Sharks fall short despite three unanswered goals

Norfolk Admirals at Worcester Sharks
DCU Center
April 12, 2013
Meeting 3 of 4 vs. the Admirals
Sharks are 0-2-0-1 vs. the Admirals this season
By Matt Metcalf

Sharks fall short despite three unanswered goals

Worcester got goals from Kearns, Pelech, and Brace to nearly erase a four-goal deficit

Worcester, MA– The Worcester Sharks (30-32-3-6, 69pts) fell to the Norfolk Admirals (36-30-4-1, 77pts) on Friday evening in front of 3,192 fans at the DCU Center. With the loss, the Sharks are now eight points behind the 8th place Admirals in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with five games remaining. The Sharks host the Norfolk Admirals on fan appreciation night on Saturday at 7pm presented by Southbridge Savings Bank.

Bracken Kearns (21st), Matt Pelech (2nd), and Riley Brace (3rd) all contributed goals for the Sharks in their comeback effort that fell just short. Norfolk built a four-goal lead in the first two periods on goals from Harry Zolnierczyk (11th), Josh Brittain (11th), and two goals from Reading, Massachusetts native and former Boston College standout Steven Whitney (2nd, 3rd), who received the game's first star honors. The Admirals were backstopped by Frederik Andersen, who turned aside 39 of the 42 Worcester shots that he saw. Alex Stalock suffered the loss in net for the Sharks, stopping 20 of the 24 shots that he faced.

Physical play early in the first period led to a fight less than five minutes in, when Bracken Kearns (9th FM) and Norfolk's Patrick Maroon (8th FM) dropped the gloves in a short bout with not many punches connecting. After the fight, the Admirals came out flying, getting on the board first at 12:29 on a highlight reel goal by Harry Zolnierczyk (11th), slipping the puck past Alex Stalock after being tripped on a breakaway, making it a 1-0 game. The Admirals upped their lead less than two minutes later, when Steven Whitney (2nd) collected a rebound amidst traffic out in front of Stalock and buried the puck into an empty cage, giving Norfolk a 2-0 lead. The Sharks threw 12 shots at the Norfolk cage in the first, but couldn't solve Frederik Andersen in net.

The Admirals kept rolling offensively to start the second period. Less than three minutes in, Josh Brittain (11th) backhanded a saucer pass out of the air and by Stalock, making it 3-0. Just over two minutes later, Steven Whitney (3rd) scored his second goal of the game, after cleaning up the initial bid by teammate Chris Wagner, giving the Admirals a four-goal lead. The Sharks cut their deficit to three at 12:01 of the second, when Bracken Kearns (21st) beat Frederik Andersen on a point-blank shot after a nice feed from Daniil Tarasov, making it a 4-1 game. The Sharks trailed by three after two periods, despite holding a 29-23 advantage in shots.

The Sharks came out flying in the third period. At the 3:27 mark, the Sharks made it a two-goal game, when Matt Pelech (2nd) teed up a slap shot from the blue line that beat Frederik Andersen. Less than a minute later, Riley Brace (3rd) scored his third goal in as many games, catching Andersen out of position and tucking the puck into an empty cage, cutting the Worcester deficit to just 4-3. Worcester applied a ton of offensive pressure down the stretch, but couldn't find the equalizer.

Notes: FIVE GUYS BURGERS Three Stars: 3rd star: Bracken Kearns (1-0-1) 2nd star: Patrick Maroon (0-2-2) 1st star: Steven Whitney (2-0-2)… Final shots were 42-24 in favor of Worcester…Frederik Andersen made 39 saves on 42 shots for Norfolk… Alex Stalock made 20 saves on 24 shots for Worcester in the loss…. Worcester went 0-for-2 on the power play, while Norfolk went 0-for-2…Curt Gogol (inj), Adam Comrie (inj), Marek Viedensky (inj), Jimmy Bonneau (scr), Mike Brennan (scr), Dane Walters (scr), Sebastian Stalberg (scr), Christophe Lalancette (scr), Yanni Gourde (inj), Denny Urban (scr), and Brodie Reid (inj) did not dress for Worcester…The Sharks are now 11-8-2 all-time vs. Norfolk in 21 career matchups...Riley Brace scored his third goal in three games...Bracken Kearns scored his team-leading 21st goal of the season...Matt Pelech scored his second goal of the season in his 57th game played… the Sharks have lost seven straight games at home (0-5-2-0) at the DCU Center (tying franchise record from 11/17/06-12/16/06).

Coming up…
On Saturday, the Sharks host the Norfolk Admirals at 7pm on Fan Appreciation Night presented by Southbridge Savings Bank. Doors open at 4:30pm for the Boston Bruins Alumni Game to benefit the Why Me organization! Watch Rick Middleton, Reggie Lemelin, Bob Sweeney and several other Boston Bruins alumni take the ice! The WXLO street team will be in the lobby and fans can enter to win prizes throughout the game!

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!

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