DALY CITY — Dean Ouellet is back in town and the San Francisco Bulls are keeping forward Tommy Grant for the playoffs. But top-scorer Peter Sivak is staying in Worcester for at least another week.
Coach Pat Curcio submitted his 23-man Kelly Cup playoff roster to the ECHL on Monday and Sivak, Yanni Gourde, Daniil Tarasov and Marek Viedensky are among the players who are eligible to suit up for the Bulls’ first-round series against the Alaska Aces, which kicks off in Anchorage on Friday. But the four current members of the Worcester Sharks will remain in the AHL for at least another week while the team tries to keep its playoff hopes alive.
“I’m very happy that we got Grant,” Curcio said. “I’m optimistic that maybe we’ll see Peter Sivak by the time we play at home on April 11.”
Entering Tuesday’s games, the AHL Sharks were in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, seven points out of a playoff spot with 11 games remaining. With four games this week, the Sharks fate could be clearer by Sunday, so Curcio added Sivak, Gourde, Tarasov and Viedensky as reserves in hopes that one or more of them will be available for Game 3 and Game 4 at the Cow Palace on April 11 and April 12.
But making room for the Sharks required Curcio to leave Nick Walsh, William Lacasse and Hans Benson off the roster.
“Those are tough decisions,” Curcio said.
Ian Schultz is also absent because he’s out for six to eight weeks after breaking his ankle on blocked shot on Saturday. The injury breaks up the shutdown checking line of Schultz, Jordan Morrison and Kris Belan after just one game.
“I really believe they would have done a lot of damage against top lines,” Curcio said.
The playoff roster includes 20 active players and four reserves, three of which are eligible to skate with the team during the postseason.
“I named four reserves, but you can only take three,” Curcio said. “Once you take three, the fourth guy can’t play.”
Curcio is pleased to have Ouellet and Grant for the postseason. Grant scored five points in five games with the team and Ouellet finished second on the team in points (52) and goals (24) and was third among ECHL rookies in points.
“He brings the ability to make a play even if he doesn’t score a goal,” he said.