WORCESTER 3, LOWELL 2 (OT)
Worcester captain Ryan Vesce completed a nifty tic-tac-toe play with 56.2 seconds left in overtime, lifting Worcester to a 3-2 win over Lowell on Thursday at the DCU Center and evening their Atlantic Division semifinal at a game apiece.
After dropping Game 1 a night earlier, the Sharks burst out of the gate with two goals by defensemen in the first period. Derek Joslin scored 7:36 into the contest, and Eddie Shore Award winner Danny Groulx followed 6:12 later.
Worcester maintained its 2-0 lead through the second period and most of the third, but it crumbled in a hurry.
The game seemed destined for a second overtime before Vesce beat Lowell netminder Mike McKenna for the game-winner. McKenna finished with 32 saves in the losing effort, while Sharks rookie Alex Stalock earned the win with 33 saves between the pipes.
The series now shifts up Route 495 to Tsongas Center in Lowell for the next three games, beginning on Saturday night.