Today in Worcester hockey history: January 20


1995 at Binghamton 4-3 loss
(BINGHAMTON) For 25 minutes, the Worcester IceCats owned the Binghamton Rangers. Then came a disallowed goal, a momentum shift and a disappointing 4-3 loss for the ‘Cats. The IceCats led, 3-0, after one period and were completely dominating the game when Cal McGowan’s apparent goal five minutes into the second period was waved off, a linesman saying McGowan kicked the puck in. Instead of being perhaps the final blow against a listless Binghamton team, the momentum changed and the IceCats allowed four unanswered goals. Rangers right wing Jean-Yves Roy capped the four-goal comeback when he scored his second goal of the night and 26th of the season at 11:30 of the third period. With Binghamton on a power play, Roy was left alone in front of rookie goaltender Chris Gordon and scored into an open net after taking a pass from behind the goal from Craig Duncanson. Roy’s goal came almost seven minutes after Rangers right wing Dimitri Starostenko put a backhander between Gordon and the post to tie it at 3-3 at 4:32 of the period. The Rangers were completely outplayed by the IceCats through most the first half of the game, drawing constant boos from the fifth sellout crowd of 4,643 this season at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. After McGowan’s goal was disallowed, Binghamton picked up some spark on a goal by Andrei Kudinov at 7:47 of the second period, and went to the locker room with the momentum after Roy scored with 1:21 remaining to make it 3-2. A pair of power-play goals by Chalifoux put Worcester up, 2-0, before Terry Virtue fired in a 25-footer from the right circle with 19 seconds remaining in the first period. Virtue’s goal came after the Rangers turned the puck over in the neutral zone. Virtue’s goal was also Worcester’s ninth straight unanswered goal against Binghamton. The IceCats scored two late power-play goals in a 5-2 loss to the Rangers Oct. 9 at the Centrum, and then ended Binghamton’s season-starting unbeaten streak at 10 (8-0-2) with a 4-0 win Oct. 26, also at the Centrum. Worcester began last night’s game with the lowest-rated power-play in the AHL. But 20 seconds after Kudinov was sent to the penalty box for tripping, Chalifoux took an Atcheynum pass just to the left of goaltender Rangers rookie goaltender Jamie Ram and scored into an open net at 8:43. Chalifoux beat Ram with a 25-foot shot from the right circle at 14:49. The Rangers were ineffective in their first five power-play attempts, as the IceCats packed into the slot to help support Gordon.

1996 at Springfield 2-1 win
The Worcester IceCats scored two second period goals and then held on for dear life in a 2-1 win over the Falcons. After a scoreless opening period Fred Knipscheer got Worcester the lead at 12:04 with Andreas Johansson and Christer Olsson providing assists. Shaun Kane made it 2-0 at 18:01 with Derek Armstrong getting the lone helper. Iain Fraser got one back for the Falcons with an extra attacker goal at 19:16, but that’s the way the game would end. Mike Buzak made 26 saves and was the #1 star.

1997 at Springfield 7-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats were scheduled to play an afternoon game against the Falcons but based on their play must have thought it was a night contest as they were pounded by Springfield 7-2. After a scoreless first period the Falcons opened up a 4-0 lead in the middle period on goals by Hnat Domenichelli (2:20,PP), Juha Ylonen (4:39), Tom Buckley (5:04), and Scott Levins (7:53). Radim Bicanek’s only career IceCats goal stopped the bleeding at 13:00 on the power play, but that was pretty much their only offense. Reggie Savage added two third period goals and Domenichelli added his second of the game to make it 7-1. Chris Kenady added a late goal at 19:21 for the 7-2 final.

1999 at Hartford 4-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats could only muster 14 shots in the game as they dropped a 4-1 contest to the Wolf Pack. Ken Gernander, Boyd Kane, Alexei Vasiliev, and Vladimir Vorobiev had the goals for Hartford. Jochen Hecht’s goal at 1:24 of the second made it 1-1, and was assisted by Lubos Bartecko and Dan Corso. Brent Johnson took the loss in goal.

2001 vs Quebec 6-1 win
The Worcester IceCats used four first period goals to defeat the Quebec Citadelles 6-1. Jame Pollock opened the scoring for the ‘Cats 1:39 into the first period with Jesse Rezansoff and Andrei Troschinsky picking up the assists. Eric Boguniecki made it 2-0 at 6:24 with Justin Papineau and Pascal Rheaume getting the helpers on the goal that chased Quebec starting goaltender Christian Bronsard from the game. Ex-IceCats netminder Eric Fichaud didn’t fare much better, allowing a Troschinsky shorthanded goal on the first shot he faced at 13:23. Jamie Thompson and Peter Smrek had the assists on the play. Thompson made it a four goal period for Worcester at 18:03, with Papineau and Mark Rycroft picking up points. Jason Lawmaster had the next two goals for the ‘Cats, the first coming at 6:10 of the middle stanza and the second at 11:15 of the third. Both were assisted by Rheaume and Boguniecki. Matt Higgins spoiled Cody Rudkowsky’s shutout bid at 14:56 for the 6-1 final. Rudkowsky made 22 saves in the win.

2002 vs Hartford 4-2 win
(HARTFORD) Not even a spectacular save by Jason LaBarbera could save the Wolf Pack’s weekend. With 6:38 left in Sunday’s game against the IceCats, LaBarbera dived back into his crease to somehow stop Steve Halko’s backhander from the doorstep. It was such a good stop that the goal judge turned on the red light. But referee Ron Morgan ruled LaBarbera had gloved the puck before it crossed the goal line. The Wolf Pack ended up with their third loss in less than 48 hours when one of many turnovers led to Justin Papineau’s second goal off a second assist from fellow All-Star Eric Boguniecki of West Haven with 2:54 left. And when Boguniecki scored into an empty net with 15.5 seconds left, the IceCats had a 4-2 victory before 11,218, the largest Centrum crowd this season. After LaBarbera (42 saves) stopped Boguniecki’s shorthanded breakaway 6:30 into the game, Boyd Kane gave the Wolf Pack a 1-0 lead when he deflected Michal Grosek’s shot past Reinhard Divis (24 saves) at 7:59. The Wolf Pack killed two Worcester power plays, including a 5-on-3 for 65 seconds, but on the IceCats’ third power play, Papineau swatted Boguniecki’s pass through the slot out of midair and past LaBarbera to tie it at 9:20 of the second. A wide-open Mark Rycroft gave the IceCats a 2-1 lead at 3:51 of the third when he converted Daniel Tkaczuk’s pass, but Jamie Lundmark scored on Benoit Dusablon’s rebound to make it 2-2 with 8:26 left. But a turnover by former IceCats defenseman Peter Smrek led to Papineau’s winner, his league-high 29th goal. The Wolf Pack were one under the 17-skater limit when forward Barrett Heisten was unable to play because of a shoulder injury sustained Saturday.

2007 at Springfield 2-1 loss
(FALCONS) Bouncing back from a loss in their previous meeting at the MassMutual Center, the Falcons were able to squeeze by with a 2-1 win over the Sharks. After two scoreless periods, Blair Jones was able to solve Sharks goalie Tomas Greiss putting the Falcons up 1-0. Eric Healey scored his 19th goal of the season at 14:54 of the third period. The Sharks made an attempt to get back into the game when Josh Prudden scored his first goal of the season late in the final period. Jonathan Boutin stood strong the rest of the way to preserve the second strait win for the Falcons making 23 saves.

2012 at Providence 3-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) Ryan Del Monte and Marek Viedensky each scored their third goals of the season but the Sharks three game win streak came to an end with a 3-2 loss to the Providence Bruins at Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence on Friday night. Antero Niittymaki made 23 saves in net for Worcester in a game that saw two scraps and several post whistle scrums. The Sharks hit everything in sight in the first period and fired 12 shots on Anton Khudobin but it was the Bruins that took a 1-0 advantage. Andrew Bodnarchuk (4th) fired a puck from off the end wall on the power play at 16:22 past Antero Niittymaki after a shot from the point by Matt Bartkowski missed the net for the only score in the first frame. In the second period, the Bruins went ahead 2-0 after a quick snap shot from the left circle on a power play rush by Yannick Riendeau (3rd) at 2:53. A near line brawl broke out at 10:56 after Lane MacDermid hit Sharks rookie Nathan Moon from behind in the Sharks zone. After the dust settled, only Taylor Doherty (3rd FM) and Lane MacDermid (10th FM) were whistled for penalties but set the tone for more nastiness. Ryan Del Monte (3rd) deflected a Matt Irwin shot from the point past Khudobin at 14:15 to cut the Bruins lead to 2-1 and got the Sharks on the board. On the next faceoff, Matt Pelech (6th FM) and Bobby Robbins (7th FM) dropped the gloves with Pelech winning the one sided scrap with a series of right hands. Both teams had 18 shots after 40 minutes, with the Sharks trailing 2-1 headed into the 2nd intermission. Each team scored in the third period with the Bruins going ahead 3-1 at 3:28 as Craig Cunningham (8th) roofed a one timer shot after a nice pass from behind the Worcester net by Andrew Bodnerchuk. The Sharks got the score back at 10:51 after Marek Viedensky (3rd) backhanded a loose rebound between the pads of the Bruins netminder to trim the score to 3-2. The Sharks had a chance to ties the score late but couldn’t light the lamp as Worcester fell by the count of 3-2. Worcester’s record falls to 19-12-3-4 (45pts in 38gp) and 9-5-3-3 on the road.

2018 vs Wheeling 5-2 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (15-18-3-2, 35pts) dropped a 5-2 decision to the visiting Wheeling Nailers (22-16-3-0, 47pts) in front of 5,611 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. Littleton, MA native Brian Bowen scored his 1st professional goal and Matty Gaudreau also scored for the Railers while Alex Sakellaropoulos made 28 saves in net in his first start for Worcester. Reid Gardiner scored three times to lead the way offensively for Wheeling and Adam Morrison made 28 saves as the Railers fell to 6-9-1-0 on home ice. The Nailers struck first at 1:52 as Riley Bourbonnais (13th) sent a shot from 20 feet just over the shoulder of goaltender Alex Sakellaropoulos and inside the crossbar to put Worcester down 1-0. The Railers would tie the score at 1-1 on the power play at 5:40 as Matty Gaudreau (5th) fired home a Nick Saracino rebound past Adam Morrison. Wheeling went back ahead at 16:06 with a perfect crossbar shot by Jeff Taylor (3rd) at 16:06 on the power play to give the Nailers a 2-1 advantage. Shots were 12-10 Nailers through 20 minutes of play. Reid Gardiner (18th) put the Nailers up 3-1 at 4:59 of the second period as his shot from the right circle broke through Sakellaropoulos and just past the goal line for the only goal of the middle frame. Yanick Turcotte (12th FM) and Jeremy Beirnes (12th FM) had a great fight at center ice with Turcotte getting the upper hand with a series of upper cuts before they both spun down to the ice at 16:03. Shots were 21-17 Wheeling through 40 minutes as Worcester trailed 3-1 headed into the second intermission. Reid Gardiner (19th) struck again just 52 seconds into the third period to give Wheeling the 4-1 advantage. Brian Bowen (1st) scored his first professional goal at 4:44 with a quick snap shot from the right circle after a nice feed by Frankie DiChiara to give the Railers some life. That was as close as the Railers would get as Reid Gardiner (20th) capped off his night with his third goal with an empty netter at 18:17 to give Wheeling a 5-2 road victory.

2020 at Reading 3-2 Win (OT)
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (16-23-2-0, 34pts) headed into the ECHL All-Star break with a come from behind 3-2 overtime win over the host Reading Royals (22-13-5-0,49pts) in front of 3,253 fans at the SantanderArena on Monday afternoon.After enjoying a three-day ECHL All-Star break, the Railers return to action on Friday, January 24 with a 7:15pm start in Maine vs. the Mariners. Shane Walsh, Drew Callin (1-1-2), and Jack Stander all scored for the Railers while netminder Evan Buitenhuis was excellent making 42 saves on 44 shots for his 10thwin of the season. Corey Mackin and Garrett Cockerill scored for the Royals while Kirill Ustimenko made 28 saves in net for the overtime loss. Barry Almeida added two assists for Worcester which included the primary helper on Stander’s overtime game winner at 4:55 of the extra frame. The Railers are now 1-3-0-0 on their five-game road trip and improve to 2-2 in overtime this season. Despite taking a pair of high sticking penalties, the Railers looked strong in the opening frame and grabbed a 1-0 lead at 10:06 as Shane Walsh (12th) finished off a nice 2-on-1 chance with Cody Payne. Evan Buitenhuis was strong between the pipes with 16 saves as Worcester took a one goal lead into the first intermission. Reading would score twice on 15 shots in the middle period to take a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes. Corey Mackin (15th) tied the score at 1-1 after Garrett Mitchell sent a no look backhand pass from behind the net to Mackin who was stationed at the side of the net at 3:36. Defenseman Garrett Cockerill (5th) gave the Royals a 2-1 advantage at 17:12 after a nice feed from Frankie DiChiara. Shots were 31-19 in favor of the Royals through 40 minutes of play. Drew Callin (9th) tied the score at 2-2 with a terrific shot on the power play at 11:55 of the third period assisted by Kyle Thomas and Ryan MacKinnon. Neither team would find the net the rest of the frame with Reading outshooting Worcester 11-9 in the third period as the two clubs headed to overtime tied 2-2. Jack Stander put the puck in the net twice in the overtime session, the first was ruled that it was kicked in, but the second on the backhand at 4:55 assisted by Almeida and Drew Callin gave the Railers the 3-2 road victory. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Evan Buitenhuis (42 saves, Win), 2nd star: Garrett Mitchell (0-2-2) 1st star: Jack Stander (OTG) …. final shots were 44-31 in favor of Reading…Kirill Ustimenko (15-4-5) made 28 saves on 31 shots for Reading… Evan Buitenhuis (10-13-1) made 42 saves on 44 shots for Worcester while Ian Milosz served as the backup…. Worcester went 1-for-4 on the power play while Reading went 0-for-4….Worcester has been shorthanded an ECHL high 39 more times than their opponents this season….Dante Salituro, Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Kyle McKenzie, Ivan Chukarov (INJ), JD Dudek (IR), and Tanner Pond (IR) did not dress for Worcester….Eric Cairns, Chris Terreri, and Bob Deraney were behind the bench for the Railers as coach Cunniff served game two of his two game ECHL suspension….Bo Brauer skated on the blue line for Worcester…. Mike Cornell, David Quenneville, Linus Soderstrom, and Jakub Skarek are all with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Drew Callin and Ben Thomson led Worcester skaters with four shots… Mackinnon, Payne, Almeida (2), Thomas, and Callin all recorded assists for the Railers…. the Railers are now 12-13-1-0 under GM/coach Cunniff….Worcester is now 8-12-2-0 on the road this season….The Railers are now 16-10-1-0 all-time vs. the Royals and 7-8-0-0 at the Santander Arena….the Railers enter the All-Star break eight points behind the Maine Mariners for the 4thand final playoff spot in the North Division with 31 games left.

2023 vs Newfoundland 3-2 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers fell to the Newfoundland Growlers by a final score of 3-2 on Friday night. Newfoundland controlled play for most of the evening, took a 3-0 lead, and kept Worcester bottled up to post a 3-2 victory. The visitors prevailed even though the Railers had gotten some roster reinforcements including goalie Ken Appleby and defenseman Trevor Cosgrove up from Bridgeport and Blake Christensen off injured reserve. Worcester was able to close to within 3-2 on Bobby Butler’s goal with 1:21 left in the third period but the Growlers never let the Railers get a shot on goal in the closing seconds. Brent Beaudoin had the other Railers goal. Keenan Suthers, Nolan Walker and Todd Skirving had the Newfoundland goals. Appleby played well in his first Railers appearance since Dec. 17, making 34 saves. It was a one-goal defeat for Worcester, but all goals are not created equal. Walker scored at 19:32 of the first period, sending the Railers into the break down by two goals, not one. “It was huge,” coach Jordan Smotherman said. “Any time you give up a goal late in a period it’s a killer, especially when it’s on the same mistakes we keep making.” No Railers team has ever come back to earn a point after being down by three goals, let alone against a first-place team like Newfoundland. But Worcester tried mightily. “The guys really had to battle hard to get back in the game and they did,” Smotherman added, “and I’m proud of that but at the same time we’ve got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot….all three goals were preventable.” Suthers gave Newfoundland a 1-0 lead at 16:17 of the first period. He corralled the rebound of a shot by defenseman Brennan Kapcheck and beat Appleby from in close. The crease became the Land of the Giants with Suthers, 6-foot-8, scoring on Appleby, 6-foot-5. Worcester then surrendered that disheartening goal late in the period. Pavel Gogolev, who tormented the Railers in Newfoundland, went behind the net and set up Walker for a shot which found the back of the net. Gogolev, a third-year pro, has 56 points in 35 ECHL career games.
The Railers had a couple of good chances in the period, both short breakaways turned aside by Dryden McKay. Zack Bross’ backhander was stopped at 13:16, then Myles McGurty tried a similar move and was denied at 15:35. Worcester failed to capitalize on a 2-on-1 in the first minute of the second period, then Christensen just missed from in close at 1:55. The Growlers responded at 2:46 as Skirving was set up all alone between the circles and zipped home a wrist shot. Beaudoin got the Railers on the scoreboard at 16:39 after some sustained pressure in front of McKay. He slid a 10-footer home for his 11th goal of the season. With Appleby on the bench, Butler was set up nicely by Newkirk and scored his 14th of the season. MAKING TRACKS – Butler’s goal was his 20th in a Railers uniform. … The Railers continue their play within the division when they take on the Maine Mariners at 7:05 Saturday night. Maine has earned 19 points in its last 10 games. … Attendance was 2,623. … Butler scored Worcester’s fourth extra-attacker goal of the season. Three of them have come with two-goal deficits. … One game after McGurty played his 100th game in a Railers uniform, Beaudoin did the same. They are two of just nine players with 100-plus games for the Railers. … Worcester has two players on injured reserve. Jack Quinlivan missed his 25th game and Philip Beaulieu his 10th. … The league assigned two referees for the game, one of them a DCU Center first-timer. That was Yannick Jobin-Manseau, who was joined by John Lindner. … Cosgrove was assigned Number 10, setting a Railers record for most different numbers in a season with three. He has also had 20 and 44. … Zach O’Brien, the ECHL’s leading scorer with 56 points, was in the building but did not dress. … The Railers released Derek Osik and Jake Schultz.


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