Sharks Archives: Sharks Bite Hard and Often, Defeat Devils 6-1
LOWELL, MA – Behind a three-goal second period and five multi-point efforts, the Worcester Sharks cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Lowell Devils on Wednesday evening at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA.
Riley Armstrong led the way with three points (2g, 1a), while Mike Iggulden (1g, 1a), Devin Setoguchi (1g, 1a), Dennis Packard (0g, 2a), and Patrick Traverse (0g, 2a) had two. Sharks goaltender Dimitri Patzold was solid in net, stopping 23 of 24 Devils shots.
It looked like Lowell would take the early lead, but Patzold came up with a pair of great saves. After two minutes of scoreless play, Barry Tallackson had a point blank opportunity just outside the crease. Patzold made the initial save and the rebound bounced right to Erik Rasmussen for an even better opportunity, but Patzold came up with another big stop.
On the ensuing breakout up ice, Iggulden carried the puck toward the right wing side between the blue line and faceoff circle. He let go a wrist shot from 40 feet away that beat Lowell goaltender Frank Doyle low to the blocker side at 2:30 of the first period. It marked Iggulden’s first goal since Jan. 18, ending a six-game drought. Packard and Marc Busenburg picked up the assists on the play.
The Devils tied the score at 4:46 on a nifty sequence of passing. The puck was dumped down low with Ivan Khomutov chasing it down at the right wing boards. He passed to Benoit Mondou in the right faceoff circle who rifled a pass across to Stephen Gionta in the left faceoff circle. Gionta found the open net before Patzold could recover, making it 1-1.
The Sharks retook the lead at 15:49 when T.J. Fox picked up his eighth goal of the season. Packard was fore checking behind the net when he found Fox in front of Doyle’s crease. Fox put a shot on goal that was initially saved, but bounced up and over Doyle, making it 2-1. Packard picked up his second assist of the game and period on the play. Iggulden was also credited with an assist, his second point of the first period.
Worcester held the 11-9 shot advantage after one period.
The Sharks came out flying in the second period and wouldn’t look back. Brad Staubitz, playing his fourth game at forward, picked up his second goal of the season at 3:33. Traverse took a shot from just inside the blue line with Staubitz camped out in front of the net. Staubitz made the deflection past Doyle for the 3-1 lead. Brennan Evans tallied the other assist on the play.
Worcester made it a three-goal advantage at 11:17 on Armstrong’s 12th goal of the season. Tom Walsh found himself just inside the blue line and made a nifty pass springing Armstrong between the faceoff circles. Armstrong skated in between Lowell defenders with a clear shot at Doyle, beating him with a low shot just inside the right post to make it 4-1. Craig Valette also picked up an assist on the play.
Armstrong picked up his second goal of the period and 13th of the season at 17:01. After Doyle made the initial save, Armstrong held the puck, forcing Doyle to bite on the low shot. When he saw the opening, he put the shot perfectly to the top right corner, making it 5-1. Tom Cavanagh and Setoguchi picked up the assists on the goal.
After 18 minutes without a shot on goal, Lowell finally tested Patzold for the first time. In total, the Devils only had three shots on goal in the period. Worcester had 15 shots of their own and led 26-12 after two periods.
Less than one minute into the third period, the Sharks made it 6-1. Setoguchi took a pass from Armstrong and skated around three Lowell defenders before releasing a shot in the left faceoff circle. It found the lower right corner of the net to finish off the highlight-reel sequence. Along with Armstrong, Traverse picked up his second assist on the play.
Lukas Kaspar had a close call that hit the post midway through the third, but it didn’t matter. The Sharks easily held on to the 6-1 win. Final shots were 29-24 in favor of Worcester.
The Sharks continue their six-game road swing on Sunday when they travel to Hershey to play the Bears. Worcester returns to the DCU Center on Friday, Feb. 22, for a 3-in-3 weekend, with all three games on home ice. Friday’s matchup features Lowell, with Portland skating into town on Saturday and the Springfield Falcons wrapping up the weekend with an 8:05pm start on Sunday the 24th. To learn more about ticket packages and other promotions, crash the net at sharksahl.com or call the Sharks offices at 508-929-0500.
NOTES: The six goals scored were a season high for the Sharks. The previous high was five … It was the first time the Sharks have won by five goals this season … Mike Iggulden’s 18th goal of the season ended a six-game goal drought. It was his first goal since Jan. 18 vs. Portland when he picked up a pair in the third period … Dennis Packard has now picked up four assists the last three games after having six in the first 41 … Iggulden’s goal marked the fourth consecutive game the Sharks have scored first. This streak started after four straight games of failing to light the lamp first … Evans’ assist in the second period marked his first point since Dec. 27 when he picked up a helper at Lowell. The drought spanned 18 games … Brad Staubitz played his fourth game at forward (and third in as many games) and picked up his second goal of the season in the second period. The other goal was at home vs. Providence on Jan. 4, when he tied the score in the third period … Craig Valette’s second period assist was his first point since Dec. 16 at Manchester, when he picked up an assist. The drought spanned 18 games … Riley Armstrong’s two second period goals marked only the third times a Sharks player has found the back of the net twice in a period. The last time it happened was last time out at Providence when Josh Prudden scored twice in the third period … The three shots allowed in the second period tied a season best for fewest shots allowed in a period. The other time was in the second period on Dec. 15 vs. Houston … The three second period goals tied for the most goals scored in a period this season … The three points for Armstrong were a season-high … The two points by Traverse tied a season high … The Sharks were not called for any penalties for the first time in franchise history … The six combined penalty minutes also tied a season low … The final attendance figure was 1,098 … Patzold had 23 saves on 24 shots for the Sharks while Doyle stopped 23 of 29 for Lowell …
Power plays: Worcester: 0 for 3, Lowell 0 for 0
Niche Hospitality Group 3 Stars: Mezcal 3rd star – Setoguchi (1g, 1a), Bocado 2nd star – Iggulden (1g, 1a), Block 5 1st star – Armstrong (2 g, 1a)