Today in Worcester hockey history: November 8


1995 at Portland 4-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats fell behind by three goals and couldn’t make up the difference in a 4-2 loss to the Pirates. Andrew Brunette had the only goal of the opening 20 minutes at 10:09, and then Martin Gendron followed with two second period goals, at 5:09 and 13:54. Patrice Tardif got the ‘Cats on the board at 15:22, with assists going to Alex Vasilevskii and Craig Darby. Paul Broten got the IceCats within one with a power play goal, assisted by Darby and Tardif, at 18:09. Ross Wilson added an empty net goal at 19:31 to end Worcester’s comeback. Eric Fichaud had 24 saves in the game.

1996 at Carolina 5-4 win
The Worcester IceCats overcame an aggressive attack by the Monarchs and scored three consecutive goals to defeat Carolina 5-4. Herbert Vasiljevs gave the Monarchs a quick lead just 49 seconds into the game, and it stayed 1-0 until Konstantin Shafranov fired a knuckle-ball of a shot from between the circles that fooled Carolina netminder Kevin Weekes at 17:26. Mike Maneluk and Patrick Traverse had the assists. In the second period the Monarchs retook the lead on a goal by Jason Podollan at 2:23. Bob Lachance tied it again at 11:38, from Jamie Rivers and Chris Kenady, but Podollan would score again at 12:03 to make it 3-2. Stephane Roy notched the next two goals for the ‘Cats to give them the lead, the first from behind the net as he banked it off Weekes at 14:22, assisted by Alex Vasilevskii and Nick Naumenko. It was the second time in two games a Worcester player scored from behind the Carolina net. The goal that gave the IceCats the lead came at 18:05 when Roy banged home a rebound of Justin Hocking’s shot. Maneluk had the secondary assist. In the third period Gary Leeman gave the ‘Cats a two goal lead 50 seconds into the period, with Maneluk and David Williams providing the helpers. Ryan Johnson closed out the scoring with a goal for the Monarchs at 9:59. Travis Scott had 28 saves in the victory.

1997 at St. John’s 2-1 OTL
The Worcester IceCats got a third period tying goal from Dennis Wright but then lost the game on a last minute strike in overtime 2-1. After a scoreless first period Danil Markov gave the Maple Leafs the lead at 2:20 of the middle stanza. Wright then got the game tying goal at 12:27 of the third when he tipped Ricard Persson’s blue-line blast. Rory Fitzpatrick earned the secondary assist with a nice acrobatic keep-in after an attempted St John’s clearing attempt. With time running down in overtime ‘Cats netminder Brent Johnson made a sprawling save on a Brandon Convery breakaway bid, but Convery was able to regain the puck and score before the Worcester defense could respond. Johnson finished the game with 32 saves.

2002 at Manchester 4-3 OTL
The Worcester IceCats scored a third period goal to tie it but then failed to convert on a five on three power play at the end of regulation and in overtime and eventually lost 4-3 in the extra session. Chris Schmidt had the only goal of the first period at 18:57. Igor Valeev tied it at 1-1 at 7:45 of the second period when he one-timed a feed from Jeff Panzer. Jason Dawe had the secondary assist. Eric Healey made it 2-1 Monarchs when his shot at 10:42 pinballed into the goal. Marc Brown tied it midway through the third, with with Panzer assisting. Joe Corvo put Manchester back in the lead at 12:49, but Aris Brimanis would force overtime with a goal at 17:07. After failing to convert on a lengthy five on three power play that reached into overtime the ‘Cats gave one up when Pavel Rosa scored on the power play goal at 3:27 of the extra session. Cody Rudkowsky was in goal for the IceCats.

2003 vs Norfolk 4-0 win
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats defeated the Norfolk Admirals 4-0 Saturday night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. Blake Evans and Ernie Hartlieb led the way, each collecting three points. The ‘Cats scored in each period, starting with Hartlieb’s third goal of the season at 18:11. Evans bagged his first goal of the night at 16:37 of the second and then struck again 2:41 into the third. Hartlieb assisted on both of Evans’ goals, while Marc Brown added two helpers as well. Jay McClement rounded out the scoring with his first AHL goal at 8:09. The rookie wristed home a rebound from a Mike Stuart shot. Curtis Sanford picked up the IceCats first shutout win of the season with 19 saves and pushed the ‘Cats to record to 4-5-3. He saw only nine shots through the first two periods, then faced 10 in the third. Worcester put 33 shots on Norfolk’s Craig Anderson.

2008 at Binghamton 5-4 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks trailed 5-0 early in the second period and fired 52 shots on Senators’ net minder Brian Elliot in a 5-4 loss to the Binghamton Senators at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena on Saturday night in front of 3,934 in Binghamton. With the loss, the Sharks fall to 5-6-0-0 this season. The Sharks would get into some penalty trouble taking five minor penalties in the opening period and the Senators would make them pay with three power play goals. Ilya Zubov, Brendan Bell, and Zack Smith would all strike with the man advantage and the Senators would take a 3-0 lead into the locker room after twenty minutes despite being outshot by the Sharks 12-8. The Senators would extend the lead to 4-0 after Mattias Karlsson scored the Sens’ 4th power play goal of the game just :47 seconds into the second period. Cody Bass would tack on another with his 1st strike of the season at 4:23 to make it 5-0. With the score getting out of reach, Frazer McLaren would drop the mitts with Derek Smith and Brett Westgarth would tangle with Jeremy Yablonski. Lukas Kaspar would get the Sharks on the board with his 2nd goal of the season on a power play from Jason Demers at 16:50. Worcester outshot Binghamton 28-16 after 40 minutes. After a few more fisticuffs to start the third period, the Sharks’ birthday boy Riley Armstrong would score his first of two third period goals at 6:53 on the power play to cut the lead to 5-2. Corey Larose would score his 5th of the season after a bad turnover in the Senators’ zone at 8:58 to give the Sharks even more momentum. After a too many men on the ice penalty whistled to Binghamton, Riley Armstrong would deflect a shot in past Elliot to get the Sharks within one. Brian Elliot would hold down the fort the rest of the way making a career high 48 saves in net for the victory. Worcester out shot Binghamton 24-6 in the final period for a 52-22 advantage in 60 minutes.

2013 at Portland 5-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) Head coach Roy Sommer became just the 2nd coach in AHL history to hit the 1200 game plateau but his Worcester Sharks (3-5-0-0, 6pts) fell to the Portland Pirates (3-5-0-1, 7pts) by the count of 5-1 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Friday night in kick off a 3-in-3 weekend. Matt Pelech scored the only Sharks goal on 46 shots while Harri Sateri made 24 saves in the loss as the Pirates won for the 1st time on home ice this season. Mark Visentin made 45 saves and Lucas Lessio scored his 1st two professional goals to pace the way for Portland. The Sharks came out flying in the opening frame and had a goal disallowed early due to incidental contact with Pirates netminder Mark Visentin. Moments later, the Pirates went ahead 1-0 as Brandon MacMillan (1st) fired home a loose puck at the side of the net past Harri Sateri at 6:37. Worcester outshot Portland 15-8 in a chippy opening frame but trailed 1-0. The Pirates went ahead 3-0 with a pair of goals within the first nine minutes of the 2nd period as Brandon Yip (2nd) at 6:24 and Gilbert Brule (3rd) at 8:53 each found the twine to put the Sharks down by three. Matt Pelech (1st) got Worcester on the board at 10:21 after he fired the puck from the left corner and it deflected off a skate in front and through the pads of Visentin. Portland went back ahead by three at 14:01 after a wicked shot from the right circle over the shoulder of Harri Sateri by Lucas Lessio (1st) for his 1st professional goal. A scrum broke out after the final horn to end the period which led to the ejections of Taylor Doherty (3rd FM) and Chris Brown (1st FM) with their secondary fighting majors after Daniil Tarasov (1st FM) dumped Connor Murphy (1st FM) with a flurry of lefts. The Sharks trailed 4-1 after 40 minutes despite outshooting the Pirates 28-18. Lucas Lessio (2nd) struck again in the final frame at 2:34 for the only goal scored in a quick moving period as the Pirates cruised on for a 5-1 victory. The Sharks overall record falls to 3-5-0-0, 6pts and 1-2-0-0, 2pts on the road.

2014 vs Providence 4-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (7-3-1-0, 15pts) scored three goals in the third period to defeat the visiting Providence Bruins (6-4-1-0, 13pts) by the score of 4-2 in front of 5,310 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. Chris Tierney recorded three points (1-2-3) in his AHL debut for the Sharks while Bryan Lerg (0-2-2), Eriah Hayes (1-1-2), and Melker Karlsson (1-1-2) all had multi point games for Worcester. Ryan Carpenter added an insurance goal late in the third period to extend his personal scoring streak to three games and Troy Grosenick picked up his AHL leading 7th win with 23 saves in goal for the Sharks as Worcester improved to 3-0-0-0 vs. the Bruins this season. The Sharks struck first with a power play goal at 5:10 as Melker Karlsson (3rd) fired a backhander from on top of the Bruins crease past goaltender Malcolm Subban to put Worcester ahead 1-0. Chris Tierney received the primary assist with a nice pass from the right corner to set up Karlsson in front. Providence tied the score at 14:50 as Cory Kane (1st) found the back of the net after he fired the puck from behind the Sharks cage and it deflected off a Worcester skate and past Troy Grosenick. Worcester had a 4-1 advantage on power plays in the opening frame and held a 14-11 shot advantage through 20 minutes. Worcester outshot Providence 16-6 in the second period but it was a late power play goal by the Bruins Alexander Khokhlachev (5th) at 19:28 for the only strike of the period. Khokhlachev fired home a rebound through the pads of Grosenick after Steve Eminger’s low shot from the point was stopped by Troy. The Sharks trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes of play despite holding a 30-16 shot advantage. The Sharks scored three goals in the third period to pull away for the 4-2 victory. Chris Tierney (1st) scored his first professional goal after a goal mouth scramble at 7:09 to tie the score at 2-2. Eriah Hayes (2nd) put Worcester ahead for good after he jumped on a loose puck after an offensive faceoff win at 10:19. Ryan Carpenter (4th) put the game away with a goal in his 3rd straight contest with a wrap-around strike at 17:21 as Worcester scored three goals on 11 third period shots for the victory. Troy Grosenick held his ground with nine third period saves for the win. The Sharks overall record improves to 7-3-1-0, 15pts, and 5-2-1-0, 11pts at the DCU Center.

2019 at Adirondack 5-4 Win (SO)
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (4-5-0-0, 8pts) snapped their four game losing streak with a 5-4 shootout victory over the Adirondack Thunder (5-3-0-2, 12pts)on Friday evening in front of 4,213 at the Cool Insuring Arena. The same two teams will square off against one another on Sunday, November 10 at 3pm in Glens Falls. Bo Brauer, Shane Walsh, Jordan Samuels-Thomas, and Ross Olsson all scored goals for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis made 43 saves in net for his first win of the season in a game that featured 70 penalty minutes. Matt Schmalz and Barry Almeida each added two assists as the Railers snapped their four-game losing skid with the shootout victory. Evan Cormier allowed four goals on 23 shots in net for the Thunder while Casey Pierro-Zabotel scored twice, while Mike Szmatula and Kelly Summers each scored for Adirondack in their home shootout loss. Shane Walsh and JD Dudek each scored in the shootout whole Evan Buitenhuis made three stops on four shots. Adirondack grabbed the first goal of the game just 1:44 in as Casey Pierro-Zabotel banged in a loose rebound past Evan Buitenhuis. The Railers would then score twice in a 35 second span as Bo Brauer (1st) tapped in a feed from Matt Schmalz at 10:35 and then Shane Walsh (1st) sent one by Evan Cormier in the high slot off of a feed from Bo Brauer at 10:10. Adirondack outshot Worcester 12-7 in the first stanza. In a second period which featured 40 penalty minutes the Railers struck twice. Jordan Samuels-Thomas (3rd) with an excellent effort circling the cage slid one past Cormier to give Worcester a 3-1 lead at 3:50. Mike Szmatula (2nd) answered on the power play banging home a rebound behind Evan Buitenhuis with 4:22 left in the frame to decrease the deficit for Adirondack 3-2. Things would escalate after Ross Olsson (1st) tipped one past Cormier giving Worcester a 4-2 lead with 1:47 left in the middle stanza. Olsson (2ndFM) was then jumped by Gabriel Verpaeslt (2ndFM) and the two were assessed fighting majors. Worcester held a 4-2 lead after 40 minutes of play. Adirondack was able to strike twice in the final period, first at 13:32 when Kelly Summers (2nd) blasted one home from the point at 13:32 making it a 4-3 game. Casey Pierro-Zabotel (4th) scored his second of the game at 17:32 tapping home a rebound tying it up at 4-4. Connor Doherty (2ndFM) dropped the mits with Robbie Payne (1stFM) with under five minutes to play in the third period. The game was deadlocked at 4-4 after regulation with the Thunder outshooting the Railers 41-21. Each team had two power-plays in the overtime with back and forth action as Adirondack outshot Worcester 6-2 but neither team would score sending it into a shootout. Shane Walsh and JD Dudek each scored goals for Worcester in the shootout while Evan Buitenhuis made three saves on four shots. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star…. JD Dudek (Shootout Winner), 2nd star: Bo Brauer (1-1-2, +3) 1st star: Casey Pierro-Zabotel (2-1-3, +3)…. final shots were 47-23 in favor of Adirondack…. Evan Cormier (0-1-0) made 19 saves on 22 shots for Adirondack.… Evan Buitenhuis (1-3-0) made 43 saves on 47 shots for Worcester while Linus Soderstrom served as the backup…. Worcester went 0-for-5 on the power play while Adirondack went 1-for-5…. Ivan Chukarov (inj), Tanner Pond (inj), Jack Stander and Chris Rygus did not dress for Worcester…. Connor Doherty registered a game high 15 penalty minutes with a 10 minute misconduct and five minute fighting major…. Cody Payne received a two minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and ten minute game misconduct in the second…. Bo Brauer (1-1-2), Matt Schmalz (0-2-2), and Barry Almeida (0-2-2) all recorded multi-point games…… Mike Cornell, Nic Pierog, and Jakub Skarek are currently on recall with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Worcester is now 18-8-2-0 all-time vs. the Thunder and 11-4-1-0 at the Cool Insuring Arena.

2022 vs Norfolk 5-3 win
(RAILERS) The Railers’ next Magic Number is 12. Their 5-3 victory over the Norfolk Admirals Tuesday afternoon was a record-setting ninth straight. It is the best start to a season in ECHL history and the longest winning streak in Worcester pro hockey history. The city’s longest points streak is 12, set by the 1996-97 IceCats from Nov. 24, 1996, to Dec. 21. That team was 10-0-2 during the streak. Tuesday’s triumph was a School Day game and was achieved before a noisy — at times the players could not hear the whistles — crowd of 7,209. It was the 10th largest crowd in franchise history and the Railers do love the big crowds. They are 7-2-1 in front of those 10 big crowds. Tuesday, Worcester got a pair of goals from Jacob Hayhurst and single goals from Bobby Butler, Jimmy Lambert and Reece Newkirk. Lambert also had an assist. No Railer has had a hat trick this season but the team has had five players with two goals in a game. This would be a good strategy for coach Jordan Smotherman — assign someone to score two goals. Worcester is 57-12-5 through the years when one of its players has more than one goal. A nine-game winning streak is a big one over a 72-game schedule and the Railers have played a lot of good hockey to break the record. “We’re a fast team,” Smotherman said, “and when we take time and space away from the other team we’re gonna win games. “We had fairly average first and second periods and between the second and third we talked about it and said, ‘Hey, just get back to your game’ and we did exactly that.” Hayhurst showed his natural speed last year in establishing himself as dangerous player but stepped everything up a notch this season. Sometimes looks are deceiving from above the ice, but no so with Hayhurst. “Oh, he’s that fast,” Smotherman said, “and he’s actually even faster this year which is hard to believe. We have a couple of guys this year like that. They’ve added a step or more than that, even two steps.” The Admirals came out strongly for new coach Jeff Carr. Norfolk fired Rod Taylor on Monday and the players had a little extra adrenaline in the early going. Norfolk scored first with Kenny Hausinger making it 1-0 at 5:09 of the first period. Butler tied it on the power play at 10:32 and Lambert gave the Railers a 2-1 lead at 3:15 of the second period. It was a 2-2 game heading into the third; Hayhurst made it 3-2 at 1:59 and the Railers maintained the lead the rest of the way. Tuesday’s victory ended Worcester’s homestand. The Railers hit the road for a pair of games in Glens Falls this weekend against the Adirondack Thunder. Worcester is 18-1-1 all-time on the shores of Lake George. MAKING TRACKS – Inevitably, Ryan MacKinnon has been recalled by Bridgeport where he should get a lot of playing time. … Noah Delmas, Nolan Vesey and Brent Beaudoin did not dress for the Railers. … The door to the visitors tunnel is out of alignment and pucks are taking crazy bounces off it, especially on clearout plays. … The ceremonial first puck drop was historic to some extent. It was done by a WPI robot and taken by Butler (35 years old) and Norfolk’s Nick Schaus (36), two of the ECHL’s most senior players. Both picked up points as Butler had a goal, Schaus an assist. … Myles McGurty is way ahead of last year’s points curve. The defenseman had an assist Tuesday and has six points — all assists — in eight games. It took him 43 games to get to six points last season. … This trifecta was the Admirals’ only visit to the DCU Center for the regular season. The Railers reciprocate later this month with a three-game sojourn to Norfolk from the 23rd through the 26th, then go back to Virginia for two more in February. … Butler’s goal was his first at the DCU Center this season and snapped a streak of six straight goals on the road going back to last year. … Brad Jones is the Admirals’ Director of Hockey Operations and is no stranger to Worcester. He played two years of hockey at Becker in 2007-08 and ’08-’09.


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