Today in Worcester hockey history: January 12


2001 at Providence 8-3 loss
(TICKER) Jonathan Girard registered a team-record six assists and Andre Savage, Joel Hulbig and Ivan Huml each scored a pair of goals as the Providence Bruins crushed the Worcester Ice Cats, 8-3. Girard, who spent most of December playing for the Boston Bruins, established a career single-game high by surpassing Eric Manlow’s previous team-record of five assists, which he set on December 17 against Hamilton. Jeremy Brown and Jay Henderson also scored for Providence and John Grahame stopped 28 shots to pick up the win as the Bruins snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 3-2-0 versus Worcester this season. Ed Campbell, James Pollack and Jesse Rezansoff each scored for the Ice Cats and Andrei Troschinsky recorded three assists. Cody Rudkowsky suffered the loss to fall to 9-6-2 as Worcester was handed its worst defeat of the season.

2002 at Hartford 8-3 loss
(HARTFORD) Emotions ran high on many fronts Saturday night at the Civic Center. From the moment the Wolf Pack skated on the ice in special patriotic uniforms, the largest home crowd since opening night (9,452) had plenty to cheer while watching an 8-3 victory over the Worcester IceCats. It started with scenes from Sept. 11 on the Jumbotron as Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” and the national anthem played before New York City fireman Rich Nappi dropped the ceremonial first puck. Nappi, a Rangers season ticket holder, contacted the Wolf Pack when he heard the jerseys — covered with stars, an American flag design on the front, a “God Bless America” patch on one sleeve and a team patch on the other — were to be auctioned online this month to benefit the Twin Towers Fund.
Then the Wolf Pack scored four goals in 9:56 of the first period, the last the first of Brad Smyth’s first natural hat trick. West Haven native Eric Boguniecki and IceCats teammate Steve McLaren later got five-minute match penalties for intent to injure and automatic game misconducts, and Wolf Pack left wing Christian Gosselin earned his first automatic game misconduct for three fights, two with McLaren. Mike Mottau, sucker-punched by McLaren with 5:51 left, scored the Wolf Pack’s third goal, a 40-foot shot from the right circle that sent Reinhard Divis to the bench after allowing three goals on eight shots in 16:02. But 1:31 later, Smyth stuffed in Mottau’s pass from the left circle on the first shot on Cody Rudkowsky. Then 4:18 into the second, Mottau set up Smyth’s second power-play goal 1:18 after Boguniecki, the AHL’s No. 3 scorer, got his match penalty for hitting Rico Fata in the chin with his stick along the boards. And the ice was soon littered with hats at 9:08 when Smyth completed his hat trick, scoring his team-leading 17th goal on Barrett Heisten’s rebound. Fata, who had three assists, and Jason Dawe gave the Wolf Pack a 2-1 lead. Cam Severson scored the other two goals, and Dawe, Michal Grosek and Ken Gernander each had two assists as the Wolf Pack improved to 5-1-1-1 in their last eight. Jason LaBarbera made 40 saves for his first victory since Dec. 8, and Smyth extended his assist and point streaks to eight games, both team highs this season. Justin Papineau scored twice and Brad Voth once for the IceCats (18-18-4-1)

2003 at Lowell 2-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats fired 44 shots at Lock Monsters netminder Randy Petruk, who entered the game with a 1-12-2 record, and he stopped them all in a 2-0 loss to Lowell. Tomas Kurka (17:22, 2nd) and Mike Zigomanis (14:14, 3rd) had the Lock Monster goals. Phil Osaer made 26 saves for the ‘Cats, but had no chance at all making saves on the two Lowell scores.

2008 at Albany 4-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) Despite scoring the first goal of the game for the second-consecutive night, the Worcester Sharks dropped a back-and-forth affair Saturday evening, 4-3, to the Albany River Rats at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY. All seven of the goals were scored within two offensive outbursts in the contest. Four were recorded in a 7:09 span in the second period, breaking a scoreless tie, while three were tallied in a 5:45 span of the third. In the end, a strong goaltending effort by Albany goaltender John Grahame, along with timely goals, led to the River Rats coming out on top in the first meeting of four between the two teams. The Sharks started the game with good pressure, but couldn’t find a way to beat Grahame, an eight-year NHL veteran. With just under 14 minutes remaining in the first period, Devin Setoguchi took a shot from the high slot. The rebound went to Riley Armstrong from point blank range, but Grahame came up with the big stop to keep the game scoreless. Less than one minute later, Setoguchi and Armstrong found themselves on a two-on-one. Setoguchi tried to go top shelf, but Grahame got a shoulder on it to deflect it away. The remaining of the period remained physical, with numerous big hits by both squads. Neither team was able to find the back of the net, despite Setoguchi continuing to earn more golden opportunities. Worcester thought they had taken the league in the third minute of the second period, but referee Ghislain Hebert waved off the goal. Ashton Rome beat Grahame off a rebound, but it was ruled to have been kicked in. T.J. Fox, a native of Oswego, NY, had many friends and family in attendance at the game. He came through with a tally at 4:47 of the second period, giving the Sharks the 1-0 lead. Off a rebound, he beat Grahame for his sixth goal of the season, marking the ninth time in the last ten games Worcester has struck first. Tom Walsh and Setoguchi were credited with assists on the play. What looked like a harmless play led to Albany tying the score at one. Joey Mormina threw the puck towards the net at 7:44. Sharks goaltender Taylor Dakers was unable to find the puck through the traffic in front of him, leading to Mormina’s second goal of the season. Jakub Petruzalek picked up the lone assist on the goal. The River Rats took the lead less than two minutes later, when David Gove scored his eighth. He faked a shot at the left side boards in favor of a high slap shot. It snuck through the pads of Dakers at 9:40 for the 2-1 lead. Jamie Johnson and Brian Rodney picked up the assists. Worcester answered right back at 11:56. Patrick Traverse took the body and found Lukas Kaspar on the right wing side. Kaspar took a slap shot that rifled off the crossbar and snuck in for his tenth of the season. In the third period, Albany’s Jordan Fox found an opportune time to tally his first-career AHL goal. Rodney took a shot, with Fox and the Sharks’ Tom Walsh battling in front of the net. Fox was able to deflect the shot past Dakers at 8:44 for the 3-2 advantage. Jerome Samson picked up the other assist on the play. Armstrong capped off a strong game with his second goal in as many games, tying the score at three at 13:19 of the third period. Tom Cavanaugh threw the puck towards the net, with Armstrong beating Grahame for his ninth goal of the season. Setoguchi picked up his second assist of the game on the play. The seesaw battle continued as the River Rats responded with what would end up as the final blow to retake the lead 1:10 later, 4-3. Nicholas Blanchard cleaned up a loose puck in the crease, beating a sprawling Dakers.

2013 at Albany 4-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (19-14-1-2, 41pts) fell 4-1 to the Albany Devils (14-12-1-6, 35pts) on Saturday evening in front of 7,321 fans at the Times Union Center. Eight healthy regulars did not dress for Worcester (Tennyson, McCarthy, McLaren, Sheppard, Kearns, Irwin, Pelech, and Petrecki) as Patrick Rissmiller made his return to the Sharks organization in the 4-1 loss. Freddie Hamilton scored in his 2nd straight game and former Sharks winger Steve Zalewski scored and added an assist for the Devils. Alex Stalock made 24 saves in the loss for Worcester. Rookie Freddie Hamilton (6th) banged home a loose rebound past Devils’ netminder Keith Kinkaid at 7:16 after a nice rush by Daniil Tarasov to give Worcester a 1-0 lead. Albany tied the score with 35 seconds as former Sharks forward Steve Zalewski found the back of the net on a wrap around try past Alex Stalock to tie the score at 1-1. Shots were 8-4 in favor of the Devils through 20 minutes. The Devils scored the only two goals of the second frame on 12 shots to take a 3-1 lead. Mattias Tedenby (9th) scored on the power play with a wicked shot from 30 feet at 3:15 to give Albany a 2-1 lead. Steve Zalewski found Gelinas (3rd) at the center slot with a terrific pass at 18:54 to give the Devils a 3-1 lead through two periods of play. Albany added an insurance goal at 8:44 as Darcy Zajac (4th) deflected home a centering feed by Mattias Tedenby to give Albany a 4-1 lead. The Sharks could only muster five shots in the third period on Keith Kinkaid in the loss. The Sharks overall record falls to 19-14-1-2 (41pts in 35gp) and 11-9-0-1 on the road.

2014 vs Portland 4-3 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (17-15-2-1, 37pts) won their fourth straight home game with a 4-3 victory over the Portland Pirates (15-14-1-5, 36pts) in front of 3,558 fans at the DCU Center in on Sunday afternoon. Lane Scheidl, Travis Oleksuk, Yanni Gourde, and Taylor Doherty scored for Worcester while Harri Sateri made 18 saves and picked up the win in relief after an injury to Troy Grosenick early in the second period. Worcester fired 42 shots and Dylan Demelo extended his point streak to five games with an assist in the 4-3 victory over the Pirates. Worcester came out flying in the first period and Lane Scheidl (1st) banged home a loose rebound past Mark Visentin at 5:18 to give Worcester a 1-0 lead. Travis Oleksuk (5th) also found a loose rebound and fired it home after Dan DaSilva stole the puck in the right circle on the power play and snapped a hard low shot that was stopped by the Portland netminder. Portland got on the board at 18:24 after Mathieu Brodeur (1st) sent a laser from the left point through traffic and past Troy Grosenick to cut the Sharks lead to 2-1. Worcester outshot Portland 15-6 in the first period.
Yanni Gourde (2nd) extended his point streak to three games (1-4-5) with a wicked shot from 45 feet off the post and into the net at 3:57 with a shorthanded tally with Freddie Hamilton picking up the only assist. Goaltender Troy Grosenick left the game with 12 minutes remaining in the second period with an apparent injury after he was twisted up with a Pirates player and was replaced by Harri Sateri. Worcester outshot Portland 15-10 in the second period and took a 3-1 lead into the third period. Jordan Martinook (6th) got the Pirates within a goal at 3:36 of the third period but the Sharks responded after a blast by Taylor Doherty (3rd) from the left point hit the twine at 8:11 which gave the Sharks a 4-2 lead. Portland struck back as Chris Brown (6th) deflected a point shot past Harri Sateri at 10:56 and cut the Sharks lead to 4-3. Portland was held at bay the rest of the way as the Sharks held on for the 4-3 victory on home ice. The Sharks overall record improves to 17-15-2-1, 37pts and 9-7-0-1, 19pts at the DCU Center this season.

2018 at Manchester 2-1 win OT
(RAILERS) Matt Lane scored at 3:34 of the overtime period to give the Worcester Railers HC (15-15-3-2, 35pts) a 2-1 overtime win over the first place Manchester Monarchs (21-12-2-1, 46pts) in front of 1,498 fans at the SNHU Arena on Friday evening. Matt Lane and Barry Almeida scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 30 saves in net for his 7th win of the season. Kellen Jones and Mike Cornell added assists as the Railers won their first overtime game in franchise history on their 7th try. Manchester scored the only goal in the opening frame as Spencer Watson (4th) was able to break down the right wing and cut across the crease before sliding the puck past an outstretched Mitch Gillam at 5:50. The Railers tied the score at 17:04 after Barry Almeida (10th) snapped a quick shot from the left circle past the glove of Charles Williams at 17:04. Shots were 13-9 in favor of Worcester through 20 minutes of play with the score tied at 1-1. Neither team found the back of the net in the second period as Manchester outshot Worcester 10-6 in the middle frame. The two clubs headed into the second intermission with each scoring a goal on 19 shots on net. Shots were 10-9 in the third period in favor of Manchester with both Mitch Gillam and Charles Williams making some big saves to force the game to overtime. Both teams played a relatively conservative overtime period until Matt Lane (3rd) snapped a quick shot down the left wing side on the rush for the game winner at 3:44 to give the Railers a 2-1 victory on the road.

2019 vs Reading 4-1 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (15-16-3-2, 35pts) kicked off a four game homestand with a 4-1 win over the visiting Reading Royals (17-11-3-5, 42pts) in front of 4,324 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. Bo Brauer (1-1-2), Matt Schmalz (2-1-3), and Nick Sorkin scored for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis made 30 saves in net for Worcester for his 6th win of the season. David Quenneville and Connor Doherty each added an assist and were each +3 in a game that featured no power plays the entire game as the Railers closed out the first half of the season with a home win. Neither team found the back of the net or ended up in the penalty box in the first period with Reading holding a 9-6 shot advantage through 20 minutes of play. A much better tempo in the second period saw the Railers grab a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes of play. Matt Schmalz (5th) buried a Bo Brauer pass from on top of the crease just 35 seconds into the middle frame to give Worcester a 1-0 lead. Former Railers Frankie DiChiara (11th) made a nice move down the left-wing side and sick handled the puck through the pads of Evan Buitenhuis at 13:40 to tie the score at 1-1. Bo Brauer (2nd) scored in his second straight game after Matt Schmalz rushed down the right-wing side and Brauer batted a rebound from his hip and into the net from on top of the crease at 16:57 past goalie Callum Booth to give Worcester a 2-1 lead. Shots were 19-18 in favor of Worcester through 40 minutes of play. Matt Schmalz (6th) scored a great individual effort goal as he skated down the right-wing side got around a defender before he cut across the crease and sent a backhander off the post and into the net at 10:18 of the third period for a big insurance goal. Nick Sorkin (8th) added an empty netter at 18:54 assisted by Connor Doherty to give the Railers the 4-1 home victory.

2020 vs Reading 5-3 Win
The Worcester Railers HC (15-20-2-0, 32pts) ended their four game homestand with a 5-3 win over the Reading Royals(20-12-4-0, 44pts) in front of 2,591 fans at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. The Railers are on the road for the next five games beginning Tuesday vs. the Maine Mariners at 7pm. Nic Pierog (2-1-3), Ben Thomson (2-1-3), and Arnaud Durandeau (1-1-2) all recorded multi-point games while Ian Milosz made 29 saves in net for his third straight win on Sunday. Former Worcester Railer Frank DiChiara (2-0-2) snapped a 14-game goal-less drought with a pair of goals while Corey Mackin also scored for Reading. Felix Sandstrom made 32 saves in the loss for the Royals. The Railers wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Arnaud Durandeau from the side of the cage tucked one by Felix Sandstrom at 1:39 to give Worcester an early 1-0 lead. On the power-play Frank DiChiara (11th) snapped a laser by the right shoulder of Ian Milosz from the right circle to tie the game at 1-1 at 4:37. Worcester went down short-handed for the second time of the frame but just 10 seconds in Nic Pierog (16th) picked off a pass from his own blueline and went down on a breakaway snapping one low glove to give the Railers a 2-1 lead. Worcester led 2-1 through 20 minutes of play and outshot the Royals 12-9. Reading would tie the game at 2-2 when Corey Mackin (11th) buried home a rebound after a heavy shot from the point courtesy of Garrett Cockerill at 8:10 of the second period. The Railers went on the power-play for the third time of the afternoon and just six seconds in Nic Pierog with a no look pass from the left circle found Ben Thomson (2nd) below the right circle who sent it into the back of the net to hand Worcester a 3-2 lead. In the dying minute of the period the Royals came down three on two and a pretty passing play was finished off by Frank DiChiara (12th) with 50 seconds left to tie the game at 3-3. The team headed into the dressing room tied at 3-3 through 40 minutes of play. Worcester would grab their fourth lead of the game which would be the eventual game winner at 10:59 of the first period with Ben Thomson (3rd) standing on the top of the crease redirectred a shot from the right point courtesy of Bo Brauer to give the Railers a 4-3 lead. Nic Pierog (17th) tacked on the insurance goal with 64 seconds left to give the Railers a 5-3 victory. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Frank DiChiara (2-0-2) 2nd star: Nic Pierog (2-1-3, +4, 6 shots) 1st star: Ben Thomson (2-1-3, +3, 7 shots) …. final shots were 37-32 in favor of Worcester…Felix Sandstrom (6-9-0) made 32 saves on 36 shots Reading… Ian Milosz (3-2-0) made 29 saves on 32 shots for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis served as the backup…. Worcester went 1-for-3 on the power play while Reading went 1-for-6…. Kyle McKenzie (inj,), Jordan Samuels-Thomas (inj), JD Dudek (IR), Tanner Pond (IR), Connor Doherty, and Cody Payne did not dress for Worcester…. Mike Cornell, David Quenneville, Linus Soderstrom, Jakub Skarek are all currently on recall with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Nic Pierog (7-3-10) extended his point streak to six games…. Pierog scored his league leading fifth short-handed goal of the season…. Pierog now has 12 goals in 15 games vs. the Royals…. Ben Thomson (3-5-8) now has points in six of seven games he has played with Worcester and led all skaters with seven shots…. Ivan Chuakrov recorded an assist and now has points in six of his last seven games…. Ryan MacKinnon wore an “A” for Worcester…. Connor Doherty missed his first game of the season…. The Railers are now 11-10-1 under Coach Cunniff…. Worcester is now 15-9-1-0 vs. the Royals all time and 9-2-1-0 at the DCU Center.

2022 vs Maine 4=2 win
(RAILERS) This is the thing about goaltending. If it’s good, you don’t always win but if it’s bad you almost always lose. The Railers got some of the good stuff from Ken Appleby Wednesday night and beat the Maine Mariners, 4-2. Appleby, just back from Bridgeport, stopped 37 shots on the night he was named an ECHL All-Star. Goalies get blamed for everything. It is part of the job description. However, the Railers’ numbers this season say a lot about the position. Worcester is 8-9-1 when either Appleby or Colten Ellis is in net. The Railers are 2-6-0 otherwise. “He shouldn’t be in this league,” Railers forward Anthony Repaci said, “but it’s fortunate for us that he’s here.” The Railers’ opponent was supposed to be Trois-Rivieres. To make a very long story as short as possible, Covid got in the way and the Mariners filled in, which worked out pretty well after all. Worcester played the game without five of its top six scorers, however, due to viruses, callups and suspension. Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman and Liam Coughlin are on the Commisioner’s Exempt List. Ross Olsson is suspended. Drew Callin and Jacob Hayhurst are in the American Hockey League. That left Repaci as the Railers’ active leading scorer and he stepped up nicely with a goal and an assist. Brent Beaudoin and Nolan Vesey were also 1-1-2. Will Cullen had the other Worcester goal. Cameron Askew and Pascal Laberge scored for the Mariners, both on the power play. Their goals, less than a minute apart with about seven minutes left in the game, turned Worcester’s 3-0 lead into a near disaster. Maine had another power play in the final minutes as the Railers were caught with a brutal too-many-men penalty but Vesey hit an open net to secure the triumph. Beaudoin put Worcester ahead exactly five minutes after the opening faceoff, scoring his fifth of the season. Vesey took advantage of a Maine turnover and fired a shot at Callum Booth from the right circle. Beaudoin snapped the rebound home. Nobody scored again for almost a half-hour and when somebody finally did it was Cullen with his second in eight games for Worcester. Repaci set things up with some diligent work in the offensive zone and Cullen made it pay off with a backhander from about 10 feet out at 14:20. Tommy Besinger had the other assist for his first point in a Worcester uniform. “It was a 50-50 puck,” Repaci said, “and it was just a matter of wanting it a little bit more. I was tied up and I could see we had guys at the net so I was trying to do to get the puck to the net. “It was a good thing that (Cullen) was able to come in and bang that one home.” Repaci got his seventh of the season, the game winner, at 5:31 of the third period. Cole Coskey fed him from the left corner and he beat Booth from the slot. MAKING TRACKS_Appleby is the fourth Railer to earn All-Star recognition. He joins Woody Hudson, Mitch Gillam and Jordan Samuels-Thomas in chronological order. The game is being played in Jacksonville on Jan. 17 with the Railers scheduled to play in Reading that night. … Laura Schmidlein made her second appearance of the season here working the lines but had to leave the game in the second period when she got a skate caught in the ice and twisted something in her leg…. Worcester’s next scheduled game is here Friday night versus Reading. The Royals are also on the docket for Saturday night. … Luke Peressini out of Ryerson University was Appleby’s backup. Including backups who have not played, the Railers have dressed 12 different goaltenders this season. …… Connor Doherty was back in action for Maine. So was Zach Malatesta, who started the season with the Railers and played well but was traded to Indy as compensation for Nic Pierog’s rights. Malatesta had two assists for Portland Wednesday night. … Attendance was 2,103. … The victory was the 100th in Railers history.


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