Today in Worcester hockey history: December 8


1995 at Springfield 3-3 tie
The Worcester IceCats came back from three one-goal deficits in a 3-3 tie with the Falcons. Jason McBain gave Springfield the lead at 14:40 of the opening period, but Paul Broten would tie it at 19:06 on a shorthanded goal assisted by Fred Knipscheer. Jeff Bes made it 2-1 Falcons at 7:53 of the middle period while on the power play, but Knipscheer answered back with a goal at 10:42 assisted by Patrice Tardif. Bes scored again, this time on the power play at 16:27. Christer Olsson got the ‘Cats back to even a third time with a power play score at 19:35, with Knipscheer and Alex Vasilevskii helping. Eric Fichaud had 38 saves in earning the point for Worcester.

1999 vs Hartford 4-2 loss
(TICKER) Johan Witehall scored twice in the second period as the Hartford Wolf Pack rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Worcester IceCats. Witehall tied it seven minutes into the period and scored the game-winner 10 minutes later. Derek Armstrong had a goal and two assists and Brad Smyth collected three assists for Hartford, which has won four in a row. Jean-Francois Labbe stopped all 22 shots he faced in relief of Milan Hnilicka. Marty Reasoner and Daniel Corso scored in the first nine minutes for Worcester, which has lost two of three meetings with the Wolf Pack this season.

2000 at Springfield 3-2 OTL
(TICKER) David MacIntyre scored the game-winning goal 27 seconds into overtime as the Springfield Falcons edged the Worcester Ice Cats, 3-2, to end Worcester’s six-game winning streak. MacIntyre beat goaltender Cody Rudkowsky for his second goal of the season which enabled Springfield to even its record versus Worcester to 2-2-0 this season. Juraj Kolnik and Daniel Briere each scored at even strength to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead before Ladislav Nagy and Todd Reirden netted scores for Worcester in the third period to force the extra session. J.G. Trudel added a pair of assists and Patrick DesRochers made 26 saves in the win as Springfield improved to 4-1-3 over its last eight home games. Rudkowsky suffered the loss despite making 34 saves for the IceCats.

2001 at Saint John 3-2 win
(SAINT JOHN) After 20 minutes, it appeared as though the Worcester IceCats were headed to an easy victory. But appearances can be deceiving. After jumping out to an early 3-0 lead, the IceCats had to scratch and claw their way to a 3-2 win over the defending Calder Cup champion Saint John Flames before 4,918 fans yesterday at Harbour Station. Goalie Curtis Sanford, playing just his fourth game for the IceCats, ensured the lead would stand, making 13 of his 28 saves in the third period as Worcester snapped a three-game losing streak. Daniel Tkaczuk, Marc Brown and Eric Boguniecki had the goals for the IceCats (13-10-3-1). Jamie Wright and Blair Betts replied for Saint John (9-10-5-1), which held a 30-27 edge in shots. The IceCats, who spent more than six hours on the bus stewing over Friday’s 4-1 loss in Manchester, N.H., came out with a vengeance. First it was Tkaczuk who snapped a 23-game drought when he opened the scoring on the power play at 8:04. Veteran defenseman Darren Rumble made a heck of a play to keep the puck alive at the Saint John line, and then Tkaczuk redirected Rumble’s point shot. Brown made it 2-0 when he leaned into a 30-foot slap shot and blew it past Flames goalie Levente Szuper at 10:59. Boguniecki rounded out the first-period scoring when he converted a rebound at 16:33. After the intermission, things changed dramatically as the Flames made a game of it in the second. Wright tucked home the rebound of a point shot from ex-IceCat Jason Lawmaster at 1:19 before Betts ripped a shot past Sanford from the high slot at 9:18. After holding a commanding 12-5 edge in shots on goal in the first, the IceCats were outshot, 25-15, the rest of the way, but Sanford made sure the Flames wouldn’t get the equalizer in the final frame.

2002 vs Manitoba 5-2 loss
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats had their five-game unbeaten streak snapped Sunday afternoon with a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Manitoba Moose. The Moose scored just 40 seconds apart in the first period to earn a 2-0 advantage on goals by Pat Kavanagh and Tyler Bouck at 16:18 and 16:48 respectively. They increased the lead to a 3-0 margin as Jeff Farkas, a Boston College alum, extended his goal streak to four games at the 15:46 mark of the second period. Worcester out-shot Manitoba 20-9 in the middle frame, but didn’t see any returns on their investment until there were just 50 seconds remaining in the period. IceCats Captain Eric Nickulas scored his second goal in as many nights when he popped home a power play rebound to snap Manitoba goalie Alex Auld’s shutout. The ‘Cats struck again 41 seconds later as Greg Davis converted for his sixth goal of the season. Trailing by just a goal, Worcester had momentum on its side but was unable to make it pay off in the third period. The ‘Cats managed just five shots in the final period while allowing goals by Farkas and Jason King. Goaltender Brent Johnson and his teammates were stung for five minor penalties in the third, including a Manitoba two-man advantage just 1:14 into the period. Johnson, playing in his second game since being sent to Worcester for conditioning, kept busy while facing 32 shots. Alex Auld was the story for Manitoba, making 35 saves in helping his club to its third win in a row.

2006 vs Hartford 3-1 loss
(WOLF PACK) The Wolf Pack scored a pair of second-period goals to win their fifth straight game and hand the Sharks their fifth straight home defeat, 3-1, in front of 3,422 fans at the DCU Center last night. Goalie Thomas Greiss made his sixth start for Worcester and looked sharp, making 24 saves. However, the Wolf Pack managed to capitalize on three Sharks miscues. Hartford scored short-handed after Worcester’s Tom Cavanagh couldn’t handle a centering pass in the Wolf Pack end. The puck was scooped up by Ryan Callahan on a breakaway and he snapped a wrister past a sprawling Greiss to make it 1-0 with 9:23 remaining in the second period. The Wolf Pack extended their lead when Daniel Girardi intercepted a pass in the Hartford zone and started a three-on-two. Girardi hit Dane Byers, who fed Lauri Korpikoski down the left side, and Korpikoski snapped a shot past Greiss’ glove hand for his fourth goal of the season to make it 2-0 with 7:04 left. The Wolf Pack outshot the Sharks, 18-14, in the first two periods. The Sharks cut the lead to 2-1 with just over 13 minutes left in the game when Craig Valette took control of the puck near the left boards and worked his way to the Hartford end with Spang to his right and the Wolf Pack’s Martin Richter in between. Valette sent a pass just under Richter, and Spang one-timed it past Steve Valiquette’s glove. The Wolf Pack ended any hopes of a Worcester comeback when Garrett Stafford’s attempted clear went onto the stick of Craig Weller for the easy empty-net goal to make it 3-1.

2007 vs Hartford 7-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) Thirty seconds separated the Worcester Sharks from a 1-0 deficit heading into the first intermission. Unfortunately, Greg Moore needed only 28 seconds to score twice, opening up an unassailable three goal lead for the Wolf Pack after the one period. Moore eventually added another to complete the hat trick and Nigel Dawes had a five point night as Hartford cruised by the Sharks at the DCU Center by the score of 7-1. The loss was the fifth straight for Worcester, who dropped to 8-14-2-1. Al Montoya denied the Sharks on two golden opportunities to take an early lead, first stoning Craig Valette on a breakaway and then diving to tip away what appeared to be a sure goal for Mike Morris as he followed up an initial try by Tom Cavanagh just moments later. On Hartford’s ensuing attack, Tommy Pyatt dropped the puck to Pierre Parenteu between the circles, and the Wolf Pack’s leading scorer went top shelf on Sharks netminder Taylor Dakers for his 13th goal of the season. Four and a half minutes later, Moore began his scoring binge by snapping a close range shot under the stick hand of Dakers at 19:30. Moore then put his stick to a centering feed from Parenteau, touching the puck into the net vacated by Dakers, who had committed to the pass. The latter tally came on the power play, as Patrick Traverse was whistled for hooking during the interval between the two goals. Things got worse for the Sharks in the second period. Nigel Dawes added his eighth goal of the year and third point of the night during a 5-on-3 power play, producing a four goal lead for the visitors. Worcester finally broke through when Craig Valette created a turnover deep in the Hartford zone and beat Montoya for his second goal of the year. The unassisted tally came at 12:09 of the middle frame. Brennan Evans and Hugh Jessiman got the crowd back into the game at 4:12 of the third period, engaging in an extended fistfight behind the Worcester goal that ended with both players being issued game misconducts. An elbowing call against Brad Staubitz, the catalyst for the fight, left the Sharks shorthanded and the Hartford power play struck for the third time at 5:41. Artem Anisimov scored his fifth goal of the year with Nigel Dawes picking up his third assist of the night. Dawes added his second goal moments later to cap a five point night and give Hartford a 6-1 edge. Moore used a breakaway to earn the hat trick and notch the fourth power play tally for the Wolf Pack late in the third period.

2012 vs Providence 3-2 SOL
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (11-8-1-2, 25pts) picked up a point, but fell short in a shootout in a 3-2 loss against divisional foe the Providence Bruins (10-8-0-2, 22pts) in front of 6,621 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night on Matt Irwin Bobblehead Night. Tim Kennedy extended his point streak to seven games (6-6-12) with an assist on Brodie Reid’s (3rd) third period power play goal. Reid and Travis Oleksuk (2nd) provided the goals for the Sharks in the shootout loss. Stalock was solid in net once again, stopping 28 of 30 Bruins shots that he faced. The first period had a great deal of intensity, with both teams trading chances. The Sharks scored the game’s first goal halfway through the first period, when Yanni Gourde found Travis Oleksek (2nd) in the slot who beat Bruins goaltender Michael Hutchinson short-side, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 11:10. After the goal, Worcester’s Frazer McLaren (5th FM) scored the take down when he dropped the mitts with Providence’s Lane MacDermid (6th FM)in a heavyweight bout. The Sharks led 1-0 after 20 minutes despite getting outshot 9-7. There was back-and-forth action in the second period, but no one found the back on the net. Worcester’s Alex Stalock stopped all seven shots that he faced and each team failed to capitalize on their one power play chance in the period. Worcester carried the play, outshooting Providence 15-7. The Bruins evened things up just 2:20 into the third period on a deflection by Jamie Tardif (8th) out in front of Alex Stalock, tying the game 1-1. After a bench minor to Providence for too many men, the Sharks made them pay. With 6:06 remaining in the third, Brodie Reid (3rd) slapped a shot over Michael Hutchinson’s shoulder from the point, putting the Sharks back on top 2-1. Just four minutes later, the Bruins tied it up again on a shot that had to be reviewed. After further review, the replay showed that Matt Bartkowski (1st) found the back of the cage on a wrist shot that beat Stalock and popped right out, evening the score 2-2. Neither team could score the decisive goal in the overtime period, sending the game to a shootout. The Sharks had five shots on goal in overtime, but couldn’t cash in. Maxime Sauve was the only player to score in the shootout and Michael Hutchinson stopped all six attempts that he faced, giving the Bruins a 1-0 advantage in the shootout and a 3-2 win. The Sharks overall record falls to 11-8-1-2 (25pts in 22gp) and 5-4-1-1 at the DCU Center.

2013 at Manchester 2-1 win SO
(WORSHARKS) Rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser scored his first professional goal in the third period to lift the Worcester Sharks (10-8-1-1, 22pts) to a 2-1 shootout victory over the Manchester Monarchs (16-5-1-4, 38pts) at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Sharks picked up five points on the weekend and now ride a six game point (5-0-0-1) streak. Troy Grosenick won his third straight start making 31 saves and stopping 4-of-5 shooters in the shootout in the victory. Worcester is now 7-1-1-1 in their last 10 games and 5-3-1-0 on the road this season. Each team fired nine shots in a scoreless first period. Troy Grosenick made two terrific saves in the final moments to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes. Manchester came out buzzing in the second period and caused a bevy of turnovers which led to the first goal of the hockey game. Zach O’Brien (3rd) sent a shot from the left circle that snuck through Troy Grosenick at 57 seconds to give Manchester a 1-0 advantage. Physical play picked up after Brandon Kozun ran into Grosenick at 9:07 and Scott Sabourin rolled over Dan DaSilva at 13:00. Dan DaSilva almost tied the score late in the period with a point blank chance but was topped by JF Berube. Troy Grosenick robbed Nick Shore with 30 seconds remaining to keep the Sharks down by a single score through 40 minutes. The Sharks fired 17 shots in the third period and tied the score at 1-1 at 5:47 with a blast by rookie Konrad Abeltshauser (1st). Daniil Tarasov sent a beautiful pass across the ice to Abeltshauser who then ripped a slapper from 50 feet just inside the crossbar for his first professional goal. Worcester had several chances to win it late but JF Berube was able to force OT. Troy Grosenick was spectacular in the third period with 12 more saves as the two clubs headed into overtime. In overtime, Daniil Tarasov was whistled for two separate minor penalties and the Sharks PK did an excellent job to force the shootout for the second straight game. In the shootout, Troy Grosenick stopped 4-of-5 shooters while Dan DaSilva and Daniil Tarasov scored past Berube to lift Worcester to their 5th shootout win of the season.

2021 vs Maine 7-6 win OT
(RAILERS) Worcester won a crazy game Wednesday morning beating the Maine Mariners in overtime, 7-6, before a loud, loud crowd of 5,422 — most of them students. Anthony Repaci got the OT goal at 5:46, scoring at least once on two wrist shots from the right circle. His first one hit metal at the top far corner of the Maine net and bounced directly back to him, so he banged at it again and this time the puck was in to stay. “Great question, and I have no idea,” Repaci said when asked if the first one went in. “It looked like it went in but I wasn’t taking any chances.” The two points were a huge boost in Worcester’s quest to move into playoff position, but the Railers also gave a point away to Maine with the OT triumph. Worcester had a 6-4 lead with 15 minutes left in the third period then gave up goals at 5:39 and again at 19:17 with Mariners’ goalie Callum Booth out in favor of an extra skater. “It shows a lot about the character of our guys,” coach David Cunniff said. “We’re learning how to win and finding ways to win. We gave up a point and that’s unfortunate, but our goal is to get better every day and there are going to be some good teaching points in that game.” Repaci’s goal gave the Railers their 12th overtime victory ever, but just the third at the DCU Center. The last OT goal here was by Matt Schmalz on Jan. 18, 2019 in a 3-2 victory over Newfoundland. The goal also set a Railers record for most goals in a home game. They had never scored more than six before Wednesday. Repaci was one of several Railers with multi-point games. He was 1-2-3 and Drew Callin was 2-1-3. John Furgele had a pair of assists; Jordan Smotherman and Liam Coughlin were both 1-1-2. The other Railers goal scorers were Zach Malatesta and Jacob Hayhurst. Maine got two goals from Justin Brazeau, including the one to make it 6-6. Michael Kim, Keltie Jeri-Leon, Mathew Santos and Patrick Shea had the other Mariners goals. Maine’s biggest point producer was, however, Connor Doherty with three assists. He never had more than two in a game in 143 games with the Railers. “Three in a game?,” Doherty said. “Maybe back in Peewee.” The first period was the wildest of the season at the DCU Center and gave the kids lots of reasons to scream, not that they needed any additional ones. Callin buried a 30-foot wrist shot at 3:31, Brazeau turned the Railers defense and scored from in close at 6:35, Smotherman converted a rebound of a shot by Repaci at 8:50 and Shea made it 2-2 at 9:57, once again from in close. The Mariners went ahead on a two-man advantage goal by Kim at 13:54, then Malatesta evened things up at 19:48 with a screaming short-side wrister from the left circle. It was 4-4 after two as Hayhurst and Jeri-Leon traded goals a minute apart. Callin made it 5-4 at 4:32 of the third period and Coughlin scored 24 seconds later. Santos got the goal to make it 6-5, then Brazeau buried a rebound to send it into overtime. “We kind of let our guard down a bit,” Repaci said. “When we went up 6-4 I think we figured we had it all wrapped up and (Cunniff) did a good job of getting us back on track.” MAKING TRACKS_The roster-go-round continued unabated, although the news was not all bad for the Railers. They got defenseman Nick Albano back from Springfield. Albano, who scored Worcester’s first goal of the season, had a good 10-game stint in the AHL at 0-2-2 and plus-4 in 10 games. He was plus-3 in this one. … Callin returned from the Commisioners Exempt List but goalie Ken Appleby remains on it. The teams continue this three-game series with a match in Portland on Friday night, then return to the DCU Center Saturday. That game, the annual Teddy Bear Toss, will feature the debut of Laura Schmidlein as the first female linesperson in ECHL history. … The referee was Sam Heidemann, making his first DCU Center appearance. … Myles McGurty and Nolan Vesey did not dress for the Railers. With McGurty not in the lineup, only Malatesta and Hayhurst have played in every Railers game this season.


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