Today in Worcester hockey history: December 28

25B

1994 at Cornwall 3-3 tie
(CORNWALL) On paper at least, it looked like a mismatch. Games aren’t played on paper, however, as the Worcester IceCats proved here last night. The IceCats tied the Aces 3-3, in an AHL game played in front of 2,816 fans at the Cornwall Civic Complex, and they beat the odds in doing so. The IceCats entered the game with just eight points (three wins, two ties), on the road. They also entered a building where the Aces sported an 11-5-2 record, one of the best home records in the league. Tough odds. To make matters worse, the IceCats were winless in their previous three outings. Cornwall, meanwhile, entered the game on a two-game winning streak. A difficult situation, and one that looked considerably worse when the ‘Cats fell behind 2-0 before the game was 10 minutes old. Worcester cut Cornwall’s lead to 2-1 after the first period, and trailed 3-2 heading into the third. They came all the way back early in the third as David Haas’ 11th goal of the season tied the score, 3-3. After accepting a pass from Jason Widmer (Widmer’s third point of the night), Haas snapped a low hard shot past Cornwall goalie Rich Shulmistra. It didn’t get any easier in overtime as the IceCats had to kill off two penalties which put them at a five-on-three disadvantage. Cornwall opened the scoring 7:14 into the game, when Jeff Parrott’s point shot found its was through traffic and past Worcester goalie Wayne Cowley. Just over two minutes later, another deflection beat Cowley. This one came on an Aces power-play, as Eric Veilleux tipped Mike Hurlbut’s shot past the sprawling Cowley. The IceCats’ cut the lead in half with 3:20 left in the period. Denis Chalifoux threaded a pass from behind the net onto the stick of Blair Atcheynum, who one-timed it between the legs of Shulmistra. The Aces went up by a pair early in the second period when Dwayne Norris, Cornwall’s leading scorer, found Rene Corbet streaking through the slot. Norris’ pass from behind the net landed right on the stick of Corbet, who slapped the puck behind Cowley. Just under a minute later, and just 26 seconds after Cornwall’s Doug Friedman was sent off for holding, the IceCats pulled to within a goal. Worcester’s power-play is currently the worst in the AHL at just a 12.50 success rate, but it looked pretty good on this occasion thanks to a nifty pass by Cal McGowan. From the right point, McGowan found fellow defenseman Widmer skating in from the blue line, and feathered a pass on to his stick. Widmer redirected the puck past a sliding Shulmistra. The IceCats had their best chance to pull even at the midway point of the period, but Shulmistra made a fine save on Martin Mercier’s breakaway attempt. Mercier raced in untouched from his own blue line after intercepting a pass. Shulmistra made a sliding save of his weak attempt.

1999 vs Saint John 9-4 win
(TICKER) Jim Campbell scored three goals and added three assists as the Worcester Ice Cats downed the Saint John Flames, 9-4. Campbell put Worcester ahead to stay, 3-2, with five minutes left in the first period. He delivered a power-play goal 26 seconds into the second period and completed the hat trick with seven minutes remaining in the period. He also assisted on goals by Sylvain Blouin and Peter Smrek in the opening session, then set up Ladislav Nagy’s goal five minutes into the second. Marty Reasoner, who finished with two goals and an assist, capped the scoring with a shorthanded goal with five minutes to play for Worcester, which became the fourth AHL team to score nine goals in a game this season. Benoit Gratton scored 51 seconds into the game and delivered his league-leading 26th assist for Saint John, which also allowed nine goals at Providence on November 5.

2000 vs Albany 5-1 win
The Worcester IceCats completely overwhelmed the River Rats in a 5-1 contest at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. Jame Pollock got the ‘Cats on the board at 12:53 of the first with a goal assisted by Peter Smrek and Pascal Rheaume. Marty Reasoner made it 2-0, with assists going to Jamie Thompson and Jaroslav Obsut, at 13:55. In the second frame Rheaume scored at 2:00 with help from Pollock and Obsut to make it a three goal game. Mark Rycroft scored a power play goal at 14:15 with Reasoner and Rheaume getting points, and then Dale Clarke scored a shorthanded goal at 15:26, with Dan Corso and Rheaume assisting. Jason Lehoux ended Cody Rudkowsky shutout bid at 2:15 of the third for the 5-1 final. The ‘Cats ended up outshooting Albany 38-18. Rudkowsky got the win in goal.

2001 vs Springfield 3-2 win
The Worcester IceCats got two goals from Eric Boguniecki and and a Jamie Thompson third period game winner to defeat the Falcons 3-2. Boguniecki’s first goal came on the power play at 13:55 of the first period, assisted by Marc Brown and Jeff Panzer. Springfield would tie it on a Matt Elich unassisted shorthanded goal at 16:08. The teams were scoreless in the middle frame, and the Falcons took the lead at 7:39 of the third stanza when Ramzi Abid scored on the power play. Boguniecki tied it at 13:02 with Eric Nickulas and Panzer getting the helpers, and Thompson would light the lamp at 18:00 unassisted for the 3-2 win. Reinhard Divis had 23 saves in the win.

2002 at Springfield 3-0 win
(ICECATS) Saturday night in Springfield, the IceCats earned their second shutout of the 2002-2003 season with a 3-0 blanking of the Falcons. Captain Eric Nickulas and Jason Dawe both recorded one goal and one assist. The ‘Cats Captain now has twelve points in 14 games: 14(7/5/12). Marc Brown had the other goal for Worcester. Netminder Curtis Sanford stopped all 32 shots he faced, earning his first shutout of the season. Sanford was subsequently named the ‘Number One Star of the Game’.

2003 vs Springfield 2-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats had nearly double the shots on goal as the Falcons, 34-18, but it was Springfield doubling the ‘Cats on the scoreboard in handing them a 2-1 Sunday afternoon loss. The IceCats would get on the board first, with Jeff Panzer connecting for a shorthanded goal at 5:07 of the middle period. Terry Virtue and Peter Sejna had the assists. But the third period belonged to Springfield, with Mike Stutzel scoring 1:17 into the frame and Frank Banham getting the game winner at 11:37. Curtis Sanford took the loss. In the first period heavyweights Jeremy Yablonski and Trevor Gillies went at it twice.

2004 vs Hartford 4-3 win
(ICECATS) IceCats goalie Jason Bacashihua made nine saves in the third period, leading Worcester to a 4-3 win over the Hartford Wolf Pack on Tuesday night. Hartford outshot the IceCats 9-1 in the third in a vain attempt to even the score. The IceCats led 1-0 after the first on Troy Riddle’s fourth goal this season, then made it 2-0 on the powerplay in the second. Mike Glumac beat Jason LaBarbera at 1:17 on Worcester’s second power play goal on 28 attempts against Hartford. The teams would combine for a total of six goals in the second period. In a topsy-turvy spell of 58 seconds, Hartford’s Jeff Hamilton putt the Pack within a goal, but then Glumac struck again at 12:38 to make it 3-1. That was it for LaBarbera, who allowed the goal from a poor angle. Seconds after Steve Valiquette entered the game as LaBarbera’s replacement, Lucas Lawson deposited a sloppy puck past Jason Bacashihua at 12:52 to make it a 3-2 game. The goal-scoring continued in the second with Blake Evans scoring on a shorthanded breakaway for the ‘Cats with a minute-and-a-half left. The goal to make it 4-2 was the first shorthanded tally allowed by the Pack, and it ended up being the game-winner. Just 33 seconds later, Hartford’s Alexandre Giroux scored on the power play to inch within a goal. The loss ended Hartford’s five-game winning streak and pushed Worcester into a tie for third in the Atlantic Division.

2008 at Portland 7-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Portland Pirates scored a touchdown and converted the extra point as the Sharks fell to the Pirates 7-1 in Portland on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates would strike for three even strength goals in an 11:37 span of the opening period with Dylan Hunter striking for the first goal at 7:37 for his 2nd of the season. Zach Tarkir would score his first AHL goal at 17:37 after a goal mouth scramble in front of Thomas Greiss. On the very next shift, Portland would score again as Colton Fretter picked up his 11th marker at 18:00 minutes. The Sharks trailed 3-0 after twenty minutes as the Pirates held a 9-8 shot advantage. Taylor Dakers would take over for Greiss at the start of the second period and was greeted rudely, allowing two goals on the first three shots he faced in the first 2:16 of the 2nd period. Andrew Desjardins would notch his third goal of the year from Lemieux and Fox at 4:15 of the second period to cut the lead to 5-1. The Pirates would score two more before the period would end, former Sharks Mathieu Darche scored at 13:22, his 12th of the season, and Colton Fretter scored his second of the game at 18:10. The Pirates took a 7-1 lead into the dressing room after 40 minutes. Neither team would score in the third period as the Sharks out shot the Pirates 10-5 in the final frame. Worcester out shot the Pirates 33-23 for the game. The Pirates had six different goal scorers and had eight players with at least two points. The loss drops Worcester’s record to 16-15-0-1, while the win improves the Pirates to 18-10-1-2.

2011 vs Manchester 3-1 win
(WORSHARKS) Three different goal scorers and 22 saves by Harri Sateri led the Sharks to a 3-1 victory over the Manchester Monarchs at the DCU Center on Wednesday night. Nathan Moon, Matt Pelech, and Curt Gogol scored for the Sharks and Jimmy Bonneau added an assist and his 10th fighting major of the season in the win to snap a five game losing skid against the Monarchs. Worcester outshot the Manchester 13-7 in a scoreless first period. Jimmy Bonneau (10th FM) and Justin Johnson (9th FM) renewed their rivalry with a bout at center ice at 14:21 for the only real excitement in the opening frame. Goaltenders Harri Sateri and Jeff Zatkoff shut the door on both sides. Worcester charged out to a 2-0 lead in the middle period with goals by Nathan Moon and Matt Pelech. Moon (6th) deflected a Sean Sullivan blast from the blue line past Jeff Zatkoff at 14:48 to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Defenseman Matt Pelech (1st) scored his first goal as a Shark with a hard low shot from the blue line after an offensive zone faceoff win by Ryan Del Monte at 18:06. Harri Sateri stopped Robert Czarnik on a breakaway try at the end of the period as the Sharks took a 2-0 lead into the locker room. In the third period, Curt Gogol (4th) gave the Sharks an insurance strike after he stuffed a centering feed past Zatkoff from behind the net by Jimmy Bonneau at 6:25. The score was made possible after a great entry into the zone by Ryan Del Monte. After Worcester was awarded their first power play of the game at 15:06, Dwight King (5th) raced in with a shorthanded breakaway score at 15:16 to cut the Sharks lead to 3-1 and ruined the shutout try by Sateri to end the game. The Sharks record improves to 15-8-3-3 with 36 points through 29 games and 7-6-0-1 at home this season.

2012 vs Manchester 2-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (15-11-1-2, 33pts), in their eleventh straight one goal game (6-4-0-1), defeated the Manchester Monarchs (14-13-2-2, 32pts) 2-1 on Friday evening in front of 5,008 fans at the DCU Center. The Sharks return to action and host the Providence Bruins on Saturday night at 7pm at the DCU Center. Jon Matsumoto (7th) scored with 3:55 left in regulation on a wrap around for the game winning goal. Matsumoto and James Sheppard each chipped in with a goal and an assist in the Shark’s 2-1 victory. Harri Sateri was solid in net, stopping 22 of 23 Manchester shots, including 11 in the third period, to secure the win for Worcester. After a flurry of chances early, the Sharks were able to get on the board first at 12:06 on a great individual play by James Sheppard (8th), who burned a Manchester defenseman and tucked it over Peter Mannino’s right shoulder, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Less than a minute later, Sena Acolatse (4th FM) got the better of Manchester’s Andy Andreoff (5th FM) when they dropped the mitts in a long tilt at center ice. The Sharks came out flying, outshooting the Monarchs 18-7 in the first period of play. The physical play started to pick up in the second period, resulting in Mike Brennan (2nd FM) and Richard Clune (14th FM) dropping the gloves in a good bout at 9:39. Manchester evened the score 1-1 at 16:21, when Jake Muzzin (2nd) one-timed a shot from just above the left faceoff dot over the right shoulder of Harri Sateri. The Sharks had a number of good scoring chances in the period, particularly when Tim Kennedy was robbed point blank by Peter Mannino, who looked to be down and out, on a shot that was labeled for the top shelf. The line of Jon Matsumoto, James Sheppard, and Brodie Reid paid dividends once again, coming through with late-game heroics for the second time in three games. After a long shift of getting after the Monarchs on the fore-check, Jon Matsumoto (7th) got the puck behind the Manchester cage, who dangled around a Manchester defenseman and slipped one past Peter Mannino on a wrap around, giving the Sharks a 2-1 lead at 16:05. This proved to be the decisive goal, as the Sharks were able to hang on late. The Sharks overall record improves to 15-11-1-2 (33pts in 29gp) and 6-5-1-1 on home ice.

2013 at Hartford 3-2 OTL
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (13-12-2-1, 29pts) began a season high five game road trip with a 3-2 overtime loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack (11-15-0-4, 26pts) in front of 4,724 fans at the XL Center in Hartford, CT on Saturday evening. Dan DaSilva scored a highlight reel goal in the first period and Freddie Hamilton forced overtime with his team leading 11th goal early in the third period as the Sharks battled back from a 2-0 deficit. Harri Sateri was solid in net again for Worcester as he made 28 saves in the overtime loss. It took just 18 seconds for Hartford to get on the board in the opening period. Rookie Danny Kristo (12th) received a pass from the right wall by Jesper Fast to the front of the Sharks cage and Kristo buried a shot from in tight on the glove side of Harri Sateri. After an icing call on Worcester, Brodie Dupont won a faceoff right to the stick of NHL veteran Aaron Asham (1st) who then ripped a shot top shelf to give Hartford a 2-0 advantage. Worcester finally got on the board after both Brodie Reid and Rylan Schwartz took a hit to make a play. Schwartz fed Dan DaSilva (2nd) on the move down the left wing and DaSilva skated around defenseman Aaron Johnson and finished off a beautiful score past netminder Dov Grumet-Morris at 19:01. Worcester outshot Hartford 17-11 through 20 minutes. A rather uneventful second period saw neither team find the back of the net as the Wolf Pack outshot the Sharks 10-8. Worcester trailed 2-1 through 40 minutes of play. In the third period, Freddie Hamilton (11th) tied the score at 2-2 sweeping home a crease pass by Daniil Tarasov at 4:02. Neither team found the back of the net the rest of the way as the two teams headed to OT tied 2-2. Harri Sateri made an awesome glove save on Aaron Johnson early in overtime but could not make the stop on the game winner off the stick of Oscar Lindberg (7th) at 3:15 as the Wolf Pack won in overtime for the first time this season by the 3-2 score. The Sharks overall record falls to 13-12-2-1, 29pts and 7-5-1-1, 16pts on the road this season.

2017 at Reading 6-2 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (12-11-2-2, 28pts) returned from the three-day holiday break with a 6-2 road loss to the host Reading Royals (15-13-2-0, 32pts) in front of 4,093 fans at the Santander Arena on Thursday evening. Woody Hudson and Jeff Kubiak scored for Worcester but the Royals were able to get goals from six different skaters to snap out of a five-game losing skid. John Muse made 37 saves in net for Reading in his return from the AHL while Eamon McAdam allowed five goals in the first two periods before Mitch Gillam came in for the final frame. The Royals screamed out to a 3-0 lead after getting a pair of goals just seven seconds apart by Mike Huntebrinker (8th) at 4:28 and Jimmy DeVito (7th) at 4:35 as the Railers were down early. Chris McCarthy (8th) made it 3-0 at 11:06 after a quick pass from behind the net by Matt Willows and McCarthy zipped it home past Eamon McAdam from in tight. The Railers got on the board at 17:03 after Ashton Rome threw a check along the left side wall and snuck the puck over to Woody Hudson (8th) who snapped a quick shot from the left slot to get Worcester back within two. Shots were 14-12 Royals through 20 minutes. Reading outscored Worcester 2-1 in the middle frame to take a 5-2 lead into the second intermission. Former Holy Cross Crusader Adam Schmidt (6th) found the back of the net on a shorthanded rush at 2:07. Worcester got back within two goals as Jeff Kubiak (3rd) crashed the net and took a nice pass from Wade Murphy at 13:25. Reading answered right back just 30 seconds later as Nolan Zajac (7th) lit the lamp at 13:55 to close out the scoring in the second period. Worcester trailed 5-2 after 40 minutes despite holding a 25-23 shot advantage through two periods of play. With Mitch Gillam in net for Worcester, Reading would score on final time at 8:03 as Matt Willows buried a shot from the left slot on the rush to put the game away at 6-2. Worcester fired 14 shots on goal in the third period but came up empty.

2018 at Maine 3-2 SOL
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC(13-13-3-2, 31pts) had a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes but the host Maine Mariners (17-11-0-1, 35pts) battled back for their 5th straight win with a 3-2 shootout victory in front of 4,305 fans at the Cross Insurance Arena on Friday evening. Matty Gaudreau and Woody Hudson scored first period goals for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 39 saves in net in the win in his 4th straight start. The game featured 58 penalty minutes as Greg Chase and Mike McNicholas evened the score for Maine while Brandon Halverson made 30 saves in net for the win. Worcester had a terrific first period to grab an early 2-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. Matty Gaudreau (6th) gave Worcester a 1-0 edge after he took a nice feed into the zone by Mike Cornell and broke across the crease to beat netminder Brandon Halverson at 6:13. Just seven seconds into Worcester’s only power play, Matty Gaudreau fired a quick shot from the left circle with Woody Hudson (4th) stationed in front and Woody shuffled in a loose rebound from the crease at 17:26. Shots were 14-11 in favor of Worcester through 20 minutes of play. Morgan Adams-Moisan threw a dirty hit in front of the Railers bench that went uncalled which led to Mike Cornell dropping the mitts with Adams-Moisan at 42 seconds. Nick Sorkin picked up his first fighting major vs. Derek Pratt after a questionable hit on Matt Schmalz at 7:13. After Tyler Mueller hit the crossbar, Greg Chase (4th) slammed home a backdoor feed from Ryan Culkin at 9:37 to get the Mariners on the board. Maine fired 20 shots on net in the middle frame, but Mitch Gillam stood tall as the Railers took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission. The play was more even in the third period, but Maine would find the equalizer at 14:00 as Mike McNicholas (7th) just squeezed a wraparound attempt into the net to tie the score at 2-2. Shots were 8-7 in favor of Worcester in the third period as the game headed to overtime. A wide-open overtime saw both teams have several glorious opportunities as Maine held a 3-2 shot advantage in the extra session. Ivan Kosorenkov was the only shooter to score in the shootout while Alex Kile and Mike McNicholas found the back of the net for Portland as the Mariners came from behind for the 3-2 home victory.

2019 vs Maine 2-0 Loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (10-18-1-0, 21pts) two game win streak came to a screeching halt with a 2-0 loss to the visiting Maine Mariners (16-11-0-1, 33pts) in front of 6,419 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. The Railers close out the 2019 calendar year with a pair of games in Newfoundland vs. the Growlers on Monday and Tuesday. Worcester was shutout for the fourth time this season as Evan Buitenhuis made 25 saves on 26 shots in net and played solid enough for the win. Connor LaCouvee made 21 saves in net for the Mariners in his first shutout of the season while Terrence Wallin netted the game winner late in the middle frame to guide Maine offensively. Neither team found the back of the net in a scoreless first period as Evan Buitenhuis made 10 saves in net for the Railers and Connor LaCouvee made six stops for the Mariners. Maine went 0-1 on the only man advantage as the two clubs headed into the first intermission in a scoreless tie. Worcester outshot Maine 9-7 in the second period in a rather slow developing frame and it appeared that we were headed into the second intermission scoreless, but Alex Kile carried the puck into the Railers zone and was able to cut behind the defense and drive the net before Terrence Wallin (13th) tapped in a rebound score at 19:48. Maine led 1-0 through 40 minutes of play and held a 17-15 shot advantage. The Railers were outshot 10-6 in the third period and had a power play late in the frame but came up empty before Alex Kile (7th) found an empty netter at 19:44 to give Maine the 2-0 road victory. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Terrence Wallin (GWG) 2nd star: Evan Buitenhuis (25 saves) 1st star: Connor LaCouvee (21 saves, Win) …. final shots were 27-21 in favor of Maine…Connor LaCouvee (9-5-1) made 21 saves on 21 shots Maine… Evan Buitenhuis (6-10-0) made 25 saves on 26 shots for Worcester while Ian Milosz served as the backup…. Worcester went 0-for-2 on the power play while Maine went 0-for-3…. Yanick Turcotte (susp ECHL), Kyle McKenzie (inj) and Tanner Pond (IR) did not dress for Worcester…. Mike Cornell, David Quenneville, Linus Soderstrom, and Jakub Skarek are all currently on recall with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Kyle Thomas signed a PTO with the San Diego Gulls (AHL) on Dec 26….Worcester skated with 10 forwards and five defensemen…. Connor Doherty is the only Railers player to play in the first 29 games this season…..the Railers are now 6-8-0-0 under coach Cunniff…the crowd of 6,419 was the third highest crowd of the season for Worcester….former Railer TJ Syner was in attendance…the 21 shots for Worcester was the lowest of the season….the Railers fell to 5-10-0-0 at the DCU Center…Worcester is now 5-6-0-0 in the month of December.

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