Today in Worcester hockey history: January 7


1995 vs Cornwall 3-2 loss
The IceCats battled back twice but couldn’t do it a third time in a 3-2 loss to the Corwall Aces. Dwayne Norris got the Aces on the board with a first period goal at 3:15. At 13:26 of the second Blair Atcheynum got Worcester back to even with assists going to Dave Baseggio and Denis Chalifoux. The tie would last for 21 seconds as Karson Kaebel gave Cornwall their lead back. Chalifoux would tie it again at 9:01 of the third, with assists to Baseggio and Terry Virtue, but an Aces goal by Blair Scott at 10:50 gave them the 3-2 win. Wayne Cowley had 21 saves in the loss.

1996 at Portland 1-1 tie
The Worcester IceCats got 41 saves from Mike Buzak and needed every single one of them in a 1-1 tie with the Pirates. Andrew Brunette gave Portland the lead at 15:20 of the second period, and Andreas Johansson tied it for the ‘Cats with an unassisted goal at 1:35 of the third. The IceCats game notes say “Buzak was All World”.

1998 at New Haven 2-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats scored first but the Beast of New Haven scored the last two in a 2-1 ‘Cats loss. The IceCats took the lead at 4:25 when Nick Naumenko’s fluttering shot was saved by New Haven netminder David Lemanowicz. The puck dropped into the crease where Michal Handzus banged it home. Terry Virtue had the second assist on the play. But in the middle period the Beast would get two to take the lead, the first from Kevin Brown at 12:04 and the second by Oleg Kvasha at 15:03, and that would be all the scoring in the game. Brent Johnson had 30 saves in the loss.

2000 at Saint John 4-3 win OT
(TICKER) Bryan Helmer netted the game-winning goal 1:42 into overtime as the Worcester IceCats edged the Saint John Flames, 4-3. It was Helmer’s second game winner and first overtime goal of the season. Reed Low extended Worcester’s lead to 3-1 with 12:05 left in the the second period with his third goal of the season. Tyler Rennette opened the scoring with a power-play marker for the IceCats, who have won three in a row and four of their last five games (4-1-0). Brent Johnson stopped 17 shots for Worcester, which improved to 1-1-7 in overtime. Ronald Petrovicky tied the contest with 4:07 remaining for Saint John. Tyrone Grant, who had two saves in the extra session, turned aside 36 shots for the Flames

2005 at San Antonio 4-1 win
The Worcester IceCats got two unassisted goals in the first period and a 32 save night from Jason Bacashihua in a 4-1 win over the Rampage. Troy Riddle had the ‘Cats first unassisted goal of the night at 7:42 of the first period, and Jay McClement added a unassisted shorthanded tally at 11:26. Eric Boguniecki had the only goal in the second period, connecting on the power play at 9:25. Brendan Brooks and Ryan Ramsay had the assists on the play. Juraj Kolnik scored at 8:53 of the third to ruin Bacashihua’s shutout bid. Blake Evans scored into an empty net at 17:48, from Brendan Buckley and Peter Sejna, for the 4-1 final.

2007 at Hartford 2-1 loss
The Worcester Sharks fired 36 shots on Wolf Pack goalie Stephen Valiquette, many of them high quality bids, but could only beat him once in a 2-1 loss to Hartford. After a scoreless first period Hartford got two goals in the middle period from Greg Moore (12:45, four on four) and Mark Lee (13:45). In the third Steve Bernier scored at 8:45 when his wrist shot hit the addle of Valiquette’s stick and deflected in. Tom Cavanagh and Tomas Plihal had the assists. Thomas Greiss made 21 saves in the game.

2012 vs Providence 5-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Providence Bruins charged out to a 5-0 lead and never looked back as the Sharks dropped their 4th straight game (0-3-0-1) in a 5-2 loss to the Providence Bruins in front of 7,257 fans at DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday night. Sean Sullivan and Mike Connolly scored late goals for Worcester and Jimmy Bonneau extended the Sharks fighting major streak to 20 games with his 12th and 13th fighting majors of the season in the loss. Jimmy Bonneau (12th FM) fought Bobby Robbins (4th FM) off the opening face-off to set the tone for a fast tempo opening twenty minutes of play. The only score of the frame came at 2:27 after a deflection by Jamie Tardif (9th) from on top of the crease after a quick shot from the right point by Kevan Miller. The Sharks trailed the Bruins 1-0 after the first period despite a 13-11 edge on shots. Neither team scored in the second period as Bruins netminder Michael Hutchinson made 12 more saves to keep the Sharks offense at bay. Jimmy Bonneau (13th FM) drilled Marc Cantin (2nd FM) with a series of right and left hands at 6:40 for the second scrap of the evening. Worcester tailed 1-0 after 40 minutes. The Bruins exploded for four third period goals in the first half of the third period and took a commanding 5-0 lead and never looked back. Jamie Arniel (2nd) at 1:18, Calle Ridderwall (3rd) at 5:22, Kyle MacKinnon (5th) at 8:35, and Craig Cunningham (6th) at 9:48 gave the Bruins a five goal lead midway through the 3rd period. Sean Sullivan (5th) broke Michael Hutchinson’s shutout bid at 17:03 with a shot off a skate in front of the Bruins net to get the Sharks on the board. Rookie Mike Connolly (6th) broke a personal 16 game goalless drought after he slammed in a nice pass by Nathan Noon at 18:31 to end the scoring as the Sharks fell 5-2. Worcester’s record falls to 16-11-3-4 (39pts in 34gp) and 8-7-0-1 at the DCU Center.

2018 at Reading 3-0 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (14-14-3-2, 33pts) dropped a 3-0 decision to the host Reading Royals (19-15-2-0, 40pts) in front of 3,042 fans at the Santander Arena on Sunday afternoon. Each team fired 28 shots on goal but John Muse won his 6th straight in net for Reading with his second shutout of the season. Mitch Gillam made 25 saves for Worcester as the Railers concluded their first 4-in-5 game stretch of the season. Ryan Penny scored twice and Chris McCarthy scored the game winner for Reading just 78 seconds into the game as the Railers three game point streak came to an end. Reading grabbed a 2-0 first period lead after Chris McCarthy (11th) snapped a quick shot from the left circle on the power play past Worcester goaltender Mitch Gillam at 1:18 and Ryan Penny (11th) found a bouncing puck on a broken play and zipped a quick shot into the net at 18:52. Shots were 13-5 in favor of the Royals through 20 minutes of play. Worcester had a much better period as they outshot the Royals 14-13 in the second period. Matt Lane had the best chance for Worcester on a breakaway try but netminder John Muse stood tall. Shots were 26-19 through 40 minutes of play in favor of Reading with Worcester trailing 2-0. Ryan Penny (12th) put the game away at 5:10 with his second goal of the game to give Reading the 3-0 lead. Worcester outshot Reading 9-2 in the third period by John Muse stopped all nine for his second shutout of the season.

2022 at Reading 3-2 OTL
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (9-13-1-1, 20pts) lost to the Reading Royals (11-7-4-1, 27pts) in the first game of a Friday-Saturday series by the final score of 3-2 in overtime in front of a crowd of 2,316 at Santander Arena on Friday evening. The Railers are back at Santander Arena against the Reading Royals on Saturday, January 8th at 7:00 p.m. After a scoreless first period, the Railers fell behind 1-0 just two minutes into the second period. Captain Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman (2-0-2) then scored a pair of goals midway through the frame to put Worcester ahead going into the second intermission. With just 2:28 to go in the game, Reading scored to make it 2-2 to force overtime. It only took 0:16 of overtime for Reading to score the game winner and secure the extra point by the final score of 3-2. Shots favored Reading 47-23 on the contest. Neither Worcester nor Reading were able to break through in the opening period, as the frame ended with a score of 0-0. Shots through the first period were 13-9 in favor of the Royals. The Railers had two power play chances in the period but couldn’t capitalize on either, while successfully killing off the one man-advantage for Reading. The Royals would open up scoring just 1:55 into the second as Patrick Bajkov (8th) beat Colten Ellis blocker side on the rush to give Reading a 1-0 lead. Ten minutes later, Railers captain Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman (12th) took a feed on the doorstep from Jacob Hayhurst and tucked it past Ustimenko to tie the game at 1-1 with 11:26 to go in the second. 1:50 after his first tally, Lavallee-Smotherman (13th) stole a Royals clear attempt in the high slot, walked in and shot it on Ustimenko who made the initial save, then finished off his own rebound to give Worcester their first lead of the night, 2-1. The score stood at 2-1 heading into the third period. Reading had the advantage in shots in the period 23-11, and 36-20 for the game. With just 2:28 to go in the third period, Reading was able to apply enough pressure to break through and tie the game. Garrett Cecere (1st) sent a shot right past the glove hand of Ellis to make it 2-2 and force overtime in Pennsylvania. Shots in the third were in favor of Reading 11-3. Only 0:16 into overtime, Trevor Gooch (3rd) blazed down the ice, split the defense, and ripped one glove side on Ellis to give Reading the win by the final score of 3-2. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd Star: Patrick Bajkov (1-1-2, +2, 5 shots), 2nd Star: Colten Ellis (45 saves, 3GA, .937 SV%), 1st Star: Trevor Gooch (1-0-1, +2, 6 shots, GWG)… Final shots were 48-23 in favor of Reading… Kirill Ustimenko (1-4-2) made 21 saves on 23 shots for Reading… Colten Ellis (4-4-0) made 45 saves on 48 shots for Worcester, while Jimmy Poreda served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-5 on the power play while Reading also went 0-for-5… Tommy Besinger (DNP), Chris Ordoobadi (DNP), Brennan Feasey (DNP), Matt Sredl (DNP), and Grant Jozefek (IR) did not dress for Worcester… Colten Ellis made an ECHL high 45 saves in net… Reece Newkirk has four assists in two games Worcester this year… Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman recorded his seventh multi-point game of the year and his fourth multi-goal game… Ross Olsson led all Railers skaters with five shots… Cole Coskey made his Worcester debut wearing number 24… Mike Cornell, Collin Adams, Paul Thompson, Felix Bibeau, and Ken Appleby are all on recall with the Bridgeport Islanders while Blake Christensen, and Drew Callin… Liam Coughlin signed a PTO with Springfield Thursday and Nick Albano signed a PTO with Charlotte (AHL) Friday.The Railers are now 17-16-2-0 all-time vs. the Royals and 7-10-1-0 at Santander Arena against Reading.

2023 at Reading 2-1 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (19-13-2-0 40 points) fell to the Reading Royals (20-9-1-0 41 points) 2-1, in front of a crowd of 5,316 on Saturday night at Santander Arena. The Railers are away in St. John’s Newfoundland on Wednesday January 11th, to take on the Newfoundland Growlers at 5:30 p.m. EST. The first goal was scored with 1:55 left in the second period by Tyler Kirkup (1-0-1). Shane Sellar (1-1-2) scored the second goal of the game for the Royals early into the third period and made it 2-0 Reading. Brent Beaudoin (1-0-1) got Worcester back to within one thanks to assists from Reece Newkirk (0-1-1) and Bobby Butler (0-1-1), but it wasn’t enough as the Railers fell 2-1 on Saturday evening. Both goalies were perfect through the first twenty minutes on Saturday, each Henrik Tikkanen for Worcester and Nolan Maier for Reading had nine saves. Anthony Repaci was the leading shot taker for the Railers with three shots. Max Newton was the leading shot taker for the Royals with three shots on goal as well. Shots through the first were even 9-9. Five minutes into the second period Zack Bross and Trey Bradley each picked up two-minute roughing minors. It took twenty-four shots on Henrik Tikkanen for Reading to get one past him. Tyler Kirkup (4th) scored the first goal of the game with less than two minutes to play in the second period and give Reading a 1-0 lead heading into the third. Worcester was outshot 15-11 in the second, while the Royals were outshooting the Railers 24-20 through two periods. The Railers were looking for a comeback in the final period of play on Saturday trailing 1-0. Reading managed to score just four minutes into the period however when Shane Sellar (9th) scored another goal for the Royals to make it a 2-0 Reading lead. Two minutes and eleven seconds later, Bobby Butler attacked the net and took a shot that deflected off the pad of Maier. Reece Newkirk picked up the puck behind the net and found Brent Beaudoin (10th) wide open in front of Maier for the Railers first goal. With less than five minutes left to play, Bobby Butler took a big hit from Reading’s Brendan Hoffman, prompting Christian Evers to respond. Evers dropped the gloves with Hoffman as both received fighting majors. Tikkanen was pulled with 90 seconds left to play to get an extra skater on for the Railers looking to send the game into overtime, but in was unsuccessful as Worcester couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net. The Worcester Railers are now 19-13-2-0 on the season. Notes: 3rd star Garrett McFadden: (0-1-1), 2nd stars: Alec Butcher (0-2-2), 1st star: Shane Sellar (1-1-2)… Nolan Maier started in goal for the Reading Royals. Maier had 28 saves on 29 shots. Maier was backed up by Josh Boyko. Henrik Tikkanen started his second in a row for the Worcester Railers. He had 32 saves on 34 shots while Brent Moran was the backup. Myles McGurty and Jared Brandt led the team in shots with four each.


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