Today in Worcester hockey history: December 6


1995 vs Saint John 2-2 tie
The Worcester IceCats jumped out to a two goal lead but watched it disappear in what ended in a 2-2 tie with the Flames. Fred Knipscheer got the ‘Cats on the board with the only goal of the first period, with Paul Broten and goaltender Eric Fichaud assisting on the power play tally at 6:10. Jason Widmer would make it 2-0 at 6:02 of the middle stanza with Terry Virtue and Alex Vasilevskii providing assists. Keith McCambridge would cut the IceCats lead in half at 18:18. It was his only goal of the season. Vesa Viitakoski would make it a tie game with a goal at 15:30 of the third. Fichaud finished the contest with 23 saves.

1996 vs Carolina 4-3 win
The Worcester IceCats got a hat trick from Jamal Mayers to defeat the Carolina Monarchs 4-3 on a snowy night in the city. Carolina got on the board first at 3:26 when a Worcester defender was taken down and Steve Washburn gathered the loose puck and scored. Mayers’ first of the game at 17:50 tied it, with Scott Pellerin and Craig Conroy assisting. Mayers then gave the IceCats the lead just 47 seconds into the middle stanza, with Conroy and Pellerin once again assisting. Washburn grabbed his second of the game unassisted on the breakaway at 8:37, but Nick Naumenko answered back at 10:09 to give the ‘Cats the lead back. David Williams and Stephane Roy earned points on the goal. Mayers then completed his hat trick, from Pellerin and Terry Virtue, at 17:23. Herbert Vasiljevs scored for the Monarchs at 18:41 of the third to make it the 4-3 final. Jamie McLennan had 29 saves for the win.

1997 vs Springfield 2-2 tie
The IceCats and Falcons skated to a 2-2 tie in a game that saw goaltending be the story as the clubs combined for 83 shots on goal. Trevor Letowski got Springfield on the board first at 3:48 of the opening period. Mike Prokopec got Worcester even 22 seconds into the second period with Justin Hocking and Michal Handzus earning the assists. Terry Hollinger, from Handzus and Rory Fitzpatrick, gave the IceCats the lead at 7:32. Mike Pomichter would have the only goal in the third period, at 15:07, to eventually send the game into overtime. Scott Langkow ended the game with 41 saves for the Falcons, including six in OT. Frederic Cassivi had 38 saves for the IceCats.

2002 at Hartford 3-3 tie
(HARTFORD) After being in control for 40 minutes while taking a two-goal lead, the Wolf Pack self-destructed with bad decisions and penalties as the Worcester IceCats rallied for a 3-3 tie on power-play goals by Justin Papineau and Aris Brimanis. Defenseman Jeff State’s first goal as a pro, on a 40-foot shot, and Roman Lyashenko’s power-play goal gave the Wolf Pack a 2-0 lead after two periods. But Hartford (12-6-4-3) got away from what enabled it to win four in a row overall and five straight at home. Jeff Panzer converted Greg Davis’ rebound at 2:28, scoring the IceCats’ first goal this season against Holmqvist (34 saves), who shut them out 1-0 Nov. 27. Dixon Ward appeared to regain momentum for the Wolf Pack when he beat Brent Johnson 62 seconds later. Seconds after the Wolf Pack killed a 5-on-3 for 1:31, Papineau poked in his own rebound at 7:51 for his league-high 15th goal. Then Brimanis scored on a 50-foot screen shot off assists from former Wolf Pack players Terry Virtue and Jason Dawe with 7:32 left in regulation. Johnson, making his season debut after severely spraining his left ankle before training camp, denied the Wolf Pack a second point with 1:27 left in overtime, stopping Tomas Kloucek’s 20-foot shot off a 3-on-1. Johnson, the St. Louis Blues’ No. 1 goalie, made 32 saves in extending the IceCats’ unbeaten streak (2-0-2).

2003 at Albany 3-0 win
The Worcester IceCats got 22 saves from Reinhard Divis and two third period goals from Scott Pellerin in a 3-0 win in Albany against the River Rats. After Divis and Albany netminder Scott Clemmensen kept the teams scoreless after 40 minutes Pellerin finally broke through with a goal at 3:44 of the third period, with Mike Glumac and Jon Coleman picking up the assists. Colin Hemingway made it 2-0 at 6:05 with a goal assisted by Jeff Panzer and Terry Virtue. Pellerin would finish the scoring at 16:33 with help from Steve Martins and Blake Evans. The ‘Cats and Divis had to withstand the final 1:54 of the game skating down two skaters as Sergei Varlamov, Greg Black, and Aris Brimanis were all whistled for penalties in quick succession. Clemmensen was then pulled for an extra attacker to make it six on three.

2009 vs Portland 3-2 win SO
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks beat the Portland Pirates in an exciting 3-2 shootout win on Heroes Night – A Tribute to the Worcester 6, on Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center in Worcester. Andrew Desjardins (7th goal) and Dan DaSilva scored in regulation for the Sharks, but Steven Zalewski’s 4th round shootout goal sunk the Pirates in Worcester’s 2nd shootout in less than 24 hours. With the win, the Sharks set a new franchise record with points in eight consecutive games (7-0-0-1). The Sharks set an aggressive tone for the game right from the face-off with crisp passes, sharp shooting, and heavy hits. Despite the 10 shots on Pirates’ netminder Jhonas Enroth and 8 on Worcester’s Alex Stalock, neither team put one between the posts. About five minutes into the second period the Sharks thought they pushed one by Enroth, but it was recalled much to the Worcester fans’ dismay. Andrew Desjardins (7th goal) made one count at 9:23 when he received a pass from Dan DaSilva in front of the net and flipped it in to put the Sharks up 1-0. The Pirates fired back at 19:08 when Mark Mancari (10th goal) set up a slapshot that slipped by the glove of Alex Stalock, tying the game at 1-1. The third period opened with a 10-man scuffle behind the Sharks’ net. Worcester quickly responded when Cory Quirk fed to Dan DaSilva inside the crease at 2:38 for a goal that gave Worcester back the lead, 2-1. Portland’s Mark Mancari (11th goal) scored his second goal of the afternoon at 12:32, balancing the score at 2-2 and forcing overtime. Neither team could find the back of the net during the overtime, forcing the Sharks into their 2nd shootout in 24 hours. Ferriero and Vesce scored for Worcester, but it was the fourth shooter, Steven Zalewski, who scored the game-winner. Alex Stalock was perfect in the shootout stopping all three shooters. With the shootout win, the Sharks swim to 15-10-0-2 (32 points) on the season and currently have an EIGHT game point streak (7-0-0-1) for a new franchise record.

2013 vs Portland 8-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Six different goal scorers led the Worcester Sharks (9-8-1-0, 19pts) to a season high fourth straight victory with a 8-2 win over the Portland Pirates (7-9-1-2, 17pts) at the DCU Center on Friday night. With the win, the Sharks improved to over .500 for the first time this season. Matt Nieto (2-3-5), Freddie Hamilton (2-1-3), Daniil Tarasov (1-2-3), Dylan DeMelo (0-2-2), Marek Viedensky (1-1-2), and Jimmy Bonneau (0-2-2) each had multi point performances while Harri Sateri was sharp with 29 saves in net. Taylor Doherty and Adam Comrie each finished with a +4 rating and as Worcester recorded a four game win streak for the first time since the Sharks won five in a row on Dec 9-17th of 2011. The eight goals scored were the most ever scored by the Sharks at the DCU Center. The Sharks dominated the opening period grabbing a 2-0 lead by outshooting the Pirates 16-5. Freddie Hamilton (5th) gave Worcester a 1-0 lead with a wicked snap shot from the right circle on the rush that ate up goaltender Mark Visentin at 14:29. Just 59 seconds later, Marek Viedensky drove to the Pirates net and Eriah Hayes (3rd) crashed into the crease and slammed the puck home at 15:28 to put the Sharks up 2-0. The Sharks would pour it on in the middle frame and would take a 5-0 lead. Matt Nieto (1st) struck at 1:15 followed by Daniil Tarasov (8th) at 3:10 to chase goaltender Mark Visentin as Worcester took a 4-0 advantage. Travis Oleksuk (2nd) welcomed netminder Mike Lee rudely by following up his initial shot and fired home a rebound in front at 5:25 as the Sharks grabbed a 5-0 lead. Harri Sateri stopped Brendan Shinnimin on a penalty shot bid at 11:08 but could not stop Gilbert Brule’s (7th) drive on the power play at the end of the period as the Sharks took a 5-1 lead into the 2nd intermission. Matt Nieto (2nd) made it 6-1 at :49 seconds of the 3rd period with a 5-on-3 power play strike and Freddie Hamilton (6th) followed up with his 2nd of the game at 6:45 for a 7-1 Sharks lead. Brendan Shinnimin (3rd) deflected a shot from the point past Sateri at 7:17 but Marek Viedensky (1st) finished the scoring at 18:03 with his first strike of the year to cap off the Sharks win at 8-2. The Sharks overall record improves to 9-8-1-0, 19pts and 5-5-0-0, 10pts on home ice this season.

2014 at St. John’s 3-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (10-10-2-0, 20pts) four game road trip continued with a 3-2 loss to the host St. John’s IceCaps (10-11-4-0, 25pts) in front of 5,747 fans at the Mile One Centre on Saturday night. Worcester outshot St. John’s 43-22 in the contest and received goals from Evan Trupp and Melker Karlsson. Will O’Neill scored twice on the power play for the IceCaps while Connor Hellebuyck made 41 saves in net for St. John’s in the victory. After a 1-0 Worcester victory the night before, the two teams each scored twice in a high tempo wide open first period. Evan Trupp (6th) gave the Sharks an early 1-0 lead just 22 seconds in with a quick shot from the right side through the pads of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck. But the IceCaps scored on their first shot after Nick Blanchard from behind the Worcester net found Austen Brassard (1st) alone in front who buried a shot glove side on Aaron Dell at 1:35. Worcester scored just their third road power play goal of the season as Melker Karlsson (5th) fired the puck towards the net from the left corner and the puck banked of Hellebuyck and into the net at 8:41. St. John’s tied the score with a power play goal of their own at 11:13 as Will O’Neill’s (5th) shot from the point found its way through traffic and into the back of the net to even the score at 2-2. Worcester outshot St. John’s 20-11 in the first period. Salem, MA native Will O’Neill (6th) scored the only goal of the second period with a power play strike at 5:31 with a wrist shot from 50 feet through the pads of Aaron Dell to give St. John’s a 3-2 advantage after 40 minutes. JC Lipon and Gus Young (1st FM) had a terrific fight at 7:59 of the period as tempers started to flare. Worcester outshot St. John’s 13-9 in the middle frame. Worcester outshot St. John’s 10-2 in the third period but neither team would find the back of the net as the IceCaps held on for the 3-2 victory. The Sharks overall record falls to 10-10-2-0, 22pts, and 4-6-0-0, 8pts on the road this season.

2019 at Newfoundland 7-5 Loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (6-13-1-0, 13pts) allowed six goals in the third period as they were defeated 7-5 by the Newfoundland Growlers (16-8-0-0, 32pts) on Friday evening in front of 2,849 fans at the Mile One Centre. The Railers will be back in action Saturday, Dec. 7 vs the Growlers in Newfoundland at 5:30pm eastern time. Jordan Samuels Thomas (2-1-3) extended his point streak to four games as Bo Brauer, Nic Pierog, and Matt Schmalz scored for the Railers while Evan Buitenhuis made 33 saves in net recording the loss. The Growlers were led offensively by Giorgio Estephan (2-2-4), Mac Hollowell (1-2-3), and Aaron Luchuk (2-1-3) while Maksim Zhukov made 30 saves in net for his ninth win of the season. The game featured four short-handed goals, two power-play goals, an empty-net goal and a eight goal third period. Worcester peppered Growlers netminder Maksim Zhukov in the first period but the six-foot three goaltender stood tall and stopped all 16 shots he faced. Drew Callin had multiple quality chances but could not find the back of the net while Evan Buitenhuis stopped all eight shots he faced. The Railers broke through offensively in the second period for a three-goal stanza started off by Jordan Samuels-Thomas (8th) on a breakaway 2:44 into the frame sliding one through the wickets of netminder Maksim Zhukov to give the Railers a 1-0 lead. At 12:37 Bo Brauer (4th) all alone on the far side post banged it home giving Worcester a two-goal lead and then just 47 seconds Nic Pierog (6th) short-handed gave Worcester a 3-0 advantage. Newfoundland got on the board thanks to Brady Ferguson (13th) at 15:47 redirecting a shot from the left point. Worcester headed into the dressing room up 3-1 after two periods and had outshot the Growlers 27-23 through 40 minutes of play. A total of eight goals were scored in the third period which featured six goals in a 5:12 span. First it was Giorgio Estephan (9th) at 6:57 decreasing the Growlers deficit to 3-2. Jordan Samuels-Thomas (9th) on yet another breakaway through the five hole of Maksim Zhukov at 9:05 giving the Railers a 4-2 advantage, their second short-handed goal of the game. Giorgio Estephan (10th) for the second time in the frame cut it down to a one goal game at 9:22 but it did not last long as Matt Schmalz (6th) off a beautiful feed from Drew Callin roofed a shot from below the left circle to give Worcester a 5-3 lead with 9:55 to play. In a 3:09 span the Growlers struck three times, two of which were short-handed, started off by Aaron Luchuk (10th) at 12:15 and then the two short-handed goals one from Aaron Luchuk (11th) at 14:09 then Joseph Duszak (5th) just 15 seconds later. Mac Hollowell (2nd) capped things off with an empty net goal with just 19.6 seconds remaining to give the Growlers a come from behind 7-5 victory. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star…. Jordan Samuels-Thomas (2-1-3, 5 shots) 2nd star: Giorgio Estephan (2-2-4) 1st star: Aaron Luchuk (2-1-3, 7 shots) ….final shots were 40-35 for Newfoundland…. Maksim Zhukov (9-7-1) made 30 saves on 35 shots for Newfoundland.… Evan Buitenhuis (3-6-0) made 33 saves on 40 shots for Worcester while Ian Milsoz served as the backup….Worcester went 0-for-3 on the power play while Newfoundland 2-for-6…. Anthony Florentino (inj), Barry Almeida (inj), Tanner Pond (inj), Shane Walsh (inj), and Ross Olsson did not dress for Worcester…. Mike Cornell, Jakub Skarek, and Linus Soderstrom are currently on recall with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Barry Almeida joined Coach Cunniff behind the bench…. Since David Cunniff took over as GM/HC the Railers have scored four short-handed goals…. Jordan Samuels-Thomas extended his point streak to four games with two goals and an assist and recorded his team leading seventh multi point game…. Kyle McKenzie finished plus five…. Nic Pierog has short-handed goals in back to back games…. Five of the 12 goals were unassisted…. Newfoundland has now won a franchise record seven straight games on home ice….The Railers did not have a player wear the “C” as Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Kyle Thomas, and Connor Doherty all wore “A’s”…. Worcester is now 4-8-0-0 all-time vs. the Growlers and 1-4-0-0 at the Mile One Centre.


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