Today in Worcester hockey history: November 20


1996 at Philadelphia 6-3 loss
The Worcester IceCats kept it close for two periods but barely showed up for the third in a 6-3 loss to the Phantoms. Nine different players scored goals in the game, with Rory Fitzpatrick getting the first one on the power play at 12:34, assisted by Gary Leeman. Philly grabbed the next two goals, with Steven King scoring at 16:34 and Colin Forbes lighting the lamp at 18:50. In the second frame Alex Vasilevskii tied it for the ‘Cats at 3:18, with David Williams and Robert Petrovicky providing the helpers. And again the Phantoms would have the next two goals, with former Worcester forward Craig Darby scoring at 12:38 on the power play and Vinny Prospal scoring at 16:00. With three second remaining in the period Petrovicky scored to make it 4-3, with Vasilevskii and Daniel Guerard earning points. But that was as close as the ‘Cats would get as for a third time Philly would score two in a row, with Jason Bowen scoring at 4:44 and Patrik Juhlin making it 6-3 at 6:14. Both Jamie McLennan and Dominic Roussel had 30 saves in the game.

1998 vs Portland 5-2
The Worcester IceCats jumped out to a lead and never looked back in a 5-2 win over the Portland Pirates. Andrej Podkonicky started the scoring for the ‘Cats with a goal at 7:12 of the opening period, assisted by Stephane Roy. Jochen Hecht would have the next two goals, both on the power play. His first came at 9:02 and his second came at 10:59, and both were assisted by Lubos Bartecko and Roy. Portland would give the ‘Cats a scare at the end of the first with two power play goals of their own, with Mike Peluso scoring at 15:19 and Trevor Halverson making it 3-2 at 18:35. But Tyler Harlton got things going back the right way for Worcester with a goal 1:27 into the middle period, assisted by Hecht and Kevin Sawyer. Terry Yake would close out the scoring at 13:21, assisted by Matt Smith and Derek Bekar. Brent Johnson made 20 saves for the win.

2003 at Utah 4-1 win
(UTAH) The Worcester IceCats thoroughly dominated the Utah Grizzlies in a 4-1 win. There were times Utah’s chances were so close, it seemed there might have been a sheet of plastic over the net. But then again, it may have been the outstanding goal tending of Reinhard Divis who finished with 28 saves. After Mike Glumac’s goal in the first period and Ernie Hartlieb’s in the second, the Grizz, now 4-9-1-2, came out in the third period with a sense of urgency and energy. At the 4:51 mark of the third period, Oliver fought off two defenders and passed the puck to Gove who knocked it in the net. It seemed Utah’s string of abysmal finishes would fade – for 86 seconds. Then a mistake by the team’s defense allowed Scott Pellerin to score on a rebound off of Utah goalie Jason Bacashihua’s stick. The IceCats Johnny Pohl scored the final goal, an open-net score, with less than a minute to go. Worcester outshot Utah 13-5 in the third period, but Utah outshot the IceCats 24-20 in the first two periods.

2004 vs Lowell 3-2 win
(ICECATS) Jeff Hoggan scored twice, including the game-winner at 10:12 of the third, as the Worcester IceCats edged the Lowell Lock Monsters 3-2 Saturday at the DCU Center. The win snapped Worcester’s two-game losing streak, and extended Lowell’s winless spell on the road. The Monsters have yet to win a game away from the Tsongas Arena. Lowell’s Chuck Kobasew put his club ahead 3:38 into the game, banking a shot off the back of Worcester starting goalie Jason Bacashihua. Worcester broke through on Hoggan’s first goal of the night at 14:03. They took a 2-1 lead shortly after as Brendan Brooks wristed a 10-footer past Cam Ward at 15:59. The Lock Monsters tied it in the third as Colin Forbes put a high backhander past Bacashihua, seconds before the net was dislodged. Hoggan’s game-winner came off a 3-on-2. Jay McClement and Mike Glumac assisted on the goal, and Hoggan peeled the rebound off Ward’s right pad to backhand it home.

2009 at Portland 3-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) Torrey Mitchell scored a power play goal in the second period but the Pirates scored three goals with the man advantage as the Sharks dropped their 7th straight game in a 3-1 loss in Portland on Friday night. Nathan Gerbe, Jeff Cowan, and Phillip Gogulla scored power play goals for the Pirates in a feisty affair as Tyson Sexsmith made 18 saves in net for Worcester. Mike Moore and Kyle Wanvig dropped the gloves at the opening face-off to set a physical tone early in the first period. The Sharks developed a great fore-check early, but it was a Portland power play that got the Pirates on the board first. Nathan Gerbe’s shot from the right circle snuck through the pads of Tyson Sexsmith at 17:13 to give Portland a 1-0 lead through twenty minutes of play. Steven Zalewski picked up his first professional fighting major at :26 seconds of the 2nd period as he and Mark Mancari exchanged blows after a high check on Mike Moore in the Sharks zone. After Pirates’ head coach Kevin Dineen was whistled for a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct at 6:18, the Sharks would strike on a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game at 1-1. Torrey Mitchell, on a conditioning loan from San Jose, fired a one-timer shot from down low in the left circle after a diagonal feed from Ryan Vesce at 7:09. The shot found the back of the net past J.P. Lamoureux for Mitchell’s first goal in his 5th game. Ten minutes later, Jeff Cowan scored his 9th of the season after he roofed a backhand shot on the power play at 17:56. The Sharks trailed 2-1 after forty minutes despite outshooting the Pirates 21-13. Phillip Gogulla added an insurance goal for the Pirates, another power play tally at 16:45 of the third period to cease the scoring at 3-1. Torrey Mitchell rang the puck off the post after Sharks head coach Roy Sommer pulled Tyson Sexsmith with 2:58 left in the final period. With the loss, the Sharks fall to 8-10-0-1 (17 points) on the season. The Sharks have lost a franchise record seven straight games (0-7-0-0) dating back to a 2-1 loss to the Penguins on November 7th at the DCU Center.

2010 at Portland 2-1 SOL
(WORSHARKS) Sean Sullivan scored with 6:34 remaining in the third period to tie the game at 1-1 but the Sharks could not score in the shootout in a 2-1 loss to the Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland on Saturday night. Carter Hutton made 19 saves in the losing effort as the Sharks record falls to 7-5-1-3 (18 points). Neither team would find the back of the net in the first period as Worcester outshot Portland 9-2. Brandon Mashinter and Steven Zalewski each hit the post on the same power play midway through the scoreless opening period. The Sharks had great pressure but could not score on David Leggio. Harvard alum Alex Biega (1st) scored his first professional goal on Portland’s first power play chance as his shot from the left circle broke off the glove of Carter Hutton and over the goal line at 5:49. Worcester had a tough time getting offense rolling in the middle period and trailed 1-0 after forty minutes of play despite out shooting the Pirates 17-12. Sean Sullivan (4th) tied the score after a great rush by Tommy Wingels into the Pirates zone. Wingels barreled his way to the right corner won the puck behind the net to Benn Ferriero and Benn fired the puck in front to Sullivan who drilled the puck through the pads of Leggio at 13:26. The Sharks had several chances to win the game late in the third period and overtime but the Portland netminder stood tall. Carter Hutton mad a terrific stop on Travis Turnbull as the overtime period expired to force the shootout. In the shootout, Luke Adam and Corey Tropp scored for the Pirates while Jonathan Cheechoo, Benn Ferriero, Tommy Wingels, and Brandon Mashinter were all denied by Leggio. The Sharks fell to 0-3 in the shootout while Portland improved to 4-0. The Sharks overall record falls to 7-5-1-3 (18pts) and road record to 3-3-0-2 (8pts)

2011 vs W-B/Scranton 3-1 win
(WORSHARKS) Benn Ferriero scored twice in the first 7:10 of the first period and Tyson Sexsmith was solid in goal with 34 saves as the Sharks defeated the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins 3-1 at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. Brandon Mashinter scored in his second straight game while Mike Connolly and Tommy Wingels each added two assists as the Sharks gave the Penguins their first regulation loss on the road this season (8-1-0-2). Benn Ferriero scored twice in the opening 7:10 to give the Sharks a much needed 2-0 lead early in the first period which sent Penguins goaltender Brad Thiessen to the shower early. Ferriero (4th) snapped a shot from the left circle and off the post past Thiessen to give Worcester a 1-0 lead at 4:16. On the power play, on almost exactly the same play, Ferriero (5th) wristed a shot off the post and into the net through a screen to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead. Thiessen was then replaced by Scott Munroe after allowing two goals on seven shots. Worcester outshot the Penguins 8-6 through 20 minutes. In the second period, Brandon Mashinter (3rd) scored for the 2nd straight game as he banged home his own rebound after a 2-on-1 rush with Tommy Wingels at 6:32. Tyson Sexsmith made several nice stops in the middle frame to keep the Penguins off the board through two periods of play. Tyson Sexsmith made 12 more saves in the third period and came within 25 seconds of his 2nd career AHL shutout. Eric Tangradi (8th) found the back of the net during a 6-on-4 advantage for the only Penguins score during a goal mouth scramble. The Sharks record improves to 6-4-2-2 with 16 points and to 4-4-0-1 at the DCU Center.

2021 vs Trois-Rivieres 3-1 Win
(RAILERS) Worcester finished out a six game and nine day stretch with a positively delightful 3-1 victory over the Trois-Rivieres Lions Saturday night. All three Railers goals came within a span of two minutes late in the second period. They were scored by Ross Olsson, Collin Adams — his first as a pro — and Blake Christensen starting at 16:47. Oliver Archambault was the only Lions scorer as Ken Appleby made 35 saves. Appleby is 3-1-0 in his last four starts and stopped 82 of 84 shots in his last two games, both victories over Trois-Rivieres. “I tell our guys,” coach David Cunniff said, “that if you get in front of a shot, make sure you block it, because that’s the only way they can beat our goalies. I think we have the best goalie tandem in the league and if they see the puck, they’re gonna stop it.” The Lions are a ferocious offensive team. With a two-goal deficit to make up starting the third period, they forced the play for 20 minutes and outshot Worcester, 14-5. To make matters worse, the Railers had to go with just five defensemen due to callups. “I was proud of our guys,” Cunniff said. “They made the right decisions. (Trois-Rivieres) was right on us and some times the right play was to punt and live for another day.” The Railers had one of their strongest periods of the home season in the first 20 minutes but could not beat Lions’ goalie Philippe Desrosiers. Neither could Trois-Rivieres solve Appleby, so the game was scoreless heading into the second period. Jacob Hayhurst came the closest to scoring of any Worcester player when he zipped a wrist shot off the crossbar at 7:10. A bit later the Railers had a great chance to get on the scoreboard when they fashioned a 2 on 1 break while shorthanded. Desrosiers turned aside Paul Thompson, however, at 11:40. This is not an exaggeration — Thompson could have just as well had five goals in the game considering the quality of his scoring chances. Worcester had an effective power play starting at 14:04 and tested Desrosiers but could not beat him. “We were getting a little frustrated and I felt it a little after the first period,” Cunniff said. “Guys were gripping the stick a little tight and I had to remind them that, it’s gonna come, and fortunately for us, it did come.” Just when it looked like the game might go into the third period scoreless, or even beyond that, the puck started going into the net faster than the PA system could keep up. Archambault’s blast gave the Lions a 1-0 lead at 15:38 but Worcester responded with three goals in a span of precisely two minutes. Olsson was set up by Coughlin between the circles at 16:47, Adams converted Thompson’s pass from behind the net at 17:07 and Christensen scored one of the season’s nicest goals at 18:47. Jacob Hayhurst created a turnover just inside the Trois-Rivieres blue line and Christensen sliced in on Desrosiers, beating him short side from about 15 feet. Trois-Rivieres dominated the final 20 minutes but once again, could not beat Appleby. Thus, Worcester had its second home triumph of the season. MAKING TRACKS_Defenseman Connor McCarthy and forward Felix Bibeau were recalled by Bridgeport before the game, joining Mike Cornell. That left the Railers with just five defensemen, so Cunniff dressed 11 forwards. Brent Beaudoin and Anthony Repaci were not in the lineup. … Pascal Rheaume is with the Lions as an assistant coach. He had a great year with the IceCats in 2000-01, going 23-36-59 in 53 games. Rheaume spent the next four seasons in the NHL. He remarked that Worcester seems to have really energized since he was here 20 years ago. … The Railers play at Maine Wednesday night, at Adirondack Friday night. Their next home game is against Newfoundland on Nov. 28. … Attendance was 5,622.


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