Today in Worcester hockey history: January 6


1995 at Syracuse 4-1 loss
(SYRACUSE) The Crunch handled the IceCats, 4-1, before a sellout crowd of 6,294. With 8 minutes, 31 seconds to play in the first Dane Jackson scored on a rebound on from Worcester goaltender Wayne Cowley’s left side after Cowley deflected a screened shot. Brent Tully added a slap shot from the blue line just over four minutes into the second, and Worcester trailed 2-0. Meanwhile, Worcester’s offense foundered. Crunch defensemen cleared the crease and allowed goalie Mike Fountain lanes of vision to the puck. Nearly all of his 27 saves he controlled, pushing them to the corners, catching them, eliminating the chance for rebound shots. The IceCats didn’t get a decent shot until they caught the Crunch up-ice during a Crunch power play in the second period. Blair Atcheynum broke out with the puck. The rest of the unit followed, and the Cats had a 4-on-0 break. Atcheynum kept the puck, skated directly toward Fountain and deposited it between the goalie’s legs. That cut the lead to 2-1 with 5:23 to play in the second. Jackson fed Dan Kesa nearly three minutes into the third period to make it 3-1. Kesa was unchecked in front of the goal. Rod Stevens scored a power-play goal on a shot he fired with his back to the net, between his legs, with a defender on him. That put the IceCats at 4-2-4 in their last 10 games, a sign of improvement over a season now marked with an 11-21-8 record.

1996 vs Baltimore 4-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats had troubles dealing with the Bandits’ clutch and grab style in a 4-2 loss to Baltimore. Craig Reichert gave the Bandits the lead 5:54 into the opening period. Craig Darby tied it for the ‘cats on the power play at 12:35, with an assist going to Jason Widmer. The Bandits would grab two goals in the middle stanza, the first by Reichert on the power play at 2:04 and the second by Dwayne Norris at even strength at 9:10. Fred Knipscheer closed the gap to one at 12:54 of the third with a tally assisted by Alex Vasilevskii and David Roberts, but Sean Pronger made it the 4-2 final with a power play goal at 17:05. Eric Fichaud had 26 saves in the loss.

1999 vs Kentucky 3-2 win
The Worcester IceCats went two for six with the man advantage and killed off all the Thoroughblades’ power plays, and that proved the difference in a 3-2 win over Kentucky. Marty Reasoner had the only goal of the first period, an unassisted power play goal at 17:36. Jeremiah McCarthy added a power play goal at 15:06 of the middle period, assisted by Dan Corso and Jamal Mayers, as the ‘Cats led 2-0 after 40 minutes. Steve Guolla would cut that lead in half at 12:45, but Mayers would make it 3-1 at 17:53. Tyson Nash and Corso had the helpers on the play. Matt Bradley would score for the Thoroughblades with one second left in regulation for the 3-2 final. Brent Johnson had 28 saves for the win, and was the #1 star.

2001 at Hamilton 4-1 win
(TICKER) Dwayne Roloson stopped 30 shots and Marty Reasoner scored his 12th goal of the season as the Worcester IceCats defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs, 4-1. Roloson, who entered the game with a 2.19 GAA, turned aside 14 third-period shots and recorded his third straight victory as he improved to 15-5-1 on the season. Reasoner opened the scoring midway through the first period and Tyler Rennette, Jamie Thompson and Eric Boguniecki also scored for Worcester, which improved to 7-2-1 over its last 10 games. Michel Riesen scored Hamilton’s only goal, a power-play tally early in the second frame, as the Bulldogs have lost four of their last five games. Chris Madden stopped 28 shots and fell to 6-8-2.

2002 at Springfield 3-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats, who entered the contest not having scored a goal in over 100 minutes of play, didn’t score one in the 60 they played against the Falcons as they were shut out 3-0 by Patrick DesRochers (35 saves). Ramzi Abid scored on the power play at 5:59 of the second period to, a power play Springfield was on when Cody Rudkowsky was given a “leaving the crease” minor to join an altercation in the Falcons end that was essentially over by the time he got there. Gaetan Royer scored at 9:40 of the third to make it 2-0, and Jason Jaspers capped the scoring at 14:22. Rudkowsky had 23 saves.

2007 at Portland 3-1 loss
The Worcester Sharks were down by three before they lit the lamp, and that was far from enough in a 3-1 loss to the Pirates. Curtis Glencross had two of the Portland goal, at 3:26 of the first and on the power play at 17:30 of the second. Matt Keith had the middle goal at 13:09 of the middle period on the power play. The only goal for the WorSharks came at 19:14 of the second from Garrett Stafford after he crashed the net from the point and banged home the rebound of Graham Mink’s shot on the power play. Mike Iggulden had the secondary assist. Nolan Schaefer made 17 saves in the game.

2012 at Springfield 4-3 SOL
(WORSHARKS) Defenseman Sean Sullivan scored with 41 seconds left in the third period with the extra attacker for Worcester to force overtime but the Sharks fell to 0-4 in the shootout in a wild 4-3 shootout loss to the Springfield Falcons at Mass Mutual Center on Friday night. Brodie Reid and John McCarthy also scored for the Sharks and Tyson Sexsmith kept Worcester in the game with 34 saves, including seven in the overtime period. Cam Atkinson scored twice, had the game winner in the shootout, and fought Sean Sullivan in the overtime frame for Springfield. Rookie Cam Atkinson (16th) gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead at 18:34 of the first period with a breakaway goal past Tyson Sexsmith. The Sharks fired just four shots in the opening frame as Tyson Sexsmith kept the Sharks in the game early with some big saves. The Sharks scored twice in a 64 second span late in the second period to take a 2-1 advantage. John McCarthy (9th) deflected a Matt Irwin wrist shot past Manny Legace at 15:04 on the power play to tie the score 1-1. Matt Irwin sent a 40 foot rebound try through traffic and was tipped by Brodie Reid (5th) at 16:08 to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Springfield thought they had tied the score with 5.6 seconds remaining after Matt Calvert snuck behind the Worcester defense, knocked into Sexsmith, and put the puck into the net. A goal was originally signaled by referee Keith Kaval, but it appeared the linesmen waved off the goal, much to the displeasure of Falcons head coach Rob Riley. The Sharks outshot the Falcons 15-7 in the second period and took a one goal edge into the second intermission. The Falcons would barge out to a 3-2 lead in the third period before Sean Sullivan provided the equalizer late. Cam Atkinson (17th) grabbed his second score of the night, sweeping a bouncing puck past Sexsmith from the left post on the power play at 5:34 to tie the score at 2-2. Matt Calvert (4th) gave the Falcons a 3-2 lead with a terrific deflection in front after the Sharks were unable to clear the zone at 14:51. With Tyson Sexsmith on the bench for the extra attacker, Sean Sullivan (4th) sent a blast from on top of the right circle top shelf past Manny Legace at 19:19 to force overtime. Springfield fired seven shots on goal in the overtime period, aided by a power play in the extra frame but Sexsmith was stellar in net for Worcester. In the shootout, Jack Combs, Mike Connolly, Brandon Mashinter, and John McCarthy did not score for Worcester while Cam Atkinson and Tomas Kubalik struck for the Falcons for the Springfield victory. Worcester’s record falls to 16-10-3-4 (39pts in 34gp) and 8-4-3-3 on the road.

2013 at Hershey 2-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (18-12-1-2, 39pts) battled out a 2-1 win over the Hershey Bears (16-16-1-1, 34pts) on Sunday evening in front of 10,168 fans at the Giant Center. The Sharks are now 2-1-0-0 on their four game road trip. Alex Stalock made 30 saves in net for Worcester and Jon Matsumoto (9th) continued his success against the Bears with a goal and an assist including the game winner. Matt Tennyson (3rd) added a power play goal and James Sheppard added two assists in the victory. The Sharks scored the only goal in the opening frame with a Matt Tennyson (3rd) power play tally at 18:19 past Braden Holtby. After a loose puck battle won by James Sheppard in the left wing corner, Jon Matsumoto sent a tape to tape pass to the right side to Tennyson who slammed home the only score in the period. Alex Stalock was sharp with 13 first period saves. The Sharks were outshot 8-2 in the middle period but score the only goal to go ahead 2-0. Jon Matsumoto (9th) sent a laser from the right circle over the shoulder of Braden Holtby at 6:22 assisted by Brodie Reid and James Sheppard. Braken Kearns (4th FM) and Steve Oleksy (7th FM) traded rights and lefts in a long spirited fight at 8:20 as the physical play picked up in the second. Stalock was superb with several big saves while the Sharks were shorthanded three times in the second frame as Worcester took a 2-0 lead in into the third period. The Bears found the back of the net in the 3rd period as Jeff Taffe (8th) slammed home a centering feed by Jon DiSalvatore at 4:48 in the third period to cut the Sharks lead to 2-1. The Sharks killed off two more late Bears power plays as Stalock stood on his head to hold on for the 2-1 victory. The Sharks overall record improves to 18-12-1-2 (39pts in 33gp) and 11-7-0-1 on the road this season.

2018 at Reading 3-2 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (14-13-3-2, 33pts) began a three-game set in Reading with a come from behind 3-2 win over the host Reading Royals (18-15-2-0, 38pts) in front of 5,902 fans at the Santandar Arena on Saturday evening. Kellen Jones, Matt Lane, and Frankie DiChiara scored for Worcester while Eamon McAdam was spectacular in net for the Railers with 34 saves. Worcester trailed 2-1 with just over five minutes remaining in the third period before Lane tied the score and Frankie scored the game winner with 22 seconds left. Worcester was outshot 13-2 in the first period but only trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Ryan Penny (10th) was able to collect his own rebound and coral it around Eamon McAdam at 4:59 assisted by Matias Cleland and Mark Naclerio. Worcester fired 15 shots in the second period and had a lot more pressure than we saw in the opening period. On a delayed penalty call, the Railers would knot the score at 1-1 on a beautiful rush and tic-tac-toe passing by Connor Doherty and Barry Almeida to the eventual goal scorer Kellen Jones (7th) at 9:17 past goaltender Mark Dekanich. The score was tied 1-1 after 40 minutes of play with shots 26-17 through two periods of play. After a questionable off-sides call against the Railers, Chris McCarthy (10th) deflected a shot from the point past McAdam at 13:33 to give Reading a 2-1 lead. Matt Lane (2nd) tied the score at 2-2 with a shot from 40 feet past Mark Dekanich at 14:58. With 22 seconds left, Frankie DiChiara (4th) zipped a rocket top shelf from the left circle on the rush to give Worcester the 3-2 road victory.

2019 at Greenville 3-2 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (14-16-3-2, 33pts) wrapped up their three game South Carolina road trip with a 3-2 win over the host Greenville Swamp Rabbits (14-19-3-2, 33pts) in front of 2,975 fans at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on Sunday afternoon. Tyler Barnes, Bo Brauer, and Barry Almeida scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 28 saves in net for Worcester for his 9th win of the season. The Railers had a 3-0 lead through two periods of play before Greenville made the game interesting with a pair of third period goals but Worcester was able to hold on for the 3-2 win. Worcester had an excellent road first period outshooting Greenville 14-7 and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Tyler Barnes (11th) stationed on top of the crease, deflected a Mike Cornell point shot that got through netminder Chris Nell at 2:27 on the power play for the only score of the period. Mitch Gillam was sharp with seven saves through 20 minutes. Bo Brauer (1st) scored his first professional goal as Tommy Kelly threw the puck in front of the net and Brauer was able to sweep the puck and chip it over the shoulder of Chris Nell at 12:48. Veteran Barry Almeida (10th) snapped a shot from the right circle with Woody Hudson providing a screen which found the back of the net at 19:11 to give Worcester a 3-0 lead through 40 minutes. Worcester held a 32-13 shot advantage through two periods of play. Brendan Harms (6th) scored on a wrap-around opportunity just 52 seconds into the third period to get the Swamp Rabbits on the board. Garret Milan (2nd) snapped a quick shot from 40 feet through a screen at 7:35 to cut the Railers lead to 3-2. Goaltender Mitch Gillam missed an empty net goal by a foot with just over a minute left and the Railers held off a late charge for their first win on the calendar year.

2023 vs Reading 5-4 OTL
(RAILERS) This thing with the Reading Royals has entered the realm of science fiction. With a two-goal lead, and less than two minutes away from snapping a seven-game losing streak against the Royals, the Railers gave up two goals in the final 1:41 of the third period then allowed ex-Railer Max Newton to score in overtime and were beaten, 5-4, on Friday night. Two forwards from last season’s team, Newton and Grant Jozefek of Adirondack, have given this year’s Railers a very hard time so far. Newton’s overtime goal gave him a hat trick for the night. He has five goals in two games versus Worcester this season. “Absolutely,” coach Jordan Smotherman said. “Any time you have a two-goal lead with a minute-forty to go and you lose the game, it’s gonna hurt.” Zack Bross scored his first pro goal, a power play goal, at 15:17 of the third period to give the Railers a 3-2 lead, then Nolan Vesey made it 4-2 at 17:35. Reading goaltender Nolan Maier went to the bench shortly after that and Newton made it 4-3 at 18:13. Jordan Timmons tied it with nine seconds left and Maier on the bench, then Newton won it with a great individual effort at 3:12 of overtime, scoring unassisted as he beat Henrik Tikkanen with a high shot to the far corner. “We played a really good game for 58 minutes,” Smotherman said, “then we made soft mistakes at the end. We sat back, which we can’t do.” The Railers’ other goals were scored by Jared Brandt at 8:50 of the second period and Billy Jerry at 9:38 of the second. It was Jerry’s first goal for the Railers and Bross’ first professional goal. Charlie Girard had the other Reading goal. It gave the Royals a 1-0 lead at 8:06 of the first period. The Railers roster volatility continued as they lost Blade Jenkins, whose shootout goal provided the Worcester victory in Maine on Jan. 1. They re-signed local player Derek Osik, got Connor McCarthy back on loan from Bridgeport and Myles McGurty returned to action. In all, nine players who have seen action for Worcester this season are in the AHL. That includes seven who were in the opening night lineup — Jacob Hayhurst, Steve Jandric, Jenkins, Collin Adams, Jimmy Lambert, Ryan MacKinnon, and goaltender Ken Appleby. MAKING TRACKS – Attendance was a robust 5,108 with the Stanley Cup on display. … The Railers are in Reading Saturday night to start an important — it is too early to call anything make-or-break — road trip. After the Reading game Worcester heads north to Newfoundland for its final three regular-season games up there. The next game at the DCU Center is Jan. 20 vs. the Growlers. … Catching up from Worcester’s big game in Maine on New Year’s Day — Brent Beaudoin’s fighting major snapped his streak of 34 straight games without a penalty and more than doubled his career total. He had 4 PIM in his first 93 games with the Railers. Also, Jerry had one home game on his resume, Dec. 9, before suiting up for that one. … Neither here, nor there, but worth noting — the Railers are 12-10 in shootouts all time and the breakdown is that they are 11-22 on first tries, 2-22 on second tries, 8-21 on third tries and 11-29 when it goes beyond that.


Comments are closed.

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: