Today in Worcester hockey history: March 8

25B

1996 at Binghamton 3-2 win OT
The Worcester IceCats overcame a two goal deficit to get the game into overtime where a Fred Knipscheer strike would give the ‘Cats a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Rangers. Barry Richter opened the scoring for the Rangers at 11:01 of the first period, and Brad Jones made it 2-0 at 2:00 of the middle frame. Both goal were on the power play. Jason Strudwick got the ‘Cats on the board with a power play tally at 15:30, assisted by J.J. Daigneault and Jamie Rivers. Alex Vasilevskii then tied it at 4:56 of the third, with Lindsay Vallis and Fred Knipscheer getting the helpers. In the extra session Knipscheer would score at 3:10 to give Worcester the 3-2 win. Vallis and Rivers had the assists. Jamie McLennan made 38 saves for the victory, which was the 50th in franchise history.

1997 at Adirondack 5-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats had an NHL goaltender in the game but even Jon Casey wasn’t good enough to compensate for the team’s no-show effort in their 5-0 loss to the Red Wings. Goal scorers for Adirondack were Stacy Roest (15:41 1st; 16:20 2nd), Allan Egeland (3:34 2nd,pp; 1:57 3rd), and Corey Spring (17:33 2nd). Casey made 20 saves in the game.

1998 at Adirondack 4-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats took a 2-1 lead into the third period but surrendered three goals to lose 4-2 to the Red Wings. Bob Lachance gave the ‘Cats the lead on the first shot of the game at 1:00, with Jason Zent and Erich Goldmann assisting. Allan Egeland would tie at at 3:47 on the power play. Worcester retook the lead at 10:28 of the middle stanza when Zent connected on a low wrist shot. Terry Virtue and Lachance assisted on the play. But once again the Red Wings would tie it when Corey Spring scored on the power play at 3:33. Adirondack took their firstlead of the game on Paul Brousseau’s goal at 9:05, and Stacy Roest added an insurance goal on the power play at 13:13. Fred Cassivi made 33 saves in the loss.

2000 at Hartford 5-3 loss
(TICKER) Derek Armstrong scored two goals and set up another, leading the Hartford Wolf Pack to a 5-3 victory over the Worcester IceCats. Armstrong, who ranks among the league leaders with 72 points, tied it at 1-1 midway through the first period and added an empty-netter in the third. Brad Smyth’s goal with 5:39 left capped a three-goal opening period for Hartford, which is unbeaten in nine of its last 11 games (8-2-1). Jean-Francois Labbe turned away 33 shots to improve to 22-9-7. Andrej Podkonicky had a goal and an assist for Worcester, which was coming off Sunday’s 2-2 tie with the Wolf Pack and is winless in the last three games.

2002 vs Saint John 3-2 win OT
The Worcester IceCats needed extra time to defeat the Flames, but not a lot of it as Jeff Panzer got the game winner 20 seconds into overtime for the 3-2 win over Saint John. Kevin Baker gave the Flames a 1-0 lead at 6:37 of the first period. Daniel Tkaczuk tied it for the ‘Cats on the power play at 17:46, with Christian Laflamme and Darren Rumble getting assists. Blake Evan had the only goal in the middle stanza to give the IceCats a 2-1 lead. It was a power play tally at 6:45, with Rumble and Greg Davis providing the helpers. In the third period Micki DuPont would send the game into overtime with an extra attacker goal at 18:53, setting up Panzer’s extra time heroics. Justin Papineau and Rumble had the assist on the game winner. Reinhard Divis had 33 saves in the win.

2003 at Norfolk 2-1 win
(ICECATS) Saturday night, the IceCats made their inaugural trip to Norfolk, Virginia for their first-ever contest with the Norfolk Admirals. Behind the strength of Reinhard Divis’ 28 save performance and multiple points from Chris Corrinet’s and Sergei Varlamov, the ‘Cats defeated Norfolk, 2-1. Corrinet had one goal and one assist and Varlamov finished with two assists. Divis now has two wins in as many games. Tom Koivisto had Worcester’s other goal.

2008 vs Lowell 3-2 SOL
(WORSHARKS) Graham Mink continued his hot streak, notching a late goal to force overtime, but the Worcester Sharks eventually bowed in a shootout to the Lowell Devils by a 3-2 count on Saturday night at the DCU Center. With the point, Worcester moves within three of 5th place Manchester but slips to nine points back of Springfield in the Atlantic Division table. Both teams adopted a defensive mindset early, combining for just seven shots over the opening fifteen minutes. A cross-checking call to Lowell’s Sean Zimmerman helped the Sharks find an offensive stride, as Mike Iggulden rang a close range shot off the post in the 16th minute. Worcester continued to press even after the power play expired, and at 17:42, Tom Walsh cycled the puck through Dan Spang to Lukas Kaspar along the right wing boards. Kaspar knuckled a shot through traffic that found its way through the crowd and past Devils backstop Dave Caruso to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead with his 14th goal of the season. It looked for an instant as though Worcester had doubled the lead at 18:10, but Nate Raduns was whistled for hooking just as a wrist shot from Ashton Rome cleared the outstretched glove of Caruso. The call proved doubly hurtful, as the Sharks not only lost the would-be goal, but Lowell capitalized on the ensuing man advantage exactly one minute later. Crisp puck movement from the Devils power play unit created a clean look for Petr Vrana, who beat Worcester netminder Dimitri Patzold from inside the right faceoff circle to pull Lowell even heading into the first intermission. The Sharks came out of the first intermission firing, forcing Caruso into seven saves over the period’s first five minutes, but then produced just a single shot on net for the remainder of the frame. Meanwhile, Worcester’s defense remained strong as it surrendered just four shots in a scoreless second period. A succession of penalties, two of them against the Sharks, led to 16 seconds of a 4-on-3 power play for Lowell. It took only 15 seconds for the Devils to break the tie. Blueliner Oliver Magnan played the puck to his partner Rosario Ruggeri, and Ruggeri flicked a wrist shot past Patzold at 8:55 to put the Devils in front, 2-1. With the game on the line, Mink came up big to force overtime and preserve the standings point for Worcester. Mink redirected a blue line drive from Walsh into the Lowell net to knot the score at 2-2 with less than three minutes to play. The goal was Mink’s 20th of the year and gave Walsh his 26th assist of the campaign. After a scoreless overtime in which the Sharks held a 4-0 shot advantage, Grant Marshall and Mike Pandolfo converted in the shootout to vault the Devils to victory.

2009 vs Manchester 4-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks would be denied the three game weekend sweep as the Monarchs fired off 42 shots in a 4-3 Worcester loss at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. Tom Cavanagh would score his 13th goal of the season on the backhand after Manchester left wing Vladimir Dravecky knocked down the initial shot from Matt Fornataro in front of the Monarch net at 7:03 in the first period. The Sharks would outshoot Manchester 11-0 through the first 12 minutes of play before Monarchs’ right wing Trevor Lewis would fire from above the face off circles to allow Brian Boyle deflect the puck under the left pad of Sharks netminder Taylor Dakers for a power play goal at 15:36 and even the score 1-1. With 22 seconds left in the first period, Dravecky would score on a quick pass from David Meckler to catch Dakers out of position and take a 2-1 Monarch lead. The Sharks came out on fire to start the 2nd period, Just :25 seconds into the second stanza Riley Armstrong would take the puck from deep in the left corner deep in the Monarchs’ zone and beat goaltender Jonathan Bernier in front to tie the game 2-2. 16 seconds later, Frazer McLaren would score his 5th goal of the season, 3rd in two games, to give the Sharks a 3-2 advantage. At 2:18 of the 2nd period, Brett Westgarth would mix it up for the 13th time this season as he exchanged blows with left wing Paul Crosty at center ice after Crosty speared Derek Joslin. Manchester would score their second power play goal of the afternoon when Alec Martinez rang the puck off the cross bar and in from the hashes 14:18 in the second period. Minutes later during a scrum for the puck in front of the Shark net, Lewis would shoot on the back hand over the right pad of Dakers to regain the Monarchs’ lead 4-3 at 16:33. Dakers would make 15 saves in the third period including a breakaway stop on Lewis to keep the score within one but Worcester would not be able to find the back of the net as they fell 4-3. The loss brings Worcester’s record to 32-28-1-2 with 67 points through 63 games.

2014 vs Portland 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (26-27-3-1, 56pts) defeated the Portland Pirates (21-26-2-8, 52pts) 3-2 before 5,455 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. Before the game, the Worcester Police Department and the Worcester Fire Department faced off for a friendly tilt on Heroes Night as the firemen topped the policemen 6-1 and took home the Heroes Award. Freddie Hamilton (18th), Brodie Reid (9th) & Eriah Hayes (7th) all scored for the Sharks in their 3-2 defeat of the Portland Pirates. Hamilton and Reid’s first period goals gave Worcester a lead that would remain throughout the game, while Hayes’ third period goal sealed the Sharks’ victory. The Pirates’ Daine Todd (3rd) and Jordan Martinook (10th) scored for the Pirates, with Martinook’s goal coming late in the third with an extra skater. Harri Sateri earned the game’s first star as he stopped 28 of 30 shots. The Sharks tallied two first-period goals in less than six minutes to take a 2-0 lead over the Pirates in the opening 20 minutes of action. Worcester’s first goal came on a power play at 14:06 when Hamilton (18th) looked for a centering feed to the slot that ricocheted off a Pirates defender and behind goaltender Louis Domingue. Then with just 1.5 seconds left on the clock, Reid (9th) skillfully redirected a bullet from Comrie at the point, into the right side of the net. Not only did the Sharks outscore the Pirates, they outshot them 12-9 for the period. Sateri was solid between the pipes and stopped all nine of Portland’s on-net attempts. The middle period resulted in a lone goal by the Pirates, as the Sharks carried a 2-1 lead over Portland into the third. The score came at 11:18 after a neutral zone turnover by Worcester allowed Daine Todd (3rd) to skate the puck into Portland’s offensive zone and snipe a shot that deflected off Matt Pelech and into the top shelf of the net, glove-side of Sateri. Shots for the second were close at 10-9, with the Pirates holding the edge over the Sharks. Both teams notched third period goals, giving the Sharks a final 3-2 victory over Portland. At 8:13 Worcester regained its two-goal lead when Taylor Doherty snuck a sliding puck across the net, where Eriah Hayes (7th) tipped it far-post of Domingue. In final attempts to make a comeback, Portland pulled Domingue for the extra skater and managed to bring the game closer, but couldn’t tie it. With 1:14 left on the clock, Lucas Lessio gave the puck to Jordan Martinook (10th) just outside the right post, where he hoisted it over Sateri’s shoulder making the game 3-2. After the goal, Portland again pulled Domingue in a last chance effort, but was unsuccessful as Worcester topped the Pirates. The Sharks’ overall record improves to 26-27-3-1, 56pts and 13-12-0-1, 27pts at home.

2015 at Providence 3-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (31-21-4-2, 68pts) fired a season high 54 shots but dropped a 3-2 decision to the host Providence Bruins (32-20-7-1, 72pts) in front of 9,426 fans at the Dunkin Donuts Center on Sunday afternoon. Jeremy Smith made 52 saves for the Bruins as Providence won their 5th straight game. Travis Oleksuk and Derek DeBlois scored for Worcester as Aaron Dell made 22 saves in net for the loss. Colin Stuart scored twice for Providence and Justin Florek scored just 15 seconds into the game for the Bruins as the Sharks lost for the 4th time in their last five games. Worcester fired a season high 23 shots in the first period but trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. Sharks goaltender Aaron Dell had his clearing attempt intercepted by Justin Florek (9th) just 15 seconds into the opening frame and Florek fired the puck into an empty net to give the Bruins an early 1-0 advantage. Worcester held a 23-10 shot advantage through 20 minutes as goaltender Jeremy Smith stood tall for Providence. Jeremy Smith made 13 more saves in the second period as Worcester had three more power play chances in the middle frame. The Sharks held a 36-20 shot advantage through 40 minutes but trailed 1-0 headed into the second intermission. Travis Oleksuk (7th) got the Sharks on the board at 1:57 of the third period after he tipped home a Daniil Tarasov shot from the right circle past Jeremy Smith. The Bruins made it 2-1 as Colin Stuart (11th) snapped a quick shot through the pads of Aaron Dell at 4:14. Stuart (12th) struck again on the power play as he banked a shot off of Taylor Doherty from behind the goal line at 8:10 to give Providence a 3-1 advantage. Rhode Island native Derek DeBlois (1st) scored his 1st AHL goal with a rebound strike from the side of the net at 11:22 to get the Sharks within a goal. Worcester had several tries to tie the game but goaltender Jeremy Smith stood tall as the Bruins held on for the 3-2 victory. The Sharks overall record falls to 31-21-4-2, 68pts, and 13-12-2-1, 29pts on the road this season.

2019 at Adirondack 3-2 win SO
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (27-22-5-4, 63pts) extended their point streak to five games (4-0-1-0) after an exciting 3-2 shootout win over the host Adirondack Thunder (31-21-5-3, 69pts) in front of 3,317 fans at the Cool Insuring Arena anon Friday evening. With the win, the Railers are now one point behind the Manchester Monarchs and Brampton Beast for the 4th spot in the North Division. Nick Sorkin and Ryan Hitchcock scored for Worcester while Evan Buitenhuis made 41 saves in net for his 10th win of the season before Bo Brauer scored in the 7th round of the shootout for the winner. Logan Thompson made 25 saves in net for the Thunder as the Railers improved to five games over .500 for the first time this season. It was the fifth straight win for Worcester over Adirondack overall and now 6-4-0-0 vs. their North Division rivals.
It was a physical first period of play that saw the two captains throw knuckles at 7:58 with Mike Cornell landing a series of right hands on James Henry to set the tone early on. Worcester would connect on their second power play after a Barry Almeida shot from the left wall was kicked out by netminder Logan Thompson and went right to Nick Sorkin (14th) in the left slot for a rebound score at 16:48. Shots were 9-8 in favor of Adirondack through 20 minutes of play. Ryan Hitchcock (13th) extended his point streak to five games with a wicked shot from in between the circles at 4:26 of the second period assisted by Tyler Barnes and Barry Almeida to give the Railers a 2-0 lead. Matt Salhany (14th) got the Thunder on the board as he got around the Worcester defense and ripped a shot top shelf from in tight on Evan Buitenhuis at 14:10. Shots were 23-20 in favor of Adirondack through 40 minutes of play. Shane Conacher (9th) tied the score with the extra attacker at 18:37 to send the crowd into a frenzy as the Thunder outshot Worcester 17-4 in the third period. Both teams had three shots in overtime before the game headed to the shootout. Tommy Kelley and Barry Almeida scored for Worcester in the first six rounds before Bo Brauer won the game in the 7th round of the shootout to give Worcester the 3-2 road shootout victory.

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