The Worcester Sharks opened their home slate of games Saturday night at the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts with a huge opening ceremony to mark the start of their seventh campaign, but it was the Albany Devils who controlled the ice during the game as they swept in and captured a 4-0 victory to spoil the WorSharks home opener and send many of the sellout crowd of 6,659 home early.
The WorSharks would get the first power play of the game at 5:30 of the opening period, but it was Albany that would have the best chance in those two minutes. It took a nifty save by Worcester goaltender Harri Sateri to keep the Devils off the board. Worcester had no good chances on their power play, and soon after with a delayed penalty against the WorSharks being signaled and Team Teal getting caught running around in their own end the puck ended up on the stick of Harri Pesonen standing all alone about 15 feet out in front of Sateri. Pesonen saw Adam Henrique skating out of the right wing corner all alone to make it two attackers against the lone goaltender, and Pesonen threw a nice pass to Henrique that he tipped just inside the near post for the 1-0 Devils lead at 8:53. To add further insult, it was a slash that had knocked Henrique’s stick out of his hands that was the delayed call.
Worcester best bid came about halfway through the stanza when newcomer Jon Matsumoto skated through the Albany defense and put a video game quality deke on Devils netminder Keith Kinkaid, but the puck just flipped on edge before Matsumoto’s backhand attempt and the puck went inches high over the crossbar. That miss would loom large as Albany would connect at 14:20 of the period for their first power play goal on the season when Pesonen tipped a booming slapshot from Bobby Butler past Sateri.