Today in Worcester hockey history: March 5

25B

1995 at Portland 4-0 loss
(PORTLAND) The grind finally caught up with the Worcester IceCats yesterday afternoon. Playing their seventh game in 11 days, the IceCats were no match for the rested Portland Pirates, losing, 4-0, before a crowd of 7,288 at the Cumberland County Civic Center. Andre Racicot made 27 saves for his first shutout in two years and Martin Gendron scored a pair of goals for Portland, which had lost six of its previous nine games. The Pirates, in second place in the Northern Division, are 35-19-11. Worcester is almost the exact opposite: 19-36-11. “A schedule like that catches up with you,” IceCats coach Jim Roberts said. “We’re a team that has to play hard to play well.” Against Portland, they couldn’t. “We just didn’t have our legs,” Jim Nesich said. Nesich was involved in what proved to be the game’s pivotal play. With Portland leading, 1-0, on a Chris Longo goal 3:33 into the game, Nesich was awarded a penalty shot when Portland’s Norm Batherson pulled him down on a breakaway with 6:06 to go in the first period. Nesich skated in, faked right and shot back to the left. Racicot, a teammate of Nesich’s five years ago in Sherbrooke, dropped and blocked the shot with his right pad. “I didn’t know where he was going,” Racicot said. “You never know in a situation like that. Maybe tomorrow if it happened, he would score.” “I did what my first instinct told me to do,” Nesich said. “I saw an opening and went for it. I think he gave me the hole and then took it away.” Gendron scored twice in the second period to put Portland safely ahead. The first, a power-play goal at 8:24, came on a rising 30-foot blast from the left circle that Worcester goalie Chris Gordon simply couldn’t catch. The second, at 13:35, came on a dribbler from the high slot. Gendron muffed a slap shot but got enough on the puck to catch the far corner as Gordon was moving the other way. Chris Jensen ended the scoring at 3:21 of the third period, one-timing a shot in from the top of the left circle. The victory gave Portland a 9-2-1 edge over Worcester in the season finale between the teams.

1996 vs Adirondack 1-1 tie
The Worcester IceCats and Adirondack Red Wings battled to a 1-1 tie in a Tuesday night contest at the Centrum in Worcester. The ‘Cats goal was by Paul Broten at 15:08 of the first period, assisted by Fred Knipscheer. The Red Wings would tie it on a Sylvain Cloutier tally at 9:29 of the middle period. Kevin Hodson had 30 saves for the Red Wings while Mike Buzak made 23 for the IceCats.

1999 vs Hartford 5-2 win
The Worcester IceCats allowed the first goal of the game but then scored the next five as they defeated the Wolf Pack 5-2. After a scoreless first period Vladimir Vorobiev gave Hartford the lead at 5:54 of the middle period. Just over a minute later, at 6:57, Tyler Harlton tied the game for the ‘Cats with Tyson Nash picking up the assist. Jochen Hecht put Worcester ahead to stay with a shorthanded goal at 12:08, with Stephane Roy and Bryce Salvador getting points on the play. Nash would make it 3-1 at 15:52, with Roy and Jaroslav Obsut assisting. After two assists it was Roy’s turn to light the lamp, with Rory Fitzpatrick and Nash assisting on the power play goal at 18:09. Hecht picked up his second of the game 37 seconds into the third period, with Kevin Sawyer and Fitzpatrick getting the helpers. Ken Gernander scored at 12:47 for the 5-2 final. Brent Johnson made 23 saves in the win.

2000 vs Hartford 2-2 tie
(TICKER) Chris Kenady’s goal with 3:48 remaining in regulation lifted the Hartford Wolf Pack into a 2-2 tie with the Worcester IceCats. Kenady notched his 12th of the season for Hartford, which is unbeaten in nine of its last 11 games (8-2-1). Tomas Klouckek, who has only two goals this season, opened the scoring in the first period for the Wolf Pack, who got 37 saves from Jean-Francois Labbe. Andrej Podkonicky scored in the second and teammate Jan Horacek gave the IceCats a 2-1 lead three minutes into the third. Brent Johnson made 28 saves for Worcester, whose winless streak reached three games (0-2-1).

2008 vs Norfolk 4-0 loss
(WORSHARKS) As they did on Sunday, Norfolk scored another early goal, but this time the Admirals had more than enough to put away the Sharks as they cruised to a 4-0 victory on Wednesday evening, snapping Worcester’s three-game home winning streak. The Sharks (23-27-4-4) remain eight points behind the idle Springfield Falcons for the fourth and final playoff spot. Manchester was also idle and remains in fifth, six points ahead of Worcester. Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss stopped 19 of 23 shots while Admirals netminder Marc Denis stopped all 32 shots for the shutout victory. On Sunday, the Admirals lit the lamp at 1:40 of the first period. It took four more seconds on Wednesday as Norfolk found the back of the net only 1:44 into the game. With Adam Henrich acting as a screen in front of the net, Matt Smaby let go a knuckling shot from just inside the right point. The screen along with the rising shoot fooled Greiss enough for his first goal of the season. Unlike Sunday, Norfolk extended its lead to 2-0 advantage at 10:21. Henrich took the puck out of the end boards and made a flick to Radek Smolenak who was backpedaling in front of the net. Smolenak’s shot found its way through a number of bodies for his ninth of the season. Kevin Quick also picked up his first professional point on the play. After a long stretch of scoreless hockey, Norfolk added to the lead at 17:13 of the second period. Bracken Kearns took a loose puck at center ice and skated down the left wing side. He let go a shot at the left faceoff dot, which beat Greiss five hole for the three-goal cushion. Jay Rosehill tallied the lone assist. Late in the third, Justin Keller added the back-breaker. Off a bad bounce off the back boards, the puck squirted to him with Greiss out of position. Keller easily found the open net at 18:23 for his 11th goal of the season.

2010 at Abbotsford 5-4 loss
(WORSHARKS) T.J. Trevelyan extended his goal scoring streak to five games with his 19th goal of the season but the Heat scored three 2nd period goals and held on to defeat the Sharks 5-4 at the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre in Abbotsford, BC on Friday night. The game marked the first ever game for Worcester in Abbotsford. Michael Wilson, Brandon Mashinter, and Derek Joslin recorded the other Worcester goals as the Sharks fell to 0-2-0-1 vs. the Heat this season. T.J. Trevelyan (19th) extended his goal scoring streak to five games with a power play goal at 4:00 of the first period. Trevelyan deflected a shot by Logan Couture past Leland Irving as Benn Ferriero was credited with the 2nd assist. Brett Westgarth fought for the 2nd time in as many games as he and J.D. Watt tangled after Watt went after Cory Quirk. The Heat tied the game at 10:20 as David VanderGulik (12th) snapped a shot from the right circle past Alex Stalock to tie the score at 1-1. The Heat bumped into Alex Stalock several times in a very physical first period. The Heat scored three unanswered goals, two of which on the power play in the middle period to grab a 4-1 advantage after 40 minutes of play. Cam Cunning (15th) struck on the power play at 3:52 deflecting a blast from newly acquired Andy Delmore at the point to give the Heat a 2-1 lead. Olivier Latendresse (3rd) deflected a nice pass by VanderGulik on the power play from close courters at 14:55. Abbotsford went ahead 4-1 as Colin Stuart (13th) blasted one past Stalock at 18:35 on an odd man rush. North Vancouver, BC native Michael Wilson scored his 5th at 9:58 before 30 family and friends firing in a loose puck in front after an initial shot by Frazer McLaren down the left wing. Colin Stuart added much needed insurance at 15:06 with his second of the game to put the Heat back up by three. Brandon Mashinter (17th) and Derek Joslin (2nd ) each scored in the final 75 seconds for the Sharks but it was too little too late as the Sharks fell 5-4 in regulation. Worcester’s record falls to 37-20-2-3 (79 points) and currently in first place in the Atlantic Division, one point ahead of the Portland Pirates with 18 games left in the regular season. The Sharks fall to 17-10-0-2 on the road.

2011 vs Charlotte 2-0 win
(WORSHARKS) Daren Machesney made a breakaway stop on Oskar Osala with two minutes left in the third period in a 1-0 game as the Sharks held on for a hard fought 2-0 shutout victory over the Charlotte Checkers Saturday night at the DCU Center. With the win, the Sharks remain in a third place tie with the CT Whale. Worcester hosts the Whale at the DCU Center on Sunday at 3pm. Kevin Henderson scored in the first period and Tommy Wingels scored into an empty net for Worcester as Daren Machesney earned his second shutout of the season with 34 saves. The Sharks once again jumped out to a first period lead in a physical first period. Sharks goalie Daren Machesney made several big stops early on to keep Charlotte off the board, which opened the door for Worcester to take the lead. Sean Sullivan fired a shot off a face-off which was tipped in by Kevin Henderson (6th) at 12:15 of the first to give Worcester the 1-0 lead. Sharks led 12-7 in shots and 1-0 at the end of the first. The second period saw both teams begin to tighten up their defensive zone play. Charlotte had the best scoring chances of the period but Daren Machesney continued his strong play in goal. With ten seconds remaining Machesney stopped a 3-on-2 with a sprawling save after the initial shot hit the cross bar. Worcester led 1-0 heading after forty minutes of play. Charlotte continued their offensive onslaught in the third but the Sharks and Daren Machesney stood tall. With less than five minutes remaining Machesney was pulled out of the crease on a deke but a combination of Matt Irwin, Benn Ferriero and Tommy Wingels filled in for the save to keep the score 1-0. With two minutes remaining, Checkers forward Oscar Osala came in on a breakaway but was turned away as Machesney made an arm save while on his side. The Sharks would ice the game as Tommy Wingels (11th) scored the empty netter with just over a minute remaining. The Sharks record improves to 28-22-4-8 with 68 points and to 16-9-2-4 at the DCU Center. Worcester is currently tied with the 3rd place CT Whale for the last guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division.

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