Today in Worcester hockey history: February 24

25B

1995 at PEI 7-6 OTL
The Worcester IceCats trailed 5-0, but amazingly came back to take the lead, only to lose the lead late in regulation and the game in overtime in a 7-6 loss to the Senators. It was that 5-0 score at 3:20 of the second period, and then the ‘Cats scored three times in the middle period, with goals by Shawn Heaphy (5:33), Ross Wilson (12:45), and Jarrett Deuling (16:04) cutting the lead to 5-3. Sean Whyte made it a one goal game at 10:53 of the third period. Mark Ouimet then scored the tying goal at 12:38, and the go-ahead goal at 19:18. PEI pulled goaltender Mike Bales and Steve Larouche tied it 6-6 at 19:35. In the extra session future IceCat Jason Zent got the game winner with 57 seconds to go in the extra session. Chris Gordon took the loss.

1999 vs Rochester 5-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats scored first but the Americans scored more often as the ‘Cats dropped a 5-2 contest to the Amerks. Andrej Podkonicky opened the scoring in the game with a power play marker at 13:45 of the opening period, assisted by Jochen Hecht and Jeremiah McCarthy. Rochester would have the only goal of the middle stanza when Mike Hurlbut scored on the power play at 19:28. In the third Matt Davidson gave the Amerks the lead at 1:12, but at 10:37 Marty Reasoner tied the game with help from Hecht and Podkonicky. At 13:12 Domenic Pittis gave Rochester its lead back on the power play, and Mike Harder made it 4-2 at 17:18. Scott Nichol added an empty net goal at 18:09 for the 5-2 final. Scott Roche had 27 saves in the loss.

2001 vs Providence 6-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats and Providence Bruins combined for 137 penalty minutes and seven goals, and unfortunately for the IceCats six of those seven were scored by the Baby-Bs. The Bruins had a 2-0 lead after one on goals by Andre Savage (14:18) and Eric Manlow (18:25). Eric Nickulas then had the next two for Providence, scoring an unassisted shorthanded goal at 13:44 of the middle period and an even strength goal at 6:56 of the third. Brandon Smith made it 5-0 Bruins with a power play goal at 8:35. Mark Rycroft had the ‘Cats only goal of the game at 11:14, with Dale Clarke getting the lone assist. Nickulas would complete his hat trick at 14:17 on the power play for the 6-1 final. Dwayne Roloson had 22 saves in the loss. Keith McCambridge had 27 PIM, including two separate 10-minute misconducts. Jason Lawmaster had 21 penalty minutes for the ‘Cats, and Shawn Mamane had 15.

2002 at Providence 2-1 win
The Worcester IceCats ended a brutal seven games in ten days stretch with a 2-1 win over the P-Bruins. The IceCats dressed only 15 skaters, and were without four of their top six scorers (Justin Papineau, Jame Pollock, Marc Brown and Eric Nickulas) as well as defensemen Barret Jackman and Matt Walker. Greg Crozier gave the Baby-Bs a 1-0 lead at 2:45 of the opening period. But that was the last one to get by Reinhard Divis, who finished the game with 25 saves. Daniel Tkaczuk was credited with the game tying goal at 10:24, although he did very little to earn it. Eric Boguniecki rifled a shot from the high slot that Andrew Racroft made easy work of, but his pad save resulted in the puck hitting Tkaczuk and going in. Jeff Panzer got the game winner with 1:26 left in regulation when Boguniecki won a faceoff back to Ed Campbell and Panzer tipped Campbell’s wrist shot past Raycroft.

2005 vs San Antonio 3-1 win
The Worcester IceCats surrendered the first goal of the game to the Rampage, but then scored the next three in the ‘Cats 3-1 victory. Josh Olson gave San Antonio the lead at 8:57 of the first period, and Jeff Hoggan tied the game at 17:55. Eric Boguniecki and Mike Mottau had the assists on the goal. Blake Evans, from Boguniecki and Mike Mottau, gave Worcester the lead with a power play goal at 9:06 of the middle period. Erkki Rajamaki made it 3-1 at 15:57, assisted by Troy Riddle and Konstantin Zakharov. Neither team scored in the third period. Alfie Michaud earned his second win in his second game with the IceCats, making 18 saves.

2007 at Manchester 2-1 win
(MONARCHS) The Manchester Monarchs eight game home winning streak ended when the Worcester Sharks sunk their teeth into the home team by handing them a 2-1 loss in front of 8,885 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night. Manchester (36-16-6-1) is leading the Atlantic Division with 79 points. Worcester (26-22-3-6) is tied for forth place in the Atlantic Division with 61 points. The Sharks scored the first goal of the game at 3:57 of the first period. Center Tom Cavanagh corralled the puck in the right face-off circle and fed a pass to right wing Graham Mink. Collecting the puck in the slot, Mink sent a laser top shelf over goaltender Jason LaBarbera’s glove hand. Defenseman Scott Ferguson also picked up an assist on the tally. With a fresh sheet of ice, Worcester added to their one goal lead 50 seconds into the middle period. Picking up a pass from left wing Lukas Kaspar, center Mike Iggulden put a shot on net. The puck redirected off a Monarchs defenseman and snuck past LaBarbera for the goal. Left wing Mathieu Darche earned his team leading 30th assist on Iggulden’s 20th goal of the season. At 19:01 of the second period, the Monarchs got on the scored board by capitalizing on a Sharks penalty. Skating from the left face-off circle toward the slot, right wing Lauri Tukonen dished the puck back to the right point where defenseman T.J. Kemp blasted a slap shot past Worcester goalie Thomas Greiss. Left wing Matt Moulson also assisted on Kemp’s second power play goal of the season to make the score 2-1. LaBarbera took the loss saving 30-of-33. Greiss backstopped the win by stopping 32-of-33. Manchester went 1-for-5 on the power play. Worcester was 0-for-4 with the man advantage.

2008 vs Springfield 7-4 loss
(WORSHARKS) Despite scoring four goals for the first time in five games, the Worcester Sharks fell to the Springfield Falcons, 7-4, on Sunday night at the DCU Center. The Sharks had won the first four meetings before Sunday’s defeat. Worcester falls to 13 points behind the Falcons for the fourth and final playoff spot. Manchester, who was idle, remains nine points ahead of the Sharks. Grant Potulny finished the game with four goals, while Liam Reddox had four points (1g, 3a), and Marc Pouliot had three (1g, 2a). Worcester received goals from Devin Setoguchi, Mike Iggulden, Graham Mink, and Dan Spang in defeat. Falcons goaltender Jeff Deslauriers stopped 28 of 32 shots while Taylor Dakers had 19 saves on 26 shots for the Sharks. Springfield controlled the game early and converted on a fluke bounce at 4:58 of the first period. A puck was thrown in from center ice and bounced in the direction of Dakers. The Worcester netminder made the save, but the rebound bounced right to Pouliot on the doorstep. He made a move around Dakers and stuffed it inside the right post for his 19th goal of the season. Rob Schremp and Bryan Young picked up the assists on the play. Worcester tied the score on a rare power play goal against Springfield. Heading into the game, the Sharks were 1-21 in the season series, but quickly changed that. Setoguchi held the puck in the left faceoff circle before firing a shot that beat Deslauriers over his glove hand for the much-needed power play tally at 9:11. Tom Walsh and Lukas Kaspar picked up the assists on the play. The Falcons quickly retook the lead 10 seconds later at 9:21. Off a flurry of opportunities, Potulny took control of the puck right in front of Dakers, made a move to his right and sent a backhand flip into the open net. Ryan O’Marra and Reddox had the assists on the play. After one, Springfield held the slim 10-9 shot advantage. While the Sharks scored on their first power play of the game in the first period, Springfield matched it in the second. Pouliot carried the puck along the back boards on the right wing side. Before he entered the goalie restraining area behind the net, he made a pass in front to Potulny. He subsequently beat Dakers for the 3-1 advantage at 6:54 of the second period. Schremp picked up his second assist of the game on the play. Potulny picked up the hat trick at 15:31 to give Springfield the 4-1 lead. A dump went into the right wing boards. O’Marra took a Sharks player out of the play, allowing the Falcons to play the puck. After the pass came in front, Potulny’s initial shot was stopped, but he batted the puck out of midair and inside the right post for the three-goal lead. Reddox and Stephen Werner had the assists on the play. Worcester cut into the lead 28 seconds later at 15:59. Marc Busenburg threw the puck toward the net from inside the right point. Iggulden was stationed in front and tipped the puck over Deslauriers’ blocker to cut the lead to 4-2. Riley Armstrong tallied the other assist on the play. Springfield once again retook the three-goal cushion with a shorthanded tally at 19:19 of the period. Pouliot took possession of the puck in front of the Sharks’ bench. After skating along the right wing boards, he passed in front to Reddox. Reddox made a move to force Dakers to the left, instead opting for the backhanded flip into the right side of the net. After Worcester held the 10-9 second period shot advantage, shots were tied at 19 heading into the locker room. The Sharks made it interesting at 4:23 of the third period. Kaspar took a hard shot that was saved by Deslauriers. The rebound bounced to Graham Mink on the doorstep and he slipped the puck inside the left post for his 14th of the season. Along with Kaspar, Cavanagh picked up the other assist. Springfield retook a three-goal lead for the third time at 9:04 of the third period. Reddox and Potulny were sprung on a two-on-one. Reddox made the pass to Potulny to the left of Dakers. Even with Sharks’ defenseman Brennan Evans back checking, Potulny was still able to muscle the puck into the right side of the net for the 6-3 lead. Things turned from bad to worse when the Falcons got their seventh goal of the game at 9:44. Colin McDonald carried the puck down the right wing side. He put a puck toward net, which deflected off the skate of Mink and in. Tim Sestito and Stephane Goulet picked up the assists. Dan Spang scored his sixth goal of the season at 15:46 to cut the lead to 7-4, but it proved to be too little too late. Off a scramble, Spang shot the puck from behind the net on the left wing side. It bounced off Deslauriers and in. Mink and Busenburg had the assists.

2010 vs Portland 3-1 win
(WORSHARKS) Needing a win to fend off the hard-charging Portland Pirates, Worcester looked to its captain for assistance and he delivered. Ryan Vesce scored twice and the Sharks defeated the Pirates, 3-1, at the DCU Center Wednesday night. The game was the first one of the New Year for Vesce who last saw action December 19, 2009 against Adirondack. Dan DaSilva chipped in with a goal and he now has five goals in his last five games. Returning to the DCU Center for the first time in seven games, the Sharks gained the upper hand with the better of the first period opportunities. Twice, Pirates netminder Jhonas Enroth made spectacular saves on Sharks opportunities, keeping the game scoreless. Neither team found the back of the net through the first 20 minutes. Worcester held the shot advantage, 14-4. Worcester’s streak of 17 consecutive penalty kills ended at the 2:07 mark of the second period. Tyler Ennis’ cross ice pass in the Worcester defensive zone was one-timed home from the left circle by Marc-Andre Gragnani (7). Brad Larsen earned the other assist. It would be all the scoring they would get, as the captain stole the show from there. Vesce (7), held out of the previous 26 games with an injury, scored on a hard wrist shot from the high slot and beat Enroth blocker-side. It was a power-play goal, scored 7:23 into the period, and was assisted by Danny Groulx and Brandon Mashinter. The captain was not done, notching his second of the game at the 12:24 mark, as he broke down the left wing and once again wristed one past the blocker of Enroth. The goal, Vesce’s eighth of the season, put Worcester up 2-1, and was assisted by T.J. Trevelyan along with Alex Stalock. Portland outshot Worcester 14-8, despite giving up two goals in the period. Stalock turned his efforts back on the defensive end early in the third period denying two breakaway opportunities. His teammates would help him out at the 5:57 mark when Andrew Desjardins muscled one across the low slot onto the stick of DaSilva (13) who beat Enroth short-side. Derek Joslin collected the other assist. Portland outshot Worcester, 14-7. Worcester’s record improves to 36-17-2-2 (76 points) and they sit alone atop the Atlantic Division standings.

2012 vs Providence 5-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks allowed four unanswered third period goals in a 5-3 loss to the Providence Bruins in front of a record crowd of 10,170 at the DCU Center for the GRONK Puck Spike on March of Dime Night in Worcester on Friday night. New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski spiked a ceremonial first puck into pieces at center ice in front of a standing ovation before the game to set the tone. The Sharks barreled out to a 3-1 lead before falling apart in the third period. John McCarthy, Nathan Moon, and Brandon Mashinter scored for Worcester and Alex Stalock made 35 saves in his first start at the DCU Center in over a year in the loss. John McCarthy (13th) gave Worcester an early 1-0 lead on Worcester’s first shot on goal past Michael Hutchinson at 2:44. Maxime Suave (4th) tied the score at 1-1 with a rebound score past Alex Stalock at 7:59 on the power play. Nathan Moon (8th) scored on a 5-on-3 power play at 16:46 to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead on a rebound strike. The Sharks led 2-1 after 20 minutes. In the second period, Brandon Mashinter (11th) gave the Sharks a 3-1 lead after a steal by Tim Kennedy at 13:58 and a quick shot through the pads by Mashinter in the left circle. The Sharks led 3-1 after 40 minutes of play. Michael Hutchinson made several great stops early in the third period before the Bruins came barreling back with four unanswered goals. Kirk MacDonald (3rd) scored at 6:30 and Jamie Arniel (6th) at 9:15 to tie the score at 3-3 and hush the sellout crowd. Kyle MacKinnon (8th) deflected home a blast from the point at 13:24 for the eventual game winner and put the Bruins ahead 4-3. Jamie Tardiff (15th) put home an empty netter at 19:41 to seal the deal for Providence. Worcester’s record falls to 24-19-4-5 (57pts in 52gp) and 12-10-0-2 at the DCU Center.

2013 vs Springfield 5-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (25-21-1-5, 56pts) defeated the conference rival Springfield Falcons (30-14-4-3, 67pts) by a score of 5-1 on Sunday afternoon in front of 4,034 fans at the DCU Center. The Sharks capped off their 3-in-3 weekend with four out of a possible six points. In the win, Alex Stalock made 37 saves and tied the Sharks all-time wins mark, previously held by Thomas Greiss with 74. Matt Pelech (1st) and Marek Viedensky (1st) each added their first goal of the season in the win. Sebastian Stalberg (7th), Danny Groulx (4th), and James Livingston (4th) also added goals for the Sharks. Michael Chaput (9th) scored the Falcon’s lone goal around the midway point of the second period to make it a 2-1 game at the time. Heading into the third period leading 2-1, the Sharks were able to put Springfield away with three third period goals. The Sharks didn’t waste any time continuing their offensive success from the night before. Worcester jumped out to an early lead at the 4:21 mark, when James Livingston came down the right wing on a two-on-one and roofed one over the shoulder of Curtis McElhinney, giving the Sharks a 1-0 lead. The Sharks increased their lead less than a minute later, when tough-guy Matt Pelech (1st) tucked the puck past McElhinney from low in the attacking zone for his first goal in his 40th game played this season, making it a 2-0 game. Although being outshot 11-4 in the period, the Sharks were able to build a two-goal lead. Just after the midway point of the second period, Springfield was able to cut into their deficit. Off of an offensive zone faceoff, Springfield won the draw back to Michael Chaput (9th), who fired a missile through a screen that beat Alex Stalock, cutting the Worcester lead to 2-1. Springfield continued to dominate in shots, outshooting the Sharks 14-7 in the second period, for a total of 25-11 through the first two periods. Worcester increased their lead to two once again just over three minutes into the third period. After Curtis McElhinney had a bad giveaway, Sebastian Stalberg (7th) collected the puck on the right wing boards, and released a quick wrist shot that beat McElhinney, who was scrambling to get back into position. The Sharks added some insurance at 11:13 of the third period, when James Livingston made a great feed to Marek Viedensky (1st), who collected the puck and roofed it over McElhinney, giving Worcester a 4-1 lead. Worcester wasn’t finished there. Danny Groulx (4th) converted a power play chance for the Sharks late in the game, when he unleashed a bomb from the point that beat McElhinney, making it a 5-1 final. The Sharks overall record improves to 25-21-1-5 (56pts in 52gp) and 10-10-1-3 (24pts in 24gp) at home this season.

2018 at Manchester 4-1 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (24-22-4-3, 55pts) broke out to a 3-0 lead early and never looked back in a 4-1 win over the host Manchester Monarchs (33-17-3-1, 70pts) in front of 2,451 fans at the SNHU Arena on Saturday evening. Chris Langkow (1-1-2), Jeff Kubiak (1-1-2), Matty Gaudreau, and Kellen Jones all scored for the Railers while Mitch Gillam made 27 saves in net as Worcester improved to 3-2-0-1 on their season long seven game road trip. Barry Almeida added two assists as the Railers improved to 4-3-0-0 at the SNHU Arena this season. The Railers played one of their best first periods of the season and struck twice to take a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. Chris Langkow (15th) broke down the left-wing side and cut through the top of the crease before sliding a backhander past goaltender Evan Cowley at 2:58. Back from the AHL, rookie Matty Gaudreau (10th) sent a quick shot after a great feed from on top of the crease by Jeff Kubiak at 16:51 to give the Railers a 2-0 advantage. Mitch Gillam made two great saves and had eight stops total as Worcester outshot Manchester 13-8 in the first period. Jeff Kubiak (10th) scored his first career shorthanded goal after he was able to race down the middle of the ice and track down a loose puck five feet on top of the crease and swept a backhander into the net at 1:28 of the second period to give Worcester a 3-0 lead. Matt Leitner (9th) broke through for Manchester on the power play as the puck pinballed in front of the Railers cage and landed on Leitner’s stick in front of an empty net at 6:54. Worcester would regain their three-goal lead at 16:49 after great work along the wall by Chris Langkow and Barry Almeida which found Kellen Jones (10th) alone in the left circle with a quick release to give the Railers a 4-1 lead. Shots were 29-19 Worcester through 40 minutes. Each team fired nine shots in the third period but neither team would find the back of the net. Mitch Gillam made nine more saves for his 11th win of the season as Worcester took home the 4-1 victory.

2019 at Maine 4-3 SOL
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (23-22-5-4, 55pts) continued their season long seven-game road trip with a 4-3 shootout loss to the host Maine Mariners (29-25-0-1,59pts) in front of 2,500 fans at the Cross Insurance Arena on Sunday afternoon. With the shootout loss, the Railers are now four points behind the Maine Mariners for the 4thand final playoff spot in the North Division. Matty Gaudreau, Ryan Hitchcock, and Bo Brauer scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 28 saves in net as the Railers fell to 2-2-1-1 on their seven-game road trip. Dillon Fox scored twice to lead the Mariners offensively while goaltender Hannu Toivonen made 41 saves in net and stopped five of seven shooters in the shootout. Worcester led 2-0 and 3-2 in the hockey game and had several chances to win the game in overtime on the power play before falling in the seventh round of the shootout. A feisty first period saw 38 penalty minutes and a 1-0 Railers lead through 20 minutes of play. Matty Gaudreau (9th) fired home a rebound from just outside the crease after a Nick Sorkin shot was stopped by Hannu Toivonen at 5:33. Shots were 16-6 in favor of the Railers in the opening frame as Worcester also hit the post and a crossbar. Ryan Hitchcock (11th) gave Worcester a 2-0 lead at 6:24 of the second period after Tyler Barnes won the puck in the right corner and found Hitchcock alone in the right slot. Dillan Fox (5th and 6th) scored twice in a 1:57 span soon after as he struck on the power play at 8:17 and an even strength tally at 10:14 to tie the score at 2-2. Shots were 29-22 in favor of Worcester through 40 minutes with Maine holding the advantage on power play opportunities 5-1. Bo Brauer (5th) put the Railers back ahead 3-2 at 4:29 of the third period after a Ryan MacKinnon point shot was stopped by Toivonen and Brauer slammed home the loose rebound. But Maine would tie the score again 3-3 at 7:08 as Johnny McInnis (5th) snapped a shot top shelf on the rush from 25 feet. Shots were 11-7 in favor of Worcester in the third period. Worcester would have several chances in overtime on the power play as they outshot Maine 4-2 in the extra session but neither team would score. Ivan Kosorenkov and Tommy Kelley scored in the shootout for Worcester through seven rounds before Josh Couturier won the game in the 7thround.

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