Today in Worcester hockey history: October 18


1995 at Baltimore 4-3 loss
(BALTIMORE) It took awhile, but the Baltimore Bandits finally won a third period (well, almost), a must in hockey, and thus recorded their first franchise victory at the Baltimore Arena last night, outlasting the Worcester IceCats, 4-3. With a 2-1 lead after two periods, the Bandits appeared to go into a defensive shell early and, at one point, they had to play two men down for a spell as IceCats’ pressure necessitated their taking penalties. But with Mike O’Neill in goal, they were able to overcome everything Worcester threw at them. In the first 10 minutes of the final period, the Bandits had one shot on goal before going back on the attack and scoring a couple of goals. Worcester never cried “uncle,” following up Bandits scores with goals of their own to ensure an exciting one-goal finish. Darren Van Impe gave the home team a two-goal lead midway through the third period, but Dave Roberts countered for the visitors. Steve King seemed to give Baltimore breathing room with his fourth goal six minutes from the end, but there were the IceCats again, pulling to within one with 51 seconds remaining. They were not able to muster a shot in the closing moments. O’Neill, making his fourth start, captured his first victory, made 31 saves, many of them of an acrobatic nature, and drew strong praise from coach Walt Kyle. As happened in their opener at the Arena, the Bandits got on the board with dispatch, Sean Pronger converting a classy feed from Jeremy Stevenson from in close after little more than two minutes. The teams then huffed and puffed until midway through the middle period when John Lilley rifled a 30-footer over the glove of IceCats goalie Eric Fichaud only to have Craig Darby draw the visitors back to within a goal with his fifth goal in as many games less than a minute later.

1996 at Syracuse 3-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats fired only 18 shots on Crunch goaltender Frederic Cassivi, and he stopped them all Syracuse defeated the IceCats 3-0. After a scoreless first period Larry Courville scored the first of two Crunch second period goals at 7:09, and Rod Stevens followed with an unassisted power play goal at 13:32. Courville added a five on three power play marker at 16:55 of the third for the 3-0 final. Travis Scott made 36 saves for the IceCats.

1998 vs Cincinnati 3-2 win
The Worcester IceCats and Cincinnati Mighty Ducks scored all their goals in the first half of their Sunday afternoon contest, with the ‘Cats coming up 3-2 winners. Andrej Podkonicky had the only goal of the first period, at 8:42, with Jan Horacek picking up the assist. The teams would then score four total goals in the first half of the second stanza, with Terry Yake getting the first at 2:37. Ricard Persson and Derek Bekar had the helpers. Jason Widmer made it 3-0 at 4:12, with Lubos Bartecko and Podkonicky getting assists. The Mighty Ducks would have the next two goals, with Jeremy Stevenson scoring a power play goal at 8:52 and Bob Wren scoring at 10:01. But that was all the goals as the ‘Cats grabbed the two points. Rich Parent had 25 saves for the win.

2002 at Lowell 3-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats fired 41 shots on Lock Monsters netminder Jean-Marc Pelletier but could only beat him twice in a 3-2 loss to Lowell. Jeff Heerema had the only goal of the opening 20 minutes, on a five on three power play at 5:37, for the 1-0 Lowell lead. In the second period Tomas Kurka and Jeff Daw would score to make it a three goal advantage for the Lock Monsters. Worcester made a run at it in the late part of the period when Jeff Panzer deflected a Jame Pollock blast past Pelletier and less than a minute later Johnny Pohl flipped a Blake Evans rebound into the net to make it 3-2. But that was as close as Worcester would get despite firing 16 third period shots on Pelletier. Phil Osaer had 22 saves in the loss.

2003 at Binghamton 8-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats allowed three first period goals and were never really in the game during an 8-2 loss to the Senators. Johnny Pohl’s power play goal at 3:59 of the second period, assisted by Ernie Hartlieb and Jon Coleman, made the score 4-1. Greg Black would score at 2:10 of the third to make it 5-2. Jame Pollock and Chris Corrinet had the assists. Reinhard Divis got the loss, stopping just eight of 12 shots before giving way to Levente Szuper, who didn’t fare much better.

2008 vs Providence 3-2 win OT
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks started their home stand on the right note, edging Providence 3-2 in Worcester’s home opener for the 2008-09 season. The stands were packed at the DCU Center, as a sellout crowd of 6814 fans was in attendance for the win. Just 22 seconds after the opening face-off, Jamie McGinn corralled a pass from Steven Zalewski on the left side of the net and wristed the puck to the top right corner for the opening goal. It was his second this year. The quick first goal set the tone for the rest of the night, as the game’s pace remained frantic despite the low score. The Sharks outshot Providence 18-4 after the first period, and 26-9 after two frames. Worcester started the second period impressively, killing off back-to-back penalties, and allowing just one shot on net over the four minute stretch. Riley Armstrong padded the Shark lead, scoring 2:25 into the third period. P.J. Fenton found Armstrong streaking into the offensive zone, where Armstrong received the pass, hesitated to let the defender slide past, and found the back of the net after deflecting the puck of Providence goalie Tuukka Rask. Immediately after Armstrong’s goal, Frazer McLaren found Bruin defenseman Byron Bitz close to center ice, enticing him into the game’s only fight. The two grappled and exchanged punches, firing up their respective benches. Providence, though, would claw back, as Johnny Boychuk scored the first Bruin goal with 6:08 left in the contest. The goal was Boychuk’s second of the year. The Bruins fired back once again, scoring with just 26 seconds left in the third period. Martin St. Pierre fired a rebounded shot past Thomas Greiss to even the score. With 20 seconds left in overtime, however, Kyle McLaren put a heavy shot on net, and Ryan Vesce tipped the puck past Rask for the game-winner. NOTES: Three Stars: (3) Riley Armstrong (2) Martin St. Pierre (1) Kyle McLaren…Worcester’s home opener was a sellout, with 6814 fans in attendance…Thomas Greiss saved 18 of 20 shots for the Sharks, while Rask saved 31 of 34…Worcester went 0/6 on the power play; Providence went 1/5 on the power play

2009 vs Albany 5-3 win
(WORSHARKS) Andrew Desjardins scored two goals including an empty netter with one second remaining and Alex Stalock made 22 saves in net as the Sharks defeated the River Rats 5-3 at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. The Sharks opened the scoring at 11:51 in the first when Andrew Desjardins was in front of the net to bang home the rebound off a Jamie McGinn shot. The line of McGinn, Desjardins and McCarthy struck again at the 15:08 mark when McGinn tipped a Desjardins’ shot from the slot. Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock played an impressive first period and kept the River Rats offense quiet until Pat Dwyer picked off a pass and scored a breakaway goal at 16:02. The Sharks led 2-1 after a fast paced period that saw action up and down the ice. Worcester came out flying in the second period as TJ Trevelyan scored just 34 seconds into the period on an assist from Steven Zalewski. The lead was further extended when Logan Couture put home his third goal of the season at the 2:10 mark bringing the score to 4-1. Shortly after the Sharks fourth goal, forward Dennis McCauley dropped the gloves and squared off against River Rats forward Brad Herauf, both received five minute fighting penalties. Albany’s Pat Dwyer tightened the gap recording his second goal of the game at 3:29 on an assist from Drayson Bowman. The rest of the period was evenly matched and both goaltenders came up with big saves to keep the score 4-2 in favor of the Sharks. In the third period, the Sharks were able to hold off a late charge by the River Rats to hold onto the win. The River Rats brought the score to within one when Jamie McBain scored at 18:49, but Andrew Desjardins added an empty net goal with only one second remaining to secure the victory. Alex Stalock was superb in net during the third period making several difficult saves in a winning effort.

2014 vs Providence 4-3 win OT
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (3-0-0-0, 6pts) swept the Providence Bruins (1-2-1-0, 3pts) in the home-and-home series with an exciting 4-3 overtime victory in front of 5,809 fans at the 20th AHL home opener at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. The Sharks led 2-0 and 3-2 before the Bruins tied the score at 19:55 of the third period to force overtime. Dylan DeMelo scored the game winner at 6:33 with a rocket past Malcolm Subban to send the sellout crowd home happy. Taylor Doherty (1-1-2), Melker Karlsson, and Michael Haley also scored for the Sharks while Troy Grosenick improved to 3-0 with 27 saves in net. Alexander Khokhlachev (1-2-3) and David Pastrnak (1-2-3) led the way offensively for Providence while Malcolm Subban made 27 saves in net. Worcester came out of the gates buzzing and took a 2-0 lead in the first half of the opening period. Taylor Doherty (1st) put the Sharks ahead 1-0 with a 55 foot wrist shot that made its way through traffic and past Malcolm Subban at 3:08. Melker Karlsson (1st) scored his first goal of the season in his first game with the Sharks after he snuck the puck around Subban after a great centering feed by Ryan Carpenter at 9:14. The Bruins got on the board as rookie David Pastrnak (2nd) finished off a 2-on-0 rush with Alexander Khokhlachev at 15:43 past Troy Grosenick. Worcester led 2-1 after 20 minutes with a 11-9 shot advantage. The Bruins tied the score at 4:56 of the second period as Jordan Caron found the back of the net with a wicked shot off the post and past Grosenick from the left circle. Micheal Haley (2nd) put the Sharks back on top with a breakaway tally after a great feed from Freddie Hamilton at 13:17. Worcester headed into the second intermission ahead 3-2, despite the Bruins out shooting Worcester 12-7 in the middle frame. It looked like the Sharks were going to win the game 3-2, but the Bruins answered with an extra attacker goal at 19:55. Alexander Khokhlachev (1st) buried a shot from 50 feet after Worcester had several chances to clear the puck to seal the victory. The game headed to overtime tied 3-3. Worcester controlled the extra frame and outshot the Bruins 6-1 before scoring a 3-on-3 goal. Defenseman Dylan DeMelo (1st) ripped home the game winner from 40 feet past the blocker of Malcolm Subban at 6:33 to give Worcester the 4-3 win. The Sharks overall record improves to 3-0-0-0, 6pts and 1-0-0-0, 2pts at the DCU Center.

2019 vs Maine 3-2 Win (SO)
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (2-0-0-0, 4pts) prevailed with a come from behind 3-2 shootout victory over the Maine Mariners (0-1-0-1, 1pt) in front of 2,722 fans at the DCU Center on Friday evening. The Railers hit the road for four straight games starting Saturday night in Glens Falls vs. the Adirondack Thunder at 7pm. Worcester got a goal from Kyle Thomas at 17:51 of the third period to tie the game at 2-2 to send the contest to overtime. Nic Pierog would score the lone goal of the three round shootout for the Railers while 19-year-old Jakub Skarek made 24 saves on 26 shots in net for his second career win. Connor LaCouvee made 32 saves in net for the Mariners and Dillan Fox scored both goals for Maine as Worcester opened the season a perfect 2-0. The Maine Mariners would come out of the gates hot as Dillan Fox (1st) would score from behind the net just 56 seconds in giving the opposing team a 1-0 lead. Then at 12:46 Fox (2nd) would net his second goal of the game firing a shot from the top of the right circle beating Railers netminder Jakub Skarek blocker side increasing the Maine lead 2-0. Tanner Pond (1st) would strike at 12:53 his first as a Railer as he was all alone in the high slot and received a feed from Cody Payne decreasing the deficit to 2-1. The Railers headed into the dressing room down 2-1 after the opening frame with shots tied at 8-8. The second period saw no goals scored as the Railers were able to generate some scoring chances on the penalty kill in route to killing off both Maine power plays. Jakub Skarek was perfect in next stopping all nine shots he faced but the Railers still trailed 2-1 through 40 minutes of play. Back and forth action in the third period there was no scoring until just 2:09 left in the game when Kyle Thomas (2nd) jammed home the puck at the side of the net with netminder Jakub Skarek on the bench for the extra attacker. A seven-minute overtime period was not enough to provide a winner as the contest needed a shootout to decide who would skate to victory. Nic Pierog was the only player to score in the shootout while Jakub Skarek stopped all three shots he faced as Worcester took home the 3-2 shootout win on home ice. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Nic Pierog (shootout winner) 2nd star: Kyle Thomas (1-0-1) 1st star: Dillan Fox (2-0-2) …. final shots were 35-26 in favor of Worcester…Connor LaCouvee (0-0-0-1) made 32 saves on 34 shots for Maine… Jakub Skarek (2-0-0) made 24 saves on 26 shots for Worcester and went three for three in the shootout while Evan Buitenhuis served as the backup…. Worcester went 0-for-5 on the power play while Maine went 0-for-3…. Anthony Florentino (inj), Henrik Samuelsson (inj), Chris Rygus, Jake Bolton and Ross Olsson did not dress for Worcester….. Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Nic Pierog and Justin Murray led Worcester with four shots on goal….forward Cody Payne made his professional debut for the Railers adding an assist…. Barry Almeida wore the C while Mike Cornell and Connor Doherty wore A’s for the Railers….Worcester dressed four rookies and four veterans…Ryan Hitchcock, Connor Doherty, and Kyle Thomas all finished +1 ….5 different Railers recorded a point….. the Railers will play the Mariners 18 times this season….Worcester is now 5-4-3-3 all-time vs. the Mariners.


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