Today in Worcester hockey history: November 29


1995 vs St. John’s 5-3 win
The Worcester IceCats scored three first period goals and never looked back in a 5-3 win over the Maple Leafs. Christer Olsson got the scoring started at 12:01, with Jamie Rivers getting the assist. Thirty-five seconds later Alex Vasilevskii made it 2-0 with Donald Dufresne and Jason Widmer getting the assists. At 14:50 Steffon Walby got one back for St. John’s, but Olsson would score again at 16:01 to make it 3-1 after twenty minutes. Paul Broten and David Roberts had the helpers on the power play goal. Roberts would then grab a power play goal of his own at 6:45 of the middle stanza, with Broten and Fred Knipscheer getting assists. The Maple Leafs would have the next two scores, by Ken Belanger at 9:17 of the second (PP) and Paul Vincent at 12:23 (PP) of the third, but Knipscheer would seal the deal with a shorthanded empty net goal, with Shaun Kane helping, with five seconds remaining for the 5-3 ‘Cats win. Jason Saal had 35 saves in a losing effort for the Leafs, while Eric Fichaud made 33 for his tenth win of the season.

1997 at Kentucky 4-3 OTL
The Worcester IceCats allowed three middle period goals and then needed a late goal to tie it, only to lose 4-3 in overtime to the Thoroughblades when an old friend beat them with a rare goal. Ivan Ciernik had the only goal of the first period at 11:26 when he deflected Rory Fitzpatrick’s shot into the goal. Terry Hollinger had the secondary assist. In the second period Steve Guolla scored two goals to give Kentucky the lead, at 3:38 and on the power play at 6:30. Justin Hocking knotted the score at 9:17 when he faked a booming slapshot and then skated around the diving defender, lifting a backhander into the net. Terry Virtue and Shayne Toporowski had the assists. At 14:31 Guolla completed his hat trick with a power play goal and a 3-2 Thoroughblades lead. In the third Jamal Mayers scored at 18:34 to tie it as netminder Fred Cassivi was racing toward the bench for an extra attacker. Hollinger had the lone assist on the play. But in the extra session ex-IceCats defenseman Jason Strudwick would score at :31 to send the ‘Cats home losers. Cassivi made 37 saves in earning the point.

1998 at Providence 5-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats turned a two goal third period deficit into a tie, but then allowed the next three to lose 5-2 to the P-Bruins. Cameron Mann had the only goal of the first period, at 19:48 on the power play. Landon Wilson made it 2-0 at 9:10 of the second. In the third period with things looking good for the Baby-Bs Quinn Hancock suddenly cut their lead in half when he beat Providence netminder Jim Carey with an 100-foot slapshot at 2:17. Newcomer Darren Maloney tied it for the ‘Cats at 3:23 with Worcester now having all the momentum. Well, at least until Antti Laaksonen scored at 8:02 on a shot that IceCats goaltender Brent Johnson unintentionally set up when he went behind the net and fired the puck right to the tape of Laaksonen’s stick. Randy Robitaille then scored at 10:48 and Joel Prpic hit an empty net at 18:38 for the 5-2 final. [210Sports note: it was the only point of Maloney’s 10 game AHL career.

2002 vs Manchester 2-2 tie
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats earned a bitter point versus North Division rival Manchester with a 2-2 tie Friday night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. The ‘Cats led 2-1 with just 8.4 seconds remaining when Manchester’s Derek Bekar scored shorthanded to force the overtime session. Worcester opened the scoring at 6:51 of the second period, when defenseman Aris Brimanis converted on Sergei Varlamov’s cross-crease feed. Worcester dominated the play throughout the first two periods, outshooting Manchester 11-8 in the first and 16-3 in the second. They also held Manchester’s No. 1 ranked power play to just one goal. Manchester eventually knotted the game at 1-1 at 10:58 of the third on a 5-on-3 power play. Jared Aulin’s shot from the right point found its way over Worcester goaltender Phil Osaer’s glove hand. Defenseman Tom Koivisto’s first goal as an IceCat retook the lead at 15:35 of the third. The power play goal snapped a scoreless string of 18 power plays for Worcester over three games.

2003 at Portland 3-2 win OT
The Worcester IceCats jumped out to an early lead with two first period goals only to see Portland score in the second and third to force overtime, where Jay McClement won it banging home a rebound of a Christian Laflamme shot past Pirates netminder Maxime Ouellet at 1:15 of the extra session. Sergei Varlamov had the secondary assist on the play. Varlamov opened the scoring for the ‘Cats with a power play goal, assisted by Jeff Panzer and Jon Coleman, at 12:29 of the opening stanza. Ernie Hartlieb then made it 2-0 at 16:22, with Laflamme and Varlamov getting the helpers. Colin Forbes had a second period power play goal for the Pirates at 11:27, and Forbes would score again at 5:41 of the third to tie the score. Reinhard Divis made 19 saves for the win.

2008 vs Bridgeport 4-1 win
(WORSHARKS) Claude Lemieux’s first professional goal since the 2002-03 season highlighted a furious comeback as the Sharks battled back from a 1-0 deficit with four goals in the game’s final 21:32 to come away with a 4-1 win over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers on Saturday evening at the DCU Center. In the process, Worcester (11-9-0-0) handed Bridgeport only its fifth regulation loss of the season. Bridgeport entered the game with the second most points in the entire American Hockey League with 32 via a 15-4-0-2 record. Thomas Greiss was strong with 24 saves to earn him the game’s third star. Ryan Vesce added two goals and an assist while Andrew Desjardins and Patrick Traverse each had a pair of helpers. Tom Cavanagh added a goal and assist as well. Neither team could light the lamp in the first period despite a number of glittering scoring chances. On the Sharks’ first power play, both Derek Joslin and Lemieux found themselves in the middle of the action, but couldn’t put it home. Then at 14:00 of the first period, Vesce cleared a dangerous puck out of the crease to keep the game scoreless. Worcester finished the first period with the 15-7 shot advantage. Early in the second period, Jamie McGinn put a shorthanded bid on goal, but Bridgeport’s Joe Callahan deflected the puck over the net to keep it at 0-0. The Sound Tigers also had a shorthanded chance at 7:20 of the period when Kurtis McLean tried picking the corner, but Greiss came through with a big glove save. Bridgeport got on the board first at 17:18 with Blake Comeau’s fourth goal of the season. After the puck squirted loose from behind the net, Comeau collected the loose change in between the face-off circles and beat Greiss low. The Sharks quickly tied the score at one only 1:10 later when Vesce circled with the puck before letting loose from just outside the left wing circle. His third goal of the season beat Bridgeport goaltender Peter Mannino high on the blocker side and was assisted by Traverse and Desjardins. Vesce added his second goal of the game at 13:37 of the third period to give Worcester its first lead of the game at 2-1. Traverse put a shot toward goal from inside the left wing circle. Vesce made the redirection into the top right corner of the net for his fourth of the season. Lemieux added his first professional goal since the 2002-03 season at 17:20 of the third period. Cavanagh made the pass from the left wing side to Lemieux in the middle, who subsequently beat Mannino with a low shot to make it 3-1 in favor of the Sharks. Cavanagh added an empty-net goal with less than a minute remaining for the 4-1 win.

2013 at Portland 3-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (8-8-1-0, 17pts) won for a season high third straight game with a 3-1 win over the Portland Pirates (7-7-1-2, 17pts) at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Black Friday. With the win, the Sharks improved to .500 for the first time this season. Bracken Kearns and James Livingston scored in the second period while Harri Sateri was sharp with 25 saves in net. Freddie Hamilton sealed it with an empty net goal as Worcester recorded a three game win streak for the first time since the Sharks won three in a row on Dec 28-31st of 2012. A fast pace first period saw three sets of fighting majors beginning with a heavy weight tilt between Jimmy Bonneau (5th FM) and Kyle Hagel (8th FM) at 9:41 to set the stage. Riley Brace (1st FM) picked up his first professional fighting major with a long scrap with Andy Miele (1st FM) at 12:47. Moments later, Daniil Tarasov (2nd FM) dropped the mitts with Chris Brown (2nd FM) as the fisticuffs appeared to be contagious. Worcester outshot Portland 15-9 in a scoreless first period with Freddie Hamilton hitting the post for the best chance on either side. Worcester scored twice in the middle frame to take a 2-0 advantage into the 2nd intermission. Bracken Kearns (4th) found a loose puck in front of the net and whistled it over a fallen Mark Visentin at 3:55. Dan DaSilva and Rob Davison each picked up their first points for Worcester with assists on Kearns’ 1st even strength goal of the season. The Sharks went ahead 2-0 at 9:04 after James Livingston (3rd) fired home a rebound after the initial shot by Sebastian Stalberg was stopped by the right pad of the Portland goaltender. Harri Sateri had 16 saves through 40 minutes of play. A lucky bounce gave way to Brett Hextall (3rd) scoring past Harri Sateri at 5:55 of the third period to put the Pirates behind by a score. Harri Sateri held the fort the rest of the way as Freddie Hamilton (4th) buried an empty netter at 18:10 for the 3-1 Worcester victory. The Sharks overall record improves to 8-8-1-0, 17pts and 4-3-1-0, 9pts on the road this season.

2014 vs Providence 5-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (9-8-2-0, 20pts) exploded for four second period goals on their way to a 5-2 victory over the Providence Bruins (9-9-2-0, 20pts) in front of 5,251 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night. Five different goal scorers lit the lamp for Worcester while JP Anderson made 22 saves in net as the Sharks snapped a six game losing skid. 13 different players recorded a point for Worcester led by Evan Trupp (1-1-2) and Ryan Carpenter (0-2-2) while Malcolm Subban allowed five goals on 32 shots in net for the Bruins as Providence dropped their 4th straight game (0-3-1-0). In took just 11 seconds in for the Bruins to strike first as Brian Ferlin (4th) banged home a loose rebound past JP Anderson to put Worcester down 1-0 early. The Sharks tied the score at 8:41 with Jeremy Langlois (4th) finishing off a 3-on-1 rush after a great feed by Adam Burish. Providence went ahead 2-1 with a power play goal after a goal mouth scramble as Craig Cunningham (5th) was able to jam home a loose puck at 16:37. The Sharks trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes as the Bruins held a 14-8 shot advantage. The Sharks exploded for four goals in the second period to take a 5-2 advantage into the second intermission. Travis Oleksuk (1st) tied the score at 1-1 after he fired home his first of the season after a great pass from on top of the crease by Ryan Carpenter. Evan Trupp (4th) scored in his second straight game to break a 0-for-24 streak on the power play at 3:49 to put the Sharks ahead 3-2. Matt Taormina (3rd) sent a blast from the center point through traffic and past goaltender Malcolm Subban at 10:09 on the power play to put Worcester up 4-2. Micheal Haley (6th) finished off a nice 2-on-1 rush after a terrific feed by Chris Tierney at 18:33 for the 4th goal of the second period. Worcester outshot Providence 20-4 in the second period and took a 5-2 lead into the second intermission. The two teams combined for just 10 shots in the third period as the Sharks cruised away with a 5-2 home victory over the Bruins. The Sharks overall record improves to 9-8-2-0, 20pts, and 6-4-2-0, 14pts on home ice this season.

2019 vs Newfoundland 6-4 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (5-11-1-0, 11pts) snapped out of a seven game skid and picked up a 6-4 regulation home win over the Newfoundland Growlers (12-8-0-0, 24pts) on Friday night in front of 3,150 fans at the DCU Center on Friday night for Coach Cunniff’s first ECHL win as a head coach. The Railers will be back in action Saturday on Nov. 27 vs. the Indy Fuel on Nickelodeon Night at 7pm. Dante Salituro (3-1-4) recorded the first regulation season hat trick in Worcester Railers history while Jordan Samuels-Thomas (1-2-3), Nic Pierog (1-1-2), and Ross Olsson all found the back of the net for Worcester. Connor Doherty (0-2-2) recorded two assists and was named the number three star while Evan Buitenhuis made 23 saves for his first win at the DCU Center since Jan. 12, 2019. Evan Neugold, Riley Woods, Justin Brazeau, and Colt Conrad all scored goals for the Growlers while Maksim Zhukov made 16 saves in the loss as Worcester snapped a six game skid on home ice with the 6-4 win. Dante Salituro (1st) scored his first goal as a Railer after receiving a pass from Jordan Samuels-Thomas on a five on three power-play at 14:59 giving Worcester a 1-0 lead. With under a minute to go in the frame Riley Woods (7th) sprung free down the right wing side and snapped one through the wickets of Evan Buitenhuis at 19:16. The score was all tied at 1-1 through 20 minutes of play with shots even at 10 a piece. Newfoundland took a 2-1 lead just 30 seconds into the second period as Colt Conrad was able to fire one by Evan Buitenhuis from the left circle. The Railers matched a period high in goals with three during the middle frame started by Jordan-Samuels Thomas (6th) short-handed who went forehand backhand at the top of the crease. The play was started with a stretch pass from Connor Doherty up to Dante Salituro just inside the blue line who found a streak Jordan Samuels-Thomas to tie the game at 2-2 at 4:08. After the Growlers grabbed a 3-2 lead at 6:36, Dante Salituro (2nd) notched his second goal of the game as he was all alone and hammered one by the glove of Maksim Zhukov to tie the game at 3-3. Connor Doherty picked up his second point of the night when he whipped a shot toward the net which was redirected by Nic Pierog (4th) at 13:14 to give Worcester their second lead of the game. The Railers took a 4-3 lead into the dressing room after 40 minutes play and led in shots 19-16. A puck free alone in the high slot at 3:45 of the third period allowed for Ross Olsson (3rd) to blast it past the glove of Maksim Zhukov to give the Railers 5-3 lead. With the goaltender pulled Justin Brazeau (8th) made things interesting as he found the back of the net from the top of the right circle beating Evan Buitenhuis low blocker making it a 5-4 game. To seal the deal for the Railers Dante Salituro (3rd) from 175 feet launched one in the back of the net giving Worcester a 6-4 win. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star…. Connor Doherty (0-2-2) 2nd star: Jordan Samuels-Thomas (1-2-3) 1st star: Dante Salituro (3-1-4) …. final shots were 27-22 in favor of Worcester…. Maksim Zhukov (6-7-0) made 16 saves on 21 shots for Newfoundland.… Evan Buitenhuis (2-4-0) made 23 saves on 27shots for Worcester while Tommy Nixon served as the backup …. Worcester went 1-for-4 on the power play while Newfoundland went 0-for-4…. Anthony Florentino (inj), Barry Almeida (inj), Tanner Pond (inj), Shane Walsh (inj), Drew Callin, Bo Brauer, Ivan Chukarov and Jack Stander did not dress for Worcester…. Dante Salituro recorded the first regulation hat trick in Worcrster Railers history…. Evan Buitenhuis recorded his first win at the DCU Center since Jan. 12, 2019….David Cunniff picked up his first win as an ECHL head coach…. Justin Murray tallied his first professional point with an assist…. Nic Periog led all skaters with five shots….. The Michael David Band performed before and during the game…. Jakub Skarek and Linus Soderstrom are currently on recall with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Worcester is now 4-7-0-0 all-time vs. the Growlers and 3-4-0-0 at the DCU Center.


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