Today in Worcester hockey history: December 31

25B

1995 vs Albany 2-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats had the only goal of the opening period but didn’t score after that in a 2-1 loss to the River Rats. The ‘Cats goal came at 6:31 on the power play by Fred Knipscheer, with Patrice Tardif and David Roberts assisting. Albany would get the tying goal in the second period at 7:09 by Patrik Elias and the game winner at 7:42 of the third by Scott Pellerin. Eric Fichaud had 25 saves in the loss.

1996 vs Fredericton 4-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats rallied back from a two goal deficit only to stumble in the third and lose 4-2 to the Canadiens. David Ling gave Fredericton a 1-0 lead with the only goal of the first period at 19:16. Todd Sparks made it 2-0 at 14:12 of the middle period on the power play. Chris Kenady cut that lead in half with an unassisted goal at 16:27. Jamie Rivers tied the game on the power play at 6:26, with Rory Fitzpatrick picking up the lone assist. But the Canadiens would retake the lead at 17:40 on a goal by Boyd Olson, and Alexei Lojkin added an empty net goal at 19:41 for the 4-2 final. Jamie McLennan made 26 saves in the contest.

1997 at Portland 5-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats played without seven regulars due to injury or recall, and it showed in a 5-2 loss to the Pirates. Portland scored on three of their first four shots in the contest, with Rick Kowalsky scoring unassisted at :59, Kent Hulst at 3:15, and Jan Benda at 9:20. Robert Petrovicky made it 3-1 at 10:52 on the power play when he got a piece of Nick Naumenko’s shot. Ivan Ciernik had the second assist on the play. Worcester managed to close to within a goal at 10:26 of the middle period when Terry Hollinger one-timed a Petrovicky feed, but that was as close as the ‘Cats would get as Glenn Stewart scored at 13:13 on the power play to make it 4-2, and Dwayne Hay finished the scoring in the game at 1:57 of the third. Fred Cassivi made 16 saves before being lifted after the Hay goal. Brent Johnson went nine for nine the rest of the way. [210Sports note: Head Coach Greg Gilbert was ejected in the third period by referee Lyle Seitz after Seitz called a hooking penalty and bench minor on Worcester. Gilbert voiced his displeasure at the quality of officiating in the game, and was given a game misconduct. He was subsequently fined $50.]

1998 at New Haven 5-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats allowed four Beast power play goals and that was the difference in a 5-2 loss to New Haven. Craig Ferguson gave the Beast a 1-0 lead at 5:08 of the first period, but Bryce Salvador tied it at 11:56. Marcus Nilson gave New Haven the lead again 2:52 into the middle period, and Byron Ritchie made it 3-1 at 9:16. Ritchie scored again at 14:28 to make it 4-1. Tyler Willis scored shorthanded at 11:59 of the third period, and Scott Levins made it 5-2 at 13:41. Rich Parent was in goal for the ‘Cats.

2000 vs Providence 4-3 win OT
The Worcester IceCats overcame a two goal deficit to get their game against the Bruins into overtime, where Dan Corso would score on the only shot of the extra frame for the 4-3 ‘Cats win. Mark Rycroft got Worcester on the board at 4:26 of the opening period with assists from Shawn Mamane and Marty Reasoner. Eric Nickulas tied it for the Baby-Bs at 17:19. Pavel Kolarik got the Bruins the lead with a goal at 11:07 of the middle period, and Peter Ferraro made it 3-1 at 13:21. Both goals were on the power play. Corso would make it a one goal game with a power play goal for Worcester at 17:38, assisted by Reasoner and Eric Boguniecki. With time running down in the third period Reasoner connected with an extra attacker goal at 19:31. Tyler Rennette and Mike Peluso had the assists. Corso’s overtime winner came at :30, with Ed Campbell and netminder Cody Rudkowsky assisting. Rudkowsky finished the game with 31 saves.

2003 at Portland 4-0 loss
Less than 24 hours after blanking the Hartford Wolf Pack 4-0 the Portland Pirates did the same to the ‘Cats in a New Year’s Eve game at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Jason Ulmer opened the scoring with a power play goal at 11:23 of the first period. Graham Mink (13:32) tacked on a second period tally, while Brian Sutherby (7:20) and Mike Souza (empty net/18:19) had third period scores. The ‘Cats played the game with 16 skaters, one under the maximum.

2007 at Manchester 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks came into Monday night’s contest with the Manchester Monarchs at the Verizon Wireless Arena with five straight games decided by just one goal. The previous three one goal games came in losing efforts for the Sharks. The trend continued on Monday night, however, the Sharks got a thrilling last second goal by Lukas Kaspar to propel Worcester to a 3-2 win. It did not take much time for the Sharks to get on the board. Sharks Captain Graham Mink took advantage of a 5 on 3 power play opportunity as he got a shot past Manchester Goalie Erik Ersberg at 4:19 of the first period with assists from Mike Iggulden and Devin Setoguchi. Less than four minutes later, the Monarchs got revenge with a 5 on 3 goal of their own. Gabe Gautier scored his fourth straight goal against the Worcester Sharks at 8:00 into the first period. Gautier’s goal was assisted by Teddy Purcell and Peter Harrold. The First intermission came roughly 2 minutes early when a hard check behind Monarchs goalie Erik Ensberg took out a sheet of glass. The finial 2 minutes of the first period was resumed after an early intermission. A heavy weight battle clashed early in the second period when the 6’3″ Jonathan Tremblay took on the 6’4″ Kevin Westgarth. A hard left from Tremblay sent Westgarth to the ice. Both players received a major fighting penalty at 2:47 of the second period. Brian Boyle cashed in on the 5 on 4 advantage against Worcester goalie Thomas Greiss at 4:42 in the second period, Boyle was assisted by Peter Harrold and Gabe Gauthier. The goal gave Manchester their first lead of the game at 2-1. Over ten minutes later, the Sharks capitalized on another 5 on 3 power play opportunity. Sharks Captain Graham Mink and assisted by Devin Setoguchi and Mike Iggulden at 16:52 in the second period. After a several great chances by both clubs in the third period, After great work by Mink to feed Tom Walsh at the point with seconds remaining, Walsh faked a shot and dished the puck over to Lukas Kaspar who then went top shelf to propel the Sharks to a victory with just 2.1 seconds remaining.

2008 vs Houston 2-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) Despite sending a barrage of shots on net, Houston goaltender Nolan Schaefer was the difference maker as the Aeros topped the Sharks, 2-1, on Wednesday evening at the DCU Center. For the first 59 minutes, it looked like it would be the first game in franchise history to end as a 1-0 final, but Houston’s Danny Irmen scored an empty-netter at 19:09 to make it 2-0. Mike Moore then came right back with his third of the season only seven seconds later to make it 2-1, but it wasn’t enough as Schaefer held serve the final 44 seconds. Sharks netminder Taylor Dakers was also strong, finishing with 19 saves on 20 shots as a tough-luck loser. The Aeros turned an early 5-on-3 into a 1-0 lead at 7:37 of the first period. Four seconds after Moore was whistled for tripping, Brendan Buckley took a double-minor for high sticking. It only took 18 seconds of the two-man advantage for Tomas Mojzis to beat Dakers for his sixth goal of the year, assisted by Jesse Schultz and Corey Locke. It marked the second-straight game that the Sharks have allowed a 5-on-3 goal. Worcester dodged a bullet later in the period as a Schultz shot beat Dakers glove side, but hit off the post. Ryan Hamilton also missed an empty net to keep the game at 1-0. The Sharks came out firing in the second period, but could not beat Schaefer on any of their 22 shots. One of the many close calls came when Ryan Vesce made a deflection past the Houston netminder, but the puck hit iron. Not long after, Andrew Desjardins took a feed from Claude Lemieux in the left wing circle. After skating in between the faceoff circles, his backhand shot hit the crossbar and stayed out. A scrum involving Derek Joslin and Schaefer broke out at 18:05 of the second, with Schaefer earning an extra minor. On the ensuing 5-on-3, Schaefer came up big with a right pad stop on Vesce, who took a feed from Lukas Kaspar and was stoned on the doorstep with less than a minute remaining in the period. Late in the third period, the Sharks had yet another shot deflect off a crossbar followed by a golden chance from Lemieux, but Schaefer continued to be the story of the night.

2009 at Portland 3-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks opened up a 2-0 lead and never looked back in an impressive 3-1 win over the Portland Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Thursday night. It was the fourth straight victory for the Sharks and their 20th win of the season. Logan Couture extended his point streak to seven games (3-8-11) and Dennis McCauley scored his first game winning goal of the season for Worcester. Alex Stalock picked up his AHL leading 18th win of the season as the Sharks won for the 12th time in their last 15 games. For the 4th straight game, the Sharks struck first in the opening period. Dan DaSilva (7th goal) gave Worcester a 1-0 lead after a great diagonal feed from Andrew Desjardins as he was breaking down the right wing. DaSilva’s one timer beat Jhonas Enroth at 11:43. With Dennis McCauley in the box for Worcester, Benn Ferriero hit the post on a shorthanded break away as his wrist shot rattled off the iron to the left on Enroth. The Sharks led 1-0 after twenty minutes outshooting the Pirates 9-6. The Pirates came out banging the bodies at the start of the middle frame but the Sharks were able to weather the storm. Derek Joslin sent a 60-foot on the tape pass to Dennis McCauley and McCauley went top shelf on the breakaway chance at 6:58 for his 3rd goal of the season. Steven Zalewski extended his point streak to six games (4-4-8) with the secondary assist on the play. Rookie Dennis Persson scored his first professional goal as he jammed in a rebound chance at 10:18 to get the Pirates on the board. The Sharks led 2-1 after forty minutes outshooting the Pirates 20-14. Logan Couture (12th goal) gave Worcester some insurance after the Sharks kept the puck in on several occasions and Steven Zalewski found Logan all alone on top of the crease at 15:35. Logan slid the puck on the backhand through the pads on Enroth to give the Sharks a 3-1 advantage. With Jhonas Enroth pulled for the extra attacker, goaltender Alex Stalock twice fired towards the empty net but only made it as far as the red line. The Sharks held on for their 12th win in their last 15 games. With the win, the Sharks move to 20-12-0-2 (42 points) on the season and currently have a FOUR game winning streak.

2010 at Bridgeport 3-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks battled back from two one goal deficits but could not battle back from a third as Worcester was swept in a home-and-home series vs. the Sound Tigers after a 3-2 loss in Bridgeport on Friday afternoon. Jonathan Cheechoo scored his team leading 13th goal for the Sharks to extend his point streak to a season high six games (4-4-8) while Alex Stalock made 24 saves for Worcester. Cory Quirk tied the score at 2-2 in the third period but the first goal of the season by Sound Tigers’ defenseman Dustin Friesen proved to be the game winner. The Sound Tigers struck first on their second consecutive power play in the opening period as Jeremy Colliton (8th) deflected a shot from on top of the crease past Alex Stalock after a wrist shot by Mark Katic from the center point. Nick Petrecki and Michael Haley dropped the mitts at 10:05 followed by Mike Moore and Olivier Labelle at 17:56. The Sharks trailed 1-0 after the first period. Jonathan Cheechoo (13th)extended his point streak to six games (4-4-8) after he stole the puck just inside the Sound Tigers blue line and broke in on net minder Kevin Poulin. Cheechoo deeked a shot between the circles and then ripped the puck top shelf to tie the score at 1-1. Worcester went into the dressing room after 40 minutes outshooting Bridgeport 24-17. Rhett Rakhshani (11th) deflected a shot past Stalock on the power play to put the Sound Tigers ahead at 6:00 of the third period. But the Sharks responded just 29 seconds later, as Cory Quirk (2nd) tipped a shot by Justin Braun past Poulin at 6:29 to tie the score at 2-2. Dustin Friesen (1st) snuck in from the left point and took a great diagonal feed from Rhett Rakhshani and sent a one-timer past Stalock at 9:23. The Sharks would pull Stalock for the extra attacker but came up short in the 3-2 loss. The Sharks record falls to 16-12-2-4 with 38 points and 8-7-1-3 away from the DCU Center. With the loss, the sharks fall into 5th place in the Atlantic Division.

2011 at Portland 4-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) Tommy Wingels scored his team leading 13th goal of the season but the Sharks could not recover from an early 3-0 deficit in a 4-2 loss to the Portland Pirates at Cumberland County Civic Center on New Year’s Eve Jack Combs also scored for the Sharks and Tyson Sexsmith made 21 saves in the loss for Worcester as the Sharks three game win streak came to an end and finished the month of December with a 10-3-0-1 record. The game featured three fights and 72 penalty minutes. The Portland Pirates barged out to a 3-0 lead in the first period as the Sharks dug an early hole. Brock Trotter (8th) snuck a sneaky back hander from the low right slot just inside the cross bar at 3:33 for an early Pirates lead. Defenseman Michael Stone (3rd) one timed a loose puck from in between the circles past the glove of Tyson Sexsmith at 5:17 from a 2-0 Portland advantage. Rookie Andy Miele (9th) scored on a breakaway try after he crashed into Sexsmith at 17:25 for the 3-0 cushion after 20 minutes. Nathan Moon (5th FM) fought Pirates captain Dean Arsene (3rd FM) at 5:32 after Moon slashed at goaltender Justin Pogge for the only scrap of the chippy opening frame. Each team scored in the middle frame that saw a near brawl at 15:13. Tommy Wingels (13th) scored his 10th goal in December with a power play strike from on top of the crease past Justin Pogge at 4:18 to get the Sharks on the board. Portland got the goal back however; at 11:27 with a sneaky shot by Ryan Duncan (7th) from 50 feet past Tyson Sexsmith to give Portland a 4-1 lead. Sharks enforcer Jimmy Bonneau was apparently speared at 15:13 by Maxim Goncharov which led to two separate fights and a near brawl. Matt Pelech (5th) took on Goncharov in front of the Sharks bench and moments later Mike Hoffman (2nd FM) left the Pirates bench and took on Bonneau (11th FM). Hoffman and Bonneau each received five for fighting and game misconducts as the Sharks trailed 4-1 after 40 minutes. Jack Combs (5th) scored the only goal of the third period to cut the Pirates lead to 4-2 at 6:31. Worcester outshot the Pirates 12-4 in the final frame but Justin Pogge and the Pirates held on for the win.

2012 at Manchester 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (17-11-1-2, 37pts), in their 13th straight one goal game (8-4-0-1), defeated the Manchester Monarchs (14-15-2-2, 32pts) 3-2 on Monday evening in front of 9,051 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena. With the win, the Sharks finished the calendar year 2012 with a 32-35-9 record. Jon Matsumoto (8th) extended his point streak (2-2-4) to three games in the Shark’s 3-2 victory. Harri Sateri was awesome in net, stopping 35 of 37 Manchester shots, including 12 in the third period, to secure the win for Worcester. Captain John McCarthy scored with 66 seconds remaining for the game winner and Freddie Hamilton scored his first professional goal for Worcester as the Sharks grabbed their first three game win streak of the season. Harri Sateri was sensational in the first period including back-to-back point blank saves early in the opening frame to keep the game scoreless. Jon Matsumoto (8th) gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead with a snap shot from on top of the right circle with James Sheppard providing a screen on Peter Mannino at 6:56. Worcester went ahead 2-0 as rookie Freddie Hamilton (4th) scored his first professional power play goal with a rocket from the right slot past the blocker of Mannino at 9:50. James Sheppard and Matt Tennyson picked up the assists on the power play strike. The Sharks dominated the body checking in the first period but were outshot 11-4 in the opening frame. Thomas Hickey (3rd) scored in the middle period at 11:25 on the power play and Brandon Kozun (9th) at 19:12 on a breakaway to tie the score at 2-2 through 40 minutes of play. Curt Gogol was injured at 12:55 and left via a stretcher after a head shot by Monarchs rookie Andy Andreoff. Gogol laid motionless on the ice for several minutes but did give a thumbs up to the crowd after he left on a stretcher. The Sharks did not score on the major power play which also included a two minute 5-on-3 power play try. Manchester held a 25-10 shot advantage through 40 minutes. Harri Sateri made 14 more saves in the third period and captain John McCarthy slammed home the game winner with 66 seconds remaining after Peter Mannino misplayed the puck behind the net to Tim Kennedy. Matt Pelech also assisted on the game winning goal at 18:54 of the 3rd period for the 3-2 win. The Sharks overall record improves to 17-11-1-2 (37pts in 31gp) and 10-6-0-1 on the road this season.

2013 at Adirondack 2-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (13-13-2-1, 29pts) closed out the 2013 calendar year with a hard fought 2-1 loss to the host Adirondack Phantoms (16-13-0-2, 34pts) in front of 3,381 fans at the Glens Falls Civic Center in Glens Falls, NY on Tuesday evening. Marek Viedensky evened the score with 5:22 left in the third period for the Sharks but a late strike by Kris Newbury won the game for the Phantoms at 18:47. The two teams combined for 90 penalty minutes in a physical affair as Harri Sateri was solid in net for Worcester as he made 29 saves in the loss. The first period was fast and furious with the two clubs combining for 68 penalty minutes with four sets of fighting majors. Curt Gogol (7th FM) dropped Matt Mangene (1st FM) with a flurry of rights at 2:49 to set the tone early. A near line brawl broke out at 11:15 as Jimmy Bonneau (7th FM) and Zach Fitzgerald (7th FM) engaged in a long battle while Taylor Doherty (5th FM) and Steven Delisle (3rd FM) also dropped the mitts and received game misconducts. Seven seconds later, Curt Gogol (8th FM) fought the much bigger Doug Clarkson (1st FM) for the 4th set of major penalties in a feisty opening frame. Harri Sateri made nine first period saves for Worcester while Cal Heeter made eight saves for the Phantoms in a scoreless first period. Neither team found the back of the net in the middle frame either, although the Phantoms had the majority of the chances with Harri Sateri standing tall. Adirondack outshot Worcester 11-9 in the second period as the two teams headed into the 2nd intermission scoreless. The Phantoms would strike 1st in the third period on the power play as captain Ben Holmstrom shot home a deflected bouncing puck in front of the Worcester net past Harri Sateri at 8:09 to put Adirondack ahead 1-0. The Sharks would tie the score at 14:38 after their 3rd power play expired and a Matt Tennyson shot that missed the net zipped off the end wall and right to the stick of Marek Viedensky (4th) who then slammed home the puck past Cal Heeter. Worcester had some great chances to go ahead late, but a moonshot clearing attempt from the Phantoms zone broke Kris Newbury (7th) free down the left wing side and Newbury buried a wicked shot from 35 feet with 1:22 remaining for the eventual game winner. The Sharks overall record falls to 13-13-2-1, 29pts and 7-6-2-0, 16pts on the road this season.

2017 at Manchester 4-2 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (12-13-2-2, 28pts) closed out 2017 with a last minute 4-2 loss to the first place Manchester Monarchs (21-10-1-1, 44pts) in front of 4,672 fans at the SNHU Arena on Sunday evening. Nick Saracino and Patrick McNally scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam was spectacular in net with 35 saves but Monarchs forward Matt Schmalz broke a 2-2 tie as he followed in his own rebound at 19:34 of the third period to give Manchester the victory. Worcester did not have a single power play and Ashton Rome added two assists on his 32nd birthday as the Railers dropped their third straight game. Neither team found the back of the net in the first period as Railers goaltender Mitch Gillam made several nice stops and had 14 saves total through 20 minutes of play. Worcester was only able to manage seven shots on Charles Williams in a quick moving opening frame. The Railers had good buzz to open the second frame and Nick Saracino (3rd) was able to tap home a loose puck rebound at 2:31 after the initial shot by Kellen Jones was stopped by Charles Williams. The Monarchs would answer back with a pair of goals just 2:23 apart midway through the period. Michael Doherty (7th) scored his 5th goal against the Railers this season at 11:00 followed by a goal mouth scramble strike by Zac Lynch (16th) at 13:23. Worcester trailed 2-1 through 40 minutes of play as shots were 20-19 Monarchs. Mitch Gillam kept the game close with several more great saves to start the third period for the Railers. Worcester would tie the score at 2-2 as Patrick McNally (12th) scored his team leading 12th goal of the season with a snap shot from the right circle that went off the iron and in at 12:51. After what the Railers believed to be off-sides, Matt Schmalz (9th) raced down the left wing and cut across the crease and was able to fire home his own rebound chance at 19:34 to give the Monarchs a 3-2 edge. Michael Doherty (8th) added another into an empty net to give the Monarchs a 4-2 win over the Railers.

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