Today in Worcester hockey history: February 28

25B

1996 vs Cape Breton 5-4 win OT
The Worcester IceCats got a hat trick from Chris Kenady and four assists from Marquis Mathieu but still needed an overtime goal from Shaun Kane to defeat the Cape Breton Oilers 5-4. Kenady got his first goal at 18:22 of the first period while on the power play, with assists going to Jarrett Deuling and Mathieu, but 27 seconds later David Neilson would tie it for the Oilers. Cape Breton then took the lead at 2:45 of the middle period on a Rem Murray unassisted goal. Alex Vasilevskii tied the game for the ‘Cats at 15:29, assisted by Jamie Rivers and Kane. Tyler Wright gave the Oilers the lead again with a power play goal at 4:41 of the third, but Kenady would match the power play goal with one of his own at 9:58, assisted by Mathieu and Dueling. Once again Cape Breton would grab the lead, this time on an Eric Landry goal at 14:19. Kenady would complete his hat trick to tie the game at 18:08 with Mathieu and Jason Widmer getting the helpers. The ‘cats would win it at 2:31 when Kane knocked the rebound of Kenady’s shot out of the air and in. Mathieu picked up his fourth assist on the play. Jamie McLennan made 15 saves in the win.

1998 vs New Haven 3-2 win
The Worcester IceCats took an early lead but needed two third period goals to defeat the Beast of New Haven. Mike Prokopec got the ‘cats on the board with the only goal in the opening period at 8:18, with Robert Petrovicky and Rory Fitzpatrick picking up assists. In the second the Beast would score twice, with Ashlin Halfnight scoring shorthanded at 15:01 and Craig Ferguson scoring on the power play at 17:19. Jason Zent got Worcester back to even at 11:04 of the third period with help from Nick Naumenko and Chris Kenady. Bob Lachance would grab the game winner at 15:38, assisted by Petrovicky and Terry Hollinger. Todd MacDonald had 42 saves for New Haven in the loss, Brent Johnson had 25 for the IceCats.

2001 at Hershey 5-2 loss
(TICKER) Mike Craig scored a pair of goals and Rob Shearer added a goal and two assists as the Hershey Bears defeated the Worcester IceCats, 5-2. Craig had a late first-period tally and added an empty-net marker with 63 seconds remaining in the contest. Shearer, who assisted on both of Craig’s scores, had a power-play goal 5:46 into the final period to supply Hershey with a 4-1 lead. Philippe Sauve collected 40 saves and improved to 11-14-1 for the Bears, who won for just the third time in their last 10 contests (3-6-1). Daniel Corso, who entered the contest as Worcester’s leading scorer with 48 points, contributed both of the IceCats’ goals. Dwayne Roloson surrendered four goals on 36 shots to loss for just the 10th time in 36 decisions (23-10-3).

2003 vs Portland 4-1 loss
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats allowed three third-period goals to the Portland Pirates in Friday’s 4-1 loss at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. The ‘Cats trailed 1-0 as they entered the third period, but tied the game on Greg Day’s second goal of the season. Day also had the game-winner last Friday at Springfield. The comeback would be short-lived, as Portland rattled off three straight goals, including two in 1:03. Mark Murphy, Colin Forbes and Trent Whitfield combined with the goals to give the Pirates the win. Ratislav Stana earned the victory with 30 saves as his club held the ‘Cats scoreless on five power plays. Worcester’s Phil Osaer suffered the loss.

2004 at Springfield 1-1 tie
(FALCONS) Goaltender Zac Bierk stopped 29 of 30 shots as the Springfield Falcons skated to a 1-1 tie with the Worcester IceCats before a sell-out crowd of 5,200 at the Springfield Civic Center on Saturday evening. Player/assistant coach Gary Shuchuk scored the lone Springfield marker during a second-period power play. IceCats netminder Curtis Sanford turned aside 41 of 42 shots by the Falcons. The Falcons threatened to take a first-period lead, but were held at bay by Sanford. The goaltender robbed new Falcon Ivan Novoseltsev?s point-blank backhand attempt with a glove save during a Springfield power play with less than four minutes remaining in the stanza. The IceCats scored the contest’s opening marker with 41 seconds remaining in the first period when center Mike Glumac knocked in a puck that had remained loose in the crease for several seconds. The goal was Glumac’s 17th of the season and sixth against the Falcons. Springfield pulled even with Shuchuk’s goal during a man advantage at the 13:03 mark of the second period. Shuchuk, while standing at the top of the crease, tapped in a centering feed from below the goal line by Chris Ferraro. Peter Ferraro also assisted on the goal. The Falcons outshot Worcester, 22-8, during the middle frame, but could only beat Sanford the one time. Springfield defenseman Todd Reirden had the best chance to tally the game-winner for the Falcons in the third period after trailing on an odd-man rush. However, the puck rolled off the blueliner’s stick before he could release a shot in the slot. A bench minor for too many men with three seconds remaining in regulation forced the Falcons to kill off a four-on-three Worcester power-play during the first two minutes of overtime. The IceCats outshot Springfield, 3-1, during the extra session, but neither team connected. For the game, the Falcons outshot the ?Cats, 42-30. Springfield converted one of six power-play chances and did not allow Worcester to score on any of seven opportunities with the man advantage.

2007 vs Springfield 6-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The phrase is becoming overused, but Wednesday night’s game for the Worcester Sharks was certainly one with “playoff implications.” With the Sharks in a tight battle for a playoff spot in the ever-so-tight Atlantic Division, every point counts. That being said, the Sharks took advantage of a lowly Springfield Falcons team and won 6-2 at the DCU Center.

2009 vs Springfield 7-3 win
(WORSHARKS) Two brawls, a hat trick by P.J. Fenton, and seven total goals by the Sharks, ignited Worcester to a 7-3 victory over Springfield on Saturday night at the DCU Center on “Faith Night.” The rough stuff began early in the first period at 3:57 as Brad Staubitz would drop the gloves with Springfield’s Guillaume Lefebvre immediately off the puck drop. Each player would connect in a rapid fire exchange of punches but it would be the mighty left fist of Staubitz that would drop Lefebvre down at center ice. The Sharks would take a 1-0 lead on a dish by T.J. Fox from behind the Falcon net that set up P.J Fenton’s first goal of the night at 6:18. The early lead would be short-lived as the Falcons would score an equalizer 27 seconds later on a goal from Charles Linglet to tie the game 1-1. Fox would regain the advantage for Worcester when he beat Falcon goaltender Dany Sabourin with a short-handed goal at 11:15. Moments later, multiple skaters from each squad would exchange jabs in a brawl deep in the Falcon zone that started when the Falcons net minder Dany Sabourin went after Brendan Buckley on top of the crease. Brad Staubitz would receive 37 minutes of penalties in the scrum after he clocked Tim Sestito to the ice after the initial fight. Sharks net minder Thomas Greiss skated to his blue line after Dany Sabourin invited him to join in the fray. The sum of the penalties left Worcester shorthanded, but the penalty killing unit held fast for a full five minutes. With fourteen seconds left in the period, Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss would make a terrific pad save sliding left to right to keep the score 2-1 at the end of twenty minutes. The Sharks outshot Springfield 18-9. Worcester would cash in on a 5on4 power play chance when Lukas Kaspar drove home his 14th goal of the season at 3:37 and brought the Shark lead to 3-1 early into the second period. Things got heated again at 6:21 of the 2nd period with multiple fights scattered behind the Worcester net. Frazer McLaren and Brett Westgarth would exchange blows with Lefebvre and Geoff Paukovich following a Greiss cover. 52 minutes of penalties resulted after the scrum. Again, the resulting penalties put Worcester on the penalty kill, but Ryan Vesce would score his 20th goal of the season on a shorthanded blast that found the top corner of the net at 8:14. Springfield defensemen Tim Sestito would find the back of the net at 13:06 to bring the Falcons within two at the end of the second frame. Midway through the third period Fenton would score his 2nd of the game when he caught Sabourin out of position after a rebound deflected off the right post at 10:38. The Sharks would add two more when Matt Fornataro would clean up a loose puck at 17:36 and Fenton would pick up his third goal of the night to give the Sharks a 7-2 lead. Paukovich would score for the Falcons at 18:54 but it would be too little too late as the Sharks would defeat Springfield 7-3. The win brings Worcester’s record to 30-26-1-2 with 63 points through 59 games.

2012 at Connecticut 2-1 SOL
(WORSHARKS) Brandon Mashinter gave the Sharks an early lead in the first period and gave them a chance in the shootout but it wasn’t enough as the Sharks fell to the Connecticut Whale 2-1 in a shootout at the XL Center on Tuesday morning. Tyson Sexsmith stopped 22 of 23 shots in the loss while Chad Johnson stopped 33 of 34 shots for the Whale. James Sheppard, on a conditioning assignment from San Jose, suited up in his first career AHL game for the Sharks, as Worcester dropped their fourth straight game (0-3-0-1). The Sharks jumped out to a 1-0 lead at the 9:15 as Brandon Mashinter (12th) put back a rebound on a shot from Mike Moore just as the power play expired. The intensity picked up when Matt Pelech leveled Whale forward Ryan Bourque just in front of the bench which set off some pushing and shoving. The Whale got the equalizer with 50 seconds left in the first as Mats Zuccarello (12th) hammered a one-timer from the slot past Tyson Sexsmith. Shots were 7-5 in favor of the Sharks after 20 minutes. The Whale stormed the Sharks zone early in the second period but Sexsmith shut the door. Worcester could not convert on two separate 5-on-3 advantages in the middle of the period as Whale goaltender Chad Johnson was sharp in between the pipes. The Sharks killed off the only penalty of the game when Ryan Del Monte was sent off for hooking at 12:12. Worcester carried the play for most of the period as they outshot the Whale 14-8 and held a 21-13 advantage through 40 minutes. The Sharks had two more cracks at the power play in the third period but were unable to solve Johnson. John McCarthy rang one off the post midway through the third but that was the closest Worcester came. This period was more even as the Sharks only outshot the Whale 9-8 and held a 30-22 advantage through 60 minutes. Overtime was unable to settle the score as Worcester outshot the Whale 4-1 in the extra frame. Mats Zuccarello beat Tyson Sexsmith over the glove in round 1 and Brandon Mashinter tied it up in the 4th round when he beat Johnson blocker side. Kris Newbury gave the Whale the lead again on a forehand deke and Tony Lucia shot wide on the Sharks’ final attempt to seal the win for the Whale. Worcester’s record falls to 24-20-4-6 (58pts in 54gp) and 0-1-0-1 at the XL Center this season.

2015 vs St. John’s 2-0 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (30-18-4-2, 66pts) were shutout 2-0 by the St. John’s IceCaps (27-24-3-2, 62pts) in front of 4,602 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. Patriots’ Running Back and Super Bowl Champion, #35 Jonas Gray, was in attendance for the ceremonial puck-drop and autograph signings. St. John’s rookie goaltender Connor Hellebuyck had an outstanding game, as he picked up his sixth shutout and 25th win of the season, stopping a Sharks’ season-high 50 shots on goal. IceCaps’ forwards Jason Laffray (1-1-0, E) and Chase Balisy (1-0-1, E) scored the only goals of the night. Worcester’s record falls to 3-2-1-0 against St. John’s this season. The Sharks went 7-2-1-0 in the month of February as their four game win streak and seven game point streak came to an end in the loss. At 10:35 of the first period, Sharks forward Jimmy Bonneau was tossed after receiving a major penalty for elbowing and a game misconduct; that’s the second night in-a-row Bonneau received a game misconduct. St. John’s kicked off the scoring at 14:01 when left winger Jason Jaffray (6th) slung one from the right circle on a power play, finding the back of the net, which beat Worcester’s goaltender Troy Grosenick to give the IceCaps a 1-0 lead. St. John’s, still on a power play, struck again just 38 seconds later when forward Chase Balisy (14th) snuck the puck in the net down close after a feed from Scott Kosmachuk, giving the IceCaps a two-goal advantage. Despite outshooting St. John’s 11-8, Worcester trailed 2-0 through twenty minutes. Worcester had 21 shots on goal to St. John’s 10 in the second frame and a power play opportunity, but the white and teal failed to light up the lamp. Grosenick stopped all 10 shots he saw as IceCaps’ netminder Connor Hellebuyck made 21 saves to preserve the St. John’s 2-0 lead going into the second intermission. No goals were scored in the third period as Hellebuyck continued to shine with 18 saves in the frame to bring his total to 50 for the night. Final shots were 50 for Worcester to St. John’s 22, but the IceCaps took the 2-0 victory. The Sharks overall record falls to 30-18-4-2, 66pts and 17-8-2-1, 37pts at the DCU Center this season.

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