Today in Worcester hockey history: January 29


1997 vs Albany 8-2 loss
The good news was the Worcester IceCats set their then-record for fastest goal to start a game. The bad news was it was only good enough to tie the contest and was pretty much all their offense as the Albany River Rats pummeled the IceCats 8-2. After Patrik Elias scored the opener just nine seconds into the game Mike Maneluk tied with the franchise record setting goal at :21, with Rob Pearson assisting. But the rest was all River Rats as Albany pit up three more in the opening frame. Rob Pattison scored shorthanded at 8:59 and on the power play at 14:20. Bobby House made it 4-1 at 15:23. In the second period House added an unassisted goal at 6:11 for the four goal lead. In the third Chris Kenady added a goal for Worcester at 1:34, assisted by Bob Lachance and Radim Bicanek. Vadim Sharifijanov (6:58) and Bryan Helmer (10:58) both added goals before House completed his hat trick at 18:56. Jamie McLennan and Travis Scott split the duties in goal for the ‘Cats.

1999 at Kentucky 3-3 tie
The Worcester IceCats and Kentucky Thoroughblades played a see-saw game that ended with both squads probably happy to earn a point in a 3-3 tie. Marty Reasoner had the only goal in the opening 20 minutes, at 1:10. Steven Guolla tied at 3:09 of the second period on the power play. Herbert Vasiljevs then gave Kentucky the lead at 11:08. In the third period Reasoner tied it at 8:51 on the power play when he banged home a rebound of a Jaroslav Obsut point blast. Ex-IceCat Jarrett Deuling scored at 10:03 to give the Thoroughblades 3-2 lead, but Derek Bekar tied it at 13:54 with a 30-foot slap shot from the slot. Brent Johnson earned the point in goal.

2000 vs Rochester 2-2 tie
(TICKER) Kirk Daubenspeck made 42 saves to help the Rochester Americans salvage a 2-2 tie with the Worcester IceCats. Daubenspeck turned aside all 24 shots he faced over the second and third periods and made one save in overtime. Mike Hurlbut set up both goals, including Chris Taylor’s equalizer with 2:11 left in the second, for Rochester. The Amerks are winless in their last five games (0-4-1). Brent Johnson stopped 25 shots and Marty Reasoner opened the scoring early in the first period for the IceCats, who are 9-2-1 in their last 12 games.

2003 vs Portland 5-3 loss
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats fell to the Portland Pirates 5-3 Wednesday night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. The loss pushes Worcester’s winless skid to six games overall. Sergei Varlamov, Mark Rycroft and Justin Papineau all scored for the ‘Cats, who out shot the Pirates 32-19. Rycroft also had an assist on Varlamov’s goal. Varlamov’s and Papineau’s markers came on the power play. Portland’s Mike Farrell scored twice and added an assist while Brad Parsons was credited with the game-winning goal.

2005 at Lowell 5-2 win
The Worcester IceCats gave up 40 shots on goal to the Lock Monsters, but Curtis Sanford was able to stop 38 of them in a 5-2 ‘Cats win. Chuck Kobasew opened the scoring at 8:27 of the first period with a power play goal, but Ryan Ramsay scored unassisted at 1:40 of the second period to tie the game. Lowell retook the lead on another power play tally by Kobasew at 12:31, but once again Worcester would tie it when Blake Evans scored on a delayed penalty call at 13:25. Peter Sejna and Mike Mottau had the assists. Mottau gave the IceCats the lead with a power play tally at 3:22 of the third, with Dennis Wideman and Ramsay getting the helpers. Eric Boguniecki would score the last two goals of the game, with the first coming on the power play from Mottau and Dennis Wideman at 4:50. His second was while shorthanded into an empty net at 17:54, with Aaron MacKenzie picking up the lone assist.

2007 AHL All-Star game: PlanetUSA 7, Canada 6 (Ricoh Coliseum, Toronto, ON)
Mathieu Darche had two assists, was +1, and had four shots for Canada.

2010 vs Manitoba 5-3 win
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks tracked down the Moose for the second time in three nights and in the process extended their win streak to five games by a final score of, 5-3. The Sharks made good on their guarantee to defeat the Moose and will now “Let it Ride,” next Friday against the Lowell Devils. John McCarthy’s third period goal turned out to be the game-winner and Alex Stalock came up big stopping Guillaume Desbiens on a penalty shot with 2:47 remaining in the third period to secure the victory. Much like Wednesday night, the Moose came out flying. Unlike Wednesday night, they were able to turn the quick start into an early advantage just 53 seconds into the first period. A two-on-one opportunity allowed Guillaume Desbiens to slide a one-time pass across to Mario Bliznak (6) who beat a helpless Alex Stalock, giving the Moose a 1-0 lead. The Sharks found their skating legs in the minutes after the goal and responded. At 13:21, Mike Moore’s shot caromed off a maze of bodies and Brandon Mashinter (14) backhanded one past Cory Schneider to knot the game at one apiece. Dan DaSilva picked up the other assist on Mashinter’s second goal in as many games. Late in the period, Manitoba added the go-ahead goal when Desbiens (10) streaked down the right-wing and snapped one past Stalock. Mike Keane earned the assist. Manitoba outshot Worcester, 14-13. The Sharks, for the second straight game, came out for the second period energized and knotted the game up at 2-2, 1:13 into the period. Frazer McLaren (2) was left all alone in the slot and wristed one past the blocker of Schneider. Mashinter collected the assist. The physical play picked up from then on and the Sharks were the beneficiary of a goaltender interference call against Matt Pettinger which gave the Sharks a man advantage. They made sure they would not let the opportunity go to waste as a beautiful series of passes between Ferriero and Jamie McGinn allowed McGinn to pick up goal number six on the season and the Sharks took a 3-2 10:42 into the period. Later in the frame, Andrew Desjardins dropped the gloves and dropped Taylor Ellington. The Sharks held the shot advantage in the period, 10-7. A wild third started four minutes into the period when Travis Ramsey rang a shot off the far post behind Stalock. Things really picked up at the 15:26 mark when McCarthy (8) collected a loose rebound off a Michael Wilson drive and scored which made the score, 4-2. The Sharks would need it as Brian Salcido (7) blasted one home off a faceoff a minute later, cutting the deficit to just one. Just seconds later, Desbiens was awarded a penalty shot, but Stalock came up big and kept the score at 4-3. Dwight Helminen added an empty net goal and the Sharks polished off the Moose, 5-3. The Moose outshot the Sharks, 11-10.

2011 vs Providence 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Worcester received big contributions from new arrivals Jamie McGinn and Benn Ferriero as the Sharks defeated Providence 3-2 Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd of 7,273 at the DCU Center. McGinn scored two goals, including the game winner short-handed, and Ferriero had two assists in the win. Alex Stalock made 29 saves for his AHL leading 19 win of the season as Worcester entered the All-Star break with a two game win streak. In a repeat from last night’s first period, the Sharks jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead. Jamie McGinn (1st) scored on a wrist shot from the slot that hit Bruins goalie Nolan Schaefer’s glove and trickled over the goal line. Just 3:44 later, Cam MacIntyre would bury a Andrew Desjardins feed on a one timer from the slot to give Worcester the 2-0 lead. The MacIntyre goal came just as a Sharks power play expired. Providence would turn up their offensive pressure in the second period firing 20 shots on goal. Alex Stalock would keep the score 2-0 as he made several big saves early in the period. The Sharks increased their lead to 3-0 on a short-handed goal by Jamie McGinn (2nd) as he finished a rush started by Benn Ferriero. Providence would get on the board late as defenseman Jeff Penner pinched in from the point and buried a shot on the power play at 19:33. Worcester led 3-1 heading into the final period of play. Worcester would continue to fend off a Bruins comeback attempt in the third period. Matt Bartkowski scored on the power play as he wristed a shot high glove side past Alex Stalock to cut the Sharks lead to 3-2. Worcester nearly scored a much needed insurance goal but Bruins goalie Nolan Schaefer robbed Andrew Desjardins with 5:57 remaining in the game. Providence pulled Schaefer with less than a minute remaining for an extra attacker but their comeback bid would fall short. The Sharks record improves to 22-18-2-6 with 52 points (good for 3rd place in the Atlantic Division) and to 12-8-1-3 at the DCU Center.

2014 vs Binghamton 6-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (20-18-3-1, 44pts) fell to the Binghamton Senators (28-13-0-3, 59pts) by the score of 6-3 before 2,533 fans at the DCU Center on Wednesday evening. Travis Oleksuk and Konrad Abeltshauser each scored PPG’s for Worcester while Tyler Gron netted his second of the season in the loss. Binghamton’s leading scorer Mike Hoffman scored his 19th, 20th, 21st, and 22nd goals and added an assist while Nathan Lawson made 26 saves in net for the Senators. The first 20 minutes of play ended with the Sharks in a bit of a hole and the Senators with a comfortable 3-0 lead. The action opened up pretty quickly as Jimmy Bonneau (9th FM) and Darren Kramer (7th FM) dropped their gloves in a fight, where Bonneau was the clear winner. Following the bought, the Senators began their assault on the Sharks’ defense at 3:22 when Buddy Robinson (8th) went on a breakaway that resulted in a 1-0 Binghamton lead. Then the Senators’ leading scorer, Mike Hoffman (19th & 20th), scored back-to-back goals at 9:08 and 12:01 to further Binghamton’s lead. The first occurred when he stripped the puck off the stick of Dylan DeMelo in the Sharks’ defensive end and proceeded to beat Harri Sateri. Hoffman’s second goal came less than three minutes later on a power play. Binghamton worked the puck in their offensive end until Jean-Gabriel Pageau found Hoffman open on the left side of the ice, where he sniped the puck into the Sharks’ net. Binghamton outshot Worcester 12-6 for the period. The Sharks picked up their offensive presence and got on the scoreboard twice during the second period with two PPG’s, but the Senators still held their lead as the 20 minutes expired with a 3-2 score. The first of the pair came at 6:45 on the Sharks’ first power play when Sena Acolatse’s shot caused a rebound in front of the Senators’ net that Travis Oleksuk (7th) dove to clean up and put behind Lawson. Then, on their second power play of the night at 13:35, Yanni Gourde wrapped around the net and dished the puck to Konrad Abeltshauser (2nd) who buried the puck with a wrister as Lawson was still caught on the opposite post. The Sharks certainly built up their offense during the second, outshooting Binghamton 15-8, while Harri Sateri remained solid not allowing any Senator goals. The third period ended with Binghamton outscoring Worcester 3-1 as each team posted eight shots. The first goal of the period occurred at 3:38 when Hoffman chased after a loose puck near the left point of Binghamton’s offensive zone and then turned and rifled a shot that Cole Schneider (15th) deflected into the net. Worcester was the next to score at 7:38 when James Livingston, high on the right side, found Tyler Gron (2nd) on the lower left side of Lawson who completed the play and made the game 4-3 in favor of the Senators. Binghamton was quick to answer, less than two minutes later at 9:28, when Hoffman (21st) completed his hat trick off of a 2-on-1 play. The Senators’ leading scorer then scored his fourth goal of the game (22nd of the season) and gave Binghamton the final 6-3 lead at 13:30 after flipping a low-side backhand over the shoulder of Sateri as he hugged the post. The Sharks’ overall record drops to 20-18-3-1, 44pts and 10-9-0-1, 21pts at home.

2022 vs Fort Wayne 8-5 win
(RAILERS) It is one of the most venerable cliches in sports, and it is true. In order to be the best, you have to beat the best and the Railers did that Saturday night, one of the strangest nights — maybe the strangest — in the city’s hockey history. Worcester triumphed over the defending ECHL champion Fort Wayne Komets, 8-5, in a game that featured more pucks in the nets than fans in the seats. With the city in a state of emergency and travel embargoed, there were no paying customers in the DCU Center, only paid employees of the hockey team and the building. Those folks — probably fewer than 100 — saw a game that often resembled 60 minutes of 3-on-3 overtime, except that for the bulk of the night the play was 5 on 5. “We found a way to win,” Railers coach David Cunniff said. “It wasn’t pretty at times, but that’s a competitive team. They were the league champions last year and there’s a reason for that. They’ve got a great coaching staff and some great players.” Worcester’s eight goals were scored by Brent Beaudoin, Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman, Anthony Repaci, Collin Adams — all in the first period — and by Blake Christensen and Will Cullen, both getting a pair in the third period. Cullen, by the way, was plus-5. The Railers have had three defensemen tie the franchise record in that department in the last two games. Lynden McCallum scored twice for the Komets. Shawn Boudrias, Zach Porchiro and Matt Alvaro had the other Fort Wayne goals. The Railers not only scored early in the first period, they scored often. Worcester got goals from Beaudoin, Lavallee-Smotherman, Repaci and Adams in the game’s first 14:23. It amounted to four goals on nine shots. That was enough for Komets coach Ben Boudreau to replace starting goaltender Zachary Bouthillier with Mario Culina. McCallum mixed in a Fort Wayne goal during that barrage and it was 4-1 after Adams’ goal. As has happened too frequently this season, the Railers gave one right back after scoring. Boudrias scored it at 15:42 on a second rebound, then McCallum made it a one-goal game with one of those “ouch” goals in the final minute of a period. He scored at 19:08 on a fluttering puck that hit something, or someone, in front of Colten Ellis and dropped in under the crossbar. The Komets finally tied it in the second period with Porchiro scoring from right in front at 12:25. The score stayed at 4-4 after 40 minutes even though Fort Wayne had a 40-23 edge in shots on goal. The Komets seemed to have the momentum, but Ellis had a great third period to keep the Railers in the game. “I think we let up on the gas,” said Beaudoin of Worcester’s struggle after taking an early lead, “and started cheating the game a little.” His goal came nine seconds after the opening faceoff, setting a Worcester hockey record for the earliest one ever. Graham Mink and Andrew Desjardins had both scored 11 seconds into the game for the Sharks. At least Mink and Desjardins heard some cheering. Beaudoin was not sure how to react. There were no goal judges, so no red light either. “It’s definitely interesting when there are no fans in the building,” he said, “and I didn’t even realize at first that the puck had gone in, so I was kind of going off the reaction of the other guys on the ice.” Beaudoin’s goal was not the only record set, or approached, Saturday night. Ellis made 50 saves, the second-most in Railers history after Mitch Gillam’s 54 in Brampton on Dec. 19, 2018, a 3-2 victory. The 55 shots allowed are second-most ever after that Brampton game; Worcester has won both. Ellis’ record improved to 6-4-0. While his raw numbers aren’t sensational, he has been able to make saves at crucial spots in the game, like Saturday night. Worcester would not have won without him. The eight goals were the most ever scored by the Railers on home ice, and tied for their most ever anywhere and they have scored 21 in their last three games, their most-ever in that length. Worcester has won four in a row. The Railers’ longest all-time winning streak is six from March 28 to April 7, 2018. MAKING TRACKS_The Railers traded rookie defenseman Karl Boudrias to South Carolina for future considerations. He was 0-8-8 and plus-4 with 15 PIM in 23 games. … Defenseman Myles McGurty received a nasty cut on the face early in the first period. There was a lot of blood on the ice, but McGurty returned to action later wearing a shield and assisted on Christensen’s first goal to snap a 24-game pointless streak. … These same teams are at it again at 3:05 Sunday afternoon. … There were two players on the ice who skated in the Railers’ inaugural game on Oct. 14, 2017. One was Lavallee-Smotherman, who played for Manchester. The other was Fort Wayne forward Kellen Jones, who had an assist for the Railers in their 4-3 victory. Jones split that season between here and Bridgeport and played well during his time in Worcester. He had two assists Saturday night… John Furgele’s high sticking penalty in the first period was the 1,000th minor in Railers history. The first was a slashing penalty on Willie Raskob in that aforementioned Manchester game. … One thing noticeable with no fans in the seats is that the coaches have very inventive vocabularies.


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