Worcester, MA - Chris Kreider and Ryan Bourque scored goals 1:17 apart in the third period Saturday night at the DCU Center, to erase a 1-0 deficit and give the Connecticut Whale a 2-1 win over the Worcester Sharks.
Cam Talbot made 23 saves in the Whale net in the victory, which snapped a two-game Connecticut losing streak. Brodie Reid scored the only Worcester goal, and Alex Stalock made 21 stops for the Sharks.
The first period was tightly played and scoreless until the 17:29 mark, when Reid, playing his first game of the season, scored to give Worcester a 1-0 lead. Reid tracked down a bouncing puck near the blue line and moved down left wing, before snapping a shot through Whale defenseman Matt Gilroy’s legs and past Talbot’s catching glove side.
The Whale pushed back strongly after that goal, but were unable to get anything by Stalock, despite several good chances.
Both goaltenders had to make some sparkling saves in a scoreless second period, which included the Whale’s Chad Kolarik hitting the goalpost on Stalock’s glove side twice in one shift around the 13-minute mark.
The Whale finally broke through against Stalock on a power play at 1:40 of the third. After Worcester was called for having too many men on the ice, Kreider flipped in a rebound only four seconds into the man advantage. Kyle Jean won a draw back to Gilroy at the point, and Stalock stopped Gilroy’s shots with his pads but could not control the puck.
Then, at 2:57, Bourque scored an unassisted goal that turned out to be the game-winner. Worcester’s Travis Oleksuk dropped the puck behind his own net to Taylor Doherty, who lost control to Bourque. Bourque reversed his field and stepped out to the left of a surprised Stalock, slipping the puck just inside the goalpost.
It was the second straight Saturday night that the Whale won in Worcester, after Connecticut skated off with a 6-2 road win against the Sharks the previous Saturday.
The Whale (6-7-1-0, 13 pts.) are now off until this Friday night, when they will travel to Bridgeport for a Nutmeg-State battle with the Sound Tigers. That game faces off at 7:00 PM, and the play-by-play can be heard live on “Beethoven Radio” AM 1290, and on-line at www.ctwhale.com.
The Whale’s next home game is next Saturday, November 24 vs. the defending Calder Cup-champion Norfolk Admirals, and fans can enjoy a doubleheader of hockey action that day at the XL Center. Prior to Whale vs. Admirals at 7:00, the UConn Men’s Hockey Huskies will take on Air Force in an NCAA Division I hockey battle. That game faces off at 3:30, and one ticket is good for both the college game and the Whale game. The XL Center will serve as UConn’s home ice for Hockey East contests when the Men’s Huskies join the nation’s most prestigious conference in 2014-15.
Tickets for all Whale regular season home games at the XL Center are on sale now at the Public Power Ticket Office at the XL Center, through TicketMaster Charge-by-Phone at 1-800-745-3000 and on-line at www.ticketmaster.com.
Connecticut Whale 2 at Worcester Sharks 1
Saturday, November 17, 2012 - DCU Center