Today in Worcester hockey history: November 24

25B

1995 at Saint John 4-3 win OT
The Worcester IceCats fired 44 shots on goal in regulation but needed just one in overtime to defeat the Saint John Flames 4-3. The Flames took the lead just 1:15 into the contest on a goal by Jamie Allison. Paul Broten would tie the score with an unassisted power play goal at 11:52. Jesper Mattsson would give the Flames their lead back just 27 seconds later. The IceCats would have the only goal of the middle period, with Jamie Rivers tying the game 2-2 on a power play goal assisted by Christer Olsson and Fred Knipscheer coming at 4:59. Worcester would take the lead at 10:49 of the third period on Broten’s second of the game. Knipscheer had the only helper on the play. It was Saint John’s turn to tie it on a power play tally, and that goal went to Niklas Sundblad at 13:28. Shaun Kane got the game winner in extra time at 1:44, with Jason Widmer and Lindsay Vallis getting the assists. Ian Gordon had 41 saves in a losing effort while Mike Buzak made 22 for the ‘Cats.

1996 at Baltimore 2-1 win
(BALTIMORE) A tired and undermanned Worcester IceCats team still found a way to defeat the Bandits 2-1. The score was tied at 1 when Brian Corcoran was called for slashing behind the Bandits’ goal. Less than five seconds remained in the first period, but the visitors weren’t just going to go through the motions for that short period of time. Stephane Roy got the draw toward Jason Zent, who got control and flicked the puck past Bales at 19:58. Travis Scott earned the win.

1999 at Portland 1-1 tie
(TICKER) Jeff Nelson’s goal midway through the third period lifted the Portland Pirates into a 1-1 tie with the Worcester IceCats. Nelson scored his fifth goal of the season with 9:20 remaining and Martin Brochu turned aside 25 shots for Portland, which is unbeaten in five of its last six games (3-1-2). Sylvain Blouin opened the scoring 10:08 into the second period for Worcester, which posted a 4-1 victory at Portland on Friday. Cody Rudkowsky made 29 saves for the IceCats but remained winless in five starts at 0-2-3

2000 vs Springfield 3-0 win
The Worcester IceCats got 22 saves from Dwayne Roloson in a 3-0 whitewash of the Springfield Falcons. The two squads were scoreless until deep into the middle frame when Mark Rycroft broke the ice at 19:39, with Jaroslav Obsut and Doug Friedman picking up assists. Peter Smrek made it 2-0 36 seconds into the third period as Ladislav Nagy and Ed Campbell grabbing helpers. Marty Reasoner made it the 3-0 final with a goal at 3:27, with Nagy picking up the lone assist.

2001 vs Providence 5-2 win
The Worcester IceCats got a natural hat trick from Justin Papineau to defeat the Providence Bruins 5-2. Jeff Panzer got the ‘Cats on the board at 8:32 of the opening period on the power play, with assists going to Eric Boguniecki and Jame Pollock. Boguniecki made it 2-0 at 11:46, with Eric Nickulas and Panzer picking up assists. In the second Providence would tie it on two power play goals, the first by Lee Goren at 3:18 and the second by Jonathan Girard at 7:06. Papineau would give the IceCats the 3-2 lead with a power play goal at 9:50. Marc Brown and Pollock had the helpers on the play. In the third Papineau connected again at 3:35, with Mark Rycroft and Brown assisting, and at 19:04 Papineau completed the hat trick into an empty net, with Mike Van Ryn and Ed Campbell assisting. Curtis Sanford had 30 saves in the win.

2002 at Portland 4-1 win
The Worcester IceCats got two third period goals to defeat the Pirates 4-1. Christian Backman had the only goal in the first 40 minutes of the game, and that was an accidental score when his attempted centering feed to Blake Evans hit Portland defenseman Jakub Cutta and bounced directed into the net. The ‘Cats broke open the game in the third on goals by Justin Papineau (7:10) and Sergei Varlamov (14:00). Mark Murphy spoiled Curtis Sanford’s shutout bid at 16:13. Evans added an empty net goal at 19:34 for the 4-1 final. Sanford made 36 saves in the game, including one on a two-on-none Portland break-in in the second period.

2004 vs Portland 9-3 win
(ICECATS) Alexei Shkotov, Brendan Brooks and Konstantin Zakharov each scored twice as the Worcester IceCats flattened the Portland Pirates 9-3 on Thanksgiving Eve in Worcester. It was the second time this season that the explosive IceCats scored nine goals in a game. The ‘Cats led 3-2 after the first period, then rattled off six consecutive goals. A total of 10 IceCats collected multiple points, including Mike Mottau (0/3/3), Trevor Byrne (0/3/3) and Johnny Pohl (1/2/3) who had three each. Dennis Wideman and Jeff Hoggan both added two points (1/1/2). Jason Bacashihua made 26 saves in the win.

2006 vs Springfield 4-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Springfield Falcons defeated the Worcester Sharks 4-1 in front of 3,614 fans at the DCU Center on “Black Friday.” Springfield goaltender Karri Ramo recorded 31 saves, including 14 in the final frame, in the win. Sharks netminder Nolan Schaefer made 18 stops, while Tom Cavanagh had the only Sharks tally.

2007 vs Providence 5-4 SOL
(WORSHARKS) In their most spirited performance of the young season, the Worcester Sharks fell 5-4 in a shootout to the first place Providence Bruins in front of a sellout crowd at the DCU Center on Saturday night. By the end of the first period, 6277 fans had already been treated to two goals and 61 penalty minutes including nine fighting majors. Just 6:21 into the game, an elbowing call on Worcester’s Graham Mink set off a chain reaction of battles that included virtually every player on the ice besides the goaltenders. Most notably, Bruin Sean Curry engaged Patrick Traverse in front of the Providence bench. Sharks enforcer Brennan Evans came to the defense of his blue line partner, leveling Curry but earning himself a game misconduct as the third man into the fight. Four Bruins and three Sharks received concurrent fighting majors as well. Pascal Pelletier was whistled for boarding later in the period, and Worcester’s fifth-ranked power play netted a 1-0 Sharks lead at the 15:05 mark of the first. Josh Prudden wrapped around from behind the cage and forced the puck through the legs of Providence netminder Mike Brown for his first goal of the year. The Bruins struck back three minutes later, as David Krejci broke down the left wing, drawing Patzold out of his crease before laying a pass across to Pelletier, who fought off T.J. Fox to touch home the puck and tie the score. Worcester struck back quickly in the second period, as leading scorer Mike Iggulden notched his 10th goal and 20th point of the season, capitalizing on a goal-mouth scramble. Derek Joslin and Dan Spang – who also had a hand in the first Sharks goal – picked up assists. The lead did not last long, however, as it took Providence only ten seconds to turn a Riley Armstrong hooking minor into a power play goal, as Jeff Hoggan knocked home a deflected centering feed at 4:49 of the middle frame. A stunning combination of individual effort and skill from Graham Mink tipped the back-and-forth battle in Worcester’s favor again at the 12:36 mark of the period. Mink outhustled Jonathan Sigalet in the Bruins defensive zone, stripped Sigalet of the puck, stickhandled wide of Brown and split the smallest of gaps between the sprawling goaltender and the near post for the score. In keeping with the pattern of the game, Chris Collins used a favorable deflection off a skate to slip another tying goal behind Patzold just before the second intermission. Five minutes into the third period, Providence earned their first lead of the game. On a play that was nearly a mirror image of the first Bruins tally, Krejci attacked up the right wing and found a crashing Pelletier, who redirected the centering feed past Patzold. Trailing for the first time in the game, the Sharks answered back. Working along the left wing boards, Iggulden found Dennis Packard unattended between the circles, and Packard had ample time to settle, shoot, and score to tie the game at 4-4 just over midway through the third period. Patzold, who was superb despite allowing four goals, made six saves during the five minute overtime to force the game into a shootout. The breakaway competition proved unfriendly for the Sharks, however, as Providence connected on their first three shots on their way to securing the victory.

2010 at Hershey 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Alex Stalock was superb making 41 saves in net and Sean Sullivan scored in his third straight game as Worcester defeated the Bears 3-2 at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA on Wednesday night. Dan DaSilva and Tommy Wingels scored in the first period to charge out to a 2-0 lead as the Sharks improved to 7-0-0-0 when they score the first goal of the game. Brandon Mashinter and Phil Oreskovic dropped the mitts for a good tussle at 4:02 to kick-off the opening period. Dan DaSilva (3rd) gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 4:02 after the Bears were unable to clear the puck out of their own zone. Andrew Desjardins sent the puck on top of the crease and DaSilva collected the puck and sent a backhander top shelf past Dany Sabourin to give Worcester an early advantage. Just 103 seconds later, Tommy Wingels (5th) scored on a breakaway, snapping the puck past the blocker of Sabourin to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead at 5:45. Alex Stalock made several terrific saves late in the period as the Bears held a 13-10 shot advantage after twenty minutes. Mathieu Perrault (5th) got the Bears on the board at 11:43 of the 2nd period after a shot from the right point was blocked and landed right on Perrault’s stick as he roofed a backhand past Stalock. The Sharks regained their two goal advantage at 19:09 as Sean Sullivan (6th) ripped a shot from the left slot after a great back feed by Jonathan Cheechoo to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead. The goal by Sullivan extended his goal scoring streak to three games. The Sharks were outshot 28-17 heading into the third period. Alex Stalock made 14 saves in the final period, many of them in the sensational category to hold off the Bears offensive charge. Hershey cut the lead to 3-2 as Jay Beagle (3rd) struck on the power play at 1:13 on a loose rebound in front after the initial shot from the left point. The Bears continued to charge late, aided by three power plays, but Alex Stalock stood his ground as the Sharks held on for the one goal victory. The Sharks overall record improves to 9-5-1-3 (22pts) and 4-3-0-2 on the road.

2012 vs Portland 5-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (9-6-1-1, 20pts) scored three second period goals en route to a feisty 5-1 victory over divisional rival Portland Pirates (7-8-1-1, 16pts) in front of 3,320 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night. Worcester increased their Atlantic Division record to 6-2-0-0 with the win. Worcester got goals from four different players in their third straight win against the Portland Pirates. Brodie Reid (2nd), Danny Groulx (2nd), Curt Gogol (3rd), and Yanni Gourde (4th, 5th) all notched goals for the Sharks in the win. Alex Stalock picked up the win in net for the Sharks, stopping 37 of 38 shots that he faced as the two teams combined for 143 penalty minutes and 15 fighting major penalties. Tim Kennedy added three assists in the win for Worcester. Brodie Reid (2nd) put the Sharks on the board first at 6:46 of the first period, sneaking one past Mark Visentin on a 4-on-4, putting the Sharks up 1-0. The goal induced the teddy bear toss from the Worcester fans, the third teddy bear toss induced by Reid in his career. Tempers were flaring in the first period, but no one ended up dropping the gloves. The Pirates outshot the Sharks 9-8 in the period. Tempers finally boiled over at the beginning of the second period, with five separate fighting majors taking place. Curt Gogol (3rd FM), Frazer McLaren (3rd FM), Jimmy Bonneau (3rd FM), Sena Acolatse (2nd FM), and Brandon Mashinter (3rd FM) picked up fighting majors for the Sharks, while Chris Brown, Mark Louis, Joel Rechlicz, Phil Lane, and Mathieu Brodeur all picked up fighting majors for the Pirates in a 124 second span early in the period. After things cooled down a little bit, Danny Groulx (2nd) cashed in on a 5-on-3 power play on a shot from the point, making it a 2-0 Sharks lead. Yanni Gourde (4th) then made it a 3-0 game when he poked one through the legs of Mark Visentin with a lot of traffic in front of the cage. The Sharks weren’t done there. Less than a minute later, Tim Kennedy made a great pass to Curt Gogol (3rd) who went in all alone and tucked it past Visentin to make it a 4-0 game. Sena Acolatse (3rd FM) dropped the mitts again in the third period, this time with Mark Louis, after he put a big hit on a Pirate’s forward. Louis picked up an additional two minutes for slashing, allowing Yanni Gourde (5th) to pick up his second goal of the night on the power play, giving the Sharks a 5-0 lead. Two separate scrums ensued in the third, with several players being thrown out of the game, including Joel Rechlicz of Portland and Worcester’s Matt Pelech (5th FM). David Rundblad (1st) notched the only goal of the game late in the third period to make it a 5-1 final. The Sharks overall record improves to 9-6-1-1 (20pts in 17gp) and 5-3-1-0 (11 pts in 9gp) at the DCU Center this season. [210Sports note: it was during the fights in this game that “#WorSharks”, the hashtag this writer used in those days, started trending on Twitter. The team began using the hashtag in their tweets and other social media for the rest of their run in Worcester.]

2013 vs Manchester 3-2 win SO
(WORSHARKS) For the second straight game on home ice, the Worcester Sharks (7-8-1-0, 15pts) battled back when trailing after 40 minutes and won in the shootout with a 3-2 win over the Manchester Monarchs (13-3-1-3, 30pts) at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon to close out a 3-in-3 weekend 1-1-0-0. Matt Tennyson and Rylan Schwartz scored early in the third period to erase a 2-0 deficit before Dan DaSilva and Sebastian Stalberg scored in the shootout for the win. Troy Grosenick made 18 saves and stopped 4-of-5 shooters in the shootout as Worcester improved to 4-0 in the shootout this season. The Sharks had several chances in the first period courtesy of three power plays but could not find the back of the net behind goaltender JF Berube. Scott Sabourin (6th) gave Manchester a 1-0 lead with 27 seconds remaining with a wicked shot from on top of the right circle that sailed past the blocker of Troy Grosenick, hit the post and into the net. Worcester outshot Manchester 8-5 but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes. A sluggish 2nd period saw the Monarchs go ahead 2-0 at 12:41 as Maxim Kitsyn (1st) scored his 1st AHL goal as he fired the puck from the red line and surprised Troy Grosenick in the Sharks cage. Worcester had a 21-15 shot advantage through 40 minutes but trailed 2-0. Worcester would score a pair of goals in the first seven minutes of the third period to tie the score at 2-2. Matt Tennyson (1st) got the Sharks on the board on the power play at 4:11 after he collected his own rebound and roofed the puck past a fallen JF Berube with Bracken Kearns and Adam Comrie picking up assists. The Sharks evened the score at 6:54 with a great snap shot on the rush from on top of the right circle by Rylan Schwartz (1st) after a great one touch pass in the neutral zone by Kearns. The Sharks mustered the only shot in overtime as the game headed to the shootout. Brandon Kozun scored the only goal for Manchester while Dan DaSilva and Sebastian Stalberg found the back of the net for Worcester in the 3-2 shootout win. The Sharks overall record improves to 7-8-1-0, 15pts and 4-5-0-0, 8pts on home ice.

2017 at Toledo 4-1 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (7-7-1-1, 16pts) lost for the first time in regulation in four games after a 4-1 defeat to the host Toledo Walleye (12-4-2-0, 26pts) in front 7,502 fans at the Huntington Arena on Friday evening. Barry Almeida scored the only Railers goal as Worcester outshot Toledo 34-20 in the road loss. Mitch Gillam made 16 saves in net for the Railers while Vili Saarijarvi scored twice and Matej Machovsky made 33 saves in net for the Walleye in the win. Worcester outshot Toledo 12-3 in the first period but it was the Walleye to score the only goal. Zach Nastasiuk (6th) tapped in a centering feed from on top of the crease past goaltender Mitch Gillam at 6:40. Worcester trailed 1-0 through 20 minutes of play. Railers continued to carry the play in the second period by outshooting Toledo 14-7 in the middle frame. The Walleye went ahead 2-0 after a shot from the point by Vili Saarijarvi (1st) went through a screen and into the back of the net at 11:31. Worcester finally got on the board after Barry Almeida (4th) came in late to shot home a loose Ashton Rome rebound past goaltender Matej Machovsky at 13:26. Worcester trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes despite outshooting the Walleye 26-10. Toledo scored two goals in the first 2:08 of the third period to pull away with a 4-1 lead. Kyle Bonis (5th) struck on the power play just 28 seconds in and Vili Saarijarvi (2nd) grabbed his second of the game at 2:08 to seal the deal for Toledo. Woody Hudson dropped the mitts vs. Connor Crisp at 4:15 but the Railers were unable to get a spark and fell on the road 4-1 in Toledo.

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