HERSHEY, Pa. – The Worcester Sharks scored all their goals on the power play and erased a first-period deficit to force a shootout, eventually going on to a 4-3 win over the HERSHEY BEARS on Saturday night at GIANT Center.
The night started off well for the BEARS as Cameron Schilling began an explosive first period. His slap shot from the left point screamed past Sharks netminder Alex Stalock just 36 seconds into the game for a 1-0 HERSHEY lead. Jeff Taffe picked up an assist on the play to extend his assist streak to six games.
The Sharks then began their success on the power play on their first opportunity of the night. With Zach Hamill serving a slashing penalty, Jon Matsumoto stationed himself in front of goaltender Braden Holtby and redirected a shot from Matt Tennyson into the net at 6:17 for the tying goal.
The BEARS got one right back at 10:33 on another deflection. Garrett Stafford, back on the HERSHEY blue line for the first time since missing nine games due to injury, fired a low slap shot right toward the tape of Mike Carman. The puck changed direction and beat Stalock through the pads for a 2-1 BEARS lead.
HERSHEY made it 3-1 on a beautiful goal from Hamill. After T.J. Syner won a puck battle on the right boards Hamill picked it up, skated toward the right circle, made a toe-drag move to get to the slot and ripped a wrist shot stick side past Stalock at 13:26.
The Sharks fought back to tie the game, getting a power play goal in both the second and third periods from James Sheppard. At 4:05 of the second, Sheppard beat Holtby with a low slap shot, then deflected a Tennyson shot at 9:48 of the third over Holtby’s glove.
The BEARS would outshoot the Sharks 3-0 in overtime.
After Holtby turned aside Sheppard, Tim Kennedy and Brodie Reid in the first three rounds of the shootout, Matsumoto slid a shot inside the left post for the only score for either team. Holtby denied Travis Oleksuk in the fifth round to finish with four saves on five shots. Stalock was perfect at the other end, denying all five BEARS shooters to help the Sharks complete their comeback.
Stalock improves to 9-5-1 with the win, stopping 22 of 25 shots in regulation and overtime. Holtby suffered his first shootout loss and falls to 10-8-1, turning aside 31 of 34 shots in the first 65 minutes of play.
The BEARS finished the night 0-for-5 on the power play and 3-for-6 on the penalty kill.
The BEARS remain home to take on the Norfolk Admirals on Wednesday, December 19 at 7:00 PM. All fans will receive a complimentary pass to HERSHEYPARK valid through July 4, 2013, and prior to the game, the inaugural class of the HERSHEY BEARS Hockey Hall of Fame will be enshrined.
Tickets for this game and all HERSHEY BEARS home games are on sale at the GIANT Center box office, by calling (717) 508-BEAR, or online at TicketMaster.com.