Today in Worcester hockey history: February 22

25B

1998 at Hershey 4-4 tie
The Worcester IceCats lost a couple of leads and then needed a late third period goal to knot it in their 4-4 tie with the Bears. Michal Handzus put the ‘Cats on top just 45 seconds into the game, with assist going to Shayne Toporowski and Mike Prokopec. Nick Naumenko then made it 2-0 at 6:16, with Handzus and Prokopec helping. Hershey would tie it on goals by Pascal Trepanier (18:21pp, 1st) and Christian Matte (14:46pp, 2nd). In the third Jamal Mayers put Worcester back in the lead at 1:24, with Prokopec and Bob Lachance assisting, but Bears goals by Rob Shearer (4:47) and Matte (17:14,pp) put Worcester down one. Robert Petrovicky sent the game to overtime with a goal at 17:32 assisted by Ricard Persson, and neither team would score in the extra session. Brent Johnson made 33 saves in earning the point.

2000 at Portland 5-4 win
(TICKER) Tyler Willis scored with 2:03 remaining and Brent Johnson stopped 36 shots in relief as the Worcester IceCats edged the Portland Pirates, 5-4. Willis completed a three-goal rally with his first of the season. Johnson, who replaced Cody Rudkowsky six minutes into the contest, made 28 saves over the final two periods for his 20th win. Ladislav Nagy’s goal with 6:17 left in the second period tied it at 3-3 for Worcester. After Mike Peluso scored on the power play for Portland, Tyler Rennette tied it again at 6:29 of the third for the IceCats. Worcester won for only the third time in 20 games when trailing after one period (3-14-3). Trent Whitfield scored twice in the first 4 1/2 minutes of the contest for the Pirates, who lost to the IceCats for the first time in five meetings. Martin Brochu surrendered five goals and had his league-leading goals-against average rise to 2.16.

2002 at Albany 3-2 win OT
(ALBANY) Call Blake Evans a quick study. Stopped on his first breakaway in overtime, he didn’t make the same mistake on his second. Evans scored on a rush with 1:53 left in extra time last night to rally the Worcester IceCats past the Albany River Rats, 3-2, at Pepsi Arena. It was Evans’ second goal in nine games since being recalled from Peoria Feb. 4, helping the IceCats reach the 30-win plateau for the seventh straight season. The victory also enabled Worcester (30-23-6-1) to sweep its season series with the Rats, 4-0. With 2:08 left in overtime, Evans found himself alone in the right circle when Albany defenseman Joel Dezainde went to the bench for a line change rather than play the puck. Evans skated in from goalie Ari Ahonen’s left to right, but was denied by his right pad at the far post. On the ensuing rush up ice, Evans got back into his defensive zone to pick up the puck, blazed up the right wing past Albany defender Daryl Andrews and in on Ahonen from a similar angle. This time, though, Evans tucked it between the goalie’s pads as he skated across. Worcester appeared in control of the game early, getting a goal from Rat-killer Andrei Troschinsky at 17:06 of the first period off a scramble in front of Ahonen, who finished with 42 saves. Of Troschinsky’s 10 goals this season, four have come against Albany. The IceCats doubled their lead 6:14 into the second when Eric Boguniecki broke in up right wing and centered a sharp-angle pass through the crease that missed everyone but Justin Papineau, who tapped it in for his 33rd goal of the season. Despite being outshot considerably, Albany managed to beat Reinhard Divis with 4:51 left in the second as Bruce Gardiner got lost behind the defense and banked in a wrist shot off the right post. The Rats caught a break to net the equalizer when Jiri Bicek’s centering pass to Christian Berglund caromed off the skate of ‘Cats defenseman Ed Campbell and past a surprised Divis with just seven minutes to play. Evans was nearly the goat when he took a high-sticking penalty on Dezainde behind Albany’s net, but the Rats managed just one shot with the advantage. For the game, Worcester outshot Albany, 45-19.

2003 at Manchester 3-0 win
(MONARCHS) The Worcester IceCats extended the Manchester Monarchs winless streak against divisional opponents to five games with a 3-0 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Wireless Arena. A record-breaking sellout crowd of 9,916 fans witnessed Saturday’s game. The Monarchs, who have lost three straight for the first time this season, had 13 sellouts at the VerizonWireless Arena all of last year. The IceCats scored all three goals on second period power plays. Sergei Varlamov opened with a power play tally at 5:44. Varalmov’s 20th goal came seconds after he knocked down an errant pass near the Monarchs blue line and skated in uncontested against goaltender Travis Scott. Scott, who began his professional career as an IceCats player, was the victim of a high glove side shot from Varlamov, who tied teammate Justin Papineau for the team lead in goals. Ernie Hartlieb followed with a power play score at 14:18 and Jame Pollock pushed the lead to 3-0 with his power play goal at 18:24. Defenseman Tom Koivisto assisted on the last two tallies. Goaltender Curtis Sanford gained his third shutout of the season with 20 saves as the Monarchs offensive struggles continued. The Monarchs were short-handed much of the afternoon as the IceCats gained their three power play scores on 11 power play chances. The Monarchs finished 0 for 7 on the power play with three of the chances awarded in the third period with the game all but decided.

2004 at Providence 3-2 win OT
The Worcester IceCats overcame two one-goal deficits to force the game into overtime where Brendan Brooks would connect at 3:05 of the extra session to give the ‘Cats a 3-2 win. Mike Scott gave the Baby-Bs the lead at 17:26 of the first period, but Tom Koivisto would get Worcester back to even 1:39 into the second period. Brooks and Jeff Panzer had the assists on the play. Former ‘Cats captain Ed Campbell then gave Providence their lead back at 6:31. In the third period Mike Glumac scored on the power play, assisted by Koivisto and Peter Sejna, at 7:14. The teams would be scoreless for the remainder of the game until Brook’s overtime tally, assisted by Aris Brimanis and Sejna. Bruins netminder Tim Thomas had 36 saves in the contest, while Mike Valley had 24 saves in the win.

2008 vs Lowell 2-1 OTL
(WORSHARKS) While a snowstorm raged outside, the Lowell Devils turned up the heat on the Worcester Sharks inside the DCU Center on Friday night, as the Sharks fell in overtime by a 2-1 score despite holding a significant advantage in shots on net. Back on home ice for the first time in three weeks and just the second time in over a month, Worcester had no trouble producing chances in the opening frame, but it was the Devils who struck first via the power play. With Dan Spang in the box for hooking, Lowell blueliner Richard Matvichuk fed teammate Nicklas Bergfors in the left wing corner. Bergfors slotted a pass to linemate Patrick Davis, who beat Sharks netminder Dmitri Patzold to the short side at 15:26 for his seventh goal of the year. Worcester wasted no time in answering back, however, taking advantage of a mistake from Devils backstop Frank Doyle just over a minute later. The goaltender attempted to play the puck behind his own net, only to have it wrapped around the right wing boards by Worcester’s Brad Staubitz. The puck found the stuck of Marc Busenburg at the blue line, and the defenseman’s shot was redirected by Dennis Packard past Doyle, who was never able to fully recover on the play. Packard’s sixth goal of the year gave Staubitz his 10th assist and Busenburg his 5th in just 16 games. The Sharks ended the period on their second power play and managed four shots, but Doyle was equal to the task, bringing his first period save total to 16. Neither team generated much offense out of the intermission, with just two combined shots in the opening eight minutes of the second period. Each team was able to put together a quality chance later in the period during a crazy half-minute of action near the end of the frame. Mike Iggulden created a turnover deep in the Lowell zone and fed Graham Mink, whose one-timer from between the circles forced a quick pad save from Doyle. The Devils took the rebound and rushed down ice, with centerman Rod Pelley firing a shot off the far upright that very nearly caromed across the goal line. A scoreless middle frame expired with Worcester picking up a bench minor for too many men on the ice. Coupled with matching minors from a moment prior, the Sharks were tasked with killing off a 4-on-3 power play to open the third. Worcester allowed three shots but Patzold remained strong to preserve the tie. The teams split chances over the remainder of regulation but were unable to break through, forcing the game into overtime. Lowell was efficient in the extra frame, finding the back of the net after just 20 seconds. Defenseman Mark Fraser fired a shot into traffic that was knocked down in front of the net, but Stephen Gionta cleaned up the loose puck to net his 13th goal of the season and hand Worcester their fourth overtime loss, two of which have come at the hands of the Devils.

2009 at Lowell 4-3 OTL
(WORSHARKS) With 4th place on the line in Lowell, the Sharks fell 4-3 in overtime as rookie Michael Swift scored with just: 22 seconds remaining to give the Devils a 4-3 victory. Both teams would strike for two even strength goals in the opening period. The Devils scored on the game’s first shot when Rod Pelley deflected a puck into the net from on top of the crease after a great feed from Stephen Gionta. The Devils led 1-0 at 2:43 of the first period. After the Devils couldn’t strike on consecutive power play chances, the Sharks’ Riley Armstrong scored after a faceoff win deep in the Devils zone after a Lowell icing. The goal was Armstrong’s 19th of the season assisted by Cavanagh at 7:00. The Sharks would strike again on a delayed penalty call. Tom Cavanagh threw a pass across the ice from the right boards and found a streaking Mike Moore who then went in and scored on a backhanded shot past Jeff Frazee at 10:34 to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. After the Sharks couldn’t score on back-to-back power plays, the Devils would score on a 2on2 rush with Rod Pelley deflecting in a pass from Zharkov at 17:38 to tie the score at 2-2. Shots were 13-10 in favor of Worcester after twenty minutes of play. The Devils would score on the first shot of the first period as Matt Halischuk scored his 11th at 1:53 of the second period with an assist to Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond to give the Devils a 3-2 lead. Sharks Captain Ryan Vesce would bury a rebound chance on the power play after an initial shot from Matt Fornataro to tie the score at 5:41. Neither team would score in the third period, as both goaltenders made some key saves down the stretch, non better than Jeff Frazee’s stop on Jamie McGinn’s breakaway attempt midway through the third period. Rookie Michael Swift would end the game in overtime at 4:38 after a great pass from Nicolas Bergfors on a delayed penalty call. Bergfors found Swift alone on top of the crease as he tapped it in for his 10th of the season. The win for the Devils in overtime was their first victory in the overtime period (1-1) and the loss for the Sharks was their first in overtime (5-1). The loss drops Worcester’s record to 28-25-1-2 with 59 points, just one point behind the 4th place Lowell Devils.

2013 vs Manchester 7-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (23-21-1-5, 52pts) kicked off a 3-in-3 home weekend with a 7-2 loss to the Manchester Monarchs (23-24-2-3, 51pts) on Friday evening in front of 3,978 fans at the DCU Center. Harri Sateri allowed seven goals on 31 shots and Bracken Kearns added two assists as the Sharks tied a franchise record with their 7th straight home loss (0-5-0-2). Matt Tennyson and Jon Matsumoto scored for Worcester and Taylor Doherty returned to the lineup after missing the last 29 games due to injury. Seven different Monarchs recorded multi point games led by two goals by Brandon Kozun. There was no scoring in the first period as both Harri Sateri Sateri made seven saves and Martin Jones six stops. The best scoring chance either team had was when Manchester’s Tyler Toffoli looked to have a easy rebound tap-in, but was denied by a highlight save by Sateri midway through the first period. Manchester went 0 for 2 on the power play while Worcester went 0 for 1 in the opening frame. Manchester dominated the second period as they scored five goals in a 9:53 span to take charge and took a 5-1 lead. The scoring started when a botched deke move by Jordan Weal (7th) faked out Sateri, leaving the net wide open as Weal tapped the puck in giving the Monarchs a 1-0 lead at 8:37. Worcester tied the game less than a minute later as Matt Tennyson (4th) took a low wrist shot from the point that slipped past Jones on the power play at 9:30. Manchester would go on to score the next three goals in a span of two and half minutes to give them a 4-1 lead. Bryan Rodney’s (3rd) on the power play at 11:09 started the span, as goals by Brandon Kozun (17th) and Tanner Pearson (13th) would follow to stretch the Monarch’s lead to three goals. The Monarchs capped off the second period scoring by a Tyler Toffoli (25th) goal at 17:50 of the period, making it 5-1 in favor of Manchester. The Monarchs outshot the Sharks 17 to 9 in the second period and held a 23 to 15 advantage for the game. After Daniil Tarasov was denied by Martin Jones on a penalty shot at 4:17 of the third period, Worcester would use the momentum they gained to cut the lead to 5-2. Jon Matsumoto (12th) took a nice pass from Bracken Kearns and roofed one over the glove of Martin Jones at 4:46 of the third period. Brandon Kozun (18th) would strike again for the Monarchs at 12:47 of the period making it 6-2 Manchester. The Monarchs would score the game’s final goal at 14:37 as Linden Very (14th) blasted a wrist shot past Sateri to make it 7-2. Worcester outshot Manchester 17 to 8 in the third period giving them a 32 to 31 lead in shots for the game. The Sharks overall record falls to 23-21-1-5 (52pts in 50gp) and 8-10-1-3 (19pts in 21gp) on home ice this season.

2014 vs St. John’s 3-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (23-24-3-1, 50pts) were defeated again by the St. John’s IceCaps (31-19-1-3, 66pts) by a score of 3-1 before 4,087 fans as they played the second of a two-game home series at the DCU Center Saturday evening. Freddie Hamilton (15th) scored the lone Worcester goal in their 3-1 loss as Worcester fired an outstanding 50 shots, but came up short as John Albert (13th), Patrice Cormier (5th) and Kyle MacKinnon (7th) all scored for the IceCaps and Michael Hutchinson made 49 saves in the win. The first period was feisty with sets of fighting majors, 32 penalty minutes and a late shorthanded goal for St. John’s. The intense battle opened up at 1:49 when Rylan Schwartz (1st FM) dropped the gloves with Eric O’Dell (1st FM) behind the IceCaps’ net. The players kept the fire going with several small scraps until a second fight erupted at 16:37 between Lane Scheidl (1st FM) and J.C. Lipon (11th FM). The lone goal of the period came at 17:42 with the IceCaps on a penalty kill. John Albert (13th, 5th SHG) shot the puck behind Sateri after a fast break through the Sharks’ defensive zone. Worcester took a season-high 22 shots for the period while St. John’s was limited to just six shots. The second 20 minutes of play expired with the IceCaps still holding a one-goal lead over the Sharks as each team tallied a goal. Freddie Hamilton (15th / team-leading) tied the game just 21 seconds in, when Schwartz came up with a St. John’s turnover behind the net and dished the puck to Hamilton in front, where he slipped it behind Hutchinson. The IceCaps took back their one-goal lead at 9:35, after Patrice Cormier (5th) skated the puck down the left side of the ice and lifted a pass attempt across the net that ricocheted off the bottom of Sateri’s glove and behind the goal line. Worcester outshot St. John’s 15-10 in the middle period. The final period accounted for a St. John’s insurance goal as they sealed a 3-1 victory over the Sharks. At 5:12 Kyle MacKinnon (7th) knocked on Worcester’s door, pushing goal underneath Sateri from just outside the left post. The Sharks again kept their offensive pressure rolling, outshooting St. John’s 13-5, but couldn’t find the back of the net in the final 20 minutes. The Sharks’ overall record falls to 23-24-3-1, 50pts and 12-11-0-1, 25pts at home.

2015 at Manchester 3-0 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (29-17-4-2, 64pts) extended their point streak to six games (5-0-1) after a 3-0 shutout win over the host Manchester Monarchs (32-13-5-2, 71pts) in front of 4,952 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon. John McCarthy, Taylor Fedun, and Willie Coetzee scored for Worcester while Aaron Dell made 24 saves in net for his 3rd shutout of the season. JF Berube surrendered two goals on 16 shots for Manchester as the Sharks won their 4th straight game over the Monarchs. Rylan Schwartz and Chris Crane each recorded two assists as the Sharks picked up six points this weekend. John McCarthy (8th) gave Worcester an early 1-0 lead after Eriah Hayes went in hard on the fore-check, freed the puck up for Ryan Carpenter who then zipped it in for McCarthy all alone in front of the Monarchs cage. Rylan Schwartz (1st FM) dropped the mitts with Andrew Bodnarchuk at 14:54 after a big scrum in front of Aaron Dell’s net. Each team fired six shots in the opening 20 minutes as the Sharks took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Taylor Fedun (4th) scored the only goal of the second period after a great defensive play in his zone by Gus Young for a quick transition. Rylan Schwartz entered into the Manchester zone down the right wing and left a drop pass to Fedun who took the puck to the net and sent a backhander past JF Berube at 2:58. Aaron Dell made several great saves in the period and had 16 saves through 40 minutes of play as the Sharks had a 2-0 lead through 40 minutes. Aaron Dell made seven more saves in the third period as Willie Coetzee scored in his 3rd straight game with an empty net tally at 18:17 for a 3-0 final. The Sharks overall record falls to 28-17-4-2, 62pts, and 12-10-2-1, 27pts on the road this season.

2018 at Reading 6-3 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (23-22-4-3, 53pts) fell behind by three goals early and could not recover in a 6-3 loss to the host Reading Royals (30-20-3-0, 63pts) in front of 3,068 fans at the Santander Arena on Thursday evening. Brock Beukeboom, Chris Langkow, and Nick Saracino scored for the Railers but Matt Willows (1-1-2), Steven Swavely (2-0-2) and Chris McCarthy (1-2-3) had big nights offensively for the Royals. Mitch Gillam made 26 saves in net as the Railers fell to 2-2-0-1 on their season long seven game road trip. Reading charged out to a 3-0 first period lead with goals by Steven Swavely (8th) at 4:15, Nolan Zajac (14th) at 13:55, and Matt Willows (22nd) at 15:53 as the Royals scored three goals on 13 shots on Mitch Gillam. Worcester finally got on the board at 19:11 as Brock Beukeboom (2nd) sent a blast on the rush down the middle from 45 feet past Brenden Komm for an unassisted tally. Shots were 13-7 Reading as Worcester trailed 3-1 after 20 minutes of play. The Royals grabbed a 4-1 advantage as Chris McCarthy (16th) scored off a Matt Willows feed from 10 feet at 15:41 of the second period. The Railers would get the goal back with a 5-on-3 power play score by captain Chris Langkow (14th) with a quick snap shot from below the dot in the left circle assisted by Ben Masella and Nick Saracino. Shots were 9-7 in the middle frame in favor of Worcester as the Railers trailed 4-2 after 40 minutes of play. Brian Morgan (7th) and Steven Swavely (9th) each scored in the third period as Nick Saracino (7th) found the back of the net for Worcester at 8:55 as the Railers fell 6-3 on the road. Shots were 10-8 in the third period in favor of the Royals.

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