Today in Worcester hockey history: December 7

25B

1994 vs Syracuse 3-1 loss
The IceCats surrendered a single goal in all three period but didn’t generate much offense for themselves in a 3-1 loss to the Crunch. Brian Loney got Syracuse on the board at 14:54 of the first, and Lonny Bohonos made it 2-0 with a goal at 16:11 of the second. Worcester cut the lead in half with a third period goal by Walt Poddubny, assisted by Sean Whyte and Jarrett Deuling, but Dan Kesa’s unassisted goal at 16:31 put the game out of reach for the IceCats. Wayne Cowley made 17 saves in the loss.

1996 vs Carolina 6-1 win
The Worcester IceCats got a hat trick from Terry Virtue, the first in his pro career, to defeat the Monarchs on another snowy night in Worcester. Virtue grabbed his first of the night at 11:32 on the power play, assisted by Craig Conroy and Mike Maneluk. Justin Hocking goal at 13:58 made it 2-0 ‘Cats. Maneluk and Chris Kenady assisted on what was Hocking’s only goal that season. In the second Conroy made it a three goal lead at 7:16, with Jamal Mayers and Maneluk helping. Ryan Johnson got the Monarchs on the board at 11:19, but 26 seconds later Conroy got that one back unassisted. Virtue then added another power play goal at 13:32, assisted by Maneluk and Conroy, to cap the scoring in the frame. With time winding down on the game and the ‘Cats on the power play again Virtue completed his hat trick at 19:37, with Conroy and Jason Zent picking up points on the goal. Jamie McLennan made 24 saves in the game, in what was his first back-to-back appearance of the season. [210Sports note: While not listed on the game sheet Erin Villiotte, who worked for the IceCats and had previously played goal on the Harvard Women’s team, was the emergency back-up goaltender as Travis Scott became “gruesomely ill” and could not dress for the game. Villiotte did not sit on the bench.]

2001 at Manchester 4-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats had a hard time playing against both the Manchester Monarchs and Referee Chris Lee, and it shows on the scoreboard in a 4-1 loss. Two of the Monarchs goals came on the power play with Eric Boguniecki in the penalty box for weak penalty calls. Joe Corvo scored the first goal of the game at 14:01 of the opening period with Boguniecki in the box. Scott Thomas gave the Monarchs a 2-0 lead at 4:47 of the middle period with Boguniecki in the box again, and right after the goal was scored Boguniecki voiced his displeasure with the two previous calls and was invited to go back into the sin bin. Justin Papineau cut that lead in half when he rifled a slap shot past Travis Scott at 6:58. Greg Phillips made it 3-1 at 10:05, and Eric Healey added an empty net goal at 1:58 of the third for the 4-1 final. Reinhard Divis was in goal for the ‘Cats.

2002 vs Lowell 3-2 win
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats edged their North Division rival Lowell Lock Monsters with a 3-2 win Saturday at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. Eric Nickulas scored the game-winning goal, his first tally of the season. The ‘Cats took a 3-1 lead in the second period on goals by Jeff Panzer and Nickulas after Blake Evans put them out 1-0 in the first. Lowell responded to Evans’ goal late in the first with Tomas Kurka’s power play conversion. Jeff Daw gave Worcester reason to sweat when he scored 24 seconds into the third period on a 5-on-3 power play, but goalie Curtis Sanford and the ‘Cats held on for the two points. With a 3-3 tie Friday at Hartford and tonight’s win, Worcester is now unbeaten in its last five games (3-0-2).

2007 vs Manchester 4-3 SOL
(WORSHARKS) Playing with a chance to jump two spots in the Atlantic Division table, the Worcester Sharks managed to pick up just one point in the standings, dropping a 4-3 shootout decision to the Manchester Monarchs in the first of four consecutive home games at the DCU Center. The Sharks fell behind early, but wasted no time in bouncing back midway through the first. Just a minute after Jeff Giuliano beat Sharks netminder Thomas Greiss to open the scoring, Lukas Kaspar crashed a loose puck inside the faceoff circle to the left of Manchester goaltender Daniel Taylor. Kaspar turned quickly and slid the puck underneath Taylor, who was appearing in his first professional game, picking up his third goal of the year on the unassisted tally. One minute and two shots later, Manchester regained the lead. Jeff Likens wound up a drive from the blue line that deflected off the stick of Patrick Jarrett and trickled past Greiss, who had reacted to the initial shot. Worcester’s power play swung momentum back to the home squad in the second period, taking advantage of a frustrated Paul Crosty, whose hit on Brad Staubitz gave the Sharks four minutes to work against Manchester’s league-worst penalty killing unit. Derek Joslin cleaned up a rebound from Mike Morris, earning the rookie his first professional point and tying the game at 2-2. With the latter of Crosty’s two minors still on the clock, Patrick Traverse sniped the go-ahead goal from fifty feet, giving the Sharks the lead on their second power play goal in only 40 seconds. A myriad of penalties led to three partial power plays, including 1:14 of a 5-on-3 advantage for Worcester. The Sharks managed just one shot in that stretch before surrendering the lead directly off a 4-on-4 faceoff. Trevor Lewis won the draw back to Brian Boyle, who scored his ninth goal of the year to tie the game heading into the second intermission. Taylor held fast for the Monarchs through the third period, saving all thirteen Worcester shots in the final period and another in the overtime, stopping 37 of 40 shots in all and foiling the Sharks’ highest offensive shot total of the season. Greiss made ten saves down the stretch for Worcester to force the game through overtime and into a shootout.

2008 vs Portland 4-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Claude Lemieux notched the game-winner, his second goal of the season as the Sharks defeated the Portland Pirates 4-2 in Sunday afternoon’s contest. The Sharks started the scoring early on a power play (at 3:59 in the first period) when Derek Joslin registered his fifth goal this season off of a Cory Larose pass that seemed to be aimed at Claude Lemieux. The puck got through Lemieux’s grasp, but a shadowing Joslin took advantage by sending it to the top-left corner. Larose and Ryan Vesce were credited with assists. Jason Demers extended the Sharks’ lead to 2-0 just seven minutes later. Joslin found Demers by the blue line on the right wing side, and Demers wasted no time in firing a slap shot past Portland goalie Adam Dennis. The goal was the first of the season for Demers. Joslin and Matt Fornataro earned assists on the play. The second period, however, told a different story as Portland mounted a comeback. After Matt Fornataro was called for slashing, Portland’s leading scorer Mark Mancari looked to capitalize by launching a slap shot from the blue line. Pirate forward Marek Zagrapan got his stick on the puck and deflected it by Thomas Greiss. Less than two minutes later, the Pirates took advantage of another power play and tied the score. Colton Fretter tied the score amidst a scrum in front of the net on a rebound of a Matt Ellis shot. Pirate defenseman Marc-Andre Gragnani was also credited with an assist. The Sharks recovered the lead at 16:53 on Claude Lemieux’s second goal in a Sharks uniform. Steven Zalewski spotted a streaking Lemieux with no defenders in sight. Lemieux faked right, duping a sprawling Dennis, and sent an easy shot to the back of the net. Vesce added an empty-net goal with five seconds remaining.

2010 at Portland 4-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Jonathan Cheechoo (1-1-2) extended his point streak to three games and Alex Stalock made 24 saves as the Sharks swam past the Portland Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland on Tuesday night. With the win, the Sharks move into 2nd place in the Atlantic Division, just three points behind the first place Monarchs. Dan DaSilva, Sean Sullivan, and Kevin Henderson also scored goals for the Sharks and Steve Zalewski extended his point streak to three games with two assists in the victory. With the win, Alex Stalock leads the AHL with 12 victories as Worcester now has points in four straight games (3-0-0-1). The Pirates came out flying out of the gate and Alex Stalock made some good saves early as the Sharks were able to weather the early storm. With James Marcou in the box for goaltender interference, rookie Corey Tropp (4th) found himself alone on top of the Sharks crease and flipped the puck past Stalock at 10:45 to give the Pirates a 1-0 advantage. The Sharks tied the score at 1-1 as Dan DaSilva (5th) stripped a Pirates defenseman in the left wing circle and quickly snapped a laser over the shoulder of Jhonas Enroth at 16:24. Just 50 seconds later, Sean Sullivan (8th), barreled late into a rush and buried a loose puck top shelf to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Jonathan Cheechoo and Steve Zalewski grabbed assists on the goal by Sullivan to extend their point streaks to three games. The Sharks led 2-1 after twenty minutes of play. Jonathan Cheechoo (9th) gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead at 9:03 of the middle period with a terrific score after he won a loose puck battle in the left wing corner and skated in front and ripped the puck top shelf past Enroth. Worcester led 3-1 after 40 minutes and outshot the Pirates 18-17. Kevin Henderson (4th) gave the Sharks some insurance at 5:40 of the third period as he drilled in a loose rebound after an initial shot from Andrew Desjardins. Matt Eillis (4th) got Portland within two goals with a late power play tally at 17:10 as the Sharks held on for a 4-2 win. The Sharks record improves to 13-7-1-4 with 31 points and 6-3-0-3 on the road.

2013 vs Providence 4-3 SOL
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (9-8-1-1, 20pts) led 3-1 midway through the third period but the Providence Bruins (13-7-1-2, 29pts) barreled back for a 4-3 shootout victory in front of 5,210 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night. Eriah Hayes, Travis Oleksuk, and Bracken Kearns scored for Worcester and Harri Sateri made 25 saves in the shootout loss as the Sharks extended their point streak to five games (4-0-0-1). Ryan Spooner added three points for the Bruins (1-2-3) and Zach Trotman forced overtime with a late 3rd period strike as the Bruins won their 5th straight game overall. Neither team found the back of the net in a rather quick moving penalty free opening period as Malcolm Subban made 11 saves for the Bruins while Harri Sateri made nine stops for the Sharks. Eriah Hayes (4th) scored in his 2nd straight game as he flipped a shot from the right wing with Jimmy Bonneau crashing the net at 10:05 of the 2nd period. Harri Sateri stopped Matt Fraser with a terrific split save on a shorthanded breakaway minutes later to keep the Bruins at bay. Providence would even the score at 1-1 with 90 seconds left as Ryan Spooner (5th) ripped a shot from the left circle after a great diagonal feed from the right point by Ben Youds. The score was tied 1-1 after 40 minutes with Worcester having a 28-15 shot advantage. Worcester scored twice early in the third period to grab a 3-1 lead. Travis Oleksuk (3rd) put the Sharks ahead 2-1 at 3:10 after his hard work deep in the Bruins zone paid off as his centering feed from behind the net somehow found its way into the cage past Subban. The Sharks added an insurance goal at 6:27 as veteran Bracken Kearns (5th) was set up nicely by Dan DaSilva and Matt Tennyson to put Worcester ahead 3-1. But the Bruins came charging back as Matt Fraser (16th) scored a rebound strike at 10:56 on the power play and Zach Trotman (1st) drilled a blast from the center point to tie the score at 3-3 at 17:15 to force OT. Neither team scored in the extra session with the Bruins outshooting Worcester 3-2. In the shootout, Ryan Spooner and Alexander Khokhlachev scored in the first two rounds and James Livingston scored the only Worcester goal as the Bruins grabbed the 4-3 win. The Sharks overall record falls to 9-8-1-1, 20pts and 5-5-0-1, 11pts on home ice this season.

2018 vs Brampton 3-1 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (10-10-3-0, 23pts) extended their season long point streak to five games with a 3-1 victory over the visiting Brampton Beast (10-10-2-1, 23pts) in front of 3,013 fans at the DCU Center on Friday evening. Nick Sorkin, Matty Gaudreau, and Barry Almeida all scored for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis, making his second straight start, was strong making 32 saves in net for his 5thwin of the season. Alex Vanier added three assists and was +3 as the Railers extended their point streak to a season high five games (4-0-1-0) with the win. It was a slow start to the first period with a lot of whistles and not a lot of flow but the Railers turned the pressure on in the final five minutes. Nick Sorkin (1st) scored his first goal of the season on a rush after he sent a quick shot from the left slot past the blocker of goaltender Jake Paterson at 17:58 with Josh Holmstrom and Alex Vanier picking up assists to give Worcester a 1-0 advantage. Shots were 12-10 in favor of the Railers through 20 minutes of play. Each team had nine shots on goal but neither team found the back of the net in the second period of play. Goaltender Evan Buitenhuis had 19 saves through 40 minutes of play as the Railers held a 1-0 lead into the second intermission. Matty Gaudreau (5th) fired home a loose rebound with a great shot from the left circle to give Worcester a 2-0 lead at 10:45 of the third period as Nick Sorkin picked up the primary assist. The Beast would get back within a goal at 14:20 as Erik Bradford (6th) snapped a wicked shot from 40 feet on the rush top shelf to cut the Railers lead to 2-1. Barry Almeida (6th) would put the game away with a breakaway empty net tally at 18:57 as great work behind the Worcester cage by Mike Cornell and Alex Vanier to give Worcester the 3-1 home victory.

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