WORCESTER 6, HARTFORD 0
Worcester erupted for five goals in the third period and ran away with a 6-0 win over Hartford at the DCU Center on Wednesday to tie up the teams’ Atlantic Division semifinal at two games apiece.
The teams are right back at it for Game 5 on Thursday in Hartford, and Game 6 will be back in Worcester on Saturday.
Six different Sharks lit the lamp, and goaltender Thomas Greiss made 30 saves for his first career playoff shutout.
For the first time in the series, Worcester netted the game’s first goal when Kyle McLaren’s shot from the right point at 3:19 of the opening period found its way through a screen and past Hartford goaltender Matt Zaba. It proved to be all the offense the Sharks would need.
After a scoreless second period, the Sharks’ offense was busy early and often in the third. Rookie Logan Couture netted his first professional goal at 1:23, and Lukas Kaspar made it a 3-0 game at the 3:45 mark.
Captain Ryan Vesce (6:16) and Tom Cavanagh (7:21) scored just 1:05 apart to bulge the lead to 5-0, and T.J. Fox rounded out the scoring with 47 seconds to play. Riley Armstrong, Dan DaSilva, and Andrew Desjardins all registered a pair of assists for the Sharks.
The five third-period goals by Worcester were the most in a period by any team thus far in the 2009 Calder Cup Playoffs, and it marked just the third time all season that the Sharks reached six goals in a game.
Greiss, who also earned a shutout on the last day of the regular season, now has two whitewashes in his last five appearances after going his first 140 AHL games without bagging one.