Today in Worcester hockey history: December 3


1994 at Adirondack 5-3 win
(GLENS FALLS) Denis Chalifoux rediscovered his scoring touch last night and led the Worcester IceCats to a 5-3 victory over the Adirondack Red Wings at the Glens Falls Civic Center. Playing on a line with wingers David Haas and Blair Atcheynum, a free agent who signed with the IceCats last week, Chalifoux scored his first two goals of the season in his 12th game Chalifoux and his line figured in all three of Worcester’s goals in the second period when the IceCats turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Worcester took advantage of shaky goaltending by Adirondack rookie Norm Maracle to score three times in a span of 3:40 early in the period. Chalifoux started the spree at 2:43 with a shot from slot. Adirondack defenseman Jamie Pushor pushed Haas’ centering pass away from the front of the crease, but the puck went right to Chalifoux, who snapped it past Maracle. Adirondack broke the tie at 4:23 with a goal by Kurt Miller. Although Andrew McKim’s cross-ice pass was about a foot off the ice, Miller was able to fight through the checking of defenseman Terry Virtue, knock down the puck in the left circle and bank his shot in off the inside of goaltender Wayne Cowley’s left leg. The Wings’ advantage lasted exactly 32 seconds until Haas broke in on the right side on a 2-on-1 with Chalifoux and fired a shot between Maracle’s pads. Chalifoux gave the IceCats the lead at 6:23 with a low 25-foot shot from the left circle that beat Maracle just inside the right post. Jim Nesich scored the only goal of the third period into an open net with one minute remaining. The Red Wings broke on top 1:10 into the game when Scott Hollis picked up a loose puck in the slot and beat Cowley. Curtis Bowen was tied up by the IceCats’ defense and could not get a stick on Martin Lapointe’s centering pass, but Hollis was able to get to the puck before it was cleared. Martin Mercier answered for Worcester 29 seconds later, scoring from the left faceoff circle on the IceCats’ first shot of the game. Lapointe started and completed the play that led to his league-leading fifth short-handed goal of the season at 10:12. Lapointe knocked down defenseman Dave Baseggio at the left point and skated away with the puck on a 2-on-1 with Joe Frederick. Frederick gave the puck back to Lapointe for a 20-foot shot from the right circle and the second-year pro converted on the Wings’ fourth and final shot of the period.

1999 at Providence 3-2 loss
(TICKER) John Grahame stopped 30 shots and Jeremy Brown distributed two assists as the Providence Bruins edged the Worcester Ice Cats, 3-2. Grahame, who has allowed just 15 goals in seven games, made 15 of his saves in the second period and improved to 4-1-1. Brown assisted Antti Laaksonen four minutes into the second period and set up Eric Manlow six minutes into the third. Sean Pronger opened the scoring 20 seconds into the game for Providence, which is 3-0-1 against Worcester this year. Jim Campbell assisted on goals by Bryan Helmer and Marty Reasoner for the Ice Cats, who are winless in their last four games (0-2-2).

2004 vs Hershey 1-0 SOL
(ICECATS) Friday night at the DCU Center the Hershey Bears beat the Worcester IceCats 1-0 in the ‘Cats first-ever shootout. Worcester goaltender Curtis Sanford and Hershey’s Tom Lawson dueled to a 0-0 regulation and overtime tie. The Bears then beat Sanford once in the five-round shootout to steal an extra point. The game was just Worcester’s fourth scoreless tie in franchise history. The last time both teams went 65 minutes without scoring a goal was April 10, 2004, as the ‘Cats and Providence Bruins battled to a double-zero. Sanford made 29 saves in that game for the ‘Cats. Sanford and Lawson mirrored each other with impressive saves throughout, and only David Masse found the back of the net in the shootout to give the Chocolatetowners the win. Hershey held the IceCat scoreless on four power play attempts, extending Worcester’s scoreless streak to 0-for-23 on the man-advantage in their last four games.

2006 at Hershey 2-1 win OT
(WORSHARKS) Playing their third game away from home in as many days, the Worcester Sharks finished their road trip on a high note, earning a 2-1 overtime victory over the Hershey Bears in one of the AHL’s most hostile environments, the Giant Center. Nolan Schaefer stopped 36 shots prior to teammate Grant Stevenson scoring the eventual game-winner 2:09 into overtime, and the Sharks gained four of a possible six weekend points against top Eastern Division competition. A flurry of penalties forced the Sharks to play shorthanded early, silencing Hershey’s power play – the AHL’s fourth-best – on all four occasions. Sharks netminder Nolan Schaefer played a solid first period, making eight saves including a brilliant denial of Bears winger Chris Bourque on a clean breakaway. Hershey took a 1-0 lead into the locker room, however, courtesy of an unassisted goal on a wrist shot from Eric Fehr with just 25 seconds remaining in the period. The Sharks used the power play to strike back early in the second. Graham Mink, playing in his first game at the Giant Center since winning the Calder Cup with the Bears last year, powered home the rebound of a shot by Sharks point leader Mathieu Darche, tying the game less than five minutes into the second session. Schaefer continued his stellar play through the second period, keeping the score even and making 12 saves in the middle frame. Back-to-back hooking penalties found the Sharks at a 5-on-3 disadvantage midway through the third period, but Schaefer remained solid, making four saves during the extended Bears power play. The Sharks had four chances of their own during a late power play, including a short-range blast from Michal Macho that struck the crossbar behind Hershey goaltender Frederic Cassivi. A save by Schaefer on a 2-on-1 breakaway preserved the tie and forced the game into overtime. Extra time held no shortage of drama, as the Sharks found themselves with a 5-on-3 advantage of their own following simultaneous holding and bench minor penalties against the Bears just 1:18 into the overtime period. For the second time in the game Worcester capitalized on the power play, this time with a game-winning goal from Grant Stevenson, who found the upper netting over Cassivi’s right shoulder. Overall, the Sharks capitalized on two of seven power play chances, while shutting out the Bears on all eight Hershey advantages.

2008 vs W-B/Scranton 4-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) After a night of physical, hot-tempered hockey and 118 combined penalty minutes, the Worcester Sharks came up on the short end of a 4-1 score against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins on Wednesday night at the DCU Center. Two power play goals and solid goaltending vaulted the Penguins, who snapped Worcester’s three game home winning streak. A fortuitous bounce on the game’s first power play gave Wilkes-Barre the game’s first goal midway through the opening period. A slap shot from blueliner Ben Lovejoy was knocked down in front of the net by teammate Ryan Stone. The puck rebounded off the skate of Sharks defenseman Derek Joslin and rolled across the goal line. Stone, who was credited with the goal, notched his sixth tally of the year on the play. Two equally unusual plays both appeared to produce a tying goal for Worcester in the following minutes. A loose puck in front of the net disappeared underneath Penguins goaltender Adam Berkhoel, and not until after the pile of skaters had been untangled did referee Jamie Koharski rule that the puck never crossed the goal line. Moments later, Lukas Kaspar appeared to have Berkhoel beat as the netminder scrambled back into position, but Kaspar’s shot hit the base of the far post and caromed back into play. TJ Kemp caught the Sharks in a line change just prior to the first intermission and fed Chris Minard on a clean breakaway. Minard went low on Worcester backstop Thomas Greiss, and his team-leading 17th goal of the season gave the Penguins a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes. Kaspar redeemed himself eight minutes into the middle frame when he charged into the Penguins zone and set up linemate Steven Zalewski with a crisp centering feed. Zalewski one-timed the puck past Berkhoel, giving him sixteen points on the year – tied for eighth among AHL rookies. Wilkes-Barre, however, regained the two goal advantage a mere 21 seconds later. Luca Caputi followed up his own close-range shot and poked the puck under Greiss at 8:45 of the second period, giving the visitors a 3-1 edge. That score would hold into the third period, at which time Sharks defenseman Mike Moore attempted to spark Worcester by dropping the gloves to do battle with Penguins winger Tim Wallace. Moore wrapped up Wallace and landed a series of solid punches before dragging Wallace to the ice. Brad Staubitz and Paul Bissonnette would follow suit, engaging in a battle of their own just over a minute later. The Penguins responded, holding Worcester without a shot on net for the first eleven minutes of the final period. They also capitalized on a too many men penalty against the Sharks, as Lovejoy punched home an insurance goal on the power play at 7:46. The fights would continue long after the scoring was complete, however, with battles raging between Brad Staubitz and Paul Bissonnette, Kyle McLaren and Deryk Engelland, Jamie McGinn and Danny Richmond, and Frazer McLaren and Bissonnette.

2011 vs Binghamton 2-1 win
(WORSHARKS) Ryan Del Monte scored with 4:13 remaining in the third period and Tyson Sexsmith shut the door the rest of the way with several key saves late as the Sharks held on for a 2-1 victory over the Binghamton Senators at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. Tommy Wingels tied the game in the third period on the power play for Worcester as Tyson Sexsmith picked up his 4th win of the season with 21 saves for the Sharks 2nd straight one goal victory on home ice. Worcester outshot Binghamton 17-5 in the first period guided by two early power play chances but did not score. Jimmy Bonneau (3rd FM) and Francis Lessard (8th FM) fought at center ice at 11:54 in a good scrap to get the crowd rolling. The first period came to a close with no score. Neither team scored in a sleepy second period that saw only 13 total shots. Tyson Sexsmith had 11 saves after 40 minutes while Mike McKenna had 24 stops for the Senators. Things opened up in the third period with the Senators taking a 1-0 lead at 9:01. Pat Cannone (6th) sent a backhander past Tyson Sexsmith after a rush down the left side to put Binghamton ahead. After head coach Roy Sommer used his timeout with the Sharks on the power play, Tommy Wingels (4th) jammed home a loose rebound after the initial attempt by John McCarthy to tie the score 13:05. Just over two minutes later, Tony Lucia took a big hit in the Senators zone but was able to push the puck towards the Binghamton net. Ryan Del Monte (2nd) sent a quick shot from in tight and past Mike McKenna for the eventual game winner at 15:47. The Senators pulled the goalie for a late charge and hit the post with 30 seconds remaining and Tyson Sexsmith stood on his head to close out the Sharks one goal victory. The Sharks record improves to 8-6-3-2 with 21 points through 19 games and to 6-5-0-1 at the DCU Center.

2021 vs Adirondack 3-2 Loss
(RAILERS) The Railers lost at the DCU Center Friday night, this time by 3-2 to the Adirondack Thunder. Robbie Payne, Tyler Irvine and Samuel Laberge scored for the Thunder. Ross Olsson and Liam Coughlin had the Worcester goals. The Railers were stymied by Adirondack goalie Mareks Mitens, who was superb with 40 saves. “We didn’t play well against Newfoundland,” said Olsson, “but I thought we did the last two games. Both goalies made a lot of stops and tonight, we had the 40 shots and of those, we had to have had 25 good chances. You hate to say this, but it’s a long season and we’ll play these guys another, like, 12 more times. We’ve just got to bear down. We got some chances tonight, some rebounds, and we’ve got to bear down more on those.” Worcester has also been dealing with a lot of roster flux. Most ECHL teams reach survival mode with their rosters at some point in the season but the Railers got there early. Denuded by callups to the AHL and virus issues throughout its higher affiliates, Worcester has had to scramble to put 18 players in uniform some nights. Just six players who played for the Railers Friday night played opening night in Maine 15 games ago. It was 2-2 after 41 minutes, then Payne broke the tie at 1:11 of the third. He had the puck in the right circle and fell to his knees. Still, he stickhandled through a couple of Railers skates, got back on his feet in front of the Worcester net and slid a short backhander past Colten Ellis to give the Thunder the lead for good. The teams traded goals in the first period. Laberge had one for Adirondack at 8:17; Olsson scored for the Railers at 9:35. His goal was a deflection from the slot off Zach Malatesta’s feed from the left point. It was Olsson’s fifth goal in the last eight games this season and the 20th of his Railers career. It was also just the third goal Worcester has scored in the first period in eight home games this season. The second period was much the same and the game was 2-2 after two even though the Railers outshot the Thunder, 20-5. Irvine scored from between the circles at 10:30. Coughlin responded at 17:03, notching Worcester’s first 5 on 3 goal of the season, and his third in the last four games. He converted Jacob Hayhurst’s pass at the top of the crease. MAKING TRACKS_The homestand finishes with a game here against Maine at 10:05 Wednesday morning. The building will be noisy with a few thousand students in the house. … The Railers created some Worcester hockey history with their shootout victory over Maine here Wednesday night. Their five goals were the most ever for a Worcester team, surpassing the four scored by the Sharks in a loss at Manchester on Dec. 5, 2009. … Linesman Chris Provost seems to be, unofficially, the tallest linesman ever to work a pro game at the DCU Center. … The Thunder has two ex-Railers on the roster, goalie Alex Sakellaropoulos and defenseman Ivan Chukarov, but neither played. … Jordan Smotherman had an assist and is 1-5-6 in his last four games. … Attendance was 2,706. … The Railers have yet to win two in a row this season.


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