Today in Worcester hockey history: November 16


1996 vs Hershey 4-2 win
The Worcester IceCats had a three goal lead in the third period and then held on as referee Scott Zelkin whistled them for multiple penalties, which allowed the Bears to get within one, but that’s as close as they’d get in a 4-2 ‘Cats win. Bob Lachance had the only goal in the opening 20 minutes when his centering feed from behind the net bounced off the skates of Hershey netminder Jean-Francois Labbe, hit the far post, and rolled in at 1:58. Justin Hocking and Chris Kenady had the assist on the play. In the second stanza Jason Zent scored as he and Lachance worked the give and go to perfection at 18:18. Konstantin Shafranov had the secondary assist. Gary Leeman made it 3-0 at 1:04 of the third period, assisted by Jamie Rivers and Nick Naumenko. And that’s when the Zelkin show started as the ‘Cats had to kill multiple five on threes. Both of the Bears goals came playing five on four after Worcester got a man back, with Christian Matte scoring at 9:37 and Mike McHugh lighting the lamp at 12:17. But that was as close as Hershey could get as Terry Virtue scored an empty net power play goal at 19:12 for the 4-2 final. Leeman and Robert Petrovicky provided the helpers. Travis Scott made 30 saves in the victory

2001 at Quebec 2-2 tie
(QUEBEC) Igor Valeev scored his second and third goals of the year to lead the IceCats earn a 2-2 draw against Quebec Citadelles last night. Valeev tied the game, 2-2, early in the third frame on a rebound just seconds after the Cits killed off a penalty. Garon, the veteran goalie sent down by Montreal for one game, went sprawling on the play, but had little chance to make the save. Eric Nickulas, who assisted on the play, almost had the possible tying goal a minute earlier on a tip from the deep slot, but Garon made a quick glove save. The IceCats pretty well dominated the third period, outshooting Quebec, 17-4. However, they had only one goal for their effort. The Cats actually outshot the home team, 40-23, including a 7-1 edge in overtime. Reinhard Divis kept his team in the game in a second frame dominated by Quebec. Quebec was on the power play six times, including once in overtime when Justin Papineau was whistled for tripping 78 seconds into the extra frame. Quebec took advantage of the Darren Rumble holding penalty late in the first period to take a 2-1 lead 78 seconds into the second frame. Eric Chouinard took a pass through the slot and beat Divis before the IceCats netminder knew what was happening. Four minutes later, Divis was shook up when he crashed with Francois Belanger behind his crease. Divis was OK after a few minutes rest. He looked fine stopping Pierre Sevigny on a tip-in minutes later. After skating with Quebec in the opening frame, the IceCats let up in the second and it showed. They had only five shots on goal and only good work by Divis kept it a close game. The teams came out with some tight checking to start the game, but the IceCats started something on offense at about the three-minute mark. Valeev found himself all alone in front of Garon and didn’t miss, beating him with a wrister to the stick side. Right after Barret Jackman tested Garon from the left faceoff circle, and two minutes after Valeev’s goal, the Citadelles tied matters on the power play with Francic Bouillon scoring from the blue line. Divis had little chance on the play, the puck deflecting over him after an initial long-range shot. When Eric Boguniecki crashed Quebec tough guy Francois Belanger on the boards, picking up a major in the process, the Citadelles’ Jayme Filipowicz wrestled him to the ground in a fight with no real punches thrown. Filipowicz picked up the instigator minor for his efforts, but the Cits could not take advantage as Mike Van Ryn and Darren Rumble led the Worcester penalty-killing unit.

2002 at St. John’s 4-3 win
(ICECATS) The IceCats continued their winning ways against the Maple Leafs, defeating them 4-3 on Saturday night. Justin Papineau registered two goals and Sergei Varlamov notched one goal and one assist for Worcester. Curtis Sanford made 38 saves for his second win of the season. Steve Dubinsky had the other goal for Worcester.

2007 at Providence 5-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks headed to Providence on Friday night having won three of their last four games, but never quite got going at the Dunkin Donuts Center, dropping a 5-2 decision to the Bruins. More pressing, however, was the widespread concern amongst the players and spectators following the sudden collapse of Bruins goaltender Jordan Sigalet with 10:48 remaining in the game. With play continuing at the opposite end of the ice, Sigalet fell face down onto the ice in his own crease and was quickly attended to by both team trainers and medical staff standing by within the arena. Sigalet was taken to a nearby hospital but his condition was not immediately known. Prior to the dramatic closing moments, Providence wasted no time in building an early lead. Martins Karsums began a stellar night by digging a puck out of traffic behind the net and using a gratuitous bounce off the pads of Sharks netminder Thomas Greiss to tap the puck home just 2:41 into the game. With Craig Valette in the penalty box for interference, Matt Lashoff found a seam in the Sharks penalty killing unit, threading a pass to Matt Hedricks for a backdoor finish and 2-0 Bruins lead midway through the opening period. Karsums got back in the box score three minutes later, as his slap shot from the blue line was deflected past Greiss by Vladimir Sobotka. A Jeff Hoggan tally early in the second period gave Providence a 4-0 lead and prompted Sharks head coach Roy Sommer to make a goaltending change for the first time this season, pulling Greiss in favor of rookie Taylor Dakers. Greiss left after stopping 11 of 15 shots over 21:39. The Sharks finally got on the board just 36 seconds later. Riley Armstrong won a faceoff to the right of Sigalet, and slid the puck back to Valette, whose one-timer sailed through traffic and into the net. The goal was Valette’s first of the year. Pascal Pelletier, who assisted on the first and third Bruins goals, would give Providence a four goal lead again, cleaning up a centering feed by Sobotka at 2:56 of the third period. The second and final Worcester goal came less than two minutes later, as a wrister by Dan Spang appeared to redirect off the chest of Riley Armstrong before crossing the goal line. Spang was credited with his second goal of the season. With 10:48 remaining, however, all focus shifted to Sigalet, and an uncomfortable, cavernous hum dominated the arena for the duration of the contest.

2008 at Springfield 3-0 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks allowed a season low 11 shots on goal, received points from eight different players, and Taylor Dakers posted his first professional shutout in a dominant team performance in a 3-0 victory over the Springfield Falcons at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield on Sunday afternoon. After a sloppy start to the first period by both clubs, the Sharks would start to pressure Falcon’s netminder Devan Dubynk. Springfield native, and Sharks rookie, P.J. Fenton would center a puck in from behind the net onto the stick of T.J. Fox who would blast a quick wrist shot over the glove of Dubynk from the right wing circle to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 17:57. It was Fox’s first goal of the season and gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead through twenty minutes. The Sharks would pour on the pressure in the middle frame aided by four power play chances including a 5-on-3 for: 26 seconds that featured five forwards on the ice for Worcester. Devan Dubnyk made several big stops and was helped by his friend (the post) after a shot by Mike Morris beat Dubnyk midway through the period. Worcester outshot Springfield 17-2 in the second period in held a 26-6 advantage after forty minutes but only led 1-0 heading in to the second intermission. Corey Larose and Mike Morris would pad the Sharks lead with two goals in 2:15 of the third period. Larose would connect on the power play after a nice fake shot by Ryan Vesce while Morris would finish a nice wrap around attempt by Jamie McGinn. The Sharks out shot the Falcons 11-5 in the third period and a 37-11 game advantage. The win improves Worcester’s record to 6-8-0-0, while the loss drops the Falcons a 7-4-2-1 record.

2011 at Springfield 3-2 OTL
(WORSHARKS) Worcester Sharks rookie Mike Connolly was stopped on a penalty shot in the overtime period before AHL sniper Alexandre Giroux scored on the power play to send the Falcons to a 3-2 victory over the Sharks at the MassMutual Center on Wednesday evening. Sena Acolatse and Matt Irwin each scored on the power play and added an assist for Worcester while Tyson Sexsmith was sharp with 30 saves in goal in the loss. Worcester was outshot 9-1 in the first half of the opening frame as goaltender Tyson Sexsmith was sharp early on for the Sharks. Sena Acolatse (2nd) gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead after his blast on the power play from the right point was drilled off the post and past Falcons netminder Manny Legace at 14:20. The power play goal broke an 0-for-19 drought for Worcester. The Sharks led 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. In the second period, Tomas Kubalik (2nd) finished a tic-tac-toe score at the side of the Sharks net for the Falcons on the power play at 11:29 to tie the score at 1-1. The power play goal allowed was the first in 22 chances against the Sharks over the last four games. Springfield outshot Worcester 10-8 in the middle frame as the two teams went into the 2nd intermission tied at 1-1. Just 50 seconds into the third period, Tomas Kubalik (3rd) nabbed his 2nd of the game after he converted a 3-on-1 rush for the Falcons to give Springfield a 2-1 edge. The Sharks would respond on a power play with less than nine minutes remaining in regulation. Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin (5th) scored his 5th power play goal of the season with a blast from the center point to ties the score 2-2. Mike Connolly was stopped by Manny Legace on a penalty shot just 52 seconds into the extra frame which allowed the heroics by Alexandre Giroux. With Nathan Moon in the box for tripping, Giroux (4th) slapped a puck from on top of the right circle through Sexsmith at 2:22. The goal was Giroux’s 344th AHL career goal. The Sharks record falls to 5-4-1-2 with 13 points through 12 games and to 2-0-1-1 on the road.

2013 at St. John’s 2-1 win SO
(WORSHARKS) For the second time in 24 hours the Worcester Sharks (5-7-1-0, 11pts) defeated the St. John’s IceCaps (7-7-1-2, 17pts) in the shootout in front of 6,287 at the Mile One Centre on Saturday night in game three of a three game series north of the border in St. John’s. With the 2-1 victory, the Sharks picked up five out of a possible six points and won back-to-back games for the 1st time since early March. Harri Sateri was brilliant in net once again earning the games 1st star with 24 saves and four more stops in the shootout while Travis Oleksuk scored in the third period to force overtime. Jerome Samson scored early on the power play for the IceCaps; his 4th goal of the series but it was all St. John’s would muster. The Sharks were whistled for 30 minutes of penalties in the first period and the IceCaps went 1-for-5 on the power play for the only score. Jerome Samson (6th) fired a rocket from the on top of the left circle through a screen and past Harri Sateri at 3:25 to put St. John’s ahead 1-0. Curt Gogol (4th FM) and Matt Pelech (3rd FM) dropped the mitts with Ben Chiarot (1st FM) and Blair Riley (3rd FM) in a near line brawl at 2:29 to set the tone for a penalty filled opening frame. Worcester was outshot 10-8 through 20 minutes. Neither team found the back of the net in the second period as Worcester was able to stay out of the penalty box and outshot the IceCaps 13-7. Rookie netminder Jussi Olkinuora made 21 saves to keep the Sharks at bay through 40 minutes as Worcester trail 1-0 after two periods. In the third period, the Sharks would even the score at 7:49. Sebastian Stalberg feathered a beautiful pass from the left wing cross ice on the rush right on the stick blade of Travis Oleksuk (1st) who roofed a quick shot from in tight past the IceCaps netminder to tie the score at 1-1. Harri Sateri made some nice saves in the final ten minutes as the two teams headed to OT for the third straight game. Worcester outshot St. John’s 5-1 in overtime but neither team would find the back of the net as we headed to the shootout for the 2nd straight game. Travis Oleksuk and Brodie Reid scored for Worcester while Harri Sateri made four saves to secure the 2-1 shootout win. The Sharks overall record improves to 5-7-1-0, 11pts and 3-2-1-0, 5pts on the road.

2022 vs Reading 6-2 loss
(RAILERS) Reading pulled into town Wednesday night for its first visit of the 2022-23 season and handed the Railers a 6-2 defeat. Worcester was 10-1-0 heading into the match and found a way to outshoot Reading 19-2 in the final period but the first 40 minutes would be the difference maker. “Too little, too late, from us,” coach Jordan Smotherman said. “It was disappointing. That’s the only way to say it.” Collin Adams and Blake Christensen had the Railers goals. Alec Butcher, Brendan Hoffman, Tyler Kirkup and Trey Bradley also scored for Reading. Butcher put the Royals ahead, 1-0, on a scrambly goal at 3:17 of the first period. Adams tied it at 9:26 with a nice wrist shot from the left dot but the Railers disintegrated shortly thereafter. Newton scored at 12:09 and 14:10, Hoffman at 15:44 and it was 4-1 after 20 minutes. Henrik Tikkanen, who for the season had allowed 10 goals in 307 minutes going into the first period, surrendered four in 20 minutes and was replaced by Ken Appleby going forward. Smotherman changed goalies, but did not blame the goalies. “It was 90 percent to 10 percent,” he said, putting the onus on his position players. “We’ve got our forwards not playing responsible hockey, our defense playing soft. It was just a bad effort all around.” The Railers lineup was a little thin compared to the winning streak days. Ryan MacKinnon and Trevor Cosgrove are with Bridgeport and Jacob Hayhurst took another Turnpike Trolley trip to Springfield. Anthony Repaci is getting some time off for maintenance and Reese Newkirk did not dress. With the roster shuffling, two rookies made their professional debuts. One of them was Shrewsbury native Jack Quinlivan, a forward, off the injured reserve list. Conor Breen, a Rhode Islander, was the other newcomer. A defenseman, he was also just off the injured list. Reading is perennially strong and Wednesday night’s performance showed why. “They came to play,” Smotherman said. “They outworked us all night. That’s what you have to expect when you start off the way we did teams are gonna come at you and that’s what the game is going to look like if you’re not ready.” MAKING TRACKS – The Greenville Swamp Rabbits are in for two games this weekend, playing the Railers on Friday and Saturday nights. It will be Greenville’s second visit to Worcester. The Railers beat the Swamp Rabbits, 3-2, on Feb. 8, 2019. The teams have met five times in all and Worcester has won three of the meetings. … The Royals return to the DCU Center on Jan. 6. … Attendance was 2,502. The Railers are averaging 4,375 through seven home games. Their average through seven home dates last season was 4,449. … Chris Ordoobadi, who played briefly for the Railers last season and has been living locally, was signed by Orlando. …. Short-time Railer Devon Paliani, who scored two goals in his Worcester debut, is with Reading and was pointless Wednesday night. Justin Kapelmaster, the Railers opening night goalie in Portland last season, was the Reading backup. Royals goalie Nolan Maier played well, stopping 29 of 31 shots including 19 in the final 20 minutes.


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