ABBOTSFORD, B.C. – Dan DaSilva picked up the game winner and Frank Doyle made 42 saves as the Worcester Sharks doubled up the Abbotsford Heat 2-1 in American Hockey League action Saturday night.
“I felt more like myself tonight,” Doyle said of his second AHL start this season. “It’s always nice when you get more work. When you’re standing around it can be a challenge to stay focused, but I felt more comfortable tonight.”
DaSilva put the Sharks up 2-1 while on a power play late in the third as he redirected Derek Joslin’s point shot past Heat starter David Shantz.
Afterwards Abbotsford was furious over what they thought was a missed off-side call.
“It was a tough call I guess,” said Heat captain Garth Murray, who broke his stick in frustration after the goal. “Maybe it was because (the linesman) was on the other side of (Joslin), I saw the puck a lot clearer than he did and it appeared to me to be (offside), but that’s a losing team saying that.
“Obviously we’re frustrated that we lost and we wished the call would’ve gone our way.”
Both goaltenders stood tall through the first 39 minutes of the game turning aside a combined 51 shots.
It wasn’t until the dying seconds of the second that Worcester (38-20-5) broke a scoreless tie.
Steven Zalewski sprung Dwight Helminen in all alone and the Sharks forward made no mistake, beating Shantz five-hole for his 12th of the season.
The second was a predominantly dull period – it wasn’t until the Sharks got on a 5-on-3 power play for 1:37 that the game opened up.
Worcester thought they had opened the scoring on the two-man advantage but the puck re-directed off of T.J. Trevelyan before beating Shantz.
Abbotsford (32-25-10) had excellent short-handed chances as Ryley Grantham picked up perfect feed from Brad Cole as he stepped out of the box, but the Heat tough guy could not beat Doyle.
The Heat evened things up, on the power play, near the mid-way mark of the third as Jason Jaffray put home the rebound off of Cam Cunning’s shot for his 22nd of the season.
Shantz made 26 saves for his seventh loss of the season.
The Sharks win marked the first time in four tries Worcester beat Abbotsford.
“We know we accomplished a lot beating (Abbotsford),” said Doyle. “They play hard, they come at you hard – that’s what they’ve done the last three games so we’re pretty happy with the result tonight.”