Today in Worcester hockey history: February 9


1996 vs Portland 5-3 win
The Worcester IceCats overcame a two-goal first period deficit and defeated the Pirates 5-3 in front of a crowd of 8,115 at the Centrum in Worcester and a NESN television audience. Portland got their two goal lead on first period strikes by Patrick Boileau (7:32) and Jeff Nelson (8:32). Alex Vasilevskii got the ‘Cats on the board at 13:23, assisted by Terry Virtue and Fred Knipscheer. Derek Armstrong tied the game at 17:45, with Virtue getting the lone assist. Armstrong’s second of the contest gave Worcester the lead at 2:34 of the second period, with Jarrett Deuling and Chris Kenady helping. Jason Allison followed with a goal at 4:44 to tie it 3-3. Deuling gave the ‘Cats the lead for good with a power play goal 1:30 into the third stanza, assisted by Armstrong and Jamie Rivers. Deuling would then hit an empty net with two seconds remaining in the game, assisted by Shaun Kane and Virtue. Jamie McLennan made 20 saves in the victory.

1997 at Fredericton 3-2 win
The Worcester IceCats, playing with just four healthy defenseman and using only 14 skaters, outshot the Canadiens 31-13 and got a Marquis Mathieu game winner with 1:57 left in regulation to beat Fredericton 3-2. Neither team had a shot on goal for the first ten minutes of the opening period, but on the ‘Cats third shot of the frame at 13:32 Mathieu made it 1-0 with a 40-foot laser. Rob Pearson and Konstantin Shafranov had the assists. Chris Kenady made it 2-0 with a power play goal at 17:47, with Stephane Roy and Alex Vasilevskii helping on the wrap-around goal. Jason MacDonald cut the ‘Cats lead in half at 19:15. Neither team scored in the middle frame, and the Canadiens tied it 33 seconds into the third period on a goal by Alexei Lojkin. Mathieu would then get the game winner at 18:03 on the power play when Shafranov fed him behind the net and Mathieu was able to jam the puck home. Jamie McLennan only needed 11 saves to earn the win.

2001 vs Lowell 3-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats fired 40 shots on Lock Monsters netminder Travis Scott, and he stopped them all in a 3-0 ‘Cats loss to Lowell. The Lock Monsters got two first period goals, one from Chris Schmidt at 5:42 and the other from Kip Brennan while shorthanded at 8:41. Greg Phillips capped the scoring at 13:02 of the middle period for the 3-0 final. The IceCats played the final 2:28 with an extra attacker but still couldn’t light the lamp. Dwayne Roloson made 21 saves in the loss.

2002 vs Houston 4-2 win
(Houston) Who made out the Aeros’ schedule this season? Somebody in the American Hockey League office who doesn’t know a hockey puck from a football? Or a computer that ran amok? The Aeros played their eighth game in 11 nights Saturday, and the wear and tear showed as the Worcester IceCats scored three third-period goals en route to a 4-2 victory before 8,238 fans. Despite zapping Worcester 3-0 on Wednesday, the Aeros led 2-1 entering the final period before everything fell apart. That’s noteworthy considering the Aeros hit the ice with a 22-1-3 record when leading after two periods. “Worcester played the way they can … I think they were a different team than they were on Wednesday,” Aeros coach Todd McLellan said. “I thought their intensity went up a lot, and every player in their lineup probably played a lot harder than they did on Wednesday. “Besides that, their speed certainly was greater than it was the other night.” The IceCats’ speed and hustle enabled them to outshoot the Aeros 38-21, which had to make goaltender Derek Gustafson feel like his jersey had a target painted on it. Gustafson was in the nets Wednesday and his play kept the rematch a lot closer than it might have been if he had mailed in a performance. “I can’t fault Gus,” McLellan said. “Those goals are going to happen any night. They’re (the result of) mistakes. “On the other hand, we did have some concern about legs — and not only the legs but the mind. Sometimes the mind’s more important than the legs. “We made some mental mistakes and were playing almost to hang on. That’s a sign of fatigue as well.” Any thoughts Gustafson was harboring of posting a third consecutive shutout evaporated early as Marc Brown scored on a shot from the right circle — a power-play goal — at 3:34 of the first period. Worcester’s lead held up until midway through the first period when Dan Kavanaugh made a nice shift through the slot and was slashed by Eric Nickulas, putting the Aeros on the power play. Curtis Murphy intercepted a Barrett Jackman clearing pass high along the left boards, and Shawn Carter deflected Murphy’s slap shot past IceCats goalie Cody Rudkowsky at 4:30. The Aeros received a major break when Justin Papineau was whistled for a five-minute major for high sticking Carter in the face and drawing blood early in the second period. Kevin Bolibruck unloaded a slap shot from the right point, and Brett McLean deflected it in for a goal. Gustafson made sure the Aeros would carry that 2-1 lead into the second intermission when he robbed Daniel Tkaczuk with a glove save off a 2-on-1 break. Papineau, though, atoned for his penalty at 5:19 of the third period when he one-timed a Dale Clarke centering pass by Gustafson. The Aeros connected on two of five power-play opportunities, better than Worcester’s 1-for-6 output. With the victory, Rudkowsky goes to 5-10-1 for the season. Nickulas followed with the game-winner at 8:13 as he stuffed home a rebound of his own shot, then Brown erased all doubt when he sailed a 60-footer into an empty net at 18:35. “Worcester made mistakes, too, but we didn’t capitalize them,” McLellan said. “Again, I think a lot can be chalked up to mental and physical fatigue. But we’ve got three more periods to play out here and we’d like to leave everything on the ice (today) so we can come away with something.”

2004 AHL All-star game: Canada 9, PlanetUSA 5 (Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI)
Terry Virtue had two assists, was +3, and had two shots for Canada.

2005 at Manchester 4-1 loss
(MONARCHS) Left wing Dustin Brown had two goals and goaltender Adam Hauser had 29 saves as the Manchester Monarchs ran their unbeaten in regulation streak to six games with a 4-1 win over the Worcester IceCats before 6,848 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Wednesday night. The Monarchs collected the first goal in an emotional game, the first one for defenseman Brendan Buckley in Manchester since the AHL suspended him for ending the season of all-star center Yanick Lehoux. Brown (22-28=50) stuffed home a centering feed from center Michael Cammalleri (30-40=70) while the Monarchs were enjoying power play time at 6:08 of the first period. Left wing Noah Clarke (14-26=40) also collected an assist on the 21st goal of the season for Brown. For Cammalleri, it was his team-leading 40th assist and 70th point of the season. Buckley, who was booed by the Verizon Wireless Arena faithful every time he touched the puck, was suspended for four games after taking Lehoux out with a major penalty for clipping on January 14. Lehoux injured his knee on the play and one week later underwent season-ending surgery. Buckley also drew the attention of defenseman Joe Rullier and right wing George Parros. Both challenged him to fights. Buckley accepted neither invitation. The result was three power play chances for the IceCats in the period. Even with the power play time, including a 5-on-3 advantage for a full two minutes, the IceCats failed to score against the Monarchs and Hauser (30 shots, 29 saves), who improved his record to 12-4-0 on the season. The IceCats struck for their only goal in the second period, tying the game at 1:59 when defenseman Aris Brimanis one-timed a set-up from defenseman Mike Stuart over the shoulder of Hauser. The IceCats charged into the Manchester zone after a Monarchs turnover at center ice. For Brimanis, it was his third goal against the Monarchs and fourth overall this season. Center Blake Evans also assisted on the play. The Monarchs regained the lead later in the period with the eighth goal of the season for Parros, who deflected a blue line wrist shot from defenseman Mike Weaver into the Worcester net at 10:23. Left wing Chris Schmidt, who worked the puck out of the corner and sent it to Weaver, had the second assist on the goal. The Monarchs added to their lead just 3:06 later with the seventh goal of the season for rookie center Matt Ryan, who took a slot feed from rookie left wing Ryan Kinasewich and deposited it past IceCats goaltender Curtis Sanford (29 shots, 25 saves). Left wing Connor James also assisted on the play. For Kinasewich, it was his first AHL point. The first-year pro agreed to terms with the Monarchs earlier in the day after spending the first part of the season with the Monarchs ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals. Shortly after the Ryan goal, Buckley said yes to a fight with Parros at center ice, a gesture appreciated by the nearly 7,000 fans in attendance. For Parros, it was the second of three fights on the night. The second-year pro finished with a career high 37 minutes in penalties. The Monarchs closed the scoring with a third period goal from Brown, scored on a breakaway at 13:30. Brown’s second goal of the night and 22nd of the season was unassisted. Wednesday night’s contest included six fights and over 100 minutes in penalties.

2007 at Providence 5-4 OTL
(BRUINS) The Providence Bruins celebrated Rhode Island Reds Night in exciting fashion with a 5-4 overtime victory over the visiting Worcester Sharks at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in front of 8,796 fans. The P-Bruins’ offense was led by a two-goal effort from defenseman Nathan Dempsey, along with single goals by rookies David Krejci and Martins Karsums and Ben Walter’s winner. Petr Kalus and Matt Lashoff each chipped in with three assists. In a game marred by penalties and power play opportunities, Providence got the scoring started midway through the opening period as Krejci redirected a Lashoff shot for a man-advantage goal, his 17th of the season while also extending his American Hockey League point-streak to a career-high 12 games. Kalus had the second assist. Worcester evened the game at one 3:28 into the second period when Ashton Rome beat P-Bruins goaltender Jordan Sigalet five-hole for his fifth goal of the season, helped by Lukas Kaspar. Providence got the goal back 90 seconds later as Dempsey scored his first goal of the night and second of the year, converting on a shot from the low wing for another power play goal. The assists again went to Kalus and Lashoff. The flip-flopping continued with the Sharks’ Riley Armstrong lighting the lamp for his 14th goal, another five-hole goal, giving Grant Stevenson an assist and bringing the game to a two-goal tie. Just over three minutes later, Dempsey scored again on the power play, regaining Providence’s lead at 3-2 with the helpers to Lashoff and Krejci. The Sharks’ Graham Mink and Kaspar each scored in the third period, sandwiched around a Karsums goal, to tie the game at four and send it to an extra session. On the goals, Worcester’s Garrett Stafford, Scott Ferguson and Josh Prudden, along with Providence’s Dempsey and Kalus, all had assists. In the overtime, Walter scored for the P-Bruins 2:09 into the sudden death frame, set up by T.J. Trevelyan and Jonathan Sigalet, leading the forward to cut in toward Worcester goalie Thomas Greiss for the winning tally. Sigalet earned the win in net, his 11th, with 15 saves in nearly 63 minutes of work. Greiss stopped 30 shots as Providence out-shot Worcester 35-19. Penalties played a role in seven of the nine goals scored in the game as the P-Bruins converted on four of 12 power plays while also allowing a short-handed goal and the Sharks scored twice in nine man-advantage chances. The penalty minute edge went to Worcester 40-34.

2014 at St. John’s 4-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (23-19-3-1, 50pts) charged out to a 3-0 lead and held on late for a 4-2 victory over the St. John’s IceCaps (28-18-1-2, 59pts) in front of 6,287 at the Mile One Centre on Sunday afternoon in the final game before the AHL All-Star break. Travis Oleksuk (10th), Rob Davison (1st), and Eriah Hayes (6th) gave Worcester a 3-0 lead in the third period before the IceCaps scored twice midway through the period. Dan DaSilva (11th) added an empty netter while Troy Grosenick was terrific making 29 saves for his 11th win of the season as the Sharks improved to 5-1-1-0 vs. the IceCaps this season. Travis Oleksuk (10th) fired a puck into an empty net past goaltender Michael Hutchinson at 5:27 after a great feed from behind the cage by Rylan Schwartz to put Worcester ahead 1-0. Sena Acolatse (3rd FM) took care of Blair Riley (10th FM) at 11:25 with a flurry or rights and Troy Grosenick made several nice glove saves for a total of 10 stops in the first period as the Sharks took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Captain Rob Davison (1st) scored his 1st goal of the season with a blast from the left circle after great work along the walls by James Livingston, Tyler Gron, and Scott Fleming at 14:57 to give Worcester a 2-0 advantage. Troy Grosenick made nine more saves in the middle frame as the Sharks took a 2-0 lead into the second intermission. Worcester grabbed a 3-0 lead after Eriah Hayes (6th) fired home a loose puck on the power play after Chad Rau’s initial shot was robbed by Michael Hutchinson at 2:50 of the third period. St. John’s came barreling back with a pair of goals at 8:50 by Blair Riley (3rd) and Kael Mouillierat (14th) at 14:50 to get the IceCaps within a score. Goaltender Troy Grosenick held his ground the rest of the way and Dan DaSilva (11th) added an empty net with 22.2 seconds remaining to seal the 4-2 win and earn a split in the two game set in Canada. The Sharks overall record improves to 23-19-3-1, 50pts and 11-10-3-0, 25pts on the road.

2018 vs South Carolina 4-1 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (20-20-4-2, 46pts) had their season high six game point streak come to an end in a 4-1 loss to the visiting South Carolina Stingrays (30-11-4-1, 65pts) in front of 3,794 fans at the DCU Center on a wintery Friday evening. Jeff Kubiak extended his point streak to five games with his 8th goal of the season but the Railers trailed 4-0 and couldn’t recover. Frankie Simoneli (1-2-3) recorded three points to lead the way offensively for South Carolina while Parker Milner made 21 saves in net for his 15th win of the season for the Stingrays. Mitch Gillam made 24 saves in net as the Railers are now 5-4-1-0 on their season long eleven game homestand. South Carolina broke out to a 2-0 first period lead as Steven Whitney (15th) chipped a puck that broke off the end wall and back in front past the shoulder of Mitch Gillam at 1:51 and Taylor Cammarata (9th) sent a quick shot from alone in front into the net at 11:54. Shots were 9-4 in favor of the Stingrays through 20 minutes of play as goaltender Parker Milner was not really tested. Frankie Simoneli (8th) made it 3-0 with a blast from 40 feet on the rush at 2:57 of the second period for the only score of the middle frame. Worcester outshot South Carolina 11-9 in the second period but netminder Parker Milner stood tall as the Railers headed into the second intermission down by three goals. The Stingrays put the game away at 2:44 of the third period as Dylan Margonari (11th) deflected a Frankie Simoneli point blast into the cage to give South Carolina a 4-0 advantage. Jeff Kubiak (8th) snuck in a rebound from the blue paint after a Tommy Kelley wrap-around was stopped by Milner at 6:10 to give the Railers a pulse. But that was all the scoring for the night as South Carolina cruised to a 4-1 road victory at the DCU Center.

2019 vs Wheeling 5-1 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (21-20-3-3, 48pts) dropped a 5-1 decision on PINK in the RINK Night to the visiting Wheeling Nailers(21-21-5-1, 48pts) in front of 6,721 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. Tyler Barnes extended his franchise record goal scoring goal streak to six games and his point streak to eight (8-2-10) with a third period power play goal while Mitch Gillam made 17 saves in net in the home loss. Jordan Ruby made 33 saves in net in the win for the Wheeling to break their seven-game losing skid (0-3-3-1) as Worcester dropped to 13-8-3-1 on home ice this season. Worcester was outshot 11-4 in the first period and trailed 1-0 through 20 minutes of play. Yanick Turcotte (7thFM) tried to get the crowd going early as he dropped the mitts and helmet with Jake Schultz at 5:41 for a quick scrap. Wheeling would net the only score at 17:24 with their ECHL leading 14th shorthanded goal after a turnover in front of the Worcester net and a quick shot by Michael Phillips (13th) past the blocker of Mitch Gillam. Neither team found the back of the net in the second period as the Railers outshot Wheeling 15-1 in the middle frame and Ryan Hitchcock hit the crossbar. Tyler Barnes put the puck into the back of the net on the power play midway through the period, but it was ruled he deflected the puck with a high stick. Worcester trailed 1-0 through 40 minutes of play despite outshooting Wheeling 19-12. Tyler Barnes (19th) would tie the score 1-1 at 1:54 of the third period as he deflected the puck off his skate into the net on the power play assisted by Barry Almeida and Nick Sorkin. But the excitement would be short lived as Wheeling would score the next four goals to pull away with the 5-1 road win as Cedric Lacroix (13th) scored at 2:45, Yushiroh Hirano (14th) at 9:57, Michael Phillips (14th) again at 11:23 and Alec Butcher (5th) on the power play at 14:15 to put the game away. Shots in the third period were 15-10 in favor of Worcester.

2020 vs Newfoundland 4-2 Loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC(17-30-3-0, 37pts)closed out the weekend falling 4-2 to the top seed Newfoundland Growlers (35-11-0-1, 71pts)in front of 4,791 fansat the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon.The Railers will be on the road for five straight games which starts next Sunday, Feb 16 vs. the Reading Royals at 3pm. Nic Pierog (1-0-1) and Bo Brauer (1-0-1) each scored goals for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis made 22 saves in net for the loss. Three second period goals from Colt Conrad (1-1-2), Dylan Vander Esch (1-0-1), and Justin Brazeau (1-0-1) proved to be the difference maker as Maksim Zhukov made 24 saves in net for the victory. Newfoundland would get on the scoresheet first thanks to Garrett Johnston (3rd) when he fired a wrister from the top of the left circle beating Evan Buitenhuis low glove at 7:36 giving the Growlers a 1-0 lead. In the dying seconds of the first period Nic Pierog (20th) collected a feed from Shane Walsh and snapped it by Maksim Zhukov with just 2.2 seconds remaining in the period to tie it up at 1-1. Despite being outshot 11-5 in the frame the Railers and Growlers were tied 1-1 through 20 minutes of play. Just 34 seconds into the second frame Colt Conrad was able to find the back of the net for the Growlers handing the away team a 2-1 advantage. Minutes later a point shot from Garrett Johnston would be redirected in front by Dylan Vander Esch (5th) at 5:55 increasing the Newfoundland lead to 3-1. With just three seconds remaining in the period Just Brazeau was able to tuck one past the toe of Buitenhuis giving the Growlers a 4-1 lead which they took into the locker room. Bo Brauer (6th) scored the only goal of the third period when he received a pass from Connor Doherty in the high slot and from the high slot snapped one by the low glove of Maksim Zhukov cutting the deficit down to 4-2 at 13:58. The goal could not spark the Railers as they fell 4-2 to the Growlers. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Bo Brauer (1-0-1) 2nd star: Colt Conrad (1-1-2) 1st star: Garrett Johnston (1-1-2, +4) final shots were 26-26 in …. Maksim Zhukov (12-8-1) made 24 saves on 26 shots for Newfoundland…. Evan Buitenhuis (11-18-1) made 22 saves on 26 shots for Worcester while Jakub Skarek served as the backup….Worcester went 0-for-3 on the power play while Newfoundland went 0-for-4…., JD Dudek (IR), Kyle Thomas (IR), Yanick Turcotte (IR), Tanner Pond (IR), Cody Payne (Sick), Dylan Sadowy (IR), Arnaud Durandeau (INJ) and Ian Milosz did not dress for Worcester…. Mike Cornell, David Quenneville, Linus Soderstrom, and are all with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Shane Walsh skated in his 200thprofessional game and recorded an assist…. Dylan Sadowy was placed on the IR Friday…. Nic Pierog has 20+ goals in back to back seasons and is the third Railer to hit 20 goals in a season… Barry Almeida has done it twice while Tyler Barnes had 28 last season…. Connor Doherty, Shane Walsh, Kyle McKenzie all recorded assists for Worcester….The Railers have now lost seven straight games…. Worcester is 0-for-26 in their last seven games on the power-play….Railers are now 13-21-1-0 under GM/Coach Cunniff…. Worcester has 22 games left on the regular season….The Railers are now 4-12-1-0 all-time vs. the Growlers and 3-6-0-0 at the DCU Center.


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