Sharks Sink Pirates for First Win in Franchise History

By Jeremy Lemoine Staff
PORTLAND - The Worcester Sharks began their inaugural campaign for the 2006-07 hockey season on Friday night in the Cumberland County Civic Center against the Portland Pirates.  Worcester dominated the whole game, but it came down to a shootout.  In the second frame, Sharks forward Mike Iggulden scored on a wrister to steal the extra point for a 4-3 win. It was Worcester’s first win in franchise history.
The Sharks established a quick, up-tempo game right off the opening face off, but it was Portland who drew first blood.  Bjorn Melin fired a laser beam off a Zenon Konopka feed from the face off that beat Sharks netminder Dimitri Patzold on the high blocker side at 13:48 of the first period.
The first period ended prematurely when a pain of glass broke in the Sharks corner with 1:19 left in the first period.
The Sharks again came out hard looking to get on the board with the first goal in team history, but the Pirates stole a 2-0 lead when forward Tim Brent slammed home a rebound past Patzold during a flurry in front of the net just five minutes into the period.
Just five minutes later, Sharks verteran forward Mathieu Darche made Worcester history.  Darche banged home his own rebound through Pirates goaltender Michael Leighton’s five hole.  Defenseman Dan Spang and forward Joe Pavelski picked up the helpers.
Worcester began the third period with a ton of momentum as they peppered Leighton with five shots in the first three minutes of the session.
The hard work paid off as Pavelski knotted the score at two apiece at 3:43 of the third through Leighton’s five-hole. 
The Sharks continued pressure and nearly scored to take the lead when forward Mike Iggulden was robbed at the doorstop.  Inadvertently, the Portland netminder was injured on the play and was replaced by Mike Wall.
The Pirates went on the power play and took a 3-2 lead at 8:10 of the third when forward Shawn Thornton tipped home a Bruno St. Jacques slap shot from the point.
Worcester would not let that goal spoil their season opener though.  With a four-on-three advantage, Coach Roy Sommer pulled Paztold for a two-man advantage.  Seconds later, Dan Spang scored on a slap shot from the point with just under a minute left to make it 3-3 and force overtime.
After a scoreless overtime, Mike Iggulden scored in the second frame on wrister through Wall’s five-hole for the win.
Sharks goalie Dimitri Patzold made 32 saves, while Mike Wall and Michael Leighton combined for 28 saves for the Pirates.
The Sharks will look for their second straight win of the season Saturday night when they travel to Manchester to take on the Monarchs at 7:05 p.m.
On Saturday, October 14th at 7pm the Sharks will play host to the Pirates at the DCU Center for Opening Night, powered by the US Army. Limited seating is still available at the DCU Center Box Office.  For more information, Crash the Net at

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