Friday, May 8, 2009

Worcester Steps Up With Victory

Worcester Responds With Win Over Providence
May 8, 2009
by T. Chace Jr.

Worcester apparently needs to have their backs against the wall to get on track in their playoff series. In the first round against the favored Hartford Wolf Pack, the Sharks dropped the first two games only to win the next four in a row and the series. Likewise, Providence beat Worcester in both of their games so far in this series only to see the Sharks pull off a victory in their effort to settle the Atlantic Division finals. On Friday night at "The Dunk" in Providence, the Sharks beat the Bruins 5-3, to get their first victory in the series.

Veteran defenseman Patrick Traverse scored a power play goal at 14:10 of the first period to open the scoring in Game 3. Traverse scored his 3rd goal of the playoffs with assists from Derek Joslin and Ryan Vesce while Bruin defenseman Adam McQuaid served a high sticking penalty. With less than a minute left in the period, TJ Fox scored his 3rd goal of the playoffs as well with an assist from Brad Staubitz to take a 2-0 lead at the end of the 1st period.

As soon as they dropped the puck for the 2nd period, Providence got on the board with a nifty tip in goal by Brad Marchand. Defenseman Jeff Penner's shot was tipped by Marchand after Vladimir Sobotka set up Penner to make the score 2-1. Marchand netted his 4th goal and the rookie leads the Bruins in goals as well as agitating the Worcester club. A defensive turnover by the Bruins led to an unassisted goal by Andrew Desjardins at the 4:40 mark to get the Sharks two goal lead back at 3-1. Providence battled back, and with Fox in the box for interference, Penner scored on a beautiful feed from Martin St.Pierre and Sobotka to cut the lead to 3-2. The Sharks were clinging to the 3-2 lead till the end of the period.

Providence carried the play early in the 3rd period yet it was Bruin killer Jamie McGinn who struck again at 11:39 on only their third shot of the period to give the Sharks a 4-2 lead. Assists were credited to Vesce and Lukas Kaspar. That lead held until Bruin netminder Tuukka Rask was pulled after a timeout with 1:35 left. With 1:00 left, a melee similiar to Game 2 took place. Jamie McGinn slashed St.Pierre which resulted in a scuffle which was broken up quickly but fights took place all over the ice. McGinn got a slashing penalty along with a roughing minor, St.Pierre received just a slashing minor. The only fighting majors were given to Bruin Johnny Boychuk (his first major all season) and Shark Mike Moore. Jeremy Reich and Sobotka received roughing and misconduct penalties as did Brett Westgarth and Vesce for Worcester. Five seconds after sorting out the penalties, Mikko Lehtonen scored for Providence on the power play to cut the lead to 4-3 with :55 left in the game, with assists to Marchand and Zach Hamill. It became a moot point at 19:26 when Riley Armstrong scored an empty net goal to seal the deal at 5-3.

Game 4 is Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, followed by Game 5 on Monday night back at the Dunk. The three stars were Desjardins, Penner and Vesce. Providence was 2 for 4 on the power play, while Worcester went 1 for 4. Shots on goal favored Worcester 31-28 and the attendance was 5167 at "The Dunk".

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