Today in Worcester hockey history: February 8


1995 at Portland 7-4 loss
(PORTLAND) The rivalry between the Portland Pirates and Worcester IceCats reached another level last night. Nasty. Kevin Kaminski scored three goals to rally the first-place Pirates past the last-place IceCats 7-4 at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The IceCats, who had beaten Portland the last two games in this building, had built a 4-1 lead just 1:55 into the second period when Terry Virtue scored the last of three consecutive power-play goals. But Portland scored four goals in a span of 3:19 – the last two by Kaminski – to take a 5-4 lead and knock Worcester starting goalie Chris Gordon onto the bench at 12:02. The IceCats never recovered. The IceCats’ frustration boiled over with 4:25 remaining. Martin Gendron scored to give the Pirates a 6-4 lead. IceCats goalie Wayne Cowley immediately went after Gendron, touching off a wild scene which saw Pirates goalie Jim Carey skate the length of the ice to get involved. Cowley had tussled with Gendron seconds earlier and when Gendron scored, he stood in the slot and smiled. Portland scored first, on a slapshot by Jim Mathieson at 10:15 of the first. Then Worcester took control. Defenseman Jim Bermingham beat Carey with an 80-footer wrister. Carey thought Bermingham was aiming for the corner, not the net. Then defenseman Dave Baseggio flipped in a power-play rebound with five seconds left in the first to make it 2-1. When Denis Chalifoux and Virtue scored on nearly identical shots – one-timers from the left circle while Worcester had 5-on-3 advantages – it appeared the IceCats were in control. But Andrew Brunette and Todd Nelson scored within 39 seconds of each other to pull Portland within one. Kaminski flipped in a rebound at 6:58 to tie it. Exactly one minute later he took a pass from Chris Longo and shot the puck in off Gordon’s left shoulder to give Portland the lead.

1997 at Saint John 4-1 win
The Worcester IceCats dressed only four defensemen, but goaltender Mike Buzak picked up the slack with his best game in a ‘Cats jersey as the IceCats cruised to a 4-1 win. Rob Pearson had the only goal of the opening twenty minutes when he one-timed a feed from Konstantin Shafranov past Flames netminder Ian Gordon at 3:33. Marquis Mathieu had the secondary assist on the play. Stephane Roy made it 2-0 at 9:14 of the middle period on the power play when Alex Vasilevski one-timed a feed from Terry Virtue. Gordon made the save but Roy was right on the doorstep to bang it home. Jesper Mattsson made it 2-1 at 4:08 of the third, but Roy made it a two goal lead again at 12:23, with Vasilevskii and Chris Kenady helping. Mathieu made it the 4-1 final at 18:11 on the power play when a Shafranov pass found Mathieu all alone behind Gordon. Chad Dameworth had the secondary assist. Buzak made 37 saves in the win.

2002 vs Bridgeport 4-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats had two one-goal leads in the game, but three in the third period by the Sound Tigers handed the ‘Cats a 4-2 loss. Blake Evans’ first AHL goal at 14:31 of the opening period gave Worcester a 1-0 lead. Brad Voth and Andrei Troschinsky had the assist on the play. Bridgeport would tie at at 17:29 of the middle period on a goal by David Morisset. The IceCat retook the lead on a power play goal by Jame Pollock at 18:11, with Christian Laflamme and Mark Rycroft picking up points. But the third period was all Sound Tigers as they got power play goals by Matt Higgins (11:33, five on three), Jason Podollan (13:17), and Justin Mapletoft (13:50) for the 4-2 final. All three came with Marc Brown in the penalty box for a high sticking major. Steve Valiquette had 37 saves for the win for Bridegport. Curtis Sanford had 34 in the loss.

2003 at Utah 3-1 win
(GRIZZLIES) The rematch between Utah and Worcester didn’t go the way Utah had hoped as the visiting IceCats made the most of their opportunities and came away with a 3-1 victory in front of 6,869 Grizzlies fans. The first period started slow for both clubs as neither team could mount any scoring chances on the offensive end of the ice. Players seemed to have left their hearts on the bench and were passive, flat and without passion throughout the better part of the stanza. As the period neared a close, Worcester lit the lamp first on the power play at the 18:20 mark. IceCats Jeff Panzer from the back of the Grizzlies net, found forward Chris Corrinet standing alone at the top of the crease for a one-timer that beat Hirsch underneath, giving Worcester a 1-0 lead. Utah managed to get 12 shots on net during the period; the IceCats had 9. The Grizzlies woke up in the second period and hit the ice with a sense of urgency. At the 6:08 mark of the second, the Grizzlies tied the game with a 5 on 3 power play goal. Mark Wotton drilled a shot at visiting goalie Curtis Sanford that rebounded to Jim Montgomery waiting next to the far post and chipped the puck to Jon Sim across the mouth of the net and Sim banked it in the back of the mesh. After 40 minutes of play the Grizzlies had 18 shots on net, Worcester had 10. The Grizzlies luck ran out when IceCats forward Jason Dawe received a centering pass from Chris Corrinet in front of Hirsch and hacked the loose puck into the net, giving Worcester a 2-1 lead at the 7:59 mark of the third. From there the steam seemed to dwindle from the Grizzlies motors. Utah broke down defensively as they struggled to get something started on the offensive end and paid the price. Worcester’s Jason Dawe set up Sergei Varlamov breaking up the ice and Varlamov faked to the left of Hirsch and pulled the puck back at the last moment and slid it just inside the far post. The Grizzlies couldn’t recover from the two goal deficit, pulling Hirsch at the 18:20 mark in a last ditch attempt. Worcester pulled off the victory, 3-1. Utah outshot the IceCats 39 to 33, and went 1 for 6 on the power play.

2009 at Providence 3-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks led in the third period, but a disputed power play goal late made the difference as the Sharks fell 3-2 in Providence on Sunday afternoon. The Bruins would take a 1-0 lead when a nice deflection in front of Thomas Greiss by Brad Marchand found the back of the net after a shot by Adam McQuaid from the center point at 10:55 of the first period. The first period was a defensive one with Providence outshooting Worcester 9-7. The second period would open up with both teams having great scoring chances. Sharks rookie Jamie McGinn found the twine behind Tuuka Rask on the power play after a blocked shot in front found Jamie in the right wing circle. It was the third straight game McGinn scored a goal and his 14th of the season at 13:45 on the power play. Each team had 15 shots in the second period and the score was tied 1-1 after 40 minutes. The Sharks would begin the third period on the power play and Jamie McGinn would score again. Ryan Vesce would send the puck back to the point to Patrick Traverse who fired a shot which was deflected in by McGinn at :45 seconds. The assist for Ryan Vesce extended his franchise record point streak to 16 games (8-17-25) and gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead. The lead would not last long, as the Bruins scored on a power play of their own at 3:35 when Mikko Lehtonen scored after a goal mouth scramble in front of Greiss. Lukas Kaspar was whistled for a questionable roughing penalty at 17:49 of the 3rd to give the Bruins a late power play. After a shot from the point was pin-balled in front, Mikko Lehtonen kicked the puck into the net as ruled by referee Terry Koharski and waved the goal off. But, linesman Mark Messier ruled the kicked puck went off the stick of Lehtonen and then into the net to give the Bruins the 3-2 lead. Worcester would pull Greiss for the extra attacker but Rask would hold his ground and the Bruins held on for the victory. The loss dropped the Sharks record to 27-22-0-2 for 56 points while the win for Providence upped their record to 29-19-2-1 for 61 points.

2014 at St. John’s 5-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (22-19-3-1, 48pts) fell to the St. John’s IceCaps (28-17-1-2, 59pts) by the score of 5-2 in front of the 100th consecutive sellout of 6,287 at the Mile One Centre on Saturday night in the first of the two games this weekend north of the border in St. John’s. Konrad Abeltshauser and Rylan Schwartz scored for Worcester while Harri Sateri made 22 saves in the loss. John Albert scored twice for the IceCaps and Michael Hutchinson made 31 saves as St. John’s won for the 8th time in their last nine games. Rookie defenseman Konrad Abeltshauser (3rd) gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead just 35 seconds into the contest after his shot from the left wall point found its way through a screen and past goaltender Michael Hutchinson. The IceCaps would score twice within a 16 seconds span after a pair of turnovers found the back of the Worcester net. Kael Mouillierat (13th) snapped a shot from the right circle past Harri Sateri at 14:07 and John Albert (7th) pounced on a loose puck on top of the crease at 14:23 to put St. John’s ahead 2-1. Nick Petrecki had a goal called off late in the period (player in the crease) as Worcester outshot St. John’s 12-8 through 20 minutes. Each team found the back of the net in the middle frame as Jerome Samson (17th) fired home a cross the crease pass from Andrew Gordon at 5:54 to put the IceCaps ahead 3-1. Rylan Schwartz (4th) got the Sharks back within a goal with a wicked shot from the right slot at 12:12 with an unassisted tally. Worcester held a 24-15 shot advantage through 40 minutes as the Sharks trailed 3-2 after two periods. After getting denied on a breakaway by Harri Sateri, John Albert (8th) was awarded a penalty shot and he converted at 2:22 to put the IceCaps ahead 4-2 early in the third period. Rookie Adam Lowry (12th) scored in his 5th straight game to put the game away at 8:20 as the Sharks fell 5-2. The Sharks overall record falls to 22-19-3-1, 48pts and 10-10-3-0, 23pts on the road.

2019 vs Greenville 3-2 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (21-19-3-3, 48pts) kicked off a 3-in-3 home weekend with an exciting 3-2 come-from-behind win over the visiting Greenville Swamp Rabbits (15-30-3-2, 35pts) in front of 3,491 fans at the DCU Center on Friday evening. Tyler Barnes (2-0-2) and Ryan Hitchcock all scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 25 saves in net for his 14th win of the season. Chris Nell made 25 saves in net in the loss for the Swamp Rabbits as Worcester improved to 13-7-3-1 on home ice this season. Worcester won for the first time all season when trailing after 40 minutes (0-13-1) and scored three power play goals in an 8:48 span in the third period for the comeback win to erase a 2-0 deficit through 40 minutes. A rather ho-hum first period saw Greenville grab a 1-0 lead as defenseman Luke Ripley (2nd) fired a 50-foot bomb off the post and past the blocker of Mitch Gillam at 16:54 for the only score. Shots were 9-8 in favor of Worcester through 20 minutes of play.
Dylan Vander Eshe (8th) deflected a point shot that skipped through the pads of Gillam just three minutes into the second period to give Greenville a 2-0 lead. Mike Cornell dropped the mitts with Brendan Harms at 6:30 as the Railers captain tried to shift the momentum in favor of Worcester. The Railers trailed 2-0 after 40 minutes with the Swamp Rabbits holding 20-19 shot edge. Worcester would score three power play goals in the third period within an 8:48 spell to take a 3-2 lead. Ryan Hitchcock (7th) got the Railers on the board with a tough angle shot through a screen at 4:55 and Tyler Barnes (17th) would tie the score with a rebound strike at 8:03. Barnes (18th) would net the game winner deflecting an Ivan Kosorenkov shot through netminder Chris Nell at 13:43 to give the Railers the 3-2 lead. Mitch Gillam held down the fort the rest of the way and Tyler Mueller was sound defensively as Worcester came away with the 3-2 home victory.

2020 vs Atlanta 5-4 OTL
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (17-29-3-0, 37pts) fell in heartbreaking fashion 5-4 in overtime to the Atlanta Gladiators (20-25-1-1, 42pts)in front of 5,600 fansat the DCU Center on Saturday night.The Railers close out the weekend tomorrow at 3pm hosting the Newfoundland Growlers on Trax’s birthday as well as a Kid’s Giveaway Sunday. An exciting first period was sparked by the signing of the National Anthem courtesy of Ricky Duran as five goals were scored in the opening 20 minutes of play as Worcester trailed 3-2. Nic Pierog (1-1-2) was able to tie the game with just 13 seconds left in the game before Cody Corbett (1-1-2) gave Atlanta the 5-4 victory in overtime at 5:21. Ben Thomson (1-2-3) and Nic Pierog paced the way offensively for Worcester while Jakub Skarek made 35 saves in net. Zach Malatesta (2-0-2), Logan Nelson (1-1-2), and Cody Corbett (1-1-2) led the way for Atlanta while Chris Nell made 37 saves in net for the win. The Railers grabbed a quick lead in period one when Arnaud Durandeau (5th) zipped one low blocker from the right circle by Chris Nell to give Worcester a 1-0 lead 84 seconds into the game. Zach Malatesta (6th) sent a back hand shot on net from the left circle and it snuck by Jakub Skarek to tie the game at 1-1 at 2:34. Atlanta went on a power-play minutes later and once again it would be Zach Malatesta (7th) from the top of the point sending a bomb past Skarek to hand the Gladiators a 2-1advantage at 5:04 of the first. Atlanta was able to increase their lead to 3-1. With just 2:22 left in the opening period Barry Almeida (13th) took the puck behind the net and from behind the goal line sent a shot of the paddle of Chris Nell into the back of the cage decreasing the deficit down to 3-2. Worcester trailed 3-2 through the first 20 minutes of play as shots were in favor of Worcester 17-13. It took just 90 seconds for Worcester tie the game in the second period as Ben Thomson (4th) received a feed in the high slot from Dante Salituro and found the back of the net at 1:30 to tie the game at 3-3. Moments later Josh Thrower (2nd) pin balled one into the back of the net at 4:04 and gave Atlanta back the lead at 4-3. The second period began to tighten up as Atlanta outshot Worcester 15-6 in the stanza and led 4-3 through 40 minutes of play. With an extra attacker out for Worcester Nic Pierog (19th) received a feed from Drew Callin and from the right circle Pierog wasted no time and sent it home to tie the game at 4-4 with 13 seconds left in regulation. The game was all tied at 4-4 with Worcester outshooting Atlanta 38-25. After a controversial play where Ben Thomson was boarded up against the glass on his own blueline Atlanta went down the ice and converted on a three on one as Cody Corbett (3rd) from the high slot beat Jakub Skarek low blocker at 5:21 to hand Atlanta a 5-4 overtime victory. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Zach Malatesta (2-0-2) 2nd star: Nic Pierog (1-1-2, 10 shots) 1st star: Cody Corbett (1-1-2) final shots were 42-40 in favor of Worcester…. Chris Nell (9-11-2) made 38 saves on 42 shots for Atlanta…. Jakub Skarek (2-5-2) made 45 saves on 40 shots for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis served as the backup….Worcester went 0-for-4 on the power play while Atlanta went 1-for-4…., JD Dudek (IR), Kyle Thomas (IR), Yanick Turcotte (IR), Tanner Pond (IR), Cody Payne (Sick), Dylan Sadowy (IR), Jack Macnee and Ian Milosz did not dress for Worcester…. Mike Cornell, David Quenneville, Linus Soderstrom, and are all with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Dylan Sadowy was placed on the IR Friday…. Nic Pierog led all Worcester skaters with 10 shots…. Ricky Duran sang the National Anthem before the game and signed autographs as well as took pictures with fans throughout the game…. Worcester has now lost six games in a row…. The Railers are 0-for-23 on the power-play in their last seven outings…. Bo Brauer picked up his first fighting major of the season when he dropped the gloves in the third period…. the Railers are now 13-20-1-0 under GM/Coach Cunniff…. Worcester has 22 games left on the regular season….The Railers are now 0-0-1-0 all-time vs. the Gladiators and 0-0-1-0 at the DCU Center.


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