1994 vs Providence 5-2 win
The Worcester IceCats built a 3-0 lead and then held on for a 5-2 victory in the franchise’s first ever win. Martin Mercier scored two goals and center Mark Ouimet, added a pair of assists. Terry Virtue , Jason Widmer, and Ross Wilson had the other IceCats goals. Mercier opened the scoring when Roy Mitchell threw a perfect pass to the streaking forward, who skated through the P-Bruins defenders and beat Providence netminder Chad Erickson with a wrist shot at 2:43. The ‘Cats made it 2-0 at 5:26 of the second period when Wilson gathered the puck out of a wild goalmouth scramble and poked it past Erickson. Ouimet and Rob Melanson had the helpers on the play. Later Ouimet sent Virtue away on a 2-on-1 break. Virtue kept the puck all the way and drove in on Erickson to flip a wrist shot under the crossbar for a 3-0 lead at 11:34. John Pratt ended Kuntar’s shutout bid at 2:49 of the third. The ‘Cats were awarded a penalty shot after Brett Harkins threw his stick nearly the width of the rink at an IceCat stick-handling into the Bruins’ zone. Widmer took it and scored at 18:28. Providence’s Fred Knipscheer made it 4-2 at 18:58, but Mercier hit the empty net at 19:51 for the 5-2 final. Les Kuntar made 27 saves for the victory.
1999 vs Hartford 4-2 win
The Worcester IceCats used two third period goals to help defeat the Wolf Pack 4-2. Ladislav Nagy got the ‘Cats on the board with a power play goal at 8:57, assisted by Jame Pollock and Marty Reasoner. Former ‘Cats forward Chris Kenady tied it for Hartford at 19:44. Nagy struck again on the power play at 9:54 of the middle period, with Tyler Rennette and Bryce Salvador helping. In the third period Derek Bekar scored an unassisted shorthanded goal to make it 3-1, and Rennette followed with a power play marker at 11:54, with Reasoner and Nagy assisting. Ben Carpentier closed out the scoring at 16:00 for the 4-2 final. Brent Johnson had 42 saves in the win, and registered a second period shot on goal.
2000 vs Hartford 8-2 win
(TICKER) Tyler Willis recorded a hat trick and Andrei Troschinsky scored a pair of goals as the Worcester Ice Cats downed the Hartford Wolf Pack, 8-2. Willis netted his first goal of the season at 10:08 of the first period, added a marker three minutes later, and completed the hat trick 4:40 into the second. Troschinsky tallied with 10 seconds remaining in the second period and scored his second goal with 4:02 left in the third to give Worcester a commanding 8-0 lead. Dwayne Roloson recorded 38 saves to earn the win for the Ice Cats. Brad Smyth’s tally with 1:44 remaining in the third period and Derek Amrsrtong’s goal with one second left prevented the shutout for Hartford. Jean-Francois Labbe allowed eight goals to suffer his second loss for the Wolf Pack.
2004 at Hartford 2-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats fell behind early and despite throwing 37 shots on Wolf Pack netminder Jason LaBarbera couldn’t make up the two goal deficit in their 2-1 loss to Hartford. Bryce Lampman gave the Wolf Pack the lead 1:04 into the contest with an unassisted goal, and Chad Wiseman connected at 14:25 to make it 2-0. Only Jon DiSalvatore’s unassisted tally at 15:07 of the middle stanza beat LaBarbera. Curtis Sanford had 31 saves in a losing effort.
2008 vs Hartford 5-4 win SO
(WORSHARKS) Coming off a thrilling home opener, the Worcester Sharks offered an encore performance in a 5-4 shootout victory over the Hartford Wolf Pack at the DCU Center on Wednesday evening. Rookie Jamie McGinn continued his torrid pace, notching his third and fourth goals of the year for Worcester. Both teams began the game cautiously, but fireworks began in earnest after eight minutes of play. Steven Zalewski corralled a diagonal pass from Mike Morris and fed line mate Jamie McGinn across the crease. McGinn touched the puck past Hartford netminder Miika Wiikman for his third goal of the season. A mere 22 seconds later, Worcester took advantage of a goal-mouth collision and jumped out to a two goal lead. Tom Cavanagh found Patrick Traverse forty feet from net, and the veteran roofed the puck past a screened Wiikman at 8:24. Tempers flared following the second goal, as Worcester’s Frazer McLaren and Hartford’s Justin Soryal took part in a spirited altercation in the Wolf Pack zone at 9:01. Both parties landed heavy hits before tumbling to the ice. Three straight penalty calls led to plenty of shorthanded time for the Sharks, including 1:21 of a 5-on-3 disadvantage. Hartford peppered Worcester backstop Thomas Greiss before Wolf Pack forward Dane Byers struck twine to bring Hartford within one goal heading into the intermission. Worcester had a 5-on-3 chance of its own, this one for a full two minutes, following a scrum at the beginning of the middle frame. A tripping penalty to Brandon Sugden and roughing minor to Devid DiDiomete at the ensuing stoppage produced the advantage, but the Sharks were unable to capitalize. Worcester defenseman Brett Westgarth dropped the gloves with Sugden upon his return to the ice, setting the tone for a physical but scoreless period. McGinn started the third period in style, joining Morris up the left wing on a 2-on-1 and flicking a wrist shot to the short side of Wiikman to give the Sharks a 3-1 advantage. Hartford surged back, however, undoing it all in a matter of seconds. Wolf Pack winger Dale Weise beat Greiss from close range at 2:30 of the third period, and Pierre Parenteau touched home a perfect feed from Byers at 2:47 to knot the game at three goals apiece. The Sharks struggled to produce shots over the next few minutes, and an unfortunate carom as Greiss dove for a loose puck produced a go-ahead goal for Hartford, which was credited to Jordan Owens. A minor penalty to Hartford red liner Hugh Jessiman gave the Sharks a late power play, and Cory Larose lit the lamp at 16:03 to force overtime. After a scoreless extra period, Larose and Zalewski came through for Worcester in the shootout as Greiss denied all four Hartford skaters to seal the victory.
2011 vs Manchester 4-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks continued their undefeated streak in regulation to begin the 2011-12 season as they defeated the Manchester Monarchs, 4-2, at the DCU Center Saturday night. Mike Connolly scored twice with Matt Irwin and Nathan Moon adding tallies. Harri Sateri made 25 saves in his first start of the season for Worcester as the Sharks improved to 3-0-0-1 this season. The opening period between the two rivals opened up late after tight defensive play to start. Nathan Moon (2nd) got the scoring started at 13:43 of the period with his 2nd goal of the year to put Worcester up 1-0. But Manchester would answer right back as 0:17 later Cam Paddock (1st) put home a loose puck to tie it 1-1. Monarchs forward Jordan Nolan received a five minute major for elbowing and a game misconduct on a hit to Matt Irwin late in the first. Shots were 7-5 in favor of the Sharks after twenty minutes. Both teams saw their offensive flow and physical play pick up in the second period. Jake Muzzin (3rd) scored on the power play for Manchester after a scrum resulted in a fight between Ryan Del Monte and David Meckler, which also saw Nick Petrecki pick up the extra minor to put the Monarchs on the power play. Mike Connolly (3rd) would knot the game up at 2-2 late in the second period on a strong individual effort with 1:52 remaining as he stole the puck behind the net and tip toed at the top of the crease before sliding the puck past Zatkoff. The period ended tied at 2-2 heading to the third. Worcester controlled play in the third period and turned on the offense to skate away with the win. Matt Irwin (3rd) scored on a power play, the Sharks have scored a PP goal in all four games this season, to put Worcester ahead to stay at 3-2 8:05 into the third. Monarchs’ goalie Jeff Zatkoff stood tall in goal to keep Manchester in the game as he made 14 third period saves. The Sharks would add the insurance goal as Mike Connolly (2nd of game, 4th of season) potted the empty netter to seal the win. The Sharks record improves to 3-0-0-1 with 7 points and to 2-0-0-0 at the DCU Center.
2021 at Maine 6-3 loss
(RAILERS) The Railers did two things here Friday night they had never done before, and another thing they do all the time.
Worcester fired a franchise record 54 shots on goal, and lost for the first time ever on opening night. They fell to the Maine Mariners for the 12th time in 14 games at Cross Insurance Arena, this time by 6-3. “I’m not at all discouraged,” coach David Cunniff said. “We’re not going to be anybody’s whipping boy this season.”
The teams meet again at 7:35 Saturday night at the DCU Center. Friday night was the first of 14 meetings this season. Eduards Tralmaks, a Latvian from the University of Maine, paced the Mariners with a three-goal effort. Pascal Laberge, Lewis Zerter-Gossage and Mathew Santos had the other Maine goals. Nick Albano, Jacob Hayhurst and Mike Cornell scored for the Railers. Jeremy Brodeur stopped 51 of Worcester’s 54 shots while Justin Kapelmastermade 28 saves for the Railers. “I think we let their goalie see the pucks,” Cunniff said. “They have good goaltending and we allowed him to see the first shot so he was able to control all the rebounds. We went to the net consistently and got second and third chances but the percentages just weren’t there for us, unfortunately, so we didn’t get the breaks. That said, I thought our guys competed, and I thought they went to the net after the puck arrived. Our habits are just not there yet and (the Mariners) were opportunistic.” Worcester should have had something like a 5-1 lead after one period but trailed, 2-1, even though it outshot the Mariners by 26-11. Maine scored before and after Albano got the Railers’ first goal of the year at 16.18. Tralmaks popped a rebound past Kapelmaster at 13:50 to make it 1-0, then Albano responded with a 40-foot wrist shot at 16:18. Worcester was on a power play, a 4 on 3, and it was merely the second 4 on 3 goal in franchise history. It looked like the Railers would take a tie into the dressing room but Pascal Laberge made Worcester pay for a turnover behind the net and scored for Maine at 19:18. Zerter-Gossage scored from the right circle with Maine on a power play at 14:49 of the second period to give the Mariners a 3-1 lead, which is the way the third period started. It did not take long for that to change as Hayhurst finished a long rush down the middle by snapping a high 30-footer home at 0:51, followed by Cornell from in close at 1:16, Anthony Repaci picking up his second assist of the night. “I thought the game was ours then,” Cunniff said. But it was not. Tralmaks scored at 7:34 and 12:35 as Maine regained the lead and Santos finished it off with a goal at 17:50. MAKING TRACKS -Albano is the 13th player to score in his Worcester debut, the fifth to score in his pro debut. … Connor Doherty was not on the scoresheet but finished at plus-1 for Maine … Attendance was 4,541. … Worcester has had 50 or more shots in two games, both on the road, and lost both by three goals. The Worcester Railers look forward to welcoming fans back to the DCU Center for the Home Opener on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:35 p.m. presented by Table Talk Pies. The general public is invited to celebrate the return of Worcester Railers hockey with a complimentary Block Party presented by Off The Rails from 5-7:30 p.m. on Commercial Street behind the DCU Center. The world’s top professional eater, Joey Chestnut, will compete against fans and local celebrities in a pie-eating contest on the ice during the first intermission.
2022 vs Adirondack 5-4 win
It was not a perfect game, but it was a perfect start to the Railers’ fifth season in town. Worcester beat the Adirondack Thunder, 5-4, Saturday night before a crowd of 7,116 to improve their record in home openers to 5-0-0, and its record in opening games overall to 4-1-0. It was also a perfect start to Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman’s coaching career. The Westborian debuted as the eighth coach in Worcester hockey history and is the fifth one to win his first game. The debut came just a few months after his playing career ended. What about the adjustment? “I was absolutely more nervous as a coach than as a player,” Smotherman said. “As a player, I know I could at least try to take over the game. As a coach it’s in the players hands.” Railers players completely took over the game for its first 12 minutes. They got goals from Brent Beaudoin, Blade Jenkins and Noah Delmas to burst out to a 3-0 lead. At that point in time it looked like the Railers might not only go undefeated for 2022-23, but never even allow a goal. Predictably, those dreams ended. However, they ended faster than expected. Xavier Parent scored for the Thunder at 14:00, just 2:02 after Delmas.Noah Corson made it 3-2 at 14:49 as Adirondack converted a power play chance just 15 seconds after a penalty to Collin Adams. Worcester protected that 3-2 lead into the second period, but Vladislav Mikhalchuk tied the game for the Thunder at 3:51. “We stopped managing the puck,” was Smotherman’s diagnosis of the Railers’ skid. However, Worcester bounced back nicely as Reece Newkirk scored at 8:15 to put the Railers back in the lead, 4-3. Jenkins got his second of the night at 7:30 of the third period to make it 5-3 and the Railers survived a shorthanded goal by Sebastian Vidmar to hold on for the victory. Jenkins, by the way, is just the second Railers player with two goals in his Worcester debut. Devon Paliani did it on Dec. 29, 2021 in Maine. Newkirk also had an assist for a two-point game and Jacob Hayhurst had a pair of assists to help goaltender Ken Appleby record the victory. Beaudoin fired a wrist from the slot along the ice and past Thunder goaltender Mark Mitens to make it 1-0 lead at 1:24 of the first period. It was the earliest goal to start a season in team history. Beaudoin joined Wade Murphy, Barry Almeida, Jordan Samuels-Thomas and Nick Albano on the list of first-goal scorers. About five minutes later Worcester made it 2-0 on Jenkins’ goal from about 15 feet out, the Railers taking advantage of a turnover. Jenkins was set up by a pass from Newkirk. Delmas finished off what became a 4 on 2 at 11:58, Hayhurst putting the play in motion. The nature of the game turned quickly, though, as Parent made it 3-1 at 12:51 from between the circles and Corson converted a power play at 14:49 after some tic-tac-toe passing. Adirondack completed its comeback early in the second period as Mikhalchuk snuck one past Appleby from just outside the right post. The Railers were still creating chances, but not converting, at least until Newkirk beat Mitens from the left side at 8:15, being set up perfectly by Hayhurst. Jenkins’ second goal was hard wrist shot from the right circle and Vidmar’s goal was on a breakaway. Smotherman resisted any urges to just jump over the boards and get into the play, although it was hard as his team protected its narrow lead in the final minute. “The first moment I missed being a player,” he added, “was when I was out there watching warmups.” Smotherman will get used to that, for sure. He’s hoping he also gets used to watching his team warm up, then win. MAKING TRACKS_The Railers honored the late Eric Lindquist, who was part of the Worcester hockey scene for some 15 years as a broadcaster and liason with the public. Before the game, the video board featured some highlights from his time in Worcester. Also, the DCU Center press room has been renamed in honor of him including a plaque with his picture on it. … This was a double debut for the coaches. Adirondack’s Pete MacArthur was also working his first game as a pro head coach. … ECHL commissioner Ryan Crelin was in the building and headed north to Portland after the game. … The respective lineups featured three ex-Railers. They were, namely, fan favorite Yanick Turcotte, Ivan Chukarov and Ryan MacKinnon. One catch — MacKinnon played for Worcester. He is back with the Railers on loan from their AHL partner in Bridgeport and was a team-high plus-3. … The teams meet again at 3:05 Sunday at the DCU Center. … Trevor Cosgrove and Jimmy Lambert made their professional debuts for the Railers. … It may have been opening night jitters for the ice surface since there a lot of players who were falling down sober. … The Railers have won six straight against Adirondack at the DCU Center dating back to last December. They are 6-3-0 all-time versus Mitens.