WORCESTER 3, HARTFORD 2 (2OT)
In the first Calder Cup Playoff game of 2009 to extend to a second overtime, Worcester captain Ryan Vesce scored from the slot at 1:07 to give the Sharks a 3-2 win over visiting Hartford at the DCU Center in Game 3 of their Atlantic Division semifinal.
Worcester cut its series deficit to 2-1 and will host Game 4 on Wednesday.
Vesce also scored in the second period for the Sharks, a goal that tied the game at 2-2 and proved to be the marker that sent the contest to overtime.
Hartford’s Corey Potter and Worcester’s Tom Cavanagh traded first-period goals, and Wolf Pack rookie Dale Weise momentarily put his team on top at 5:01 of the middle frame. Vesce tied it just 1:24 later.
Both sides enjoyed scoring chances in the first overtime, and the Wolf Pack were unable to convert on a pair of power play chances during the session.
Early in the second overtime, Sharks defenseman Brendan Buckley took a shot from the right boards that kicked off the skate of Hartford blueliner Bobby Sanguinetti directly to Vesce, who beat Wolf Pack goaltender Matt Zaba point-blank.
Vesce, who lead the AHL with four overtime goals during the regular season, gave the Sharks their first-ever overtime victory in the playoffs (1-2).
Sharks netminder Thomas Greiss made 34 saves on 36 shots to pick up his first career Calder Cup Playoff win in his sixth appearance.