Today in Worcester hockey history: February 27


1998 at Providence 6-3 win
The Worcester IceCats used three third period goals to defeat the Bruins 6-3 in a game televised on NESN. Providence jumped out to a two goal first period lead on tallies by Kimbi Daniels at 5:54 on the power play and Joel Prpic shorthanded at 16:51. Mike Prokopec made it 2-1 at 17:10 on the power play, assisted by Rory Fitzpatrick and Robert Petrovicky. Bob Lachance tied it at 7:27 of the middle period when he jammed home a wrap around bid. Shayne Toporowski and Libor Zabransky had the assists on the play. Jason Zent gave the ‘Cats the lead with a slap shot from the right wing circle at 14:53, helped by Toporowski and Michal Handzus. Barry Richter then tied it at 18:23. The third period was all IceCats on the scoreboard, with Jamal Mayers scoring on a perfect give and go with Prokopec at 8:53. Chris Kenady made it 5-3 on the power play when he blasted the rebound of Nick Naumenko’s shot nearly through the net. Terry Hollinger had the secondary assist on the goal at 9:36. Terry Virtue added an unassisted goal at 13:40 for the 6-3 final. Fred Cassivi made 34 saves, including 20 in the final period.

1999 at Hartford 5-1 win
(HARTFORD) Without an experienced backup goalie, Wolf Pack coach E.J. McGuire keeps throwing Jean-Francois Labbe out there. Making his 16th straight start, Labbe appears to be wearing down. McGuire says his No. 1 goalie is not tired. In Labbe’s defense, he’s only as good as the defense in front of him. Neither played well in a 5-1 loss to the Worcester IceCats before 8,749. For the first time in their brief history, the Wolf Pack (28-25-5) have lost four in a row. It could be five after they play today at Providence. Worcester rookie Scott Roche, in his third AHL start, made 38 saves. Labbe stopped 26 shots. “Their goalie stopped all of their good chances,” McGuire said. “Our goalie — when we broke down, which was often — didn’t stop enough of them.” Labbe couldn’t stop the mock cheers directed at him, either. The ultimate insult came shortly after Worcester forward Marty Reasoner scored to make it 5-1 with 7 minutes, 46 seconds left. “Let’s go Whalers!” rang down from sections 108 and 109. After the final horn, the Wolf Pack left the ice to a chorus of boos. “Do we deserve it? Obviously, they paid their money to do whatever they want to do,” Gernander said. “We didn’t put on a good enough show where they can stand up and cheer.” The crowd gave Derek Armstrong a warm reception, welcoming the Wolf Pack’s leading scorer (and former ‘Cats forward) back after four weeks with the Rangers. But Worcester’s Derek Bekar scored on a rebound to make it 1-0 at 2:57. Derek Diener then beat Labbe on the far side with a slap shot from the left circle less than four minutes later. Four shots, two goals. Worcester forward Joe Corso stole an outlet pass by defenseman Jan Mertzig and scored from 35 feet to make it 3-0 with 7:11 left in the period. “We just kept digging ourselves deeper in the hole,” McGuire said. “To Worcester’s credit, they just kept handing us the shovel.” After Brad Smyth scored his 12th for the Wolf Pack, Jaroslav Obsut scored his first of the season to give the IceCats a 4-1 lead with 4:45 remaining in the second.

2004 vs Lowell 3-2 loss
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats troubles with the Lowell Lock Monsters continued last night as the ?Cats were defeated, 3-2. The IceCats are 0-4 against the Monsters at Worcester’s Centrum Centre and just 1-5-1 on the season. Tom Koivisto notched both Worcester goals. They were his third and fourth of the season. After a scoreless first, Lowell lit the lamp behind Brent Johnson just 42 seconds into the second. The Finnish-born defenseman countered at the 3:20 mark, on the power play. The Monsters reclaimed the advantage at the midway point as David Inman changed the direction of a blue line shot from Jon Insana. Insana would depart after the goal with a leg injury. Worcester opened the third with a man advantage and cashed in just as the Lowell penalty box door opened. Koivisto pinched down to the right wing circle, collected a loose puck and beat Patrick DesRochers. But it was Lowell that would score the final goal. Similar to the Monsters second goal a tipped bid slipped by Johnson. Brett Lysak was credited with the game-winner, his team-leading fifth of the season. Despite the loss, the IceCats held on to their fourth place slot in the Atlantic Division. The idle Providence Bruins are tied with the ‘Cats, as both organizations have 61 points. The Lock Monsters are lurking in fifth with 57.

2008 vs Springfield 4-1 win
(WORSHARKS) Tom Cavanagh led the way with three power play points as the Worcester Sharks special teams units bounced back in a huge way, vaulting the Sharks to a 4-1 home ice victory over the Springfield Falcons on Wednesday night. Despite surrendering a power play via a hooking call on Brad Staubitz just 22 seconds into the game, it was Worcester that struck first via their sixth shorthanded goal this year. The Sharks penalty kill, which was a perfect eight for eight on the night, generated four shots during the shorthanded stint. Among them was Devin Setoguchi’s 40-foot wrister, which knuckled past Falcons netminder Jeff Deslauriers at 1:24 of the first period to give Worcester the early edge. Setoguchi’s eighth goal of the year came with assists from Riley Armstrong and Dan Spang. After being held shotless on their first opportunity of the period, the Sharks power play awoke following a holding call on Springfield forward Tim Sestito. Mike Iggulden slid the puck to JD Forrest, and the defenseman’s rocket from just inside the blue line beat Deslauriers, giving Forrest his fourth goal of the year and first point as a Shark. Worcester’s first of three power play tallies came just 13 seconds into the man advantage. Springfield was given a chance to get back in the game early in the second period, while Lukas Kaspar served a minor penalty for boarding. Stephen Werner played the puck from behind the Sharks goal line to Marc Pouliot, whose quick try from between the circles whistled just wide of the goal. Four minutes later, a penalty to Ben Simon produced an eerily similar scoring chance, but Worcester’s power play took full advantage. Tom Cavanagh fed Graham Mink from behind the goal line and Mink struck twine from just outside the crease, opening up a 3-0 Sharks lead at 5:17 of the middle frame. The Falcons finally got on the board at 12:28 thanks to a superb individual effort by Liam Reddox. The redliner circled around the Worcester net before slipping a tight-angle try through Sharks netminder Dimitri Patzold to trim the margin to two goals. Worcester struck back fast, taking advantage of another Falcons penalty to tally their third power play goal of the night. Textbook puck movement on the man advantage – from Iggulden to Mink to Cavanagh – gave the latter a perfect chance on the doorstep and Cavanagh picked up his third point of the night to push the lead back to three goals at 13:06. Patzold was rarely tested the rest of the way, as the teams combined for just 12 shots over a scoreless third period. Devan Dubnyk took over goaltending duties for Springfield during the final 20 minutes.

2009 vs Portland 2-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) Ryan Vesce tied the game early in the third period but the Pirates’ Nathan Gerbe fired right back as the Sharks fell 2-1 to Portland on Friday night at the DCU Center. After coming off a five game losing streak the Portland Pirates would get a boost from rookie goaltender Kellen Briggs to propel them over Worcester 2-1. The Sharks would start the pressure early by outshooting the Pirates 6-0 through the first four minutes of play, however, Portland would score at 13:46 after Worcester defenseman Jason Demers fell at the blue line and allowed Marek Zagrapan to skate in on Worcester goalie Thomas Greiss uncontested. Greiss would make a terrific pad save but the rebound would be cleaned up by Tim Kennedy to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. A scoreless second period would be highlighted by a big hit along the boards by Brett Westgarth on Portland defenseman Mike Kostka. Worcester would kill off a 5 on 3 power play for 47 seconds to keep the game within one goal. The shots on goal through two periods would be 21-16 in favor of Worcester. Worcester would score :32 into the third frame when Ryan Vesce cleaned up a rebound off a blast from Lukas Kaspar that deflected off the right pipe. The tie would not hold as Portland center Nathan Gerbe would chip in a one timer feed from the top of the right faceoff circle by Tim Kennedy to retake the lead 2-1at 5:12. Despite many scoring opportunities by Worcester including an impressive arrangement by Vesce and Kaspar during a late 2-on-1 break, the Sharks would be shut down by rookie netminder Kellon Briggs as they fell 2-1 to the Pirates. The win would be the first AHL victory for Briggs. The loss drops Worcester’s record to 29-26-1-2 through 58 games.

2010 vs Abbotsford 4-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) Frank Doyle started his first game in a Worcester Sharks uniform, but the Sharks were unable to come from behind as the Heat swept the Sharks, 4-3, at the DCU Center Saturday night. J.D. Watt’s third period goal proved to be the game-winner as the Heat concluded a nine-game with an 8-1-0-0 record. T.J. Trevelyan continued his strong offensive play scoring twice and adding an assist. Mike Moore chipped in with two assists for the Sharks and Ryan Vesce extended his goal scoring streak to five games. Twos ran wild in the first period. There were two fights and two goals between the two sides. 5:23 into the period Brandon Mashinter and Watt dropped the gloves with Mashinter landing the better of the opportunities. However, it was Abbotsford who capitalized first on an opportunity at the 15:01 mark when Mikael Backlund (15) took advantage of a Joe Loprieno turnover in the Sharks zone and beat Frank Doyle to put the Heat on top, 1-0. Worcester answered back on the power play, 18:52 into the opening frame, when Moore’s shot from the point was tipped home by Trevelyan (15). Jamie McGinn also assisted on the tally that knotted the game at, 1-1. The period concluded the way it began when Moore and Radek Smolenak squared off with 18 seconds remaining in the period. Abbotsford outshot Worcester, 11-10. The second period was a back and forth affair in which the physical play escalated tremendously. Abbotsford edged back ahead, 2-1, at the 6:47 mark, when Backlund knocked a puck from below the end line to the front of the net where Cam Cunning (13) sent one past Doyle. The Sharks climbed back even 10:01 into the period when Trevelyan’s shot was spilled by Matt Keetley onto the stick of a waiting Ryan Vesce (10) who scored for the third straight game since returning from an injury Wednesday night. Michael Wilson collected the other assist. Keetley was pulled following the goal and was replaced by the previous night’s netminder, David Shantz. The Heat pulled back on top, 17:20 into the second, when Doyle was unable to poke the puck clear from in front of his net. Jason Jaffrey (21) took the fortunate bounce and put Abbotsford on top, 3-2. Worcester controlled the shot totals for the period, 18-11. Riley Armstrong’s delay of game penalty carried over into the third period and Worcester made good on their opportunity 30 seconds into the last period of regulation. Trevelyan (16) scored his second of the game as he punched one past Shantz to tie the game, 3-3. Derek Joslin and Moore earned the assists. For the fourth time in the game, Abbotsford clawed to a lead, 4-3, when Watt’s blast from the point scorched the back of the net through traffic in front of Doyle. Watt picked up goal number eight of the season. That would conclude the scoring and the Heat snuck out of Worcester with a 4-3 victory. Teams had six shots apiece in the third period. Worcester’s record drops to 36-18-2-3 (77 points), but they remain atop the Atlantic Division standings.

2011 vs Manchester 5-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Worcester extended their point streak to three games and concluded a 4-in-5 week with an impressive 5-2 win over the division leading Manchester Monarchs Sunday afternoon in front of 5,052 fans at the DCU Center. With the victory, the Sharks have jumped back into a playoff spot, claiming 3rd place in the Atlantic Division. Jamie McGinn had two goals, and came within a penalty shot of a hat trick, with Tommy Wingels, Nick Schaus and TJ Trevelyan also scoring for the Sharks. Tyson Sexsmith made 25 saves and grabbed the #3 star honors to record his first win of the season with Worcester. The first period was a tight defensive battle as both teams were held scoreless. The Sharks had the best chance of the period just 0:59 into the game as Jamie McGinn was awarded a penalty shot after being taken down on a breakaway, but Monarchs goalie Martin Jones turned away McGinn to keep the score 0-0. Shots in the period were 9-8 in favor of Worcester. The offensive flow picked up for both teams in the second period. Jamie McGinn (6th) took the puck from the corner and drove to the net and backhanded a shot high glove side past goalie Martin Jones to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead just 0:21 in. Manchester would tie it up at 3:02 as Corey Elkins (15th) picked up a loose puck in front of the Sharks goal after it hit Matt Irwin and wristed it past goalie Tyson Sexsmith. Worcester would answer back on the power play as T.J. Trevelyan (14th) backhanded a dump in by Benn Ferriero stick side to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Worcester would add to their lead as Nick Schaus (3rd) joined the rush and slipped a shot past Jones at 14:20 of the second. Worcester led 3-1 heading into the third period.
Manchester tried to start a comeback by striking early in the third. Corey Elkins (16th, 2nd of game) scored on a deflection as he tipped in a pass from the right side boards by David Meckler to cut the lead to 3-2. But Worcester again answered back as Jamie McGinn (7th, 2nd of game) scored shorthanded on a breakaway at 16:05 to halt the Monarchs comeback bid. Just 1:05 later, Tommy Wingels (10th) scored on a 2-on-1 with Brandon Mashinter to extend the lead to 5-2. The Sharks record improves to 27-21-3-8 with 65 points and to 15-9-1-4 at the DCU Center. With the Falcons loss to the Penguins, the Sharks have swam into the 3rd spot in the Atlantic Division.

2014 at Portland 6-4 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (23-26-3-1, 50pts) dropped their franchise record tying 7th straight game in regulation with a 6-4 loss to the Portland Pirates (20-25-2-7, 49pts) in front of 1,731 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee on Tuesday evening. Travis Oleksuk (11th), Konrad Abeltshauser (4th), James Livingston (4th), and Rob Davison (2nd) scored for Worcester while Troy Grosenick allowed five goals on 21 shots in net for the Sharks in the loss. Portland led 1-0, 3-1, and 5-2 before Tobias Rieder scored his 20th of the season into an empty net at 19:31 as the Pirates snapped a four game skid with the win. Worcester outshot Portland 39-22 but Mark Visentin made 35 saves in net for the victory. The Sharks went 0-for-5 on the power play and outshot the Pirates 20-7 in the first period but trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes. Portland scored on their first shot as Brett Hextall (9th) let one rip from the right circle that handcuffed goaltender Troy Grosenick at 5:13 to put the Pirates ahead 1-0. Travis Oleksuk (11th) tied the score at 8:05 after he finished a centering feed from the right corner courtesy of Yanni Gourde past Portland goaltender Mark Visentin. Brendan Shinnimin (7th) found a loose rebound on top of the crease and fired it home to give Portland a 2-1 advantage. Worcester had five power plays including a full two minute 5-on-3 power play but came up empty as Mark Visentin made 19 first period saves. After a slow start to the second period, Portland would outscore Worcester 3-1 within a five minute spell late in the middle frame. Tobias Rieder (19th) snapped home a power play goal from 15 feet at 12:28 to give Portland a 3-1 lead. Konrad Abeltshauser (4th) scored shorthanded after he followed up a Yanni Gourde shot at 15:18 as the Sharks closed the Pirates lead to 3-2. But just 11 seconds later, Andy Miele (22nd) wristed a shot from the right circle at 15:29 on the power play to put Portland ahead 4-2. Brendan Shinnimin (8th) finished off the second period onslaught with his second of the night as the Sharks trailed 5-2 after 40 minutes despite outshooting the Pirates 30-16 after two periods. The Sharks would score twice in the first five minutes of the third period to get within a single score. James Livingston (4th) broke a 33 game goal scoring drought by deflecting a Taylor Doherty shot from the point at 1:04 to cut the Pirates lead to 5-3. Captain Rob Davison (2nd) fired a blast from the left circle at 4:29 to get Worcester within a 5-4 score. But Worcester could not solve Mark Visentin the rest of the way and the Sharks did not have a shot in the final five minutes as Tobias Rieder (20th) closed the game out at 19:31 with an empty net goal for the 6-4 final. The Sharks overall record falls to 23-26-3-1, 50pts and 11-15-3-0, 25pts on the road.

2015 vs St. John’s 6-3 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (30-17-4-2, 66pts) extended their point streak to seven games (6-0-1) with a 6-3 win over the St. John’s IceCaps (26-24-3-2, 60pts) in front of 3,203 fans at the DCU Center on Friday night. Evan Trupp (3-1-4, +3) led the way for Worcester, boasting a hat trick as Rylan Schwartz (1-0-1, +1), Eriah Hayes (1-0-1, E), and John McCarthy added goals to boost the Sharks to the 6-3 victory in a physical game against the IceCaps. John Albert (1-1-0, E), Chase Balisy (1-0-1, -2), and Scott Kosmachuk (1-1-1, E) scored for St. John’s. Aaron Dell picked up his 8th win, making 29 saves on 32 shots from St. John’s. The Sharks have won four straight games and have now won nine of their last ten games on home ice. Worcester’s improved their point streak to seven games (6-0-1). Two seconds after the puck was dropped, Sharks’ forward Jimmy Bonneau and IceCaps’ forward Blair Riley dropped the gloves in a gentleman’s bout to kick the game off; both players received a game misconduct after the marathon battle and were tossed from the game. 72 seconds into the game, Sharks’ center Even Trupp (11th) found the back of the net on a breakaway wrister to kick off the scoring. St. John’s would answer at the 4:17 mark when center John Albert (15th) beat Worcester’s goaltender Aaron Dell after a beautiful feed from forward JC Lipon to tie the game at 1 a side. The Sharks regained the lead at 8:37 when Eriah Hayes (5th) lit up the lamp, launching the puck with a slapper from the right circle on a breakaway after an assist by right winger Ryan Carpenter, beating IceCaps netminder Connor Hellebuyck to make it 2-1. St. John’s tied it up once again when forward Chris Balisy (13th) deflected the puck into the net after a shot by defenseman Brenden Kichton. The Sharks outshot the IceCaps 14-8 with the score knotted up at 2 after a wild twenty minutes. At 12:33 of the second period, Worcester’s center Rylan Schwartz (2nd) scored down front after a timely feed from Evan Trupp to make it 3-2 Sharks. 44 seconds later, St. John’s would tie the game at 3 when right winger Scott Kosmachuk (12th) tipped the puck in from close after a shot by John Albert, who was awarded with the assist. Trupp (12th) found the back of the net for the second time when he redirected the puck from the slot after a shot by Sharks’ forward Bryan Lerg, giving Worcester the 4-3 lead. The Sharks preserved that one-goal lead in the remainder of what turned out to be a chippy second frame that saw St. John’s outshoot Worcester 10-6, as the game headed into the second intermission. With less than two minutes left to play in the third period, Worcester added an insurance goal when Sharks’ veteran John McCarthy (9th) scored an empty-netter to make it 5-3 Worcester. The Sharks tacked on another when Trupp scored an empty-netter to complete the hat trick and give in the Sharks the 6-3 victory. Aaron Dell notched his 8th win of the season, making 29 saves on 32 shots which included 14 saves in the third period. The Sharks overall record improves to 30-17-4-2, 66pts and 17-7-2-1, 37pts at the DCU Center this season.

2018 at Brampton 4-1 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (24-23-4-3, 55pts) ended their season long seven game road trip with a 4-1 loss to the host Brampton Beast (21-25-6-3, 51pts) in front of and estimated 2,515 fans at the Powerade Center on Tuesday evening. Barry Almeida scored his team leading 17th goal of the season in the opening minute but that was all the offense Worcester would muster on goaltender Marcus Hogberg who made 30 saves. Mitch Gillam made 27 saves in net as the Railers finished 3-3-0-1 on their season long seven game road trip. Barry Almeida (17th) scored just 24 seconds into the first period as Ben Masella ripped the puck into the corner from center and the puck bounced in front to Aleida who when buried a quick shot past goaltender Marcus Hogberg. The Beast would tie the score at 1-1 at 5:31 as Jamie Doornbosh (3rd) snapped a shot from 50 feet through a screen and past Mitch Gillam. Captain Chris Langkow (2nd FM) pounded Scott Jacklin with a fury of fists at 14:49 as the Railers outshot the Beast 17-7 in the first 20 minutes of play. Jeff King (4th) gave the Beast a 2-1 advantage with a wrist shot on the rush down the right-wing side that snuck through the pads of Gillam at 7:55 of the second period. The Railers had an extended 5-on-3 power play midway through the frame the Beast and their 5th ranked penalty kill stood strong. Shots were 24-19 in favor of Worcester through 40 minutes of play but the Railers trailed 2-1. Brampton got two more goals in the third period as Brandon Marino (15th) struck at 6:00 and Chris Leveille (15th) scored on the empty net at 19:14 as the Railers fell 4-1 on the road.

2019 at Manchester 4-3 OT win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (24-22-5-4, 57pts) concluded their season long seven-game road trip with an exciting 4-3 overtime win over the host Manchester Monarchs (29-24-2-2,62pts) in front of 1,832 fans at the SNHU Arena on Wednesday evening. With the win, the Railers are now two points behind the Maine Mariners for the 4th and final playoff spot in the North Division. Nick Sorkin (1-1-2), Barry Almeida, Matty Gaudreau (1-2-3), and David Quenneville (OTG) scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 33 saves in net as the Railers finished 3-2-1-1 on their seven-game road trip. Sam Kurker scored twice to lead the Monarchs offensively while goaltender Charles Williams made 40 saves in net. Worcester trailed 1-0, led 2-1, and 3-2 before David Quenneville won the game at 3:31 of overtime. Each team scored a goal in the opening 20 minutes of play as Manchester controlled the first ten minutes and the Railers grabbed the second half of the period. Sam Kurker (10th) scored on his own rebound at 9:28 to give Manchester a 1-0 lead but Nick Sorkin (11th) deflected a Rob Powers point shot at 17:01 to tie the score. Shots were 15-11 in favor of Manchester through 20 minutes. The Railers would grab 2-1 and 3-2 leads in the second period but Manchester would battle back each time. Barry Almeida (16th) scored on the power play at 4:54 to give Worcester a 2-1 lead before Kevin Dufour (21st) tied it at 10:42. Matty Gaudreau (10th) scored on a rebound at 11:34 to put the Railers ahead 3-2 before Sam Kurker (11th) scored on a rebound at 14:30 to tie the score again. Shots were 27-24 in favor of Worcester through 40 minutes of play. Neither team scored in the third period as Worcester outshot Manchester 15-8 before the game headed to overtime. In a back and forth overtime session, rookie David Quenneville (4th) skated into the zone and stick handled before sniping a shot from 40 feet top shelf at 3:31 to give Worcester a 4-3 overtime victory.


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