Worcester Shoots Down Falcons for Third Straight Win
By Jeremy Lemoine
WORCESTER - The phrase is becoming overused, but Wednesday night’s game for the Worcester Sharks was certainly one with “playoff implications.” With the Sharks in a tight battle for a playoff spot in the ever-so-tight Atlantic Division, every point counts. That being said, the Sharks took advantage of a lowly Springfield Falcons team and won 6-2 at the DCU Center.
Sharks netminder Thomas Greiss was strong in net for the third game in a row with 25 saves to pick up his 14th win of the season. Mathieu Darche paced Team Teal with three points, while Craig Valette recorded his first two points (assists) since returning from a hand injury.
Worcester came out and dominated the first period with tallies from Mathieu Darche and Riley Armstrong for a 2-0 lead. Darche’s goal came first, on the power play, when he tipped home a shot from the slot on a Mike Iggulden slap shot from the point at 11:55 of the first period. The goal was Darche’s first in 17 games and 26th of the season.
Armstrong scored No. 16 of the season less than two minutes later on a beautiful play that exuded patience. Craig Valette fed Armstrong in front and he held the puck long enough to make Springfield goaltender Karri Ramo to make the first move. Ramo challenged and Armstrong calmly deked left and backhanded the puck into an empty net.
The Falcons cut the Sharks lead in half during a Worcester two-man advantage. Daniel Corso chipped the puck out of the Springfield defensive zone and sent Norm Milley in on a breakaway. Milley went in and fired the puck past Greiss’ right pad for his team-leading 20th of the season.
Worcester struck again with a Patrick Traverse tally for a 3-1 lead and his fifth of the year. He trailed Graham Mink on a breakaway and was right there to knock in the rebound with just eight seconds on the clock.
The Sharks weren’t finished there either. Darche picked up a loose puck from the Springfield blueline uncontested and rifled a snap shot past Ramo’s glove hand for his second goal of the night, and a 4-1 Worcester lead.
Springfield made it 4-2 at 8:16 of the third period. This time, Norm Milley returned the favor and set up Daniel Corso for his 14th of the season.
Mike Iggulden hooked up with Darche for the Sharks fifth goal of the night at 10:31 of the final period. Darche fed Iggulden out front and slid it five-hole on Ramo for his 23rd of the season and his fourth in as many games.
Tom Cavanagh made the score 6-2 and completely out reach for Springfield when he hacked and whacked a loose puck in front of the net for his eighth of the season.
The Sharks next will take on the Providence Bruins on Friday, March 2nd for Special Olympics night. The Special Olympics of Massachusetts will hold their Opening Ceremonies prior to puck drop at 6:30 p.m. The game will begin promptly at 8:00 p.m. For more information on promotions or tickets, please call the Sharks offices at 508.929.0500.