Today in Worcester hockey history: March 7

25B

1995 vs Hershey 3-2 loss
The IceCats had two second period goals to take the lead, but the Bears would get two in the third to beat Worcester 3-2. Andre Faust scored to give Hershey the lead at 3:19 of the second period, but Worcester answered right back at with a goal by Shawn Heaphy at 6:47. Terry Virtue and Dave Baseggio had the assists. The IceCats would take the lead on a Denis Chalifoux goal at 12:44, assisted by Cal McGowan and Blair Atcheynum, but Mitch Lamoureux and Bruce Coles had late third period goals for the Bears win. Wayne Cowley had 31 saves in the loss.

1997 at Binghamton 3-1 win
The Worcester IceCats scored two opening period goals and never looked back in a 3-1 win over the Rangers. Libor Zabransky made it 1-0 at 18:06, with Bob Lachance and Jamal Mayers picking up the assists. Chris Kenady made it 2-0 on the power play at 19:37, with Zabransky and Konstantin Shafranov helping. Daniel Goneau cut the ‘Cats lead in half with a second period goal at 17:55, but Shafranov got that one back at 13:00 of the third. Rory Fitzpatrick and Jamie Rivers assisted on the play. John Casey, on a conditioning stint from the Blues, made 26 saves in the victory.

1998 vs New Haven 1-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats and the Beast of New Haven fired 68 combined shots on goal, but it was only Jeff Daniels goal at 9:12 of the third on the power play that would light the lamp in a 1-0 Beast victory. ‘Cats Defenseman Nick Naumenko had 10 shots on goal in the contest, including seven in the third period. Mike Fountain made 37 saves for New Haven, while Frederic Cassivi had 30 for Worcester.

1999 at Adirondack 5-4 win OT
(GLENS FALLS) Worcester coach Greg Gilbert was pretty angry following his IceCats’ 5-4 win over the Adirondack Red Wings last night. You could hear him outside the IceCats’ dressing room. You could hear him berating a team that had just won a road game in overtime. And you couldn’t really blame him. Adirondack is enduring a nightmare of a season. The Wings are languishing in fourth place in the Empire Division. Recent reports say a move to Toledo, Ohio, looms. And things got worse for the Wings early yesterday morning. Thirty minutes before landing in Albany in the wee hours after winning in Cincinnati Saturday night, their plane U-turned at 25,000 feet and flew all the way back to Cincinnati to change a fuse. The plane landed, refueled, re-fused and took off again without anyone de-boarding. The result was a tired Adirondack team that finally landed in Albany at about 1 p.m. yesterday and made it into Glens Falls at 2 p.m. with just enough time to grab a quick bite to eat and host the IceCats. So when the referee dropped the opening puck and Worcester scored 35 seconds later, it wasn’t a question of how fatigue would affect the Wings. It was a question of whether Adirondack was still asleep. The Wings, however, appeared to wake up from another bad dream of a game in time to give Gilbert nightmares last night. They fought hard and earned a point by forging a late-game tie at 4 after trailing 4-2 with less than two minutes to play. Worcester won at the 3:35 mark of overtime when Lubos Bartecko slipped the puck through Adirondack goalie Jason Elliott’s legs from close range. Afterward Gilbert and Adirondack coach Glenn Merkosky were pictured of contrast. Said an angry Gilbert: “We sat and watched the Wings come at us for the last 10 minutes. We crawled away from checks. We were afraid to make mistakes. Not just the young guys some older guys, too. We tightened up. “There’s no way you should blow a two-goal lead in five minutes and go to overtime,” Gilbert continued. Said a happy Merkosky: “That was a wild one. We battled back pretty good and showed a lot. Guys were just going on heart at the end. “It was frustrating to lose, especially in overtime. But, on the other side of the coin, I was pleased with our gutsy effort,” Merkosky continued. By game’s end, the Wings were clearly tired. And Gilbert was mad. “We have to take advantage of that situation,” Gilbert said. “We have to jump on them. We have to have a killer instinct. If we don’t stop this and learn our lesson soon, we’ll be in trouble further down the road,” Gilbert said. Adirondack tied the game with seven seconds to go and its goalie pulled when B.J. Young emerged from a pile in front of Worcester’s net and forced the puck home. IceCats’ goalie Brent Johnson argued Young was in the crease, but to no avail. “They just kept banging and banging and the puck was loose,” Gilbert said. “(The officials) missed offsides and icing all night long. (Adirondack’s) first goal, he was probably three feet offsides.” Young’s goal completed a wild final four minutes that also saw Adirondack’s Brian Bonin slap a shot that trickled off Johnson’s glove into the net, making it 4-3 Worcester with 3:43 remaining. Adirondack then peppered Johnson, seemingly awakened by Bonin’s goal – his second of the night – for the rest of the game. Young’s tying goal came with just seven seconds to play. Fans arriving late missed plenty of action. Worcester’s Kevin Sawyer potted the IceCats aforementioned first goal of the game at 35 seconds. Bonin evened things up with a shorthanded goal at 4:08. Worcester’s power play, however, was only a second old at that point. Marty Reasoner scored his 16th goal of the year at 5:50, accounting for the game’s third goal in the first six minutes, and making it 2-1, IceCats. Shayne Toporowski skated down the left side on a 2-on-2 break and squirted the puck under Elliott’s right blocker, giving Worcester at 3-1 lead 4:35 into the second period.

2001 vs Louisville 4-3 OTL
The Worcester IceCats overcame a two goal deficit only to lose a lead of their own before finally dropping a 4-3 contest in overtime to the Louisville Panthers. Ryan Jardine had the only goal of the opening 20 minutes to give that Panthers the lead at 16:57. Paul Brousseau made it a two goal advantage at 11:32. Matt Walker got the ‘Cats on the board at 14:34 to cut the Louisville lead in half, with Ed Campbell and Darren Clark getting the assists. Mark Rycroft would then tie it at 16:47, from Vladimir Chebaturkin and Clark. In the third period Eric Boguniecki gave the IceCats the lead with a power play strike at 12:13, with Mike Van Ryn and Dan Corso providing the helpers. Mike Cirillo sent the game into overtime with a goal at 18:51, where Brousseau would score at 1:59 on the power play to hand the IceCats a 4-3 loss. Dwayne Roloson had 25 saves in the game.

2003 at Philadelphia 2-1 win OT
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats defeated the Philadelphia Phantoms Friday night, 2-1 in overtime. The game was just the second time the IceCats have earned a win in overtime this season. Christian Backman notched his first game-winning goal and his fourth power play goal to secure the much-needed two points for the IceCats. The game also signaled the return of goaltender Reinhard Divis to the ice. Divis had been sidelined for nearly five months with an abdominal and groin injury. He made 28 saves in his first AHL game of the season. Justin Papineau had the opening goal for Worcester.

2004 vs Springfield 4-2 win
(ICECATS) A second period power play outburst led the Worcester IceCats to a 4-2 win over the Springfield Falcons Sunday at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. Blake Evans extended his goal-scoring steak to three games with a second period goal. Evans, who also had an assist on Sunday, now has four goals and one assist in the IceCats last three games. Worcester rookie Trevor Byrne opened the scoring in the first period, but Springfield tied it in the second on a goal by Nic Bilotto. Evans broke the tie, and then Mike Glumac converted on a pretty no-look pass from Johnny Pohl to give Worcester a 3-1 lead. With the goalie pulled in the waning seconds of regulation, the Falcons jumped within a goal as Peter Ferraro scored with only three seconds on the clock. Christian Laflamme found the empty net with one second left to reclaim the two-goal lead for Worcester. Goaltender Mike Valley earned his second win in a Worcester uniform with 18 saves.

2007 at Portland 4-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) The final visit to Portland for the Sharks was spoiled by a great night of goaltending from Sebastien Caron, who led the Pirates to a 4-1 win in game nine of the Unum Challenge. Geoff Peters gave Portland the lead at 7:54 in the only goal of the period. The Sharks tied it on Mike Iggulden’s breakaway goal at 9:53, with Mathieu Darche picking up an assist with his homerun pass. But the Pirates would score again at 12:42 on a power play goal from Drew Miller to take a 2-1 lead. In the third Portland got goals from Mark Hartigan and Ryan Carter to win 4-1.

2008 vs Albany 5-3 win
(WORSHARKS) A three-goal second period proved too much for Albany to handle as the Sharks bounced back from Wednesday’s loss to beat the River Rats, 5-3, on Friday evening, snapping Albany’s eight-game winning streak in the process. With the win and Manchester’s loss to Hershey, Worcester moves within four points of the Monarchs for fifth place in the Atlantic Division. Springfield was up big on Lowell in the third period and barring a miraculous Devils comeback, will remain eight points ahead of the Sharks in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot. After getting shutout on Wednesday by Norfolk, it didn’t take long for the Sharks to get on the board as Worcester found the back of the net only 11 seconds into the game. Tom Walsh took a shot from just inside the left point. Graham Mink’s tip in front of the net beat Albany goaltender Justin Peters just inside the left post for the quick 1-0 advantage. The River Rats responded when Jeff Hamilton skated down the left wing side. He let go a shot inside the left faceoff circle which beat Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss five hole for the tie score at 3:48. Chris Murray and Noah Babin picked up the assists on the play. Albany had its first lead at 17:18 when Jamie Johnson scored his 17th of the season to make it 2-1. Greiss made the save on Hamilton’s initial shot and the puck bounced straight up in the air. Greiss attempted to cover the puck, but instead it bounced right to Johnson at the doorstep, who found the inside of the left post. In the second period, the Sharks came out flying and before the 20 minutes concluded, tied their season-high for goals (3) and power play goals (2) in a period. It started at 4:34 when Derek Joslin took a shot from just inside the blue line. It found its way through a Mink screen in front and over Peters’ right shoulder for Joslin’s eighth goal of the season. Tom Cavanagh and J.D. Forrest assisted on the play. The Sharks capitalized on a five minute power play at 8:40 to retake the one-goal lead, 3-2. Riley Armstrong brought the puck down the right wing side. He centered the puck in front to T.J. Fox at point blank range. Fox took a quick forehand shot and found the inside of the left post. Dennis Packard found the back of the net for the seventh time at 14:36 to give Worcester a two-goal cushion. Mink made a pass from the right wing faceoff circle across the crease to Packard who fought off a back check and redirected it into the back of the net. Joslin was credited with his third point and second assist of the period on the play. In the third, Worcester extended its lead at 13:59 on its third power play tally of the evening. Lukas Kaspar carried the puck on the right wing side. He passed to Mike Iggulden who took a shot at the open net. It hit off the cross bar and stalled on the goal line before Mink poked it in for his second of the game and 19th of the season. Albany made it interesting at 16:26 of the period to cut the lead to 5-3. Only nine seconds into a 5-on-3, the River Rats found the back of the net when Johnson made a cross-crease pass from the left wing side to Joe Jenson stationed at the right post who easily find the open net.

2009 vs Albany 4-1 win
(WORSHARKS) A three point performance by former Rat Dan DaSilva, two goals from Frazer McLaren, and 31 saves by Taylor Dakers ignited the Sharks as they drowned Albany 4-1 at the DCU Center Saturday night. After ten impressive saves by Albany goaltender Justin Peters, the Sharks would take advantage on their second power play opportunity of the game as Matt Fornataro would fire from above the faceoff circles and find the back of the net to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead at 16:28. The first period was also highlighted by Frazer McLaren’s 18th bout of the season as he exchanged several right hooks with Albany defenseman Benn Olson at 8:00. Worcester netminder Taylor Dakers would shut out Albany through twenty minutes of play as the Sharks outshot the River Rats 12-5. The River Rats would score a power play equalizer at 6:46 in the second frame when Yannick Tifu beat Dakers down low on a pass that would cross through the top of the Worcester crease. At 12:20, after circling from blue line to blue line Andrew Desjardins would drop the gloves and square off against Albany left wing Brad Herauf. The Sharks would regain their lead when Dan DaSilva would score on a shot from the right face off circle to put the Sharks up 2-1at 13:31. Just 1:48 later, DaSilva set up McLaren’s 3rd goal of the season with a feed from behind the net to extend the lead to 3-1 at 15:19. McLaren would pick up his second goal of the night in similar fashion on a feed from Dan DaSilva from behind the net to give the Sharks a 4-1 lead at 7:49 in the third period. The score would hold as Dakers would make 15 saves in the third period to record the 4-1 victory. The win brings Worcester’s record to 32-27-1-2 with 67 points through 62 games.

2014 at Providence 5-4 win SO
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (25-27-3-1, 54ts) won a back and forth high scoring affair with a 5-4 shootout win over the Providence Bruins (31-20-1-7, 70pts) in front of 9,363 fans at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Friday evening. The Sharks lead 1-0, 2-1, trailed 3-2, and led 4-3 before the Bruins forced overtime midway through the third period. Freddie Hamilton (1-2-3), Yanni Gourde (1-1-2), and Dylan DeMelo (0-2-2) all recorded multi point games for Worcester and Troy Grosenick stopped all four shooters in the shootout for his 12th win of the season. Marek Viedensky (5th) and Daniil Tarasov (13th) scored in the third period for Worcester as the Sharks solved goaltender Malcolm Subban for the first time in six tries this season. The first period had a great pace with Worcester grabbing a 2-1 advantage through 20 minutes. Freddie Hamilton (17th) fired home a shot from the right slot past Malcolm Subban after a great play along the wall by Yanni Gourde at 5:41 to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead. After Taylor Doherty (7th FM) dropped the mitts with Tyler Randell (11th FM) at 7:09 the Bruins would tie the score on the very next face-off. After a Bruins face-off win in the Worcester zone, Former Sharks captain Mike Moore (7th) sent a shot through a screen and past Troy Grosenick at 7:09 to tie the score at 1-1. Yanni Gourde (4th) shuffled home a loose puck on top of the Bruins crease at 16:45 assisted by Dylan DeMelo and Freddie Hamilton to put the Sharks ahead 2-1. Troy Grosenick made some great saves at the end of the period as Worcester was outshot 12-9. The Bruins scored twice in the middle frame to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission. On a delayed penalty call to Worcester, Ryan Spooner (6th) sent a rifle of a shot from the right circle at 9:55 to tie the score at 2-2. Then on the power play, Ryan Spooner fed a pass ahead to Alexander Khokhlachev (16th) who scored on a breakaway try at 11:48 to put Providence ahead 3-2. Worcester outshot Providence 9-7 in the second period. Worcester outshot the Bruins 18-3 in the third period and outscored Providence 2-1. Marek Viedensky (5th) snapped a 19 game goalless drought with a beautiful breakaway goal at 5:52 to tie the score at 3-3 and Daniil Tarasov (13th) gave Worcester a 4-3 advantage at 9:37 with a wicked shot off the iron from the left circle. Seth Griffith (13th) tied the score at 4-4 at 11:57 with a wrap-around try to force overtime. Each team had one shot in overtime as the Sharks killed off a power play in the extra frame before the game went to the shootout. Dan DaSilva and Freddie Hamilton scored for Worcester while Troy Grosenick stopped all four Bruins shooters for the victory. The Sharks overall record improves to 25-27-3-1, 54pts and 13-15-3-0, 29pts on the road.

2015 vs Bridgeport 4-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (31-20-4-2, 68pts) were defeated 4-3 by the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (22-29-6-1, 51 pts) in what ended up being a tight one on Troy Grosenick bobblehead night in front of 4,428 fans on Saturday evening at the DCU Center. Four players scored for Bridgeport in the 4-3 victory including Harry Zolniercyzk (1-1-2, +2), Carson McMillan (1-0-1, +1), Dustin Jeffrey (1-1-2, +2), and Sebastian Collberg (1-1-2, +2). Three power play goals were scored for Worcester by Micheal Haley (1-0-1, -1), Chris Crane (1-0-1, E), and Willie Coetzee (1-1-2, -1) in the loss. Worcester goalie Troy Grosenick made 21 saves on 25 shots, while Bridgeport’s netminder Kevin Poulin stopped 39 on 42 shots from the Sharks for his 15th win of the season. The Sound Tigers snapped a 10-game losing streak with the victory. Eight penalties were called in a chippy first period. Less than two minutes into the game, Sharks’ defenseman Taylor Doherty and Sound Tigers’ forward Colton Gillies got into a scuffle at center ice after Gillies kneed Sharks’ forward Bryan Lerg. Each player received three penalties, but Gillies was tossed after being called for a game misconduct on the play. With 47.5 seconds left in the first frame, Bridgeport left winger Harry Zolniercyzk (17th) fired a slapshot from the left point that got past Sharks’ goalie Troy Grosenick for the lone goal of the period. Despite outshooting Bridgeport 16-9, Worcester trailed 1-0 through twenty minutes. At 4:01 of the second period, Bridgeport’s center Carson McMillan (1st) flicked a backhander in the net on a rebound off Grosenick to give the Sound Tigers a 2-0 lead. The Sharks would get on the board at the 6:49 mark when left winger Micheal Haley (18th) pushed the puck in the net in front of the crease on a rebound after a shot down low by forward Willie Coetzee, bringing the Sharks within one. With 1:23 left in the frame, Bridgeport center Dustin Jeffey (19th) found the back of net at the bottom of the left circle after a quick feed from fellow forward John Persson, reinstating the Sound Tigers’ two-goal advantage. Worcester outshot Bridgeport 13-7 in the period, but trailed 3-1 going into the second intermission. At 6:11 of the third period, Bridgeport’s right winger Sebastian Collberg (4th) lit up the lamp, scoring in front of the crease on a rebound to give the Sound Tigers a three-goal lead. Worcester got one back at the 15:03 mark when forward Chris Crane (1st) backhanded a puck after a face-off, which slowly slid past Sound Tigers’ goaltender Kevin Poulin to make it 4-2 Bridgeport. The Sharks added a power play goal with 2:14 left in the period when Willie Coetzee (8th) ripped it from the slot after a behind-the-net pass from center Travis Oleksuk to get Worcester within one. The Sharks had some good looks late in the period but couldn’t find the equalizer. Grosenick made 21 saves on 25 shots from Bridgeport as the Sharks outshot the Sound Tigers 42-25 but took the 4-3 loss. The Sharks overall record falls to 31-20-4-2, 68pts and 18-9-2-1, 39 pts at the DCU Center this season.

2018 at Wheeling 5-2 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (26-25-4-3, 59pts) scored twice on the power play, but fell to the host Wheeling Nailers (30-23-6-1, 67pts) by the score of 5-2 in front of 4,015 fans at the WesBanco Arena on Wednesday morning. Nick Saracino and Chris Langkow scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 20 saves in net. Wheeling scored three goals in the third period to break a 2-2 tie and Adam Morrison made 33 saves in net as the Nailers pulled through on home ice. Wheeling grabbed an early first period lead with a nice individual effort by Freddie Tiffels (12th) as he was able to skate through the Railers defense and had his initial shot stopped by Mitch Gillam but the puck then got deflected off a Worcester skate and into the net at 1:16. Worcester would tie the score on the power play as Nick Saracino (9th), stationed in front of the Wheeling crease, deflected a Matty Gaudreau shot at 8:47. Ross McMullan (4th) snapped a shot from 25 feet after a great feed by Cody Wydo at 16:23 to give the Nailers a 2-1 lead. Worcester outshot Wheeling 13-8 through 20 minutes of play but Worcester trailed by a goal. The Railers would tie the score again on the power play as Ryan MacKinnon sent a slap pass towards the side of the net and Chris Langkow (17th) had a perfect deflection past goaltender Adam Morrison at 5:34 of the second period. The two teams headed to the second intermission tied 2-2 as Worcester held a 27-15 shot advantage. Mitch Gillam made two unbelievable saves in the first ten minutes of the third period to keep the game tied 2-2. But Garrett Meurs (20th) broke the tie at 13:04 with a quick shot from 30 feet after a nice feed from the corner by Riley Bourbonnais to give the Nailers their third lead of the game. Cody Wydo (24th) was awarded an empty net goal at 18:41 after he was tripped at center ice by Matty Gaudreau and Freddie Tiffels (13th) scored 10 seconds later to seal the 5-2 Nailers victory.

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