Today in Worcester hockey history: February 4


1995 at Springfield 5-4 win OT
The Worcester IceCats overcame a major nor’easter and a three goal Falcons lead to beat Springfield 5-4 in overtime. With less than 13 minutes left in regulation the Falcons were up 3-0. Cal McGowan got the first ‘Cats goal on the power play at 7:14. and then Blair Atcheynum scored to make it 3-2 at 9:06. Terry Virtue tied it at 9:55, and Mark Ouimet gave Worcester the 4-3 lead at 14:59. John LeBlanc would go on to tie it for Springfield at 17:52. In overtime Shawn Heaphy scored at 1:17 to give the ‘Cats the bonus point. Wayne Cowley earned the win in goal.

2000 at Cincinnati 2-0 win
(TICKER) Brent Johnson stopped 39 shots for his second shutout of the season and Daniel Corso had a goal and an assist as the Worcester IceCats blanked the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, 2-0. Johnson (10-2-1) had 27 saves over the first two periods and Corso tallied with 2:09 remaining for Worcester, which has won 10 of its last 13 games (10-2-1). Reed Low opened the scoring seven minutes into the contest for the IceCats, who raised their record to 12-1-3 when leading after one period. Ryan Hoople had 26 saves for Cincinnati, which has lost 13 of its last 16 games (3-13-0).

2001 at Providence 3-1 loss
(TICKER) Lee Goren scored a pair of third-period goals to lead the Providence Bruins past the Worcester IceCats, 3-1. Goren gave Providence a 2-1 lead 2:21 into the third period and added an insurance marker with 94 seconds remaining. Joe Hulbig also tallied as the Bruins won their third straight game. Peter Skudra stopped 21 shots and improved to 3-0-0. Mark Rycroft scored the lone goal for Worcester, which had its three-game winning streak snapped. Dwayne Roloson turned aside 26 shots but suffered the loss to fall to 19-7-2.

2004 at Lowell 3-2 win
The Worcester IceCats needed three third period goals to overcome a two goal deficit to defeat the Lock Monsters 3-2 in a Wednesday night contest. Brad Fast gave Lowell the lead at 16:48 of the opening period, and Jim Henkel made it 2-0 at 5:56 of the middle stanza. Jame Pollock got Worcester’s first goal of the third period on the power play at 8:15, with Blake Evans getting the assist. Jay McClement tied the game with a shorthanded marker at 13:34, with Matt Walker and Peter Sejna getting the helpers. Ernie Hartlieb got the game winner at 15:23, with Johnny Pohl and Pollock getting the assists. Brent Johnson got the win, making 24 saves.

2005 vs Bridgeport 5-1 loss
(SOUND TIGERS) The Bridgeport Sound Tigers went 2 for 8 on the power play, 7 for 7 on the penalty kill, scored shorthanded and received goals from five different players in a 5-1 win over the Worcester IceCats Friday. The Sound Tigers dominated the first period outshooting Worcester 17-8, including a 7-0 run to end the frame. They finally broke through with 55.8 seconds left in the period as Justin Mapletoft was the last player to swat the puck in a goal-crease scramble for a power-play goal, his sixth marker of the season, off assists from Eric Godard and Ryan Caldwell to make it 1-0 Sound Tigers. The IceCats tied the score at 1-1 6:33 into the middle frame on Erkki Rajamaki’s fourth goal of the season off an assist from Blake Evans, but the Sound Tigers quickly regained the lead at 2-1 then doubled it to 3-1. First, former IceCat Jim Campbell blasted a slapshot past Worcester goaltender Curtis Sanford for his seventh goal of the season off assists from Rob Collins and Ryan Kraft at 10:51. Then Brendan Yarema notched his second goal of the season, his second shorthanded, off assists from Kraft and netminder Dieter Kochan with 4:41 left in the second period. The helper was Kochan’s first point as a Sound Tiger and the team’s first by a netminder since Wade Dubielewicz notched an assist in a 3-1 home loss to the IceCats on December 20th. It was also the first road point by a Sound Tigers goaltender since Rick DiPietro had an assist in a 5-2 win over the Binghamton Senators or February 23, 2003. After hitting two posts in the first period, Kraft finally found the net for his ninth goal of the season, on the power play, off an assist from Chris Campoli with 2:55 left to play to make it 4-1. Worcester pulled Sanford in favor of an extra attacker with just under two minutes left in the game, but Collins iced the win with an empty-netter, his team-leading 13th goal and 32nd point of the season with 4.7 seconds left to play. Yarema and Jody Robinson assisted on the final tally. Sanford made 24 saves in a losing effort as the Sound Tigers had a 29-24 shots on goal advantage.

2009 at Portland 5-3 win
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks trailed early but scored late and shocked the Portland Pirates 5-3 in Portland on Wednesday night. The Pirates would strike for three goals in the first period, the first coming on the power play at 7:44 from Felix Schutz. Rookie Tim Kennedy would then score two goals within 59 seconds of the opening period past Thomas Greiss to give Portland a 3-0 lead. Kennedy, who had not scored since November 19th, finished of a beautiful 3on2 to score his 6th and then swiped in a loose puck in front moments later for his 7th after sloppy play by the Sharks defense behind their own net. Worcester outshot the Pirates 14-8 in the first period but trailed 3-0. Ryan Vesce would extend his franchise record point streak to 15 games with an assist on Patrick Traverse’s 6th goal of the season from a tough angle on the right wing side at 16:11. 43 seconds later, the Sharks would jam the net and Andrew Desjardins would score his 6th of the season past Jhonas Enroth. Rookie Jason Demers was credited with an assist on both tallies for Worcester. The Sharks outshot the Pirates 14-7 in the second period as Worcester trailed 3-2 after 40 minutes of play. The Sharks would tie the game at 3-3 and it was the captain Ryan Vesce finishing off a play after a steal by Lukas Kaspar deep in the Pirates zone at 12:02. Worcester would keep the pressure on throughout the third period, and Jamie McGinn would backhand a loose puck in front after an initial shot by Brad Staubitz to give the Sharks their first lead of the night at 4-3 at 18:32. Lukas Kaspar would score an empty netter to cap the Sharks wild comeback at 5-3. The win improves Worcester’s record to 26-20-0-2, while the loss drops the Pirates to 25-20-1-2.

2011 vs Manchester 4-3 win SO
(WORSHARKS) Worcester pulled out the shootout victory over the first place Manchester Monarchs by the score of 4-3 Friday night at the DCU Center for their third straight victory on the season long six game home stand to remain in 3rd place in the Atlantic Division. The line of Steven Zalewski, Tommy Wingels, and Brandon Mashinter played a strong game as they combined for six points to help overcome a third period injury to goalie Alex Stalock for the Sharks. Netminder Carter Hutton made three saves in relief and stood tall in the shootout for Worcester. Coach Roy Sommer broke his nose in the first period after an errant puck caught him behind the bench in a wild game in Worcester on Friday night. The power play was the story in the first period as both teams converted on the man advantage. Worcester struck first as Andrew Desjardins (8th) deflected in a Justin Braun point shot to give the Sharks the 1-0 lead at 8:08 of the period. Frazer McLaren and Justin Johnson squared off at 8:50 for a heavy weight bout. Head Coach Roy Sommer missed 90 seconds of action after he was hit in the nose with a puck behind the Sharks bench and stayed in the game with a broken nose. Manchester would tie the game with 45 seconds remaining in the opening frame on their own power play. Slava Voynov fired a slap shot from the right point glove side past Alex Stalock to tie the score at 1-1. Worcester and Manchester continued to go shot-for-shot in the second period, with Worcester leading the way 11-9. Tommy Wingels (9th) scored at 2:50 of the second to give the Sharks a 2-1 advantage after a great feed across the crease by Brandon Mashinter. The Monarchs would answer however, when Dwight King (13th) backhanded a shot passed Alex Stalock at the 12:45 mark. The Sharks and Monarchs would go into the locker room knotted up at 2-2. John Zeiler put the Monarchs ahead for the first time of the evening 3-2 at the 7:58 mark firing in a loose rebound on top of the crease. Less than five minutes later, Steve Zalewski answered (4) on a one time pass from Mashinter from the left circle to force overtime. Alex Stalock left late in the third period after a scrum in front of the net and was replaced by Carter Hutton. In a game that saw two of the Atlantic Division’s top three teams go blow-for-blow, the Sharks and Monarchs would play an extra five minutes to decide a winner. Andrew Desjardins and Slava Voynov dropped the mitts at 3:07 of the extra frame in a wild scrum at the side of the Monarchs’ net. Worcester and Manchester would go scoreless in the extra frame as Carter Hutton made a fantastic save on Marc Andre Cliché to send the game to a shootout. Steve Zalewski and Jonathan Cheechoo scored in the shootout while Carter Hutton made four saves to take home the 4-3 shootout victory. The Sharks record improves to 23-18-2-6 with 54 points (good for 3rd place in the Atlantic Division) and to 13-8-1-3 at the DCU Center.

2012 at St. John’s 4-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Ryan Del Monte and Mike Connolly scored within 18 seconds early in the third period as the Sharks came back from behind and shocked the first place IceCaps 4-2 in front of a sold out crowd at the Mile One Centre on Saturday night. Harri Sateri was excellent in goal in the second straight night for Worcester making 27 saves and James Livingston extended his point streak to three games (2-1-3) with his 5th goal of the season. Brandon Mashinter recorded the Gordie Howe Hattrick for the Sharks and Tim Kennedy added two assists in the win. The two teams duked it out for six separate sets of fighting majors (AHL high) and a combined 112 penalty minutes in a wild game from north of the border. Three spirited scraps highlighted a scoreless first period as the Sharks were outshot 10-3 through 20 minutes of play aided by three IceCaps power plays. Sena Acolatse (7th FM) dropped Garth Murray (8th FM) with a series of lefts and rights at :03 seconds to kick off the fireworks. Curt Gogol (12th FM) caught Patrice Cormier (3rd FM) with a wicked left hand after Cormier challenged Gogol after he crushed an IceCaps defender with a clean check at 17:11. After Garth Murray (9th FM) caught Mike Connolly with an undetected high stick at 18:36, Brandon Mashinter (5th FM)dropped the gloves and fell Murray with a series of right hands at 18:36. Harri Sateri was terrific making 10 saves in the opening frame. Paul Postma (9th) gave the IceCaps a 1-0 lead just 55 seconds into the 2nd period with a blast from the point that missed the net, came off the end wall, and then off the back of Sateri’s leg and into the net for a lucky bounce score. At 9:59, a series of fights broke out as Curt Gogol (13th FM) fought Kenndal McArdle (2nd FM) and Nathan Moon (8th FM) took on Garth Murray (10th FM). Murray and Moon were ejected for the secondary altercation and then Murray had words with Coach Roy Sommer after the brawl. The Sharks tied the score at 16:26 as James Livingston (6th) extended his point streak to three games (2-1-3) as he deflected a Frazer McLaren pass into the net past David Aebischer. The two teams skated into the 2nd intermission tied at 1-1 with the IceCaps leading the way with a 18-14 shot edge. The IceCaps scored another quick strike to begin the third period as a loose puck pin balled in front of the Worcester net and ended up on the stick of rookie Carl Klingberg (12th) who then fired the puck past Sateri at 1:04 to put the IceCaps ahead 2-1. Ryan Del Monte (4th) tied the score for the Sharks with a wicked back hand shot from in between the faceoff circles at 5:57 assisted by Curt Gogol. Just 18 seconds later, Mike Connolly (10th) stuffed home a centering pass by Tim Kennedy from the side of the net to put the Sharks ahead 3-2 at 6:15. Another wild brawl broke out moments later at 6:47 after Ryan Del Monte (2nd FM) and Arturs Kulda (2nd FM) engaged in fisticuffs and Frazer McLaren joined the scrap as a third man in. Another 10 player scrum ensued after Nick Petrecki sent a mask-less David Aebischer down with a body check in the IceCaps crease as the IceCaps netminder raced back into his net after he slid out to stop a Sharks rush. Worcester killed off two late power plays to hold onto a 3-2 lead before Brandon Mashinter scored an empty net power play goal to complete the Gordie Howe Hattrick at 19:54 for a Sharks 4-2 victory. Worcester’s record improves to 21-14-4-5 (51pts in 44gp) and 10-6-4-3 on the road.

2015 at Lehigh Valley 4-3 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (24-16-3-2, 53pts) kicked off a five game road trip with a 4-3 win over the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (21-18-4-1, 47pts) in front of 6,471 fans at the PPL Center on Wednesday evening. With the victory, head coach Roy Sommer became just the third coach in AHL history to hit the 600 win plateau joining Frank Mathers (610) and Fred “Bun” Cook (636). Ryan Carpenter, Eriah Hayes, Bryan Lerg, and Micheal Haley all scored goals for Worcester while Aaron Dell made 30 saves in net for Worcester for his second straight win between the pipes. Matt Taormina and John McCarthy each added two assists as the Sharks jumped into the 6th spot in the Eastern Conference with the win. Rob Zepp made 40 saves in net for the Phantoms while Brandon Manning added three points (1-2-3) but took four minor penalties for Lehigh Valley. Worcester outshot the Phantoms 21-12 in the first period but the two teams headed into the first intermission tied 1-1. The Phantoms scored on their only power play of the period as Jason Akeson (10th) fired a wrist shot from on top of the left circle through a screen and past Aaron Dell at 3:19 to give Lehigh Valley a 1-0 lead. Worcester tied the score at 13:30 as Ryan Carpenter (7th) crashed the net and found a rebound on top of the crease and fired it past goaltender Rob Zepp with John McCarthy and Gus Young assisting. Worcester went 0-4 on the power play in the first period of play as Aaron Dell had to make three big saves while the Phantoms were shorthanded. The Sharks scored the only goal of the second period as Eriah Hayes (4th) was set up alone in front by Ryan Carpenter at 14:15 to give the Sharks a 2-1 advantage. Petr Straka hit the post on a one timer from 12 feet on the power play with 10 seconds remaining in the period as the Sharks headed into the second intermission ahead 2-1 and held a 35-24 shot advantage through 40 minutes. Worcester charged out to a 4-1 lead with a pair of power play goals midway through the third period. Bryan Lerg (7th) scored on a rebound in front at 10:13 and Micheal Haley (12th) deflected a Matt Taormina point shot at 13:48 to give Worcester a three goal lead. The Phantoms would score twice in the final 87 seconds as Brandon Manning (8th) struck at 18:33 and Zack Stortini (8th) scored at 19:57 as the Sharks held on for the 4-3 victory. The Sharks overall record improves to 24-16-3-2, 53pts, and 10-9-2-2, 24pts on the road this season.

2020 at Maine 4-1 Loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (17-28-2-0, 36pts) began a four game in six day stretch with a 4-1 loss to the Maine Mariners (25-19-1-1, 52pts)in front of 1,144 fans at the Cross Insurance Arena on Tuesday night. The Railers hit the road for one more game in Friday night vs. the Mariners at 7:15pm before a pair of games at the DCU Center Saturday and Sunday. The first goal of the contest came from Michael McNicholas (7th) who finished off a tic tac toe three on two passing play to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead 3:16 into the game. In the final minute of the period Marc-Oliver Crevier-Morin sent a laser of a wrist shot past the right shoulder of Evan Buitenhuis from the left circle to take a 2-0 advantage with 26 seconds left in the frame. The Railers trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes of play despite outshooting the Mariners 14-12. The only action to show for in the second period came with one second left when Ross Olsson (7thFM) and Sean Day (1stFM) dropped the gloves behind the Railers goal line after Day had shot the puck into an empty net after the whistle had already been blown. Maine held a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes of play while Worcester held the edge in shots 22-21 overall. Ryan Culkin (7th) increased the Maine lead to 3-0 at 5:25 of the third period but 52 seconds later from the right circle Drew Callin (10th) would cut the deficit back down to two at 3-1. Maine tacked on an empty net score with just 5.4 seconds left courtesy of Dillan Fox (19th) as the Mariners handed Worcester a 4-1 loss. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Connor Lacouvee (28 saves, Win) 2nd star: Alex Kile (0-3-3, +4) 1st star: Greg Chase (0-3-3, +3) …. final shots were 29-27 in favor of Worcester…. Connor Lacouvee (15-9-2) made 28 saves on 29 shots for Maine…. Evan Buitenhuis (11-16-1) made 23 saves on 26 shots for Worcester while Jakub Skarek served as the backup….Worcester went 0-for-2 on the power play while Maine went 0-for-3…., JD Dudek (IR), Kyle Thomas (IR), Yanick Turcotte (IR), Tanner Pond (IR), Cody Payne (Sick), Dylan Sadowy (TRV), and Ian Milosz did not dress for Worcester…. Mike Cornell, David Quenneville, Linus Soderstrom, and are all with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Ross Olsson recorded his sixth fighting major and seven penalty minutes… Olsson joins Yanick Turcotte and Mike Cornell as the only three Railers players with over 100 penalty minutes in a season…. Ben Thomson added an assist for Worcester…. the Railers are now 13-18-1-0 under GM/coach Cunniff…. The Railers have lost four straight games for the third time this season and have been outscored 20-4 in the last four contests…. Worcester has 25 games left and nine will be against Maine…. The Railers are now 7-9-4-3 all-time vs. the Mariners and 1-6-2-2 at the Cross Insurance Arena.

2022 vs Kalamazoo 5-2 win
(RAILERS) For a change the Railers did not play a Fourth of July game at the DCU Center. They won Friday night with sparklers, not fireworks, a more conventional fashion than in recent matches. Worcester beat the Kalamazoo Wings, 5-2, with Blake Christensen’s two goals in the third period leading the way. His last five goals have all come in the final 20 minutes. Ross Olsson, Jacob Hayhurst and Anthony Repaci scored Worcester’s other goals. Colten Ellis won his third straight start and improved to 7-4-0 with one of his best games of the season. Brent Beaudoin and Cole Coskey both had two assists and Hayhurst was 1-1-2. “It’s not that we played a more conservative game,” coach David Cunniff said, “but Kalamazoo is a good team. They’re not gonna just give up. They kept coming at us.” The Railers have gone 5-1-0 in their last six games to re-establish themselves as playoff contenders, although they are not quite at a playoff spot yet. Christensen’s goal at 3:02 of the third period was probably the game’s biggest. The Railers led, 3-1, heading the third period but Kalamazoo defenseman Justin Murray made it 3-2 just 16 seconds into it. Murray, who had a fine rookie season for the Railers two years ago, scored on a 55-footer that was deflected high on the way in. Murray scored two goals in his 59 Railers games that year, but Friday’s goal was his first ever at the DCU Center. Christensen’s goal was disallowed at first by referee Alec Rounds. Beaudoin beat Wings goalie Trevor Gorsuch with a short backhander, but the puck bounced off the post and back towards the charging Christensen. It hit him high, in the chest, and popped in. Rounds waved it off immediately, but then went to the replay. “It just hit my chest and went in,” said Christensen, who flinched a bit in surprise. “I thought it was a goal, so I was surprised when he waved it off because he was right there. “I’m glad they had the replay.” Olsson’s goal made it 1-1 and came on the power play. It extended his points streak to eight in a row and was the 10th power play goal of his Railers career, breaking the record previously held by Barry Almeida. “I don’t think he gets enough credit for what he does,” Cunniff said of Olsson. “He has great footwork and knows where to be around the net. It’s something he has really worked hard to get better at and it shows.” Kalamazoo took an early lead when Greg Betzold, in the low slot, redirected Andrew DeBrincat’s 45-footer along the ice. That happened at 6:03 and Worcester responded a little more than two minutes later via Olsson’s goal. Coskey took a shot from the right circle. Olsson put the rebound home from in close at 8:13. The Railers controlled most of the second period and increased their lead to 3-1 thanks to goals by Hayhurst and Repaci. Hayhurst’s came just 12 seconds after the opening faceoff as he converted a pass by Reece Newkirk. Repaci had an open net from the right circle at 15:14, slamming home a terrific feed by Nolan Vesey. The goal extended Repaci’s points streak to six games at 5-5-10. He has a goal in four in a row. Murray and Christensen scored early in the third period then Christensen ended the suspense with an unassisted empty netter at 16:54. MAKING TRACKS_Bobby Butler is off the Covid list and is expected to play Saturday night. … Connor McCarthy assisted on Christensen’s first goal, notching his first point since Nov. 16, a span of 16 games. … This was the first-ever meeting between Kalamazoo and Worcester. The Railers have now played 25 different opponents during their ECHL life. There are five active teams Worcester has not played yet — Iowa, Idaho, Kansas City, Rapid City and Wichita. The Railers will travel to Idaho later this month. … This was Rounds’ first-ever Worcester game and he seemed to handle things well. … The teams play again here Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. … Ken Appleby is up with Bridgeport. Goalie Jimmy Poreda was en route from Tulsa and was not in the building. Joe Spagnoli was the emergency backup for the team-record 11th time. … The crowd of 2,954 lifted the Railers all-time attendance to above the half-million mark. It is at 501,371. … Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman’s points streak ended at nine games. … Beaudoin has points in six in a row at 3-7-10 and is plus-12 in that span.

2023 vs South Carolina 3-1 loss
(RAILERS) The Railers lost to South Carolina on Saturday night, 3-1, before a big crowd of 5,872 on Star Wars Night. It was 3-0 before Reece Newkirk got Worcester’s only goal at 18:18 of the third period. That goal came with Henrik Tikkanen on the bench, 58 seconds after Jonny Evans had scored for the Stingrays with Tikkanen on the bench. Josh Wilkins and Jackson Leppard had the other South Carolina goals. Tyler Wall stopped 29 shots for the winners. The Stingrays made it 1-0 at 13:55 of the first period on Wilkins’ 14th goal of the season. He carried the puck into the Railers zone and used a linemate as a decoy on the right side. Wilkins used a Worcester defender as a screen and snapped a 30-footer over Tikkanen’s blocker. For the second South Carolina goal, Stingrays forward Tarek Baker made a Ferdinand Magellan play — he circumnavigated the offensive globe while controlling the puck — and set up Leppard from behind the net at 6:28. The Railers were able to generate more offensive pressure after that but did not test Wall very often. Butler had Worcester’s best chance, a bit of a breakaway at 12:30, but he was hampered from the side and the puck sort of just slid off his blade. The night was disappointing for the Railers but not without a couple of highlights. One was the performance of rookie forward Andrei Bakanov, who played the best game of his brief Worcester career and created some energy on his shifts and penalty killing. Another was rookie Conor Breen’s first pro fight in just his third pro game. Breen took on Leppard in the third period and stood his ground nicely. It was the first fighting major ever for a Worcester pro player out of Amherst College. There has only been one other, Phil Johansson of the 2019-20 Railers. MAKING TRACKS – Nolan Vesey was back in uniform. Railers who did not play were Liam Coughlin, Noah Delmas, Jack Quinlivan, Philip Beaulieu, Jared Brandt and Zack Bross. … Tikkanen stopped 29 of 31 shots and has stopped 98 of 105 shots (.933) in his last three starts


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