Today in Worcester hockey history: December 18


1998 at New Haven 5-3 win
The undermanned Worcester IceCats played with everything they had and defeated the Beast of New Haven 5-3. Lance Ward scored an early goal to give the Beast the lead. Jochen Hecht tied it at 12:07 on a bad-angle backhander that handcuffed New Haven netminder Todd MacDonald. Bryce Salvador put the ‘Cats ahead 2-1 at 19:39. Chad Cabana tied it at 7:11 of the second period, and Craig MacDonald made it 3-2 Beast at 15:02 on the power play. Dan Corso tied it at 18:27 when Shayne Toporowski’s shot hit him and bounced in. Quinn Hancock had the secondary assist. Kevin Sawyer then gave Worcester the lead at 6:21 of the third period, and Matt Smith made it 5-3 at 17:29, with an assist going to Tyson Nash. Brent Johnson earned the win in net, and was also credited with the second goalie shot on goal in franchise history. [210Sports note: This is likely the first game in Worcester pro hockey history where the team did not dress a player that qualified as a veteran. Kevin Sawyer, at age 24, was the oldest Worcester player on the ice. The ‘Cats had just 16 healthy skaters available for the game.]

1999 at Hershey 4-2 loss
(TICKER) Ville Nieminen and Brian Willsie scored 57 seconds apart in the second period to lead the Hershey Bears past the Worcester IceCats, 4-2. Nieminen tallied on the power play with five minutes left in the second and Willsie, who also assisted on two goals, put Hershey ahead, 3-1. Frederic Cassivi stopped 27 shots to improve his record to 3-4-3 for the Bears, who are unbeaten in their last four games. Sylvain Blouin and Chris McAlpine scored for Worcester, which has dropped four of its last six contests. Brent Johnson turned away 35 shots for the IceCats.

2002 vs St. John’s 4-3 loss
(ICECATS) Despite a valiant comeback attempt by the IceCats in the third period, the St. John’s Maple Leafs snapped a five-game winless skid in a 4-3 win over the Worcester IceCats Wednesday night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. After falling behind 3-1 early in the third period, the IceCats rattled off two goals just 2:50 apart by Sergei Varlamov and Igor Valeev to tie the game at 3-3. The Leafs’ Brad Leeb, who scored the game’s first goal, would spoil the comeback effort by redirecting the puck past ‘Cats goalie Curtis Sanford with just 4:16 remaining. IceCats defenseman Brett Scheffelmaier picked-up his first professional point, an assist, on Valeev’s goal and defenseman Terry Virtue registered his first goal of the season. Worcester converted only once on eight power-play chances, including a five-on-three when the game was tied 1-1. The Leafs, meanwhile, were able to score twice on five opportunities, with both of Leeb’s goals coming with the ‘Cats a man short. Sanford and Leafs goalie Sebastien Centomo were both tested early, and often, as both made 13 saves in the first period alone. Sanford finished with 23 overall, while Centomo stopped 30.

2004 at Lowell 3-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats took on the Lock Monsters in a Saturday night contest at the Tsongas Arena but couldn’t light the lamp ina 3-0 loss to Lowell. After a scoreless first period Mark Giordano gave the Lock Monsters the lead with a power play goal 39 seconds into the middle period. Sean Curry followed with a goal at 17:33 for the 2-0 lead. Colin Forbes tacked on a third goal at 11:56 of the third for the 3-0 final. Cam Ward made 24 saves for the shutout, Jason Bacashihua had 26 in the loss.

2007 at Lowell 5-3 win
(WORSHARKS) Kenny Rogers had a say about when the Worcester Sharks and Lowell Devils would meet at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell Ma. The Country music star’s concert was postponed to Wednesday December 19, a date originally scheduled for the Sharks-Devils game. Nevertheless the Sharks played Tuesday night at the Tsongas Arena and were able to extend their improbable winning streak to four, as the Sharks defeated the Devils 5-3. The Devils jumped ahead early when Lowell’s Benoit Mondou cashed in on a puck deflection off the skate of Derek Joslin at 4:29 in the first period. The goal broke a streak of three consecutive games that the Sharks scored first in a game, all three games during the streak the Sharks won. Nearly ten minutes later, the Worcester Sharks retaliated when Mike Morris capitalized on a power play opportunity that resulted in Morris’ first professional goal at 13:26 in the first period. With an assist from Patrick Traverse and Lukas Kaspar, Morris was able to deflect a 60 foot wrist shot from Traverse to tie the score at 1-1. Lowell hopped back on top in the second period when Devil defensemen Rosario Ruggeri scored his first goal in the AHL at 9:26 with assist by Ivan Khomutov and Pierre-Luc Leblond. The Devils lead was short lived, less than a minute later Mike Iggulden snapped his six game streak without a goal as he beat Lowell goalie Frank Doyle to knot the score up at 2-2. The action continued at 11:23 in the second period when Derek Joslin and Noah Clarke exchanged unpleasantries that eventually lead to both teams throwing fisticuffs. Derek Joslin dropped Clarke with a flurry of rights as the linesman jumped in. Worcester took their first lead of the night just 29 seconds into the third period. Red hot Lukas Kaspar scored his seventh goal of the year with assists by Tomas Philhal and Graham Mink. Lukas Kaspar’s goal was his fifth is his last six games and proved to be the game winner. Minutes later Derek Joslin would scored his third goal of the season. Ivan Khomutov would cut the lead in half on a power play and with the goaltender pulled, but Mike Iggulden gave the Sharks another two goal at 19:39 in the third period to end the game

2009 vs Manchester 3-1 win
(WORSHARKS) Ryan Vesce extended his consecutive point streak to four games as he scored the game winner midway through the second period to defeat the first place Monarchs Friday night at the DCU Center. John McCarthy and Steven Zalewski also scored goals and Alex Stalock played another great game in net for Worcester with 24 saves. Manchester started the scoring when an in-zone breakdown which led to a Bud Holloway breakaway on Sharks’ goaltender Alex Stalock. Holloway buried the chance and gave the Monarchs a 1-0 lead at 6:41. John McCarthy evened the score at 12:16 when he pushed down the left wing past the Monarchs defense and beat goalie Jonathan Bernier. Final shots for the fist period were 17-5 in favor of Worcester. Ryan Vesce extended his point streak when he scored the lone goal of the second period at 4:52 on a rebound in front, on the power play, assisted by Logan Couture and Benn Ferriero. Alex Stalock had a strong period in between the pipes for the Sharks. Final shots for the period were 13-11 in favor of the Monarchs. The Sharks extended their lead to 3-1 at 12:05 of the third period when Steven Zalewski scored from behind the net off a pass from Ryan Vesce. With the win the Sharks move to 16-11-0-2 (34 points) on the season.

2010 at Bridgeport 7-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) Sharks rookie defenseman Matt Irwin extended his point streak to five games with an assist but Bridgeport forward Michael Haley scored two goals to lead the Sound Tigers to a 7-2 victory over the Sharks on Saturday night at the Arena in Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, CT. T.J. Trevelyan tied the score early in the middle frame for the Sharks but Bridgeport scored the final five goals in a game that saw three separate fights. The Sound Tigers grabbed a quick 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of the opening period to take control early. Michael Haley (5th) scored his 4th goal against Worcester this season, firing a puck into an empty net after great passing deep in the Sharks zone at 1:33. Rob Hisey (4th) finished off an odd man rush past Carter Hutton after a great cross ice feed by Brandon Svendson at 4:06. Dan DaSilva and Jeremy Colliton dropped the gloves at 8:59 as the physical play picked up and sparked the Sharks. David Marshall, signed to a PTO earlier in the day, became the 9th Shark to score in his first game with a hard shot down the right wing past Kevin Poulin at 15:28 to get Worcester on the board. Andrew Desjardins knocked down Michael Haley with a wicked left hand at 17:21 after Haley interfered with Desjardins at center. The Sharks trailed 2-1 after the first period of play despite holding a 13-12 shot advantage. In the second period, T.J. Trevelyan (5th) tied the score at 2-2 at 1:19 after the Sharks cleared the puck into the Sound Tigers zone and the puck hit a rut in the right corner and bounced in front. Kevin Poulin went behind the net to play the puck as Trevelyan tied the score. Bridgeport would score the next two goals to retake their two goal advantage. Michael Haley (6th) scored a rebound chance on top of the crease at 13:03 to give the Sound Tigers a 3-2 edge. Dylan Reese (2nd) fired a rocket from the center point through a screen on the power play at 16:48 to close out the middle period. Worcester trailed 4-2 after 40 minutes with Bridgeport holding a slim 24-23 shot advantage. The Sound Tigers piled on three more goals in the third period to take control of the game 7-2. Josh Bailey (6th), David Ullstrom (6th), and Tony Romano (5th) wrapped things up for Bridgeport in the final period. David Marshall fought Olivier Labelle at 9:07 to cap a three fight game for the Sharks. The Sharks record falls to 15-9-2-4 with 36 points and to 7-5-1-3 away from the DCU Center.

2011 at Manchester 3-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) Tommy Wingels extended his point streak to six games with an assist on the only Worcester goal as the Sharks fell 3-1 to the Manchester Monarchs at Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon. Worcester finished with a 5-1-0-1 on their season long seven game road trip as the Sharks return home to host the Falcons on Wednesday. Antero Niittymaki made 25 saves in his second start on a conditioning assignment from the San Jose Sharks for Worcester as the Sharks five game winning streak came to an end and their point streak snapped at eight straight games with the loss. Jack Combs extended his point streak to three games (3-2-5) with the only score for Worcester. Brandon Kozun (8th) gave the Monarchs a quick 1-0 lead at 2:01 of the first period as he tipped home a drive from the blue line by Dwight King. 40 seconds later, Jimmy Bonneau (8th FM) and Justin Johnson (8th FM) fought for the third time this season, with a long battle at center ice. On the next face-off, Curt Gogol (9th FM) brawled with Chris Cloud (1st FM) at 2:44. The Sharks would tie the score at 1-1 after Jack Combs (3rd) skated out from the left corner and slipped the puck past the right skate of Jeff Zatkoff and inside the post at 7:23. The goal was the third in as many games for Combs and was assisted by Tommy Wingels and Mike Moore. Worcester outshot Manchester 15-9 in the first period. In the second period, Dwight King (4th) finished a terrific rush into the Sharks zone after he took a cross the crease pass from Brandon Kozun and slid it into the net past Niittymaki at 5:59 to give Manchester the 2-1 advantage. Worcester fired 14 more shots on goal in the middle frame, but Jeff Zatkoff was equal to the task. Worcester trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes. Linden Vey (7th) scored an insurance goal in the third period at 8:47, finishing off a 2-on-1 rush down low to give Manchester a 3-1 lead. Antero Niittymaki made several nice stops to keep the score close but the Sharks could not counter any more offense on Jeff Zatkoff as the Sharks win streak came to an end at five games with a 3-1 loss.

2019 vs Allen 5-4 Loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (8-16-1-0, 17pts) scored three straight goals in the third period but lost a nail bitter 5-4 to the Allen Americans (20-5-3-0, 43pts) on Wednesday evening in front of 2,002 fans at the DCU Center. The Railers hit the road for a pair of games vs. Brampton on Friday and Saturday before the holiday break. Jordan Samuels-Thomas (1-2-3), Kyle Thomas (1-2-3), and Ryan MacKinnon (0-2-2) all recorded multi-point performances while Evan Buitenhuis made 18 saves in net. Captain Barry Almeida scored his 50thgoal as a Worcester Railer while Shane Walsh also added a goal. Allen had five different goal scorers while Tyler Sheehy (0-2-) extended his point streak to nine games. Jake Patterson made 39 saves in net for his 11thwin of the season. Worcester took two penalties in the first period and were successful in killing off the first one with plenty of short-handed chances but it would be Jack Sadek (3rd) who banked one of the skate of a Railers play from below the right circle with just 13.6 seconds left to give Allen a 1-0 lead which they took into the dressing room. Shots were even at 9-9 through 20 minutes of play. Allen grabbed the first two goals of the second period in a span of 3:44 started by Jared Van Wormer (9th) who redirected a shot off of a blast from the point courtesy of Stepan Falkovsky at 14:08 to give the Americans a 2-0 lead. Coming out of the penalty box Alex Breton (4th) went in on a breakaway and went forehand back hand before sliding it through the wickets of Evan Buitenhuis to increase the lead to 3-0 at 17:52. In the dying minute of the second period Ryan MacKinnon cranked one on net from the right point with Jake Patterson making the initial save before Jordan Samuels-Thomas (11th) smacked home the rebound with just 51 seconds left in the period to cut the deficit to 3-1. Worcester went into the locker room down 3-1 but outshot Allen 19-8 in the second stanza for a total of 28-17. After allowing back to back goals and falling down 5-1 with goals at 5:24 and 6:17. The comeback would begin for the Railers. After a great individual effort from Jordan Samuels-Thomas short-handed Kyle Thomas (7th) was able to find a rebound in the left circle zipping it past Jake Patterson at 7:18 cutting the deficit down to 5-2. On the power-play at 14:14 Barry Almeida sent one past Patterson to make the game 5-3. Just 40 seconds later Shane Walsh (4th) made things interesting as the game was down to a one goal game at 5-4 but despite pulling the goaltender and multiple good chances in the final minutes the Railers fell 5-4. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star…. Kyle Thomas (1-2-3, +2, 5 shots) 2nd star: Alex Breton (1-1-2, +2) 1st star: Jordan Samuels-Thomas (1-2-3, +2, 6 shots) ….final shots were 43-23 for Worcester…. Jake Patterson (11-2-2) made 39 saves in net for Allen.… Evan Buitenhuis (4-9-0) made 18 saves on 23 shots for Worcester while Ian Milosz served as the backup…. Worcester went 1-for-4 on the power play while Allen went 2-for-4…. Ivan Chukarov, Cody Payne, Anthony Florentino, JD Dudek (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…. Jordan Samuels-Thomas (1-2-3) recorded his team leading 11thgoal of the season and eighth multi-point performance…. Barry Almeida scored his 50thcareer goal as a Railer…. Kyle Thomas (1-2-3) recorded his third multi-point performance…. Ryan MacKinnon (0-2-2) extended his point streak to two games and recorded his second multi-point performance…. Worcester set a season high with 43 shots on net…. Worcester is now 1-1-0-0 all-time vs. the Americans and 0-1-0-0 at the DCU Center.


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