Today in Worcester hockey history: February 11


1996 vs Springfield 4-3 loss
The Worcester IceCats gave up four goals in the opening period and that was all the Falcons needed in a 4-3 Springfield victory. 1:58 into the contest Deron Quint gave the Falcons the lead, but at 7:29 Fred Knipscheer got the ‘Cats back to even with a power play goal assisted by Terry Virtue. Springfield would grab three more goals in the frame, with Ravil Gusmanov (12:59, PP), Ed Ronan (14:44), and Steve Martins (16:23) all lighting the lamp. Marquis Mathieu stopped the bleeding at 3:36 of the middle period with helpers by Shaun Kane and Sergei Kharin. Virtue made it a one-goal game at 19:04 of the period with Paul Broten and Kharin getting assists, but that was as close as the IceCats would get. Jamie McLennan started the game and was lifted after Martin’s goal, making just four saves on eight shots. Mike Buzak went 10-10 the rest of the way.

1998 AHL All-Star game: Canada 11, Planet/USA 10 (Onondaga County War Memorial, Syracuse, NY)
Michal Handzus had three assists, was +1, and had two shots on goal for Planet/USA. Rory Fitzpatrick was “E” for Planet/USA.

2000 at Providence 4-3 loss
(TICKER) Ladislav Nagy scored a pair of goals and had an assist and Cody Rudkowsky turned aside 41 shots as the Worcester IceCats edged the Providence Bruins, 4-3. Nagy tallied back-to-back goals within an eight-minute span in the opening period as Worcester took a 3-1 lead. Rudkowsky stopped 30 saves over the last two periods to improve to 3-4-4. Reed Low added a goal and an assist for the IceCats, who raised their record to 13-1-3 when leading after the first stanza. Eric Manlow notched a goal and an assist for Providence, which has been outscored, 49-39, in the opening period by opponents this season. John Grahame gloved 36 saves in the loss for the Bruins.

2004 vs Manchester 4-4 tie
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats and Manchester Monarchs skated to a 4-4 tie Wednesday night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre, as the ‘Cats battled back from four one-goal deficits to earn a single digit in the standings. The two clubs remain at a third place impasse in the Atlantic Division, with each team possessing 55 points. To get things going for Worcester, Tom Koivisto answered Pavel Rosa’s five-on-three power play goal, with his first of the season, also on the man-advantage. Rosa struck early in the second period with his 22nd to regain Manchester’s lead. With a duo of Monarchs in the penalty box, Johnny Pohl responded to tie the game at two. Fewer than four minutes later, however, Chris Schmidt lit the lamp and the ‘Cats headed to the second break down a goal. Aaron MacKenzie’s third of the season tied the game yet again, as the rookie defenseman followed up a Pohl bid at 7:49 of the third. The effort was mirrored by Manchester’s Joe Rullier less than two minutes later. Down 4-3, Worcester pressed and eventually converted as Mike Glumac fused the score for the final time with his 15th of the season. Jay McClement, who stole the puck at the Manchester blue line, and Peter Sejna set him up on a hard-working play. For Glumac, it ended an 11 game goal drought. The New England neighbors skated the extra session without any further scoring, as the IceCats collected their ninth point of the season when trailing after two periods. Worcester had four multi-point getters in the game, including Pohl (1/1/2), Sejna (0/2/2), Koivisto (1/1/2) and Jame Pollock (0/2/2).

2005 at Springfield 4-1 win
(FALCONS) Jean-Marc Pelletier received the start in net for the Springfield Falcons, but his return to the club did not end happily as the Worcester IceCats claimed a 4-1 win at the Springfield Civic Center on Friday night. Rookie left wing Adam Henrich scored for the Falcons while Pelletier made 38 saves. Worcester center Jay McClement recorded a goal and an assist in the contest. Pelletier was tested less than three minutes into the game and came up big, sliding across the crease to make a pad save that robbed Worcester center Brendan Brooks at the end of a two-on-one rush. The 26-year-old made 15 saves through the first period as the game remained scoreless. The IceCats took a 1-0 lead 9:05 into the second frame when left wing D.J. King tipped a shot from the left point by Brendan Buckley under Pelletier for his fifth goal of the season. Entering the game, Worcester had compiled a 17-1-1-1 record this season when scoring first. Springfield responded 4:53 later when Henrich scored his seventh goal of the campaign. The rookie put back his own rebound to complete an odd man rush and tie the score, 1-1. Forward Derek Bekar assisted on the tally. Worcester regained the advantage after the club’s leading goal scorer Jon DiSalvatore redirected a puck that caromed off the skate of teammate Brian Fahey 2:28 into the third period. DiSalvatore deftly guided the puck just inside the right post for his 15th marker of the season. Brooks snapped a shot from the slot past Pelletier 3:26 later to make the score 3-1. IceCats center Jay McClement capped scoring with a power-play goal with 10:53 remaining in regulation on shot that glanced off the skate of Falcons defenseman Paul Ranger. The goal was McClement’s eighth of the season and fifth against Springfield. The Falcons were scoreless on four opportunities with the man advantage while Worcester converted one of their four chances. The IceCats finished with 42-20 shot advantage in the game. Buckley registered two assists for the ‘Cats.

2011 at Springfield 5-0 win
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks scored four goals in the second period to chomp their way to their season high fifth straight victory in a 5-0 win over the Falcons on Friday evening at the Mass Mutual Center. It was the first time in Sharks history they had two straight shutout victories. Dan DaSilva had a goal and two assists and Daren Machesney made 25 saves in his first start in a Sharks uniform in the shutout decision. Before the game, the Worcester Sharks signed Jonathan Cheechoo to his third PTO this season and defenseman Mike Moore became the 4th player in Sharks history to wear the captain “C” on his jersey. Daren Machesney, making his Sharks debut in net, was sharp, making 12 saves in a scoreless opening period. Worcester fired just six shots on Gustaf Wesslau in a tight checking first period. In the second period, the Sharks scored four goals on 17 shots to barrel out to a 4-0 advantage. Benn Ferriero (11th) scored on the power play as he snapped a shot from on top of the left circle through a screen and past Gustaf Wesslau at 2:31. Just 31 seconds later, Dan DaSilva (11th) found the back of the net at 3:22. At 4:17, Brandon Mashinter (10th) fired the puck from a tough angle along the left wing boards off the skate of Wesslau to give Worcester a 3-0 lead and end the night for the Falcons rookie netminder. Andrew Desjardins (9th) scored on the power play at 18:25 after he found a loose puck on top of the crease and set a behind the back, backhand pass through David LeNeveu to give the sharks a 4-0 advantage. The Sharks outshot the Falcons 17-3 in the middle frame. Andrew Desjardins (10th) scored his 2nd goal of the night at 40 seconds of the third period after a nice set up at the side of the net by Dan DaSilva to give the Sharks a 5-0 lead. Daren Machesney made 10 more saves in the third period, the best, robbing Trevor Smith on a 5-on-3 power play chance for Springfield midway through the third period. The 3rd place Sharks record improves to 25-18-2-6 with 58 points and to 11-10-1-3 on the road.

2012 at Hershey 3-2 win SO
(WORSHARKS) Tim Kennedy tied the game late in the third period and Tyson Sexsmith turned aside all seven Bears shooters in the shootout in a 3-2 victory over the Hershey Bears in front of a sellout crowd at the Giant Center on Saturday night. Brodie Reid had the game winner in round 7 of the shootout as Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer (500) joins Fred “Bun” Cook (636), Frank Mathers (610), and John Paddock (589) as the only four coaches in AHL history to win 500 games. The two most penalized teams in the AHL lived up to their reputations as the two clubs combined for 67 penalty minutes and three sets of fighting majors. The Sharks set a franchise record with their 82nd fighting major in the contest. A real nasty first period led to 43 penalty minutes and the ejection of Bears captain Boyd Kane. AHL penalty minute leader Joel Rechlicz (13th FM) cross checked Matt Pelech in the face (8th FM) which led to a near line brawl at 9:12. Just over three minutes later, Boyd Kane (2nd FM) ran Curt Gogol from behind and then was sent to the ice by Jimmy Bonneau (17th FM) at 12:54. The Sharks scored on the ensuing major power play, as Jack Combs (10th) slid home a loose puck at the side of the net past Dany Sabourin at 17:09 assisted by Nathan moon and Chad Costello. The Bears would strike right back with a power play marker of their own, as Chris Bourque (23rd) fired a rocket from 50 feet through traffic and past Tyson Sexsmith at 18:52. The Sharks outshot the Bears 13-6 in the first period of play. The two heavyweight combatants brawled at center ice at 2:52 in a fight of the year candidate as Jimmy Bonneau (18th FM) and Joel Rechlicz (14th FM) did not disappoint with a lengthy battle for the only real action in a scoreless second period. The two teams headed into the 2nd intermission tied at 1-1 with Worcester holding a 23-17 shot advantage. Each team scored late in the third period as the Bears grabbed their first lead at 17:59 as Cody Eakin (10th) stuffed home a loose rebound after a turnover in the Sharks zone. Tim Kennedy (4th) scored his first goal as a member of the Worcester Sharks just 46 seconds later while the Sharks were on the power play and pulled Tyson Sexsmith for the extra attacker. A blast from the point missed the net and Jack Combs swung the bouncing puck across the crease to a wide open Kennedy for the tying score at 18:44 to force overtime. Neither team found the back of the net in overtime or the first six rounds of the shootout. Brodie Reid scored for the Sharks in round 7 and Patrick McNeill was stopped by Sexsmith to seal the 3-2 victory. Worcester’s record improves to 22-15-4-5 (53pts in 46gp) and 12-6-4-3 on the road.

2023 vs Reading 4-2 loss
(RAILERS) The Railers and Royals are sick of each other, that’s for sure. They have had encounter sessions five times in the last two weeks, seven times since New Year’s Day. It showed in the body language and chippiness Saturday at the DCU Center, a 4-2 victory by Reading in the last game of the season between the teams. The outcome disappointed a nice crowd of 5,121 on Pink in the Rink Night. Even so, the Railers would love to take on the Royals again in 2023 because if they do it will be in the playoffs. This was not a playoff-caliber game for Worcester. By the time the Railers got going it was too late for them to go anywhere. The Royals had a 1-0 lead before the game was a minute old, a 2-0 lead before it was four minutes old and a 3-0 lead with about five minutes left in the period. That early deficit actually provided Worcester with a chance to make a little franchise history. In five seasons, no Railers team has ever come back from a three-goal deficit to win. That achievement will have to wait. In the two weekend games the Railers gave up goals 26 seconds after the opening faceoff, then 34. That’s not a recipe for success, although Worcester rebounded to win Friday night. “If you give up a goal in the first minute of the game,” coach Jordan Smotherman said, “you’re not ready to play, and we had a couple of breakdowns we hadn’t had in a while — losing track of the guys behind us — that cost us goals.” Two former Railers got two of the Royals’ first three goals. Devon Paliani scored at 34 seconds, Max Newton at 14:56 and Evan Barratt in-between. It was still 3-0 after two, then the Railers got some life when Anthony Repaci scored a power play goal at 3:27. Alas, 10 seconds later miscommunication in the Railers zone led to a pair of Railers behind the net — including goalie Henrik Tikkanen — and nobody in front of it. The puck came to Alec Butcher and he took advantage to make it 4-1. Brent Beaudoin scored shorthanded late in the game to get Worcester to within a pair of goals again but that was as close as it got. Repaci and Beaudoin have helped carry the Railers offense the last few weeks. Repaci has points in eight straight games at 6-4-10. Beaudoin is 2-4-6 in his last three games, 2-8-10 in his last nine. Trevor Cosgrove assisted on both Railers goals and after being pointless in his first eight Railers games is 2-10-12 in the next 12. This was the final home game for Worcester in February. The Railers return to the DCU Center on March 3 versus Newfoundland and play all of their final 19 games against North Division opponents. “This will be huge for us and the playoffs,” Smotherman said, looking at the weeks ahead. “We have eight or nine (it is nine) games with the team right behind us in the division, Adirondack.” The upcoming road trip will last for six games, all in the south. Worcester plays two games at Norfolk next weekend, play Greenville the following Wednesday Feb. 22, then does a rare 3-in-3 against three different opponents in three different cities. The Railers play in South Carolina on Feb. 24, in Jacksonville the next night and take on Savannah for the first time ever on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 26. MAKING TRACKS – Conor Breen continued his unexpected emergence as the Railers muscle. He got 20 PIM in the third period, five of them for fighting, the rest for a check to the head. He has 27 PIM in seven games here after getting 4 in 21 games at Amherst College last season. … The Railers signed former Holy Cross forward Jake Pappalardo and he was in the lineup. Worcester is his third ECHL team this season, fourth in two seasons. His Southern League numbers with Birmingham are impressive. Pappalardo is 27-27-54 in 56 games with the Bulls over two seasons. … Reece Newkirk returned to action as Bobby Butler was rested. … Quin Ryan is the reigning Railers ironman. Saturday night was his 41st straight game in the lineup. … Worcester snapped its 15-game streak of being outshot, but lost. So much for that stat. … Beaudoin’s shorthanded goal was Worcester’s fifth of the season, first on home ice. … Newton’s goal brought his DCU Center career totals to 8-8-16 in seven games here including his time with the Railers. … Worcester finished the season series with Reading in the black, earning nine points in eight games.


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