Today in Worcester hockey history: February 23

25B

1995 at Fredericton 3-2 win
The Worcester IceCats held a 3-0 late in the contest and then had to kill off a major penalty and managed to survive with a 3-2 win over the Canadiens. Jim Nesich scored at 1:22 of the opening period with assists going to Jarrett Deuling and Roy Mitchell. Jason Widmer made it 2-0 at 11:13 with Sean Whyte providing the helper. In the third period Whyte sent off on a breakaway, and Fredericton netminder Martin Brochu made the save. Fortunately for the ‘Cats the rebound hit Canadiens defenseman David Wilkie as he raced back to catch Deuling, and the puck bounced into the yawning net at 5:42. That proved to be a big goal as Nesich was called for a spearing major, and Jim Campbell made it 3-1 with a power play goal. Still on the power play and with Brochu pulled for a six on four advantage Wilkie scored to make it 3-2 at 19:54, but that was all the scoring in the game. Wayne Cowley had 41 saves in the contest.

1996 at Albany 2-1 win
The Worcester IceCats defeated the River Rats in a game where all the goals were scored in the first period. Jarrett Deuling opened the scoring at 1:23, assisted by Marquis Mathieu and Steve Staios. Derek Armstrong made it 2-1 with an unassisted goal at 4:20. Denis Pederson cut the ‘Cats lead in half at 16:35, but that would be all the scoring in the contest. Mike Buzak made 27 saves for the win.

1997 at Hershey 2-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats fired 36 shots on Bears netminder Jean-Francois Labbe but could only beat him once in a 2-1 loss to Hershey. Cory Banika gave the Bears a 1-0 lead at 5:14 of the first. Christian Matte made it 2-0 on a five on three power play goal 28 seconds into the middle period. Konstantin Shafronov returned the favor of a five on three goal at 10:05, assisted by Radim Bicanek and goaltender Jamie McLennan. But that would be all the scoring. McLennan made 23 saves in the loss.

2000 at Providence 2-0 win
(TICKER) Brent Johnson made 30 saves backstop the Worcester IceCats to a 2-0 victory over the Providence Bruins. Johnson recorded his third shutout and is tied for second in the league with 22 wins. Peter Smrek scored the game-winner in the second period and Jim Campbell tallied in the third for Worcester. Trevor Wasyluk collected two assists for the IceCats, who have won four of their last five games. Kay Whitmore stopped 30 shots for Providence, whose winless streak reached eight games (0-7-1).

2001 at Providence 2-2 tie
(TICKER) Daniel Corso scored the game-tying goal as the Worcester IceCats and the Providence Bruins skated to a 2-2 tie. Corso’s 14 marker of the season came with 5:01 remaining in the second period to follow Mark Rycroft’s first-period tally. Dwayne Roloson stopped 26 shots for Worcester, which is unbeaten in its last six games (5-0-1). Brandon Smith and Jeremy Brown each scored a first-period goal to give Providence a 2-1 advanatge. Andrew Raycroft turned aside a season-high 41 shots and snapped his personal six-game losing streak.

2002 at Springfield 4-1 win
(SPRINGFIELD) The best one-two punch in the AHL delivered a knockout blow for the IceCats last night in a 4-1 victory over the Springfield Falcons. Justin Papineau and Eric Boguniecki each scored a goal to remain tied atop the AHL goal-scorer leaderboard with 34 each. Boguniecki also notched a pair of assists to increase his AHL-leading points mark to 72. Reinhard Divis stopped 33 shots to record the victory. Divis’s play was solid throughout the night, but he sparkled brightest during a key Springfield four-on-three in the middle of the third, making at least three spectacular saves. Divis has now notched three wins in three games since returning from playing for Austria in the Olympics. The game was played before an announced crowd of 6,105, many of whom must have had an early bedtime, for many fewer remained at the game’s conclusion. The IceCats have owned the season series with the Falcons, going 5-1 over the teams’ six contests. The lone loss was back on Jan. 6, when Patrick DesRochers shut out the ‘Cats, 3-0, but they seem to have figured him out since then. Daniel Tkaczuk opened the scoring with a power-play goal just 2:28 into the game. Jeff Panzer fed Tkaczuk in front of the net, and he stuffed it past DesRochers. Boguniecki also assisted on the goal. Jean-Guy Trudel evened up the score for the Falcons with a power-play goal of his own at the 6:20 mark. It took only a minute, 26 seconds for Worcester to reclaim the lead for good, when Boguniecki fed Papineau across the crease and he slammed it home. The goal gave Papineau an AHL-leading 34th goal, a perch he owned alone for less than 18 minutes of game time. Boguniecki joined Papineau with 34 goals, at 5:15 of the second period. Trevor Baker fed a streaking Boguniecki, who found a seam behind the defense. Mark Rycroft accounted for the final tally, with a slapshot blast at 18:30 of the third. Tkaczuk and Dale Clarke assisted on the goal. Papineau had no chance to better his goals total, however, leaving the game late in the first after taking a hard hit. In addition to Papineau’s condition, Tyler Rennette saw no action in the game due to illness. He warmed up with the team, but did not feel in game shape.

2005 vs Manchester 2-1 win
(MONARCHS) Two goal scored less than 60 seconds apart in the third period gave the Worcester IceCats a 2-1 win over the Manchester Monarchs before 5,610 fans at the DCU Center on Wednesday night. The teams skated through an opening period that included few good scoring chances. The Monarchs best shot at a goal in the period came when left wing Dustin Brown nearly beat goaltender Jason Bacashihua 2:38 into the contest. Brown took a feed from right wing Darren Van Oene in the left circle of the Worcester zone and skated hard to toward the net, but Bacashihua’s shoulder got in the way of his close range wrist shot. The Monarchs took the lead 8:04 into the second period with the 18th goal of the season for left wing Noah Clarke, who scooped up a loose puck at the bottom of the right circle and stuffed it into the Worcester net. Clarke took advantage of a fortunate bounce after a slap shot from center Michael Cammalleri caromed off an IceCats player and deflected right to him. Defenseman Denis Grebeshkov, back from an injury that sidelined him for two games, had the second assist on the play. The IceCats need only 56 seconds of clock time in the third period to erase the deficit and take the lead. Rookie defenseman Dennis Wideman finished an odd-man rush with his ninth goal, scored from the high slot with assists to center Troy Riddle and left wing Erkki Rajamaki at 3:14, and right wing Jon DiSalvatore backhanded his own rebound over Monarchs goaltender Mathieu Garon (26 shots, 24 saves) and into the Manchester net at 4:10. Center Peter Sejna had the only assist on DiSalvatore’s 16th goal of the season. Garon took the loss. His record dropped to 23-10-3. Bacashihua (15-9-0) earned the win, his 15th of the season. The Monarchs were 0-for-3 on the power play. The IceCats were 0-for-2.

2007 vs Portland 5-3 loss
The Worcetser Sharks came back from three one-goal deficits but couldn’t do it a fourth time in a 5-3 loss to the Pirates. Kent Huskins made it 1-0 Portland at 7:27 of the first, and Mike Iggulden tied it on the power play at 11:30 with assists going to Graham Mink and Mathieu Darche. Joe Motzko made it 2-1 Pirates at 9:40 of the middle frame, but once again the WorSharks tied it when Mink scored at 15:52. Tom Cavanagh and Tomas Plihal had the helpers. In the third Geoff Peters made it 3-2 on the power play at 1:59, but Riley Armstrong tied the game for the third time at 10:51, with help from Lukas Kaspar. Joe Motzko made it 4-3 Portland at 12:34, but there was no answer this time from Worcester. Simon Ferguson added an empty net goal at 19:47 for the 5-3 final. Dimitri Patzold made 25 saves in the game.

2008 vs Portland 6-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) The raising of the 2009 All-Star banner to the rafters wasn’t enough to will the Sharks into victory as the Portland Pirates ruined the parade with a 6-1 win on Saturday night at the DCU Center. With Springfield losing, the Sharks remain 11 points behind the Falcons for the fourth and final playoff spot. Worcester is now nine points behind Manchester for fifth, who defeated Norfolk on Saturday. Sharks President & CEO Michael T. Lehr was joined in a pregame ceremony by American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews, Worcester City Manager Michael O’Brien, DCU Center General Manager Sandy Dunn, and Worcester Sharks Booster Club President Rich Lundin in raising the banner to commemorate Worcester’s selection to hold the 2009 All-Star Classic. After that, Portland scored early and often to pick up the convincing victory. Bobby Ryan and Jason King led the offensive barrage with three points each on a goal and two assists. Petteri Wirtanen (1g, 1a), Drew Miller (1g, 1a), and Brian Salcido (0g, 2a) each finished with two points. Pirates goaltender Mike McKenna finished with 30 saves on 31 shots while the Sharks’ Dimitri Patzold had 9 saves in 23:10 of action and Dakers had 19 in the final 36:28. It didn’t take long for the Pirates to get on the board. On a three-on-two up ice, Wirtanen made a backhand flip in the direction of Patzold. Miller made a tip that Patzold saved, but the rebound bounced right to Ryan who found the open net at 1:24 of the first period. For Ryan, it was his 19th goal of the season, six of which have come at Worcester’s expense. Less than four minutes later at 4:54, a Graham Mink turnover led to Portland’s second goal. After Mink’s clearing attempt was picked off, Darryl Bootland was in the right faceoff circle and made a feed to Miller in front of the crease. Miller subsequently beat Patzold high to make it 2-0. Salcido had the other assist on the play. On Worcester’s first power play, Devin Setoguchi took a nifty pass from Derek Joslin. He skated down the right wing side and let go a shot that beat McKenna, but hit the post to keep it 2-0. The Pirates added to their lead with just 10 seconds remaining in the first period. Portland had a power play, followed directly by a Worcester man advantage. A Nate Raduns hooking call made it three in a row, with the Pirates taking advantage. Jason King was stationed at the back boards when he found Wirtanen skating in all alone between the faceoff circles. Wirtanen let go a shot that beat Patzold over his left shoulder for the 3-0 lead. Along with King, Ryan picked up the other assist on the play. After one, shots were 10-7 in favor of Portland. Things continued to go downhill for the Sharks as 3:32 into the second period, Portland added to its lead. Patzold was shaken up when he came out to play a puck and was accidentally run into by a Pirates player. Off the ensuing faceoff, Eric Weinrich unleashed a slap shot just inside the blue line on the left wing side. It found its way through traffic and through Patzold’s pads to make it 4-0. King and Ryan tallied the assists on the play. Patzold was pulled in favor of Dakers after the goal. A Craig Valette penalty led to a 5-0 Portland advantage as it tallied its second power play goal of the game on another shot from the point. Bruno St. Jacques let go a shot from inside the blue line on the right wing side. It found its way through, hit the inside of the left post and went in at 4:35. Michal Birner and Joe Callahan had the assists. The Pirates kept pouring it on at 17:42 when King scored his 23rd of the season. A pass got through Sharks’ defender Dan Spang to King at the doorstep. His first shot was stopped, but the rebound bounced right back to him and he stuffed the puck around Dakers and inside the left post for the six-goal lead. Geoff Platt and Salcido had the helpers on the play. Shots were 15-14 in favor of the Pirates in the second period, while they held the 25-21 lead after two. Worcester finally got on the board at 5:37 of the third period when Tom Cavanagh scored his 12th goal of the season. Brennan Evans brought the puck down the left wing side when he passed to Cavanagh in between the faceoff circles. Cavanagh, facing the opposite direction of McKenna, put a blind backhand shot on goal which slipped just inside the right post. Setoguchi picked up the other assist on the play.

2011 vs Springfield 4-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) Worcester jumped out to a two goal lead but Springfield scored four unanswered goals as the Falcons skated away with a 4-2 win Wednesday night at the DCU Center. It was the first time in 17 games that the Sharks lost to the Falcons in regulation (13-1-3). Jeff Jakaitis made 23 saves while Jonathan Cheechoo and Brandon Mashinter scored for the Sharks in their first home game in two weeks. Springfield scored all four goals within the last six minutes of the second and third periods. Worcester began their first home game in two weeks strong as they jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Jonathan Cheechoo (18th) finished a two-on-one with Mike Swift as he fired a wrist shot top shelf past David Leneveu at 4:13. Brandon Mashinter (11th) would extend the lead to 2-0 as he snapped a one timer off a pass from Patrick Davis. Sharks led 2-0 at the end of the first period. Springfield scored twice within three minutes late in the second to tie the game at 2-2. Nikita Filatov (5th) scored on a 2-on-1 as he buried a one timer past Jeff Jakaitis at 13:52. Trevor Smith (18th) would tie the game at 16:59 on the power play as he jammed home the puck after Jeff Jakaitis made a split save on the initial shot. After forty minutes of play the score was tied 2-2 with Worcester leading in shots 27-17. Springfield continued their comeback as they scored two more unanswered goals in the third. Kyle Wilson (11th) scored on a rush along the right side boards to give the Falcons their first lead with 2:45 remaining. The Falcons would net an insurance goal as Dane Byers (12th) added an empty net goal. The Sharks record falls to 26-21-3-6 with 61 points and to 14-9-1-3 at the DCU Center.

2013 vs Portland 4-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (24-21-1-5, 54pts) defeated the division rival Portland Pirates (30-19-1-1, 62pts) by a score of 4-1 on Saturday evening in front of 5,045 fans at the DCU Center. The Sharks wore specialty jerseys in the game to benefit the Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts and broke a seven game home losing skid at the DCU Center. First period goals by Danny Groulx (3rd), Bracken Kearns (13th), and Jimmy Bonneau (1st) was the difference-maker in the game, as the Sharks got the early lead and never looked back. Matt Tennyson (5th) also added a goal of his own in the second period to give the Sharks a 4-0 lead, before Phil Lane (5th) got the Pirates on the board early in the third period. Alex Stalock was awesome in net, stopping all but one of the 37 shots that he faced in the game. This win was Stalock’s 14th of the season. After a back-and-forth start to the first period, the Sharks were finally able to strike first at 13:15 on a missile from the point by defenseman Danny Groulx (3rd) that beat Portland goaltender Mike Lee glove-side, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead. Just over two minutes later, Bracken Kearns (13th) increased the Sharks lead on a shorthanded bid, when he stole the puck from a Portland defenseman and went in on a breakaway and beat Lee five-hole, making it a 2-0 game. The Sharks didn’t let up there. After the Sharks killed off Jimmy Bonneau’s (1st) penalty, he stepped out of the box and scored to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead on a low shot far-side. The Sharks outshot the Pirates 13-10 in the opening period. There wasn’t much action until the late stages of the second period. With just over three minutes left in the period, James Livingston made a great cross-ice feed to a wide open Matt Tennyson (5th), who walked in and buried a wrist shot to the left of Louis Domingue, who replaced Mike Lee in net following the first period, extending the Worcester lead to 4-0. The Sharks continued their offensive pressure in the second, firing 14 more shots on the cage. The Pirates cut into their four-goal deficit 4:47 into the final period, when Phil Lane (5th) curled out from behind the net and beat Alex Stalock glove side, trimming the Worcester lead to 4-1. Stalock played great down the stretch to secure the victory for the Sharks, including a big save on a breakaway by Portland’s Chris Brown and a number of saves on quality shots on a Portland power play following their first goal, eliminating any chance that the Pirates had of getting back in the game. The Sharks overall record improves to 24-21-1-5 (54pts in 51gp) and 9-10-1-3 (22pts in 23gp) at home this season.

2014 at Manchester 4-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (23-25-3-1, 50pts) dropped their 6th straight game in regulation with a 4-2 loss to the first place Manchester Monarchs (36-14-2-6, 80pts) in front of 4,595 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Sunday afternoon. Dan DaSilva (12th) and Brodie Reid (8th) scored for the Sharks while Troy Grosenick made 15 saves in the loss. Monarchs’ rookie Nick Shore scored his 2nd goal of the game with just 67 seconds remaining in the third period to break a 2-2 tie as Mathias Niederberger made 30 saves for his first AHL win. Worcester outshot Manchester 11-1 in the first period but the two teams headed into the first intermission tied 1-1. NHL veteran Colin Fraser (2nd) deflected home a Nick Deslauriers shot from the right circle on the power play past goaltender Troy Grosenick at 2:20 to put the Monarchs ahead 1-0. The Sharks would tie the score at 1-1 after a Dylan Demelo wrist shot from the point was mishandled by rookie goaltender Mathias Niederberger and swept into the net by Dan DaSilva (12th) at 8:29. In the second period, Worcester had a goal waved off by referee Brett Iverson and had several great scoring chances on the Manchester rookie netminder but came up empty on 13 shots. Nick Shore (9th) finished off a nice 2-on-1 rush at 14:13 after a great feed by Steve Quailer to put the Monarchs ahead 2-1 after 40 minutes. Worcester held a 24-10 shot advantage through two periods. Brodie Reid (8th) tied the score at 2-2 at 6:20 of the third period as he fired home a rebound from a Lane Scheidl shot. After the Sharks turned the puck over in front of their blue line, Nick Shore (10th) broke down the left wing and cut in front of the Worcester net and buried home his own rebound at 18:53 to put Manchester ahead 3-2. Brian O’Neil (13th) fired the puck into the empty net to give Manchester the 4-2 victory. The Sharks overall record falls to 23-25-3-1, 50pts and 11-14-3-0, 25pts on the road.

2020 at S. Carolina 6-5 OTL
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (18-33-4-0, 40pts) wrapped up their five game road trip with a heartbreaking 6-5 overtime loss to the South Carolina Stingrays (41-10-3-1, 86pts) in front of 3,580 fans at the North Charleston Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.The Railers return home for a three in three weekend at the DCU Center which begins on Friday, February 28 at 7pm. The Worcester Railers led 1-0, 2-1, 4-3, and trailed 5-4 late in the third period before Cody Payne scored with 28 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 5-5. Worcester got goals from five different scorers, Barry Almeida (1-1-2), Tyler Poulsen (1-0-1), Nic Pierog (1-0-1), Ross Olsson (1-1-2), and Cody Payne (1-1-2), while Ian Milosz made 30 saves in net for Worcester. Steven Whitney (3-0-3) led the way for South Carolina while Jesse Lees (1-0-1) scored the overtime winner which was his first professional goal. Logan Thompson made 41 saves in net for his 21st victory. The first period was nothing short of exciting as Ian Milosz made a handful of big saves before Barry Almeida (15th) gave Worcester a 1-0 lead at 6:54. The lead did not last long as fellow Boston College Eagle Steven Whitney (1st) tied the score at 1-1 at 7:32. Eight seconds later Tyler Poulsen (11th) notched his first as a Railer on a fluky bounce as the Railers took a 2-1 advantage. The 2-1 lead held for Worcester through 20 minutes of play with the Railers outshooting the Stingrays 12-9. It took just 91 seconds into the second period for Steven Whitney (2nd) to notch his second goal of the game after he banked one off of Ian Milosz from behind the net to tie the score at 2-2. Former Railer Alec March (3rd) sent a blast off from the high slot that rose over the right shoulder of Milosz at 8:35 to give South Carolina a 3-2 lead, their first of the game. The Railers leading goal scorer Nic Pierog (22nd) would deflect a puck past Logan Thompson in front of the cage at 9:55 off an initial shot point shot from Justin Murray to even the game up at 3-3. On the Railers first power-play of the afternoon Ross Olsson (11th) would corral the puck behind the net and on the top of the post was able to fire it by Thompson to make it a 4-3 Railers lead. Worcester led 4-3 after 40 minutes of play and led in shots 25-23 through the first two stanzas. Cameron Askew (9th) tied things up at 4-4 for South Carolina at 15:09 and then the Stingrays would take a 5-4 lead when Steven Whitney (3rd) capped off his hat trick with just 2:11. In the dying moments of regulation Cody Payne (6th) would slam home a lose rebound to tie the game at 5-5. The two teams headed to overtime and the hero of the day would be Jesse Lees (1st) was able to end the game at 5:30 of the extra frame to give South Carolina a 5-4 victory. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Cameron Askew (1-1-2) 2nd star: Jesse Lees (1-0-1) 1st star: Steven Whitney (3-0-3)…. final shots were 46-37 in favor of Worcester …. Logan Thompson (21-7-1) made 41 saves on 46 shots for South Carolina…. Ian Milosz (3-5-0) made 30 saves on 36 shots for Worcester while Jakub Skarek served as the backup…. Worcester went 1-for-4 on the power play while South Carolina went 0-for-2…., JD Dudek (IR), Kyle Thomas (IR), Yanick Turcotte (IR), Tanner Pond (IR), Dylan Sadowy (IR), Arnaud Durandeau (INJ), Ben Thomson (INJ), Evan Buitenhuis (INJ), Jack Macnee, and Ivan Chukarov, did not dress for Worcester…. Mike Cornell and Linus Soderstrom are all with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers…. Justin Murray has now played in 45 straight games Worcester has 17 games left on the regular season…. Nic Pierog led all skaters with 11 shots and now has 203 on the season which is second in the league…. Ross Olsson had a goal and a personal high 11 shots…. Cody Payne snapped a 23 game goalless drought dating all the way back to November 26th…. Barry Almeida now leads all Railers players with five first goals…. Worcester snapped a 0-for-42 streak on the power-play which lasted twelve games without a man advantage tally…. The Railers are now 0-4-0-0 all-time vs. the Stingrays and 0-2-0-0 at the North Charleston Coliseum.

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