Bruins Snap Sharks' Streak
By Chris Del Vecchio
WORCESTER, MA – Playing in front of a season-high 7,352 fans at a sold out DCU Center on Friday night the Worcester Sharks saw their three game winning streak snapped by the visiting Providence Bruins on the strength of a four point night from rookie David Krejci.
Bad luck struck early for Worcester as the Bruins got on the board just 2:08 into the game when Jeff Hoggan’s wraparound try got lost under the pads of Sharks netminder Thomas Greiss. In the course of searching for the puck, Greiss inadvertently knocked it backwards across the goal line, giving Providence a 1-0 lead. The visitors doubled their lead just over five minutes later when Marco Rosa finished off a goal-mouth scramble by scoring his fourth of the year, with assists from Nate Thompson and Pascal Pelletier. The Sharks struggled to find their offensive stride, managing just six shots on net and taking a two goal deficit into the locker room.
A defensive stalemate kept the game tied through most of the second period, with Worcester’s best scoring chance coming when Ashton Rome chipped a breakaway attempt just over the crossbar. Providence responded to the scare quickly, as goaltender Hannu Toivonen outletted to Mark Stuart, who in turn found Krejci attacking the Sharks defensive zone. The former second-round pick netted his 20th goal of the year with a quick wrist shot, giving the P-Bruins a 3-0 advantage with 7:53 remaining in the middle frame.
Providence continued the offensive onslaught with another goal, this time from winger Petr Kalus. The fourth Bruins goal spelled the end of the night for Thomas Greiss, as he was removed in favor of Dimitri Patzold after making 17 saves on 21 shots in 36:23 of ice time. Patzold stood tall for the remainder of the period to keep the score at 4-0.
Eleven seconds into the third period, the Sharks caught a huge break when Grant Stevenson was hooked from behind on a breakaway by Sean Curry, giving Worcester their first penalty shot of the season. Stevenson capitalized on the opportunity, beating Toivonen and reducing the Sharks deficit to three. Providence surged again, however, when Kalus tallied used the back of Patzold’s left leg to bank home his second goal of the night. Krejki picked up his second goal and fourth point of the night two minutes later with a shorthanded tally to expand the Bruins lead to 6-1 at the 5:33 mark of the final period. Within the following minute, Pelletier was awarded a penalty shot, but Patzold made a strong save.
The Sharks continue their three-in-three weekend Saturday evening, closing out the season series against the Norfolk Admirals. Worcester downed Norfolk by the score of 4-3 last weekend, and hot tempers from Sunday’s game should make for a hard-hitting rematch. Limited edition FINZ bobblehead dolls will be given away to the first 3,000 fans through the DCU Center gates on Saturday, and Sunday’s contest features a Mathieu Darche hand-signed collectors card giveaway as well as postgame fireworks. For more information on Sharks ticketing and promotions, call the Sharks office at 508-929-0500 or visit www.sharksahl.com.