Down Two, Then Left
Al being Al (Chris Rutsch photo)
The Hartford Wolf Pack pissed away a two-goal lead and valuable points in the division last night, losing at home to the Worcester Sharks, 5-4 in overtime.
Steve Valiquette was pulled after giving up two goals midway through the first period, a move that was described in today's paper as being symbolic more of the team's sloppy play rather than Valiquette's ("It was a message for them to play better instead of relying on Steve all of the time," said Ken Gernander, or something to that effect). Shortly afterwards, two goals by Nigel Dawes-- his first for the Wolf Pack this season-- and one by Dane Byers helped Hartford build a 4-2 lead.
However, three straight power-play goals by the Sharks, including the game-winner at 3:15 of the overtime period, gave Worcester the win and allowed the sixth-place Sharks to increase the distance in the division between themselves and the cellar-dwelling Wolf Pack to 5 points.
Ryan Callahan (Heather Rutsch photo)
Ryan Callahan scored the game's first goal, besides having at least 5 mini-breakaways during the rest of the game, and extended his goal-scoring streak to 8 games, the longest in the AHL this season. Dane Byers has a three-game goal-scoring streak of his own, along with 7 points (3g, 4a) in his last 5 games.
Worcester wore their cool all-black uniforms for the first time against the Wolf Pack this season. Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss even wore a plain black helmet and pads, making him look like a shadow stormtrooper or something.
Shark at random (Photo: Heather Rutsch)
There was also a point mid-way through the second period when there were two pucks on the ice at the same time for about a half-minute or so, after the puck hit the protective netting and then fell back to the ice before the ensuing face-off without the refs noticing it. It wasn't until play went into the corner and there were two pucks right next to each other that referee Rob Martell saw the first puck and picked it up.