Today in Worcester hockey history: December 15


1996 at Providence 5-4 win
The Worcester IceCats overcame deficits of 3-1 and 4-3, scoring the final two goals of the game to defeat the Bruins 5-4. Bob Beers gave the P-Bruins the lead 1:04 into the contest. Craig Conroy got the ‘Cats back to even at 9:57, assisted by Dmitri Leonov and Kevin Rappana. It was the only career AHL points for Leonov and Rappana. In the middle stanza Providence got early goals from John Lilley (2:48) and Tim Sweeney (3:26), but the IceCats would tie it getting the next two. Jamie Rivers had the first, assisted by Stephane Roy, at 4:11, and Chris Kenady tied it 3-3 at 10:34 with David Williams and Jason Zent helping. In the third period the Bruins retook the lead on a Todd Elik strike at 3:32. Roy tied it for the ‘Cats at 7:45, with Konstantin Shafranov and Scott Pellerin assisting. Shafranov grabbed the game winner at 9:25, with Roy and Rory Fitzpatrick getting points on the play. Jamie McLennan earned the win in net.

2000 at Cincinnati 2-0 win
(TICKER) Dwayne Roloson recorded his second shutout of the season as the Worcester IceCats blanked the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, 2-0. Roloson, who leads the AHL with 12 wins, turned away 31 shots to capture his sixth consecutive victory. Todd Reirden opened the scoring with a shorthanded goal with 7:42 remaining in third period and Jamie Thompson chipped in an empty-netter as Worcester won for the 11th time in its last 13 games. Jean-Sebastien Giguere stopped 25 shots in the losing effort as Cincinnati lost its third straight road game.

2001 at Portland 2-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats threw 42 shots on Pirates netminder Sebastien Charpentier and he stopped them all as the ‘Cats fell 2-0 on two goals from Peter Ferraro. The first was at 14:43 of the opening period as the teams skated four on four. The second came at 2:49 of the third period. Reinhard Divis had 28 saves in the loss.

2002 at Cincinnati 4-1 win
(CINCINNATI) The Cincinnati Mighty Ducks probably had nightmares about Sergei Varlamov last night. The IceCats left wing notched two goals, including the game winner, yesterday in a 4-1 win over the Ducks at Cincinnati Gardens. Varlamov has scored three goals in two games this season vs. Cincinnati, and has four goals and an assist in seven career games against the Ducks. IceCats center John Pohl squelched a potential hat-trick bid for Varlamov when he fired the puck into an empty net from the Ducks blueline while Varlamov skated into the zone behind him. Realizing what had happened, Pohl tapped Varlamov with his stick after scoring the game-clincher. After Ducks center Nick Smith’s one-timer gave Cincinnati a 1-0 lead, Varlamov took a pass from Pohl in front of the net and beat Ducks goaltender Ilja Bryzgalov on the stick side to even the score. Varlamov’s eventual game winner on a wrist shot from between the face-off circles capped a full-minute power-play shift played entirely in the Ducks zone, making it 2-1. Worcester’s power play, ranked sixth in the league entering yesterday, spent most of its first stint attempting to penetrate the Ducks’ zone and picking the puck out of its own end, but generated seven shots in its next two man advantages, and finished 1-for-6. The IceCats killed all seven Ducks power play chances. Cincinnati was last in the league (9.6 percent) on the power play entering the game. Worcester finished its four-game road trip 2-2, not a bad mark considering 16 IceCats suffered through a flu strain during some point.

2006 at Hartford 5-4 win OT
(WORSHARKS) Garrett Stafford’s first game-winning goal of the season gathered two-points in the Atlantic Division standings for the Sharks as they upended Hartford 5-4 in overtime. The Sharks scored three consecutive power play goals to come-from-behind on the Wolf Pack and improve to 12-10-1-4 on the year, snapping a three-game losing streak in the process. An entertaining first period of play included a combined four goals as the Sharks and Wolf Pack skated to a 2-2 tie through the opening twenty minutes of action. Ryan Callahan extended his franchise record goal-scoring streak to eight games for the Wolf Pack with an even strength tally just 1:30 into the contest. The Sharks responded with Tom Cavanagh slamming home a rebound for his fifth goal of the season and third against the Wolf Pack this year. Mike Iggulden, returning from a six game injury absence, assisted on the goal along with Lukas Kaspar. Worcester then earned their first lead of the night as Riley Armstrong converted a give-and-go with Grant Stevenson for Armstrong’s 11th goal of the year and a 2-1 lead. Hartford Head Coach Jim Schoenfeld then pulled Steve Valiquette from the goal and replaced him with former first round draft pick Al Montoya. The goaltending swap lit a spark in the Hartford lineup as they scored a power play goal moments later to tie the game at 2-2. Nigel Dawes, converting an in-close set up from Lauri Korpikoski scored his first of the season. Outscored in the second period 2-1, the Sharks trailed 4-3 after forty minutes of action. Nigel Dawes recorded his second goal of the game to re-establish the Hartford lead at 3-2. The even strength goal at 5:04 of the stanza was assisted by Greg Moore and David Liffiton. Dane Byers then jammed home a goal mouth scramble on the power play to extend the Hartford lead to 4-2, their largest of the night. The Sharks found some life late in the stanza on a power play goal from Tomas Plihal. Plihal, scoring his third of the year, was on the receiving end of a beautiful pass play set up from Lukas Kaspar and Grant Stevenson. Grant Stevenson’s power play strike at the 8:32 mark of the third period was the only tally of the final period and forced overtime. Patrick Traverse and Garrett Stafford set up Stevenson for his sixth goal of the year and his third point of the night. Sustained pressure in the overtime session forced a hooking penalty against the Wolf Pack setting up the Sharks game-winning goal on the US Army Power Play. Garrett Stafford powered home a wrist shot from inside the Hartford blue line on assists from Mathieu Darche and Dan Spang. The Sharks, finishing the night with three consecutive power play goals, finished the night three-for-six on the man-advantage and earned a crucial two-points in the Atlantic Division standings.

2007 vs Houston 4-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks hit the ice on Saturday night with the chance not only to conclude their four game homestand on a positive note, but also to avenge last month’s 5-1 road loss to the Houston Aeros. A three point night from Tomas Plihal guaranteed success on both counts, as the Sharks earned a 4-2 win over the visiting Aeros at the DCU Center on Saturday night. Worcester’s defense stepped up, allowing just four total shots over three Houston power plays and a mere 22 shots overall. Meanwhile, the Sharks power play broke through for an early lead. With Houston’s Clayton Stoner in the box for hooking, Plihal found a seam in front of the net, flicking the puck past Aeros backstop Barry Brust to put the Sharks up 1-0 just 4:55 into the game. Houston struck back midway through the period, capitalizing on chaos in front of Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss. Benoit Pouliot was upended as he carried the puck diagonally in front of Greiss, and the puck slid free to the stick of Marco Rosa. The Houston forward managed to slice the puck through a pile of bodies, notching his third goal of the year to tie the game. The Sharks controlled a wide open second period that featured just two penalties and an 11-3 shot advantage in favor of Worcester. Each team was whistled for one minor penalty in the middle frame, with the hooking minor to Nate Raduns proving to be the final penalty call of the entire evening. Plihal continued his stellar night early in the third, setting up Lukas Kaspar for the go-ahead goal at 2:15 of the final period. The goal was Kaspar’s fourth of the year and third in his last six games. Twelve minutes later, Graham Mink sliced from the right wing boards across the faceoff circle, and beat Brust with a backhand finish to open up a two goal lead. Adrian Foster notched a late score for the Aeros to create a bit of last minute drama, but Kaspar answered by way of an empty net tally to clinch the victory.

2012 at Hershey 4-3 win SO
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (13-9-1-2, 29pts) won for an AHL leading 6th time (6-6-0-1) when trailing after 40 minutes of play in an exciting 4-3 shootout victory over the Hersey Bears (13-12-1-1, 27pts) on Saturday night in front of 10,075 fans at the Giant Center. James Sheppard scored two power play goals for Worcester and Alex Stalock made went 5-for-5 in the shootout for the win for the Sharks. Matt Tennyson added three assists while Jon Matsumoto scored a power play goal and scored the only goal in the shootout as the Sharks came back from an early 3-1 deficit for the victory. Hershey broke out to a 3-1 first period lead in a feisty 20 minutes of play. Rookie defenseman Cameron Schilling (3rd) gave Hershey a 1-0 lead on their first shot on goal with a blast from the blue line after a Bears’ faceoff win at 36 seconds. Jon Matsumoto (4th) tied the score at 1-1 with a nice deflection on the power play past netminder Braden Holtby at 6:17 with assists to Matt Tennyson and Travis Oleksuk. Hershey would get the next two scores with Mike Carman (3rd) deflecting home a Garrett Stafford point shot past Alex Stalock at 10:33 and former Bruin Zach Hamill (9th) with a nice rush and score at 13:26. Brandon Mashinter (4th FM) and Alex Berry (6th FM) scrapped at 13:33 and Yanni Gourde and Matt Pope dropped the mitts and received minors at 14:28. The Bears led 3-1 after 20 minutes and with both teams firing nine shots in the opening frame. Mikael Tam (1st FM) and Garrett Mitchell (6th FM) had a marathon battle to kick start a physical second period. The Sharks scored the only goal in the middle period as James Sheppard (4th) rocked one off the post from on top of the circles on the power play after a nice feed by Jon Matsumoto at 4:05. John McCarthy hit in the post in the final seconds of the period as Worcester fired 13 shots on goal. The Sharks trailed 3-2 after 40 minutes of play. James Sheppard struck again on the power play at 9:49 of the third period with a nice deflection of a Matt Tennyson point shot from the right side to tie the score at 3-3. Brandon Mashinter was denied by Holtby on a penalty shot with 2:01 remaining in the third period as we headed to overtime. The Bears fired the only three shots in a scoreless overtime frame as the game went to a shootout. Jon Matsumoto (SO GWG) scored in the only goal in the five round shootout and Alex Stalock was perfect making five saves in goal as Worcester grabbed a 4-3 shootout win in Hershey. The Sharks overall record improves to 13-9-1-2 (29pts in 25gp) and 8-5-0-1 (17pts in 14gp) on the road this season.

2017 at Adirondack 4-3 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (9-9-2-2, 22pts) scored three goals in the third period to propel past the host Adirondack Thunder (13-10-1-1, 28pts) by the score of 4-3 in front of 2,645 fans at the Cool Insuring Arena on Friday night. Patrick McNally scored twice and added an assist while Chris Langkow recorded two assists in the victory. Mike Cornell and Woody Hudson also scored for the Railers while Mitch Gillam made 16 saves in net for the win. Worcester tied a season high with four goals and scored three goals in a period for just the second time this season as the Railers moved back to .500 on the year. The Railers outshot the Thunder in the first period 16-5 and grabbed a 1-0 lead after Mike Cornell (2nd) snapped a one-timer from the right wall with Matt Lane providing a screen in front of goaltender Chris Nell at 7:34. Worcester had several chances to take a 2-0 advantage but goaltender Chris Nell made 15 saves for the Thunder. Adirondack scored in the first and final minute of the middle frame to take a 2-1 lead. Eric Neiley (9th) received the puck from behind the net and zipped it top shelf from on top of the crease past Mitch Gillam at 28 seconds to tie the score 1-1. With six seconds left, Brian Ward (7th) rushed down the left side and snapped a quick shot from 15 feet to give Adirondack a 2-1 lead. Each team had seven shots in the second period. Patrick McNally (7th) tied the score at 2-2 at 3:07 and Woody Hudson (5th) scored on a rebound on the power play at 4:42 to give the Railers their first lead of the game. Ben Murphy (3rd) tied the score at 5:40 with a quick shot from the right circle through a screen to make it 3-3. Defenseman Patrick McNally (8th) began with the puck at the side of the net and went coast-to-coast and skated around the Thunder net before ripping a shot top shelf from the right circle at 19:35 to give the Railers a 4-3 road victory.

2018 vs Maine 2-1 SOL
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (11-12-3-1, 26pts) closed out a three game homestand with a 2-1 shootout loss to the visiting Maine Mariners (14-11-0-1, 29pts) in front of 4,096 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. The Railers, wearing UGLY SWEATER jerseys to benefit the Shine Initiative presented by Fidelity Bank fired 47 shots but just a single goal from Nick Sorkin while Evan Buitenhuis made 24 saves in net in the shootout loss. Ryan Ferrill scored for the Mariners while Brandon Halverson was spectacular making 46 saves in net for his 10thwin of the season. Alex Kile netted the game winner in the third round of the shootout to give Maine just their 5throad win of the season. The Railers had great pressure in the first period outshooting Maine 9-5 despite being in the box three times in the opening frame. Nick Sorkin (4th) netted his first power play goal of the season, the Teddy Bear Toss goal as he was stationed on top of the crease and deflected a Mike Cornell slap pass into the net at 15:03. Worcester took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Worcester continued the pressure in the second period outshooting Maine 13-7 in the second period but unable to solve netminder Brandon Halverson. After a huge open ice check by Tyler Barnes, Maine would strike on the ensuing power play as Sean Day (5th) sent a shot from the point that went off Mike Cornell and over Evan Buitenhuis at 18:41 to tie the score at 1-1 through 40 minutes of play. Worcester outshot Maine 19-8 in the third period but the score remained 1-1 through 60 minutes of play as Worcester held a 41-20 shot advantage through 60 minutes of play. Neither team scored in a wild overtime that saw Worcester fire six more shots on net which included a backhand stop on Matty Gaudreau from on top of the crease. Michael McNicholas and Alex Kile scored for Maine in the shootout while Nick Sorkin was the only scorer for Worcester as the Railers fell 2-1 in the shootout.

2019 vs Reading 4-1 Win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (8-15-1-0, 17pts) captured their second straight win on home ice 4-1 over the Reading Royals (15-9-4-0, 34pts) on Sunday afternoon in front of 2,174 fans at the DCU Center on a Kids’s Giveaway Sunday. The Railers will be back in action at the DCU Center Wednesday, Dec. 18 vs. the Allen Americans at 7pm for a 2-3-4 weekday game. Nic Pierog (2-0-2) scored his third short-handed goal of the season, the Railers sixth of the year, while Drew Callin scored his first goal of the season and Ian Milsoz made 31 saves in net in his first professional game collecting the win and first star. Marly Quince scored the only goal for Reading while Kirill Ustimenko made 25 saves in the loss. Jordan Samuels Thomas short-handed started up the left-wing wall and after cutting around the defenseman Kirill Ustimenko made the initial save but there was Nic Pierog (7th) to slam home the rebound to give Worcester a 1-0 lead with just 3:52 to play in the first period. Worcester was a perfect two for two on the penalty kill in the first 20 minutes and took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes. Ian Milosz made stopped all nine shots he face as Worcester outshot Reading in the first frame. After winning an offensive zone faceoff Jack Stander blasted a shot on net from the left point and Drew Callin (1st) was on the door step to bang home the rebound to increase the Railers lead to 2-0 at 13:54 of the middle period. Ian Milosz made 12 saves in the period to remain perfect in the contest stopping all 21 shots he faced through 40 minutes of play. Shots were in favor of Worcester 24-21 through two periods. Marly Quince (2nd) made things interesting when he roofed one over the right shoulder of Ian Milosz at 3:14 of the third period to cut the deficit down to 2-1. The Royals pulled goaltender Kirill Ustimenko with 2:50 remaining in regulation and Nic Pierog (8th) at 17:59 and Dante Salituro (5th) at 18:49 would add empty net scores to give the Railers a 4-1 win on home ice. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star…. Nic Pierog (2-0-0, +2, 7 shots) 2nd star: Jack Stander (0-1-1, +2) 1st star: Ian Milosz (31 saves, Win) ….final shots were 32-29 for Reading…. Kirill Ustimenko (9-3-4) 25 saves on 27 shots for Reading.… Ian Milosz (1-0-0) made 31 saves on 32 shots for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis served as the backup…. Worcester went 0-for-2 on the power play while Reading 0-for-6…. Ivan Chukarov, Anthony Florentino, JD Dudek (inj), Barry Almeida (inj), and Tanner Pond (inj) did not dress for Worcester…. Mike Cornell, Jakub Skarek, and Linus Soderstrom are currently on recall with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Ian Milosz made his pro debut in net for Worcester making 31 saves and earning first star of the game…. Drew Callin scored his first goal of the season…. Nic Pierog scored his third short-handed goal of the season and is tied for the league lead and lead all skaters with seven shots….. Jordan-Samuels Thomas leads the league with five short-handed points…. Ryan MacKinnon (0-2-2) added two assists for his second multi-point game of the season…. Cody Payne (0-2-2) added two assists…. The Railers recorded back to back wins for the second time this season….Worcester is now 12-9-0-1 all-time vs. the Royals and 8-2-1-0 at the DCU Center.


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