Today in Worcester hockey history: February 1


1998 vs Albany 4-2 win
The Worcester IceCats scored three first period goals and then held on for a 4-2 win over the River Rats. Shayne Toporowski opened the scoring at 8:31 with defenseman Derek Diener picking up the assist. At 13:17 Bob Lachance would follow with an unassisted shorthanded goal, and at 16:58 Nick Naumenko scored on the power play, with Diener and Jason Zent picking up points on the play. Steve Brule got Albany on the board at 10:50 of the middle stanza, and Dan Ratushny would make it a 3-2 game at 2:21 of the third. Michal Handzus gave the ‘Cats some breathing room at 8:49, assisted by Naumenko. Brent Johnson had 36 saves in the game.

2002 at Providence 5-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats got two first period goals from Mark Rycroft, and then that was it for the offense in a 5-2 loss to the P-Bruins. Rycroft beat Providence netminder Andrew Raycroft at 4:07 and 8:55 of the first period to give the ‘Cats a 2-0 lead. John Emmons scored less than a minute after Rycroft’s second goal to make it 2-1. Andy Hilbert scored on the power play at 11:09 to tie it, then Eric Manlow lit the lamp at 15:09 and the Baby-Bs had the lead for good. Just 33 seconds into the middle period Sean Haggerty made it 4-2, and Hilbert made it the 5-2 final at 9:09 with a five on three power play goal. Reinhard Divis took the loss making 20 saves.

2003 vs Binghamton 2-1 win
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats snapped their longest winless streak of the season with a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Binghamton Saturday night in Worcester. The ‘Cats teetered on tying a franchise record eight-game winless streak, set back in the 1994-95 season. Blake Evans redirected Terry Virtue’s drive from the right point with 3.1 seconds left in regulation to give the ‘Cats their first win since January 15th. Virtue factored into both Worcester goals. Sergei Varlamov collected two assists. Binghamton, which was undefeated in 10-straight games, took a 1-0 lead on an Alexandre Giroux goal early in the second period. The IceCats pressured the Sens and tied the game at 16:06. ‘Cats captain Eric Nickulas tipped a Virtue shot to collect his fifth goal in as many games. Worcester out shot the visitors 30-15 through two periods. Senators goalie Ray Emery, who entered the game as the AHL’s wins leader, turned away 37 shots. His counterpart, Cody Rudkowsky, made 22 saves for his first Worcester win of the season.

2008 at Philadelphia 3-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks couldn’t overcome three consecutive Philadelphia goals and a late power play tally proved to be too little too late as the Sharks fell, 3-2, on Friday evening at the Wachovia Spectrum in Philadelphia, PA. NHL veteran and Philadelphia netminder Brian Boucher did not allow any goals over a 55:14 span and finished with 26 saves on 28 shots. Sharks goaltender Dimitri Patzold made 20 saves on 23 shots. The Sharks started the first period flying, with a goal less than five minutes into the game. Nate Raduns, playing his first game since Jan. 18, made his presence felt when he capitalized for his ninth goal of the season at 4:21. He broke up the left wing side and let go a wrist shot at the left wing circle that beat Boucher glove side for the 1-0 lead. Tom Cavanagh picked up the only assist on the play. Patzold started the period strong, keeping the Phantoms off the scoreboard despite numerous outstanding opportunities. Philadelphia finally beat Patzold at 12:53 when Kyle Greentree scored his 13th of the season. After an initial shot went over the net, the rebound bounced right back in front and Greentree capitalized. Jonathan Matsumoto and Pete Zingoni were credited with the assists. The teams went into the locker room tied at one. Worcester held the 10-9 shot advantage after one period. Despite no goals in the second period, there were plenty of chances. Seven minor penalties were called (four on the Phantoms, three on the Sharks), as Worcester earned two 5-on-3 man advantages. The Sharks couldn’t break out of their power play drought though, failing to convert on both opportunities. Worcester held the 8-6 second period shot advantage and had the 18-15 lead after two stanzas. Only 2:01 into the third period, the Phantoms took their first lead of the game. Sharks center Mike Iggulden was shaken up after crashing into the boards. Lars Jonsson followed by going coast-to-coast on the left wing side. He took a tough angle shot from the left wing side that snuck past Patzold for the 2-1 advantage. Denis Tolpeko and Denis Gauthier picked up the assists. Philadelphia made it a two-goal advantage 2:03 later at 4:04 when Greentree scored his second goal of the game and 14th of the season. Off a turnover, he broke in the right wing side and unleashed a hard slap shot from over 45 feet away. It beat Patzold to his blocker side just inside the post. After a plethora of penalties, the Sharks found themselves on an abbreviated 6-on-3 advantage. Graham Mink made the Phantoms pay, scoring his tenth of the season with 24.9 seconds remaining in regulation. Cavanagh and Riley Armstrong had the assists on the play. Worcester took the ensuing faceoff and put good opportunities on goal, but Boucher was there to close the door, preserving the 3-2 win.

2009 at Providence 2-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) With first place on the line, the Sharks scored late in the third period, but it wasn’t enough as the Sharks fell in Providence on Sunday. Mikko Lehtonen scored two goals for the Bruins, the first at 9:55 of the first period after firing a 40-foot wrist shot that caught a piece of Thomas Greiss before bouncing in behind him. Lehtonen would add much needed insurance midway through the third period assisted by Matt Lashoff and Peter Schaefer to give Providence a 2-0 lead. The Sharks would have several great chances against rookie netminder Kevin Regan, the best by Brad Staubitz midway through the third period after he was set up nicely in front by Patrick Traverse. Soon after the great save by Regan, Traverse hit the post on the power play. Worcester would pull Greiss with two minutes remaining, and Ryan Vesce set up Steven Zalewski from behind the net for his 10th of the season. The assist pushed Vesce’s point streak to 14 games. Kevin Regan would shut the door shut the rest of the way and the Bruins held on for the victory. The loss dropped the Sharks record to 26-19-0-2 for 54 points while the win for Providence upped their record to 27-19-2-1 for 57 points.

2013 at Portland 3-2 SOL
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (20-17-1-5, 46pts) fell to the Atlantic division leading Portland Pirates (26-16-1-1, 54pts) 3-2 in a shootout on Friday evening in front of 4,280 fans at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Harri Sateri made 28 saves in net for the Sharks while Daniil Tarasov extended his point streak to six games (3-4-7) with a third period game tying score goal and assist. Tim Kennedy scored his tram leading 13th goal of the season and picked up a helper in the shootout loss as the Sharks lost their fifth straight game vs. the Pirates but were able to battle back from a 2-0 deficit for a tough point on the road. The Sharks outshot the Pirates 14-5 in the opening frame but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes. Rob Klinkhammer (10th) gave Portland a 1-0 lead at 5:42 with a quick snap shot on the rush from on top of the circles past Harri Sateri. Worcester went 0-for-4 on the power play in the first period. In the second period, the Pirates went ahead 2-0 at 8:56 with an Ethan Werek (8th) power play marker after he deflected home a centering feed from the right corner by Rob Klinkhammer. Worcester would score on their 8th power as Tim Kennedy (13th) slammed home a loose rebound at 15:05 past netminder Mike Lee to get the Sharks within a single score. Daniil Tarasov (2-4-6) extended his point streak to six games with an assist with Bracken Kearns picking up the other helper. Mikael Tam (2nd FM) dropped the mitts with the much bigger Phil Lane (4th FM) at 19:32 after Lane check Stalberg with a high hit away from the play. The Sharks trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes despite outshooting 26-13. Daniil Tarasov (3rd) tied the score at 2-2 with 3:17 remaining in the third period after he swatted at a loose puck on the backhand from on top of the Pirates’ crease. Denny Urban and Tim Kennedy assisted on the score as the Sharks were able to force overtime. John McCarthy had the best chance in overtime for either club but goaltender Mike Lee was able to shut the door shut as the game headed to the shootout. Worcester did not score on five chances (Tarasov, Urban, Kennedy, Matsumoto, and Reid) while Chris Brown was the only shooter to score for the Pirates. The Sharks overall record falls to 20-17-1-5 (46pts in 43gp) and 12-9-0-2 (26pts in 23gp) on the road this season.

2014 vs Providence 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (22-18-3-1, 48pts) defeated the Providence Bruins (23-18-1-5, 52pts) for the first time this season with a final score of 3-2 as Brodie Reid scored two third period goals before 7,966 fans during the 3rd annual PINK in the RINK Night, presented by Pepsi, to benefit the Cup Crusaders. Brodie Reid (2-1-3) scored consecutive third period goals to give the Sharks a 3-2 edge over Providence and their first win against the Bruins this season while Freddie Hamilton (1-2-3) tallied a point off each goal tonight, scoring the first and assisting both of Reid’s. Troy Grosenick was outstanding in net making 32 saves and earning his tenth win of the season. Action in the first period opened early at 1:38 when Jimmy Bonneau (11th FM) dropped the gloves for the third straight game and fought an even battle with Providence’s Bobby Robins (18th FM). The remainder of the period comprised of quick tempo hockey with lots of transitions, but no score for either team. Providence took nine shots on goal, none which got by a very solid Troy Grosenick, while Niklas Svedberg pushed aside all 14 of Worcester’s shots, that included a waived Sharks’ goal. Worcester and Providence remained tied at the end of the second as each team netted a goal during the middle period. The Sharks opened the scoring on a power play at 5:19 when Brodie Reid and Scott Fleming won a fight for possession behind the Bruins’ net and dished the puck to Freddie Hamilton (13th) who proceeded to backhand a shot over Svedberg. The Bruins answered back at 14:43 after Taylor Doherty poked the puck off the stick of a dangerous Nick Johnson in front of the Sharks’ net. The loose puck was then scooped up by Seth Griffith (11th), who wristed it over Grosenick’s left shoulder and tied the game. Shots for the period were 14-6 in favor of Providence. The third period ended with a final score of 3-2 as both scoring and shots on goal went in favor of Worcester in the final 20 minutes. The Sharks outshot the Bruins 15-11 and outscored them 2-1 for the period. The Bruins took their first and only lead of the night at 6:30 after a shot by Zach Trotman (5th) traveled from the point through the Sharks’ defense and Grosenick making the score 2-1. Then at 7:51 and 15:24 Brodie Reid scored back-to-back goals, first tying the game and then giving the Sharks the ultimate lead. The first occurred when Reid (6th) rocketed a shot from the right side of the ice so hard that Svedberg could not control the puck after making the initial save, letting it slip behind him and across the goal line. Reid’s (7th) next goal came when a rush for the puck on the right side of the Bruins’ net allowed Hamilton to swipe it across the front to Reid, who took the wide open shot and sealed the game. The Sharks’ overall record improves to 22-18-3-1, 48pts and 12-9-0-1, 25pts at home.

2019 at Newfoundland 5-2 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (19-19-3-3, 43pts) continued their three game Canada road trip with a 5-2 loss to the host Newfoundland Growlers (29-12-2-0, 60pts) in front of 3,951 fans at the Mile One Centre on Friday evening. Nick Sorkin and Tyler Barnes scored for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis made 28 saves in net in the loss. Five different players scored for the Growlers and goaltender Eamon McAdam made 27 saves in net in the win as Worcester fell to 7-12-0-2 on the road this season. Worcester led 2-1 early in the third period before a 5-on-3 goal against and two empty netters to put the game away late in the third. Railers came out slow in the first period as Evan Buitenhuis stood on his head and made 14 saves as the Growlers grabbed a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes. Derian Plouffe (7th) finished off a James Melindy end to end rush at 12:39 for the only score of the period as Eamon McAdam only had to make seven saves for the Growlers. Nick Sorkin (10th) ripped a shot from 35 feet over the shoulder of Eamon McAdam just 60 seconds into the second period to tie the score at 1-1 with Matty Gaudreau and Mike Cornell picking up the assists. Worcester outshot Newfoundland 14-8 in the middle frame as the two clubs headed to the second intermission all tied up. Tyler Barnes (15th) fired home a loose puck at 1:29 of the third period assisted by Barry Almeida and Ryan Hitchcock to give the Railers a 2-1 edge. After a slew of questionable calls against Worcester, Zach O’Brien (17th) tied the score with a one timer at 4:09 with a two-man advantage goal. James Melindy (1st) followed up his own rebound at 11:54 for the eventual game winner and Hudson Elynuik and Scott Pooley (19th) added empty netters to give the Growlers a 5-2 home win.

2020 vs Reading 6-2 Loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (17-27-2-0, 36pts) closed out the weekend falling 6-2 on Saturday night to theReading Royals (25-14-5-0, 55pts)in front of 3,754 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night.The Railers hit the road for a Tuesday night game vs. the Maine Mariners in Portland at 7pm. The first period was filled with 49 total penalties and a pair of goals as the teams were tied at 1-1 but then in the second period Reading scored a total of five goals in a 4:19 span to take a 6-2 lead after 40 minutes of play. Trevor Gooch (2-0-2) had his second straight multi goal game while Jeremy Beaudry (0-4-4) led all skaters in points. Kirill Ustimenko recorded his 18thwin of the season making 37 saves. Arnaud Durandeau and Barry Almeida each scored goals for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis made 26 saves in net for the loss. Barry Almeida (12th) would get Worcester on the scoreboard at 5:43 of the first period after an initial shot from Jack Macnee from the right point that was blocked down and found the stick of the captain who sent it past Kirill Ustimenko to give Worcester a 1-0 lead. After Nic Pierog and David Drake got tied up in an altercation behind the Reading line Pierog was assessed 17 total penalty minutes receiving a game misconduct while Drake got nothing. Reading went on a seven-minute power-play and it would be Garrett Mitchell (10th) who tied the score at 1-1 at 11:18. The teams headed to the dressing room through 20 minutes of play as Reading outshot Worcester 12-11. Trevor Gooch (10th) gave Reading a 2-1 advantage 2:52 into the second frame and then Brayden Low (11th) just 63 seconds would increase the lead to 3-1. After a shot attempt from Shane Walsh that was blocked Arnaud Durandeau (4th) came up with a free puck in the right circle and sent it by Kirill Ustimenko to decrease the deficit down to 3-2 at 4:21. The Royals would grab would score three unanswered goals first Matt Strome (4th) at 5:10 then Steven Swavley just 26 seconds later and it was all capped off by Trevor Gooch (11th) to make it a 6-2 Royals lead with 12:49 to play in the stanza. The second period featured just one power-play as Reading led 6-2 through 40 minutes of play. The third period featured no scoring as the Railers had two power-play opportunities but could not convert as they outshot Reading 15-6 but would end up losing 6-2. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Kirill Ustimenko (37 saves, Win) 2nd star: Trevor Gooch(2-0-2, +3) 1st star: Jeremy Beaudry (0-4-4) …. final shots were 39-32 in favor of Worcester….Kirill Ustimenko (18-4-5) made 37 saves on 39 shots for Reading…. Evan Buitenhuis (11-15-1) made 26 saves on 32 shots for Worcester while Jakub Skarek served as the backup….Worcester went 0-for-5 on the power play while Reading went 1-for-4…., JD Dudek (IR), Kyle Thomas (IR), Yanick Turcotte (IR), Tanner Pond (IR), Ivan Chukarov, and Kyle McKenzie, Dylan Sadowy (TRV) did not dress for Worcester…. Mike Cornell, David Quenneville, Linus Soderstrom, and are all with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Jordan Samuels-Thomas was suspended by the club on Thursday as he has left to pursue opportunities in Europe…. Jack Macnee made his Railers debut and collected an assist…. Ross Olsson recorded his team leading sixth fighting major of the season…. Barry Almeida led all skaters with seven shots on net…. Nic Pierog led all skaters with 17 penalty minutes…. Worceser is just (1-8) in their last nine games…. the Railers are now 13-17-1-0 under GM/coach Cunniff…. The Railers are now 16-12-1 all-time vs. the Royals and 9-4-1-0 at the DCU Center….


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