Today in Worcester hockey history: December 22


1995 vs Hershey 4-4 tie
The Worcester IceCats saw a two goal first period lead disappear and needed a late third period goal to tie the Hershey Bears 4-4. Craig Darby got the ‘Cats on the board at 11:25 with Alex Vasilevskii and Terry Virtue picking up the assists, and then at 16:28 Lindsay Vallis made it 2-0 with Vasilevskii and Darby assisting. Hershey would get to even with two power play goals 12 seconds apart when Russ Romaniuk scored a five on three goal at 10:26 and Jim Montgomery added a five on four tally at 10:38. The Bears took the lead on a Yanick Dupre goal at 2:36 of the third, but Jamie Rivers would quickly tie it again at 3:12 with Paul Broten and Fred Knipscheer assisting. Romaniuk grabbed his second of the game at 7:06 on the power play to make it 4-3 Hershey. Christer Olsson scored with 27 ticks remaining in regulation to send it to overtime. Darby and Broten had the helpers on the play. Neither team scored in the extra session. Eric Fichaud made 34 saves in earning the tie. [210Sports note: Head coach Jim Roberts missed the game with bronchitis. Assistant coach Paul Pickard was the lone coach behind the bench.].

2000 vs Hartford 7-0 win
(HARTFORD) Before the first period ended, the Wolf Pack had to wish IceCats All-Stars Daniel Corso and Eric Boguniecki had reached other possible destinations. The St. Louis Blues recalled Corso Friday morning, then decided they didn’t need him, so the speedy center got off a plane and raced from Logan Airport to the Centrum in time to face the Wolf Pack. The Wolf Pack bid for Boguniecki, who grew up in West Haven and attended prep school in Connecticut, but the IceCats got his services after the Blues acquired him from Florida on Sunday for Andrej Podkonicky. With Blues general manager Larry Pleau looking on, the new line-mates combined for four goals and three assists in the opening 18:06 of a 7-0 victory, their largest in history and the Wolf Pack’s worst loss. It was reminiscent of Oct. 22, when the IceCats had an 8-0 lead until the final 1:44 in handing the Wolf Pack their previous worst loss, 8-2. This time Johan Holmqvist was pulled after allowing six goals on 27 shots by 10:39 of the second period, though he couldn’t be blamed for a barrage of early odd-man breaks. He was replaced by Bryce Wandler, recalled from the UHL’s New Haven Knights after All-Star Vitali Yeremeyev was called up by the Rangers to replace Mike Richter (knee) who was put on injured reserve. Richter is expected to miss two games. The closest the Wolf Pack (14-9-4-1) came to avoiding their worst shutout (the previous was 4-0) and denying Cody Rudkowsky (29 saves) his league-high third shutout was hitting the post three times. Corso and Boguniecki resembled roadrunners in the opening 20 minutes, when Corso set a team record for points in a period (four) as the IceCats (18-7-2-2) tied a franchise record for goals in a period. Corso scored on a power-play rebound at 6:28, then assisted Boguniecki as he scored twice in 38 seconds on 2-on-1 and 4-on-1 breaks. Boguniecki missed a natural hat trick when he hit the crossbar at 13:55, but Corso converted his own rebound for the IceCats’ second power-play goal with 1:54 to go.

2001 vs Portland 5-2 win
The Worcester IceCats scored three first period goals and never looked back in a 5-2 win over the Pirates. Jeff Panzer opened the scoring with a power play goal at 2:39, with Darren Rumble and Eric Boguniecki. Ten seconds later Mark Rycroft made it 2-0 with Daniel Tkaczuk and Steve McLaren getting the helpers. Rycroft scored again, this time on the power play, at 9:43 with Rumble and Boguniecki picking up their second points of the night. In the second period Panzer made it 4-0 with a goal assisted by Boguniecki and Barret Jackman. The Pirates had the next two scores, with Krys Barch scoring shorthanded at 14:12 and Colin Forbes scoring on the power play at 11:19 of the third. Panzer completed his hat trick with a shorthanded goal at 11:55. Boguniecki picked up his fourth assist in the game on the goal. Curtis Sanford made 46 saves in the game for the win.

2002 at Providence 3-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats played a game against the P-Bruins that looked close on the scoreboard but in reality was incredibly one-sided in a 3-1 loss to Providence. Andy Hilbert scored twice for the Baby-Bs while Keith Aucoin tallied once. Hilbert’s first came at :16 of the opening period, and it was all downhill from there. Aucoin’s goal at 2:12 of the second period, and Hilbert’s second was at :28 of the third period. Eric Nickulas had the only goal for the ‘Cats, scoring it on the power play with 4:31 left in the game to make the score 3-1.

2006 vs Manchester 6-4 win
(MONARCHS) Right wing Graham Mink collected five assists and left wing Mathieu Darche scored a hat trick in the Worcester Sharks 6-4 drowning of the Manchester Monarchs in front of 2,728 fans at the DCU Center on Friday night. Right wing John Zeiler put the Monarchs on the scoreboard first with his seventh tally of the season at 4:34 of the opening period. The next four goals came off the sticks of Darche and defenseman Brennan Evans. Darche scored the first goal of his hat trick at 7:31 of the first period. Mink took the first shot from the left side of the crease that Monarchs goaltender Jason LaBarbera saved. The rebound popped free to center Mike Iggulden whose shot was also blocked. The third time was a charm as the rebound bounced to Darche who buried the puck into the net for his 20th goal of the season. Doubling their lead, Evans collected his first tally of the season at 12:26 of the opening stanza. Darche and Mink created traffic in front of LaBarbera. Mink passed the puck to Darche whose shot was blocked but Evans jumped on the rebound to give Worcester a 2-1 lead. Mink collected his third assist of the night on Darche’s second tally of the game as the right wing tried to split the Monarchs defense and ended up kicking the puck over to Darche on the edge of the left face-off circle. Darche blasted a snap shot past LaBarbera on his glove side at 5:20 of the second period. Center Tomas Plihal assisted on the Sharks third goal of the night. Darche completed his hat trick at 7:18 of the middle period while on the power play. Linemate Mink skated into the Monarchs zone and fired a shot on LaBarbera. The rebound went straight up in the air over the goaltender and landed in the crease behind a seated LaBarbera. Darche poked in the rebound for the first hat trick in Sharks history. Manchester’s right wing Tim Jackman answered back with his fourth goal of the season at 7:53 of the second period. Worcester went back on offense as right wing Riley Armstrong scored his 12th tally of the season and the Sharks third power play goal of the night. Defenseman Garrett Stafford, out of the University of New Hampshire, sent the puck trickling through center of the Monarchs zone. Armstrong picked up the puck and blasted a wrist shot through LaBarbera’s pads. Forward John Laliberte assisted on the goal. Zeiler scored his second goal of the night, eighth of the season at 16:51 of the second period. Iggulden doubled the Sharks lead to 6-3 at 18:01 of the middle frame. Mink and Iggulden skated into the Monarchs zone on a 2-on-1 breakaway. Mink controlled the puck and sent a shot on net. LaBarbera made the save but the rebound fell to his left side and Iggulden nudged in his 10th goal of the season. The second period ended with Worcester leading 6-3 and LaBarbera hitting the bench. Netminder Yutaka Fukufuji took over goaltending duties for the Monarchs leading into the third period. Hoffman scored his fourth tally of the season with a fluke goal at 11:09 of the third period. Hoffman carried the puck down the left wing and feathered a wrist shot into traffic in front of the Sharks net. The puck bounced off bodies and past Greiss for the 6-4 final score. LaBarbera took the loss with 27 saves on 33 shots through 40 minutes of playing time. Fukufuji stopped all nine shots he faced in the third period. Greiss earned the win with 22 saves. Manchester went 2-for-3 on the power play. Worcester was 3-for-6 with the man advantage.

2007 at Portland 4-3 win OT
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks defeated the Portland Pirates 4-3 on Saturday night as the Sharks earned a split in the two game series in Portland this weekend. The Sharks (13-11-1-2) scored two goals in the first period to take a 2-0 lead. Patrick Traverse scored his 4th goal of the season, unassisted at 5:54 of the first period. Nate Raduns scored his 6th goal of the season, his first goal since scoring two goals vs. Providence on October 21st. Ashton Rome and Tom Cavanagh assisted on the goal. The Sharks out shot the Pirates 12-8 after 20 minutes of play. The Pirates (17-12-2-1) would tie the game at two with two goals in the first seven minutes of the second period. Petteri Wirtanen scored his 4th of the season just 60 seconds into the period. The Pirates would tie the game on the power play as Brian Salcido scored from the blue line on a wrist shot with traffic in front. The Sharks would regain the lead as Mike Iggulden scored his team leading 14th goal at 16:38 on a rebound chance on the power play to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes of play. The Pirates would tie the game again, this time at 3-3 as Geoff Platt scored his 4th goal against the Sharks this season, a power play goal at 7:12 of the third period. The game would stay tied at 3-3 after 60 minutes. In overtime, Dan Spang scored the game winning goal at 2:40 into overtime with an assist to Patrick Traverse. Taylor Dakers won his 2nd straight game in net as he made 23 saves in net for Worcester. Notes: The Sharks went 1/4 on the power play, Portland 2/7. Riley Armstrong missed his first game of the season with a lower body injury. The Sharks out shot the Pirates 29-26.

2013 at Hershey 4-0 loss
(WORSHARKS) Despite firing 44 shots on goal, the Worcester Sharks (12-11-1-1, 26pts) were shutout for the 1st time this season with a 4-0 loss to the Hershey Bears (12-10-2-3 29pts) in front of 8,986 fans at the Giant Center on Sunday afternoon. Freddie Hamilton had his five game point streak snapped and Harri Sateri made 30 saves in the loss as Worcester grabbed four points in the 3-in-3 road weekend in Pennsylvania. Goaltender Harri Sateri was the best player on the ice for Worcester as the Sharks survived a sloppy first period down by the count of 1-0. Josh Brittian (3rd) was left all alone in front of the Worcester net and he buried a pass from behind the Sharks cage with 55.1 seconds remaining for the only strike of the opening frame. Worcester was outshot 13-7 and headed into the first intermission lucky to be behind just 1-0. The Sharks had a season high 22 shots on goal in the 2nd period and had a goal disallowed off the stick of Daniil Tarasov. The only goal of the middle frame came at 3:35 as John Mitchell (2nd) collected his own rebound on top of the crease and fired it home past Sateri to put the Bears ahead 2-0. Worcester had a 29-19 shot advantage through 40 minutes of play. Nicolas Deschamps (8th) gave the Bears some insurance early in the 3rd period deflecting home a centering feed from the right corner to put Hershey ahead 3-0. A near line brawl broke out at 12:59 as Dane Byers (7th FM) instigated a fight with Matt Tennyson (1st FM) as Curt Gogol received a game misconduct for a 3rd man in penalty. John Mitchell (3rd) fired home a shorthanded empty netter with 3:30 remaining as the Sharks fell 4-0. The Sharks overall record falls to 12-11-1-1, 26pts and 7-5-1-0, 15pts on the road this season.

2017 vs Adirondack 3-0 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (11-10-2-2, 26pts) outshot the Thunder 44-29 but got shutout for the first time this season in a 3-0 loss to the visiting Adirondack Thunder (15-12-1-1, 32pts) in front of 3,525 fans at the DCU Center on Friday night. Thunder goaltender Nick Riopel made 44 saves in net as Adirondack scored three third period goals for the victory. A slew of fights broke out in the final two minutes as the Railers were whistled for 43 penalty minutes in the Friday night affair that saw Mitch Gillam make 26 saves in goal. There was no score in the first period as Worcester outshot Adirondack 18-9 through 20 minutes of play. Each team went 0-1 on the power play in the opening frame. Railers goaltender Mitch Gillam made nine more second period saves while Thunder netminder Nick Riopel made 15 more saves as the two teams headed into the second intermission tied 0-0. Shots were 33-18 Worcester through 40 minutes. The Thunder scored three goals in the third period to pull away for the 3-0 victory. Pierre-Luc Mercier (8th) made it 1-0 on the power play just 55 seconds into the period for the eventual game winner. Connor Riley (3rd) made it 2-0 at 6:33 followed by Tim Harrison (4th) with an unassisted breakaway score to put the game away at 14:56. A slew of near line brawls broke out in the final two minutes as the Railers were whistled for 37 penalty minutes which included Yanick Turcotte’s team leading 9th fighting major.

2018 vs Reading 5-3 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC(13-13-3-1, 30pts) closed out their pre-holiday schedule with third period comeback 5-3 win over the visiting Reading Royals (14-8-2-4, 34pts) in front of 4,491 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. Tyler Barnes scored twice, Matt Schmalz, Nick Sorkin, and Josh Holmstrom also scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 36 saves in net in the win. Worcester trailed 3-2 late in the third period before scoring three goals in the final 4:03 to break the Royals seven game winning streak. Josh MacDonald scored twice for Reading while Callum Booth made 23 saves in net in the loss. Tyler Barnes (9th) gave Worcester an early 1-0 lead after his one timer from 10 feet out beat netminder Callum Booth after a great cross ice feed by Ryan MacKinnon at 1:29. It looked like the Railers were going to head into the first intermission with the lead, but, Josh MacDonald (14th) extended his point streak to four games with an easy tap in after a cross the top of the crease feed by Joe Houk with just 11 seconds left in the period. Shots were 11-7 in favor of the Royals through 20 minutes of play. Reading grabbed their first lead of the night in the second period as Josh MacDonald (15th) snapped a quick shot through a screen from 40 feet at 8:11 to put the Royals ahead 2-1. Worcester would tie the score at 2-2 on a 4-on-4 opportunity as Nick Sorkin (6th) snapped a shot top shelf from 45 feet assisted by Matty Gaudreau and Mike Cornell at 13:45. Each team went 0-3 on the power play in the middle frame as Reading held a 12-10 shot advantage in the second period. The Royals grabbed a 3-2 lead at 11:18 of the third period as Jack Riley (5th) crashed the net and scored a rebound strike past Mitch Gillam. After Mitch Gillam made a stop on Frankie DiChiara, Worcester came down the other end of the ice and Matt Schmalz (4th) shuffled in a rebound at the side of the net assisted by Ivan Kosorenkov and Woody Hudson at 15:57. When it looked like we may be going to overtime, Josh Holmstrom (8th) deflected a Tyler Mueller point shot into the net at 18:44 to give Worcester the 4-3 advantage. Tyler Barnes (10th) put the game away with an empty netter at 19:04 to give Worcester the 5-3 home victory.


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