The two teams played a relatively quiet first period as neither side was able to muster many quality scoring chances. The Sound Tigers had their best opportunity to score in the second half of the period when Brandon Svendsen and Rob Hisey skated in on a two-on-one but couldn’t convert. Worcester’s chances came in the final minute of the frame after Svendsen took a hooking penalty and a bench minor was assessed for too many men at the ice to give Worcester a five-on-three. However, the penalty kill unit of Wes O’Neill, Mark Wotton and Jeremy Colliton held Worcester at bay punctuated by a few timely saves from Nathan Lawson, and the two sides were scoreless heading to the locker rooms.
The Sound Tigers continued their strong defensive play and struck quickly to take a two-goal lead. Micheal Haley forced a turnover at the Sharks blue line and Tomas Marcinko grabbed the loose puck. Marcinko’s initial shot was blocked, but he collected the puck and found Robin Figren by the right circle who netted his 10th goal of the season to put the Sound Tigers in front 1-0 at 14:44. Olivier Labelle would give the Sound Tigers a 2-0 lead just 52 seconds later. Labelle avoided a check along the left-side boards and cut in on Alex Stalock. Stalock stopped the first shot, but Labelle collected the rebound and fired it past Stalock for his second goal of the season. Lawson stopped all 13 shots he saw in the second period as the Sound Tigers carried a 2-0 lead into the final period of play.
Jonathan Cheechoo would cut the Sound Tigers lead in half with his 12th goal of the season at 14:33 of the third. That’s as close as the Sharks would get, as Lawson made some key saves down the stretch and the Sound Tigers skated away with a hard-fought road victory. Micheal Haley assisted on both Sound Tigers goals. Alex Stalock made 22 saves in the losing effort.
The Sound Tigers and Sharks will close out their home-and-home series as well as the 2010 calendar year with a New Year’s Eve showdown tomorrow afternoon at the Arena at Harbor Yard at 1:00 p.m.
DiBenedetto – Colliton – Rakhshani
Hisey – Ullstrom – Svendsen
Haley – Marcinko – Figren
Bourbeau – Romano – Labelle
Friesen – Wotton
Motherwell – Katic
O’Neill - Klementyev