the national anthem, book a fundraising event, host a birthday party, or have a blast in the high fin tunnel…. secure your personalized Sharks experience today!

Contact Worcester Sharks ticket representatives Jason Jones, Jonathan Forsberg, Kristyn Galante, Sarah Farley, and Ben Masse for your customized ticket package today! Jump in today and save up to 45% off box office prices!

Call the Sharks front office at 508.929.0500 or crash the net at www.SharksAHL.com.

Socialize with the Worcester Sharks all year long! Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WorcesterSharks, follow us on Twitter @WorcesterSharks, and download the Worcester Sharks App for free on your Droid or iPhone today!

All games can be heard live on 580AM and 94.9FM WTAG, as well as online through AHL Live, by following the link on the Sharks website at www.SharksAHL.com.



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