Roy Sommer breaks AHL with 1,257th game behind bench in 5-3 win
Androscoggin Bank Colisee
March 26, 2014
Meeting 11 of 12 vs. the Pirates
Sharks are 7-4-0-0 vs. the Pirates this season
Head Coach Roy Sommer breaks AHL with 1,257th game behind bench in 5-3 win
Coach Sommer surpasses Frank Mathers (1,256 games) for most games coached in AHL
Lewiston, ME – Head Coach Roy Sommer surpassed Frank Mathers with his 1,257th AHL game behind the bench as his Worcester Sharks (32-29-3-1, 68ts) defeated the Portland Pirates (23-31-2-8, 56pts) in front of 1,667 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, ME on Wednesday evening. With the win, the Sharks are now 9 points behind the 8th place Admirals for the final playoff spot in the East with 11 games remaining.
The Sharks scored three goals in the opening period (Tennyson, Oleksuk, and Pelech) while Troy Grosenick was superb with 28 saves for his 15th win of the season. Dan DaSilva extended his point streak to eight games (4-7-11) with two assists while Eriah Hayes (8th) and Chad Rau (2nd) also scored for the Sharks in Roy Sommer’s 572nd victory.
Wednesday’s game was the 1,257th of Sommer’s AHL head coaching career, surpassing the previous record held by Hockey Hall of Fame honored member Frank Mathers. Mathers coached the Hershey Bears from 1956-73 and again in 1984-85.
Sommer, 56, has spent his entire 16-year AHL coaching career at the helm of the San Jose Sharks’ affiliates, the Kentucky Thoroughblades (1998-2001), Cleveland Barons (2001-06) and Worcester Sharks (2006-present). His 572 regular-season victories rank fourth all-time.
For just the 2nd time this season, and the first time on the road, the Sharks scored three goals in the opening period to grab a 3-0 advantage. Matt Tennyson (6th) in his first game back from the NHL, gave Worcester a 1-0 lead at 6:29 and Travis Oleksuk (15th) put the Sharks ahead 2-0 at 8:44 with a shot from the left circle past goaltender Louis Domingue . Adam Schmidt (Holy Cross) and Ryan Carpenter (Bowling Green State) picked up their 1st pro points with assists on the Oleksuk goal after a great job on the fore-check. Matt Pelech (2nd) launched a wrist shot through a screen at 19:58 to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes. Despite the score, Troy Grosenick made several point blank saves and 12 total stops in the first period as Worcester outshot Portland 19-12.
Portland scored twice within a 1:33 span in the second period to cut the Sharks lead to 3-2. Lucas Lessio (23rd) snapped a shot through the pads of Grosenick at 14:26 and Andy Miele (24th) struck on the power play poking home a loose puck at 15:59. Eriah Hayes (8th) got a score right back for Worcester with a breakaway strike past goaltender Chris Rawlings at 17:41 as the Sharks headed into the 2nd intermission ahead 4-2.
In the third period, the Pirates cut the Sharks lead to 4-3 with the goaltender pulled at 18:49 as James Melindy (2nd) deflected a shot off a Worcester skate and into the net past Grosenick. But the Sharks ended the game with an empty netter off the stick of Chad Rau (2nd) at 19:13 for the 5-3 victory.
The Sharks overall record improves to 32-29-3-1, 68pts and 16-16-3-0, 35pts on the road.