Today in Worcester hockey history: March 3


1996 vs Syracuse 6-4 win
The Worcester IceCats and Syracuse Crunch played a see-saw affair with the ‘Cats finally coming out on top 6-4 for their first ever franchise win against the Crunch. Worcester had the only goal in the opening twenty minutes, an Alex Vasilevskii strike at 17:21 assisted by Jason Widmer and Jamie Rivers. The Crunch then took the lead on second period goals by Evgeny Namestnikov (1:33) and Tyson Nash (3:04), but Craig Darby got the ‘Cats back to even with a goal assisted by Sergei Kharin and Terry Virtue at 10:02. Rivers put Worcester back in the lead with an unassisted goal at 16:43. Vasilevskii made it 4-2, assisted by Shaun Kane, at 2:02 of the third. But Syracuse came roaring back with two tow tie it, with Lonny Bohonos scoring at 3:42 and Mark Wotton connecting at 4:19. Both were on the power play. At 15:54 Paul Broten put the ‘Cats back in the lead with a goal assisted by Marquis Mathieu and Terry Virtue, and at 17:30 Jarrett Dueling added an insurance goal with Chris Kenady and Mathieu getting the helpers. Mike Fountain had 37 saves in the loss for the Crunch while Jamie McLennan had 21 for Worcester.

1997 vs Hamilton 4-3 win OT
The Worcester IceCats and Hamilton Bulldogs traded leads back and forth and needed overtime to settle the contest, and it was the ‘Cats getting the extra point on a Terry Virtue strike in the extra session. Marko Tuomainen gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead at 14:56 of the first period with a shorthanded goal. Konstantin Shafranov tied it on the power play at 8:51 of the second period, with David Williams and netminder Jamie McLennan assisting. Alex Zhurik have Hamilton its lead back at 17:52. In the third period Stephane Roy evened it for the IceCats at 1:51, with Konstantin Shafranov and Williams assisting. Rory Fitzpatrick made it 3-2 ‘Cats with an unassisted goal at 7:34, but Tuomainen would score at 18:40 to send the game to overtime. In the extra session Virtue scored at 2:25 on a Marquis Mathieu feed after three Hamilton players skated by the puck on a line change. McLennan made 26 saves in the game. [210Sports note: This game was originally scheduled to be played Saturday, March 1st but was moved by the Centrum to Monday to accommodate Metallica’s tour. The IceCats lease at the time allowed the Centrum to move some dates for concert tours. At the time the IceCats estimated the move cost them 8,000 tickets sold.]

1999 vs Portland 8-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats had 55 shots on goal, including an amazing 21 in each of the second and third periods, but still managed to get blown out 8-0 by the Portland Pirates. Benoit Gratton had a hat trick for Portland, and Kent Hulst had three assists. Ryan VandenBussche added two goals for Portland. Martin Brochu had the shutout for the Pirates.

2000 at Lowell 2-1 loss
(TICKER) Dmitri Nabokov scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Roberto Luongo made 26 saves as the Lowell Lock Monsters earned a 2-1 victory over the Worcester IceCats. Nabokov snapped a 1-1 tie on the power play with 3:01 left in the second period. Luongo, starting his first game since returning from the New York Islanders of the NHL, had 16 saves over the last two periods to improve to 7-6-3. Brad Chartrand tied the contest two minutes into the middle period for Lowell, which has won three straight. Bryan Helmer opened the scoring 6:29 into the contest with a power-play goal for Worcester, which dropped to 9-7 in one-goal games.

2001 vs Albany 3-3 tie
The Worcester IceCats couldn’t hold on to a two goal lead and had to settle for a 3-3 tie with the River Rats. Albany got on the board first with a power play goal by Sylvain Cloutier at 5:48. Marc Brown then tied the contest with a goal at 14:52, assisted by Dale Clarke and Andrei Troschinsky. In the second period the ‘Cats took the lead on a Shawn Mamane goal at 2:30, with Troschinsky and Mike Peluso picking up assists. Peluso then made it 3-1 with a goal at 8:51, with Troschinsky picking up his third point of the night. But the River Rats would make a comeback to tie it, with Mike Jefferson (later known as Mike Danton) scoring at 17:12 and Josef Boumedienne lighting the lamp at 11:11 of the third. Both squads had five shots in the extra session but neither could score. Jean-Francois Damphousse had 37 saves for Albany while Cody Rudkowsky had 31 for Worcester.

2004 at Portland 1-0 win
The Worcester IceCats and Portland Pirates fired a combined 72 shots on goal, but it was just Blake Evans who could light the lamp in the ‘Cats 1-0 win. Evans, assisted by Aaron MacKenzie at 14:32 of the second period, was the number one star of the game. Worcester netminder Curtis Sanford was the second star with the 34 save shutout, and Pirates goaltender Maxime Ouellet was the number three star making 37 saves on 38 shots.

2005 at Portland 2-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats gave up two first period goal and then never really got on track in a 2-1 loss to the Pirates at the Cumberland County Civic Center in a rare Thursday night contest. Graham Mink gave Portland the lead just 2:18 into the game with a power play goal, and Tomas Fleischmann made it 2-0 at 4:53. Dennis Wideman had an unassisted goal at 14:02 of the middle period, but that would be all of the scoring. Curtis Sanford had 28 saves in the loss.

2007 vs Norfolk 5-4 SOL
(ADMIRALS) The Norfolk Admirals (41-17-4-1) picked up a thrilling 5-4 victory over the Worcester Sharks (28-24-3-6) in a shootout on Saturday night at the DCU Center. After a scoreless opening frame, the Sharks got onto the board first early in the second period. Josh Prudden tallied an even strength goal when he beat Norfolk netminder Corey Crawford short side at 3:20. The Admirals tied the game at 1-1 nearly five minutes later. Troy Brouwer stole the puck in the far-side corner and dropped a pass to Pierre Parenteau at the right half-wall. Parenteau fed a cross-ice pass to Bruno St. Jacques in high slot. St. Jacques scored his first goal as an Admiral with a wrister that hit the right post, the crossbar and the left post before going into the back of the net at 8:14. The Sharks took the lead under two minutes later. Graham Mink redirected a Tom Walsh point blast for a power play marker at 9:52. Worcester took a 2-1 lead to the third period. The final frame proved to be very eventful. Martin St. Pierre knotted the score at 2-2 when he got his own rebound at the right edge of the goalmouth and put it past Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss at 7:22. Just over a minute later, another Sharks power play goal by Mink gave Worcester a 3-2 lead at 8:30. Two Norfolk goals just one minute apart gave the Admirals a 4-3 lead late. Jonas Nordqvist fed a pass to Reed Low in the slot, and Low one-timed it home at 14:56. Then, David Bolland got the puck at the bottom of the left circle, deked around a sliding defender and sent a wrister from the left hashmark that beat Greiss at 15:56. However, the Sharks tied the game with just 23 seconds remaining in regulation. Walsh teed up a slap shot that snaked through traffic to knot the score at four goals apiece at the 19:37 mark. The game went to the shootout after a scoreless overtime. Bolland converted the only attempt of the shootout in the second round by faking a backhand shot toward Greiss’ right before sliding a forehander past his left leg. Crawford stopped all five Worcester shooters to make Bolland’s conversion stand up as the Admirals claimed victory. Crawford (30 shots, 26 saves) picked up his 31st win of the season. Greiss (29 shots, 25 saves) got the shootout loss. Norfolk was 0-2 on the power play while Worcester was 3-11.

2010 at Manitoba 5-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks received goals from five different players and erased an early 1-0 deficit as Worcester defeated the Moose in a feisty affair at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba on Wednesday night. The game marked the first ever win for the Sharks in Canada. Thirteen different Sharks players had at least one point and T.J. Trevelyan scored in his 4th straight game and it proved to be the game winner as the Sharks leap-frogged back into first place over the Portland Pirates in the Atlantic Division. Marty Murray (10th) scored just: 29 seconds into the opening period on a rebound opportunity in front of Alex Stalock to give the Moose a quick 1-0 lead. The first period was a physical one with several post whistle scrums and a combined 30 minutes of penalties. Brett Westgarth, in his first game since being acquired from the Sound Tigers, dropped the gloves and then dropped Dusty Collins at 15:01. Worcester outshot the Moose 11-9 in the first period by trailed 1-0. The Sharks fired 22 shots in a dominating second period of play and found the back of the net with two goals in a 2:20 span. Dwight Helminen (11th) scored on the power play with a wicked snap shot over the shoulder of Daren Machesney at 5:14 after a great feed by Steven Zalewski. Alex Stalock also assisted on the play. After a great rush by Frazer McLaren, Matt Jones (5th) poked in a centering feed in front behind the Moose netminder at 7:34 to give the Sharks a 2-1 advantage. Worcester had a 33-15 shot advantage after forty minutes of play. T.J. Trevelyan (17th) extended his point streak to five games with a strike just: 90 seconds into the third period. Ryan Vesce (11th) fired a shot from the right circle and in to give the Sharks a 4-1 advantage. Dan DaSilva (14th) added insurance after a nice dig in the right corner by John McCarthy at 7:58. Tyler Ramsey (2nd) scored from the point to end the scoring in the hockey game as the Sharks defeated the Moose 5-2. Worcester’s record improves to 37-19-2-3 (79 points) and are currently in first place in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of the Portland Pirates with 19 games left in the regular season. The Sharks improve to 17-9-0-2 on the road.

2012 at Providence 5-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Mike Moore scored twice in the first period and added an assist in the third period to give the Sharks a much needed 5-2 victory over the Providence Bruins at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Saturday night. John McCarthy, Brodie Reid, and Tony Lucia also scored for the Sharks while Tyson Sexsmith was sharp making 21 saves for his 11th win of the season. The Sharks jumped on the Bruins right from the faceoff as Mike Moore (3rd) snuck a low wrister past Adam Courchaine at the 2:51 mark. Moore (4th) struck again just over five minutes later when he fired one past a stellar James Sheppard screen and over Courchaine’s blocker to put Worcester up 2-0. That goal chased Courchaine from the net but the Sharks struck again on replacement Karel St. Laurent with a John McCarthy (14th) one-timer from the slot at 12:47. Shots were at 10-6 in favor of Worcester after 20 minutes. Emotions started to run high as the second period progressed with seven roughing minors being called and a fight breaking out between Nick Petrecki and Kirk MacDonald. MacDonald answered the bell after being the apparent third man in during an altercation between Jimmy Bonneau and Max Sauve. Petrecki was assessed an extra minor which the Bruins capitalized on as Sauve put back a rebound with only 11.5 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 3-1. The Bruins held a 9-5 shots advantage in the second with the total shots being even through 40 minutes. Both teams started the third period off slow as the Sharks looked to lock the lead down. Tony Lucia sprung Brodie Reid (8th) on a breakaway and he beat St. Laurent high glove side put the Sharks up 4-1 at 11:24. The Bruins got it back quickly at the 13:15 mark as Craig Cunningham put back a rebound off the end boards to cut the Sharks lead to 4-2. Tony Lucia (4th) sealed the game with an empty netter at 18:41 to put Worcester up 5-2. Worcester’s record improves to 25-20-4-6, 60pts and just one point behind the Manchester Monarchs for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with four games in hand.

2013 at Springfield 2-0 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (26-23-1-5, 58pts) were defeated by their Eastern Conference rival the Springfield Falcons (34-19-1-2, 71pts) by a score of 2-0 on Sunday afternoon in front of 3,791 fans at the Mass Mutual Center. With today’s game in Springfield, Worcester Shark’s Head Coach Roy Sommer tied Fred “Bun” Cook for the 2nd most games coached in AHL history with 1171. Only Frank Mathers has more games coached with 1256 games. Sommer currently ranks 4th all time with 535 wins. Alex Stalock was a late scratch for Worcester as Harri Sateri made his second straight start making 17 saves on 19 shots in the loss. Curtis McElhinney was perfect making 30 saves on 30 shots for Springfield, including 13 in the third period, giving him his AHL leading 8th shutout of the season. After a back and forth first period with each team getting quality scores chances, Springfield would score a late period goal to take 1-0 lead. Springfield’s’ Ryan Russell (6th) would put home a lucky bounce off a Jonathan Audy-Marchessault shot that would go over Sateri’s right shoulder giving the Falcons a early lead at 16:36. Despite trailing 1-0, Worcester tied Springfield in shots with 7. With not much action happening in the second period, Springfield would score the only goal of the period to extend their lead to 2-0. Tomas Kubalik (14th) tapped home a rebound past Sateri’s left pad, off a Michael Chaput backhand shot at 4:23 of the second period doubling the Falcon’s lead. Worcester outshot Springfield 10 to 9 in the period, giving them a 17 to 16 advantage for the game. As both teams were held scoreless in the third period the game remained 2-0 in favor of Springfield. However, Worcester had the majority of the scoring chances in the final period as they outshot Springfield 13 to 3 in the but, goalie Curtis McElhinney was up to the challenge and kept Worcester off the scoreboard. The game ended with the shots in favor of Worcester 30 to 19. The Sharks overall record falls to 26-23-1-5 (58pts in 55gp) and 16-13-0-2 (34pts in 31gp) on the road this season.

2018 vs Wheeling 3-2 win SO
(RAILERS) Woody Hudson scored with 1:22 left in the third period to force overtime and Tommy Kelley won the game in the shootout as the Worcester Railers HC (26-23-4-3, 59pts) defeated the visiting Wheeling Nailers (29-23-6-1, 65pts) in front of 5,378 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. TJ Syner and Woody Hudson scored for the Railers and Mitch Gillam made 30 saves in his 13th win of the season. Matt Lane and Tommy Kelley each scored in the shootout as Mitch Gillam stopped Cody Wydo on round three in the shootout to secure the home win as the Railers moved within six points of the Nailers for the final playoff spot in the North Division – the Railers have three games in hand. Neither team found the back of the net in the first period as Worcester held a 12-10 shot advantage through 20 minutes of play. Both goaltenders stood strong in net as Mitch Gillam and Matt O’Connor each pitched first period shutouts. TJ Syner (7th) scored in his second straight game as he deflected a Justin Hamonic point shot from on top of the crease at 2:21 of the second period to give Worcester a 1-0 lead. Wheeling tied the score at 1-1 as Riley Bourbonnais (21st) raced down the left-wing side and cut across the crease before sliding a backhand through the pads of Mitch Gillam at 10:33. Shots were 10-7 in favor of Wheeling in the second period as the two clubs headed into the second intermission tied at one. Freddie Tiffels (11th) broke past the Railers defense and gave the Nailers a 2-1 advantage with a nice rush at 12:20 of the third period. With the goaltender pulled, the Railers would tie the score at 18:37 as Woody Hudson (17th) deflected a Barry Almeida shot for the game tying score to force overtime. A wild overtime period saw each team fire three shots in the five-minute overtime period that went back and forth and saw a little bit of everything. In the shootout, Matt Lane and Tommy Kelley scored for the Railers and Mitch Gillam stopped two of three shooters to give the Railers a 3-2 win.

2019 vs Adirondack 4-2 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (25-22-5-4, 59pts)returned home from their season long seven game road trip to defeat the visiting Adirondack Thunder (31-20-5-2, 69pts) in front of 4,018fans at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. Bo Brauer (1-1-2), Tyler Barnes, Tommy Kelley (1-1-2), and Nick Sorkin scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 27 saves as the Railers played their first home game since Feb 10. Peter MacArthur added two assists for the Thunder while goaltender Logan Thompson made 26 saves in net. It was the third straight win for Worcester over Adirondack as Yanick Turcotte picked up his team leading 12th fighting major and added an assist in the home win. Worcester outshot Adirondack 11-4 in the first period but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Dylan Walchuk (12th) slammed home a feed from behind the net after a Railers turnover at 5:04 of the first period for the only score. The Railers grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second period as Bo Brauer (6th) deflected a Yanick Turcotte shot from on top of the crease at 8:17 and Tyler Barnes (23rd) roofed a shot from on top of the crease on the backhand at 10:12. Adirondack tied the score 2-2 on their third power play as a James Henry shot broke off the blocker of Mitch Gillam and flipped behind him and shuffled into the net by Colby Sissons (1st) at 19:41 to close out the period. Worcester held a 21-14 shot advantage through 40 minutes. Tommy Kelley (2nd) netted the eventual game winner at 4:20 of the third period after his shot from the left slot broke through the Thunder rookie netminder to give Worcester the 3-2 lead. Yanick Turcotte (12th FM) dropped Andrew Tessier with a series of lefts and rights in a one-sided fight at 5:38 to give the DCU Center crowd a buzz. Mitch Gillam stopped Matt Salhany on a shorthanded breakaway with about five minutes left to keep the Railers ahead 3-2. Nick Sorkin (12th) added an empty netter at 19:46 to put the game away and to give the Railers the 4-2 home victory.

2023 vs Newfoundland 3-1 win
(RAILERS) The Railers are slowly re-assembling the roster that ranked among the best in the ECHL during the season’s first two months and it is showing up on the scoreboard.
They beat the Newfoundland Growlers, 3-1, Friday night, the Growlers still holding a healthy lead atop the North Division. The key performer for Worcester was a player from that early-season powerhouse who has recently returned from Springfield, Jacob Hayhurst. He figured in all three Railers goals with one of the goals and a pair of assists.
It has been a common theme throughout the season. Players go up to Bridgeport or Springfield, return to Worcester, and excel. “It’s the guys in that (dressing) room, it’s a combination of things,” coach Jordan Smotherman said. “It’s the culture we’ve built here. In the past it may have seemed guys took it as a punishment to come here, but we’ve tried to create an atmosphere where you can come to Worcester and maybe play a little more frequently and have a little more fun and that’s exactly what’s happened.” Bobby Butler and Nick Fea had the other Worcester goals. Nolan Walker scored for Newfoundland. It could have been a 6-1 game, but Growlers goaltender Luke Cavallin was superb keeping his team in it. Hayhurst is 5-8-13 in 11 ECHL games and the Railers are 9-2-0 with him in the lineup. “Obviously, you’d like to play at the highest level you possibly can,” Hayhurst said, “so it would be nice to be up. But when you have such a good group here as this group, a solid team with a good guys and great coaches, it’s nice to be back.
“As far as why guys come down and seem to play well, I think it’s because you’ve adjusted to a different pace up there and when you come here you notice that you have a little extra time and a little more space and that makes you better.” It was a night for streaks, one way or the other. Anthony Repaci’s franchise-best 14-game points streak ended, although he had a shot at a empty-netter with two seconds left and sent it wide from his own blue line. Butler’s goal snapped a 15-game drought for him and defenseman Jared Brandt picked up an assist on the play, his first point in nine games. Railers goalie Ken Appleby, solid all night with 24 saves, snapped a personal four-game losing streak during which the Railers totaled five goals in front of him. The odd streak? Here’s a suggestion — the Railers do the national anthems at the start of the second period, not the first. Friday marked the third straight home game they’ve allowed a goal in the first minute of the first period on the first shot of the game. Walker’s goal came 37 seconds after the first faceoff. Butler tied it at 17:57 of the first period as his shot from the right side hit a Newfoundland stick and detoured past Cavallin. Fea tucked one in from just outside the right post 49 seconds into the second period then Hayhurst scored at 8:35 on what is a candidate for the season’s most exciting goal. Butler got him the puck in the neutral zone, then Hayhurst turned the Growlers defense at the right circle and snapped a 12-footer under the crossbar as he was falling to the ice. Hayhurst had a shorthanded breakaway in the third period that Cavallin stopped and Brent Beaudoin hit metal at 11:03. They were just two of several great Railers chances in the final 20 minutes. MAKING TRACKS – Josh Victor made his Railers’ home debut and established a couple of precedents. Of the 677 different players who have skated for Worcester pro teams, he is the first product of Fitchburg State and the first player from Texas. … Liam Coughlin returned from the injured list after missing 12 games … Timothy Faulkner and Paul Boutoussov were released. … The Growlers are here again Saturday night. It will be the final regular-season game between the teams. … Attendance was 3,149, lifting Worcester over the 100,000 mark for the season. … Dominic Cadieux was the referee and has done the last three Railers games in Jacksonville, Savannah and now Worcester. … Repaci was 10-11-21 during his streak. Beaudoin, who did not register a point Friday night, was 4-12-16 in that same span.


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