Darryl Hunt: WorSharks Lose in Overtime, 3-2
The WorSharks got on the board first while on the power play when Dan Spang flipped a Kaspar pass on Monarchs netminder Erik Ersberg. Ersberg made the save, and a second save on Tomas Plihal, but Lukas Kaspar grabbed the lose puck and found the twine to give Worcester the lead at 7:10 of the first.
The game remained 1-0 through the end of the first and for most of the second period as end to end action with few whistles ruled the evening. The WorSharks would take a 2-0 lead on a goal that was generated entirely by hard work and crashing the net.
As Graham Mink's and Matt Moulson's matching roughing minors expired, Mink took off into the Manchester zone to challenge a Monarchs defender chasing a lose puck. Mink got their first, and tried a wrap around to Ersberg's right. Ersberg made the save easily, but the rebound went right to a streaking Josh Prudden. At this point Mink was in front of the net and tried to move out of Prudden's way, but Prudden instead five-holed Mink as he fired the puck over Ersberg and into the top corner with just 46 seconds remaining in period number two.
Manchester owned the third period, but Thomas Greiss was up to the challenge, making save after save. It looked like it would be Worcester night when Manchester's Troy Milam pushed a shot just wide of an open net after Greiss was down and out after making a great save.
Manchester would spoil the shutout bid with 3:11 remaining in the game when Gauthier would connect into a wide open net after a great cross slot pass by Milam. Manchester would continue to pressure, but when Brian Boyle was called for interference with just 89 seconds to go it appeared the WorSharks had weathered the storm.
The Monarchs, and referee Frederic L'Ecuyer, had something to say about that.
While the WorSharks were on the power play Manchester dumped the puck into the Worcester zone, and it was deflected into the netting with one minute remaining. After Manchester called its timeout, for no reason anyone can fathom, L'Ecuyer overruled the linesmen and moved the face-off into the Worcester zone from the neutral zone despite the puck being deflected out of play by a WorSharks defender while in the neutral zone.
After the face off the puck ended up in the corner to the left of Greiss. Manchester's Teddy Percell fired the puck across the slot where Gauthier picked it out of the air from above the crossbar and past Greiss. Greiss immediately jumped to his feet to protest, but L'Ecuyer continued to signal goal without conferring with either linesman or the goal judge.
Video reply shown on the DCU jumbotron appears to show Gauthier's stick above the crossbar and L'Ecuyer looking not at the net, but in the corner where the pass had come from.
In the overtime period Worcester survived a holding minor to Devin Setoguchi while he played defense. Setoguchi had been playing point on the power play and couldn't make a change before Boyle broke in on Greiss.
With under a minute to go Monarchs defender Jeff Likens flipped a shot on goal as Gauthier interfered with both defenseman Tom Walsh and Greiss. The puck his off of Gauthier and went past Greiss who was unable to get to the puck. Greiss again jumped to his feet to protest, but after a few second simply skated away from L'Ecuyer shaking his head.
The scratches for Worcester were Riley Armstrong (lower body injury), Marc Busenburg (healthy), Ashton Rome (healthy), Jonathan Tremblay (healthy), Craig Valette (healthy). Armstrong is not expected to miss much time.
Taylor Dakers didn't play but he was involved in the game, although not of his choosing. Brennan Evans checked Likens on to the dasher in front of the WorSharks bench and almost into Dakers' lap. Dakers put his arms up and pushed Likens back on to the ice. One wonders if he should be credited with a hit or a save.
The three stars of the game were:
Gauthier (Natural hat trick)
Josh Prudden (1g)
Considering that two of Gauthier's goals shouldn't have counted, my vote for the #1 star is Greiss with 42 saves.
Manchester outshot Worcester in the third period and overtime 28-5, including 10-0 in the overtime period. Those totals are the largest team differentials in the AHL this season.
Mike Morris looked like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as he jumped up to knock down a puck in front of the Manchester net. And just like Kareem, he got nothing but net and the "goal" was waived off.
Even Strength Lines
Power Play Lines
Penalty Kill Lines
Face-offs (offense/neutral/defense = total) (unofficial)
Plihal 2-0/6-2/6-3 = 14-5
Morris 1-1/2-1/3-0 = 6-2
Raduns 1-1/2-3/4-2 = 7-6
Cavanagh 5-1/1-0/1-1 = 7-2
Prudden 1-1/1-0/0-1 = 2-2
Iggulden 1-0/0-0/0-0 = 1-0
Manchester 0 0 2 1--3
Worcester 1 1 0 0--2
Scoring: 1, Worcester-Kaspar, Lukas 8 (power play) (Plihal, Tomas 5; Spang, Dan 10) 7:10.
Penalties: MCH-Likens, Jeff (Hooking), 5:15. WOR-Evans, Brennan (Cross checking), 10:52. WOR-Plihal, Tomas (Hooking), 16:08.
Scoring: 2, Worcester-Prudden, Josh 3 (Mink, Graham 12; Spang, Dan 11) 19:13.
Penalties: MCH-Boyle, Brian (Hooking), 2:45. MCH-Purcell, Teddy (Slashing), 13:22. WOR-Mink, Graham (Obstr goalie interfe), 14:32. MCH-Moulson, Matt (Roughing), 16:55. WOR-Mink, Graham (Roughing), 16:55.
Scoring: 3, Manchester-Gauthier, Gabe 10 (Milam, Troy 7; Moulson, Matt 12) 16:49. 4, Manchester-Gauthier, Gabe 11 (Purcell, Teddy 30) 19:39.
Penalties: WOR-Iggulden, Mike (Hooking), 2:51. MCH-Boyle, Brian (Interference), 18:31.
Scoring: 5, Manchester-Gauthier, Gabe 12 (game winner) (Likens, Jeff 8; Milam, Troy 8) 4:19.
Penalties: WOR-Setoguchi, Devin (Holding), 0:46. MCH-Moulson, Matt (Roughing), 2:30. WOR-Evans, Brennan (Roughing), 2:30.
Shots On Goal
Manchester 10 7 18 10--45
Worcester 7 11 5 0--23
Power Play Conversions: Manchester - 0 of 5, Worcester - 1 of 4.
Goalies: Manchester-Ersberg, Erik (64:19, 23 shots, 21 saves; record: 8-4-3). Worcester-Greiss, Thomas (64:19, 45 shots, 42 saves; record: 9-6-4).
A: 5011. Referee: Unknown. Linesmen: Boyle, Ed; Messier, Mark.