Photo: Portland Pirates

On Tuesday night the Worcester Sharks headed up to Lewiston for the final game of the first half of their season. Coming into the game, the Sharks had taken an impressive 9 of 10 points in their previous 5 games. It was the third game of a four game road trip. It also marked Worcester kicking off a stretch of four straight games against divisional rivals.

Things have been known to get heated between the Pirates and the Sharks, but this would turn out to be a game of goals rather than fights. The teams met in Worcester on January 12th where the Sharks skated to a 4-3 victory. The last time the team played up in Lewiston (where the Pirates play their games this season), the Pirates skated to a 5-1 victory with Andy Miele netting his first AHL hat trick.

It was the Sharks who drew first blood on Tuesday, with Dan DaSilva netting his 5th of the season. He rejoined the Sharks earlier in the season after having been an offensive staple over two years ago. The goal came just after the halfway mark of the period. But with under two minutes left in the period, Lucas Lessio would put the puck past Sharks goalie Harri Sateri to send the game into the first intermission tied.

When the Sharks came out for the second period, it seemed like all the wind had been taken out of their sails. The Pirates had the clear momentum, getting 10 shots on Sateri in the middle frame before the Sharks had their first shot. Brandon Yip capitalized on the surge, putting the Pirates up 2-1. That seemed to be the only wake-up call Worcester needed. Matt Tennyson put a rebound home in his first game back. He had been on a call-up to San Jose where he unfortunately did not see any playing time. He certainly came up strong Tuesday, though.

Brandon Gormley would add his third of the season on the power play with just under 6 minutes remaining to put the Pirates on top 3-2. That would be the last time the Pirates led, though. With less than 4 seconds remaining in the second period, the Sharks tied things back up with Travis Oleksuk getting the tally. They took the tie into the second intermission.

The third period was all about Worcester. They came out strong and kept up the pressure. Just under three minutes into the final period, DaSilva added a power play goal of his own and his second of the night. As the team kept pushing, he would add the next goal as well for his third of the night and the hat trick. It was the second hat trick by a player in a Sharks uniform this season, with Daniil Tarasov having the other back in October at Springfield. However, before Tarasov’s hat trick, no Shark had recorded one since DaSilva’s last tour in teal. He had the last one prior to Tarasov on February 14, 2010 in Manchester.

Even with the Sharks leading 5-3, they were not done. Sena Acolatse added the final goal with just under four minutes to play in the game. It ended an incredibly strong period for the Sharks, who took 18 shots in the final period and only allowed Portland to take 3. In total, Worcester put 47 shots on Louis Domingue in the 6-3 win.

For the Sharks, Dan DaSilva (3g,1a), Travis Oleksuk (1g,3a), Matt Tennyson (1g,2a), Yanni Gourde (3a), and Sena Acolatse (1g,1a) all finished with multi-point nights. The win improved the Sharks to 19-15-3-1 at the halfway mark of their season. In their last 6 games they are 5-0-1-0 for 11 of a possible 12 points. They look to keep rolling on Friday when they visit the Manchester Monarchs to end their road trip.

A New England girl, born and raised, Jessica Higham has grown up loving few things more than hockey. Although she has never considered herself to be a good skater, she fell in love with hockey back when boys still had cooties and that love has only grown since. She genuinely wishes she had been alive to enjoy ‘Miracle on Ice’ and considers it to be one of the greatest moments in US history. Nothing compares to the feeling of September coming and signaling the start of a new season, complete with a whole new set of ups and downs. After having been an avid reader and occasional writer, Jessica wanted to try putting the two loves together and writing about hockey. Aside from hockey, Jessica also loves music, going to concerts, animals, and walking on the beach. Email: jessica@thepinkpuck.com @JessicaHigham

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