Today in Worcester hockey history: March 15


1995 vs Springfield 3-2 OTL
The IceCats rallied in the third period but a Falcons overtime goal gave them the 3-2 win. Cal McGowan opened the scoring at 3:22 of the first period with a goal on a delayed penalty call. Denis Chalifoux and Jason Weinrich had the helpers on the play. Springfield then scored two second period goals, with John LeBlanc scoring at 12:56 and Russ Romaniuk adding another at 15:24. Mark Ouimet got Worcester back to even with a power play goal at 4:22 of the third assisted by Walt Poddubny and Shawn Heaphy, but a LeBlanc overtime goal at 2:23 handed the IceCats the 3-2 loss. Wayne Cowley made 30 saves.

1996 vs Binghamton 6-3 loss
The Worcester IceCats fell behind by three in the opening period and never recovered in a 6-3 loss to the Rangers. Brothers Peter (1-4-5) and Chris (2-2-4) Ferraro combined for nine of the 16 points Binghamton players put up on the night. Sylvain Blouin got the Rangers on the board 57 seconds into the opening period, and then the Ferraros made it 3-0 when Peter scored on the power play at 4:49 and Chris tallied at 7:34 at even strength. Lindsay Vallis stopped the bleeding for the ‘Cats at 9:00, assisted by Fred Knipscheer and B.J. MacPherson. It was MacPherson’s only career AHL assist. In the second period Barry Richter made it 4-1 at 4:36. Marquis Mathieu answered at 6:45 from Jamie Rivers and J.J. Daigneault to make it a two-goal game. Ryan VandenBussche scored for the Rangers at 5:30 of the third to make it 5-2. Jason Strudwick got the lead back to two again at 12:23 with Paul Broten and Craig Darby helping, but Chris Ferraro scored his second of the game at 18:07 to spoil any comeback bid. Mike Buzak made 25 saves in the loss.

1998 at New Haven 6-3 loss
The Worcester IceCats allowed four second period goals on their way to losing a 6-3 contest to the Beast of New Haven. Ashley Buckberger opened the scoring for New Haven unassisted at 4:57, and Craig Ferguson made it 2-0 at 6:50. Chris Kenady cut that lead in half when Rory Fitzpatrick’s power play shot was blocked in front with the puck ending up on the tape of Kenady’s stick 15-feet out. Shayne Toporowski had the secondary assist on the goal at 16:30. David Nemirovsky made it 3-1 at 3:18 of the second period, but Bob Lachance made it a one-goal game again at 12:22 on the power play when he tipped Jason Zent’s shot into the net. Terry Virtue had the other assist. The next three belonged to the Beast, with Buckberger scoring again at 12:43, Jeff Daniels at 18:08 on the power play, and Dwayne Hay at 18:48. Zent made it 6-3 with a 30-foot wrist shot at 16:41, with Stephane Roy picking up a point. Brent Johnson made 31 saves.

2000 at Providence 6-4 loss
(TICKER) Jay Henderson had a goal and two assists to power the Providence Bruins to a 6-4 victory over the Worcester IceCats. Henderson scored his 12th goal three minutes into the first period and assisted on Jason Krog’s tally that ignited a three-goal third. Neil Fewster notched the game-winner and also had an assist on Eric Manlow’s empty-netter with 25 seconds left. Kay Whitmore made 33 saves for Providence, which improved to 4-2-2 against the IceCats this season. Andrej Podkonicky scored twice and Bryan Helmer collected three assists for Worcester, which is winless in seven of its last eight games (1-5-2). Brent Johnson stopped 33 shots in a losing cause.

2002 vs Bridgeport 2-1 loss
(ICECATS) In their final meeting of the regular season, the Worcester IceCats fell to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers 2-1 last night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. Despite the loss, the ‘Cats continue to hold their third place standing in the American Hockey League’s (AHL) North Division and more importantly their sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, with 75 points. Through 69 games, their overall record now stands at 34-28-6-1.
After a scoreless first period, the Sound Tigers gained a 2-0 edge, which they carried into the final minutes of the third. Trent Hunter put the first goal on the board at 3:40 of the middle frame. Jason Podollan then gave Bridgeport a two goal advantage with a power play goal a little over 11 minutes later. His 25-foot blast appeared to deflect off an IceCats defender and into the Worcester net. Marc Brown erased the Sound Tigers shutout bid late in the third and gave Worcester hope. The home team had their goaltender pulled and the Tigers had a man in the box for high sticking when Brown capped a goalmouth scramble. It was his 14th power play marker of the season, which leads the League in that category. Additionally, the goal broke an IceCats single season power play goal record. Brown’s 27th of the season was assisted by Justin Papineau and Jame Pollock and was the only one of the night for Worcester. “We worked hard and the guys played well in front of me,” said Worcester goaltender Reinhard Divis, who was named the game’s third star. “As it gets closer to the playoffs, it becomes more important to win every game. We play best on the power play, but unfortunately, (the Sound Tigers) had more power play opportunities than we did.”
The power play goal turned out to be the difference. Divis turned aside 24 of 26 shots. Bridgeport netminder Steve Valiquette, named the number one star, earned the win with 38 saves.

2003 at Binghamton 1-0 loss
(ICECATS) Saturday night, the Worcester IceCats returned to the Binghamton, New York area for the first time since March 7, 1997 when it beat the old Binghamton Rangers, 3-1. The IceCats fortunes were not as good Saturday night, as they lost 1-0 to the Senators. The loss snapped Worcester’s four game winning streak, their six game unbeaten streak overall (4-0-2) and their six game road unbeaten string (4-0-2).

2008 at Springfield 4-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) A strong second period wasn’t enough as the Worcester Sharks fell behind early and were unable to claw back in a 4-1 loss to the Springfield Falcons on Saturday night. With the loss, the Sharks (26-29-4-6) fall to eight points behind the Falcons for the fourth and final playoff spot. The Falcons came out strong and capitalized toward the end of their first power play at 4:55 of the first period. Liam Reddox made a pass from behind the net that trickled to Viacheslav Trukhno. Trukhno’s wrist shot from the right faceoff circle knuckled under the glove hand of Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss for the 1-0 lead. Rob Schremp picked up the other assist on the play. Springfield capitalized on a fortunate bounce at 11:10 of the period. After a dump in the zone, Stephane Goulet threw the puck in front of the net. It redirected off the skate of Greiss and over the goal line for the 2-0 advantage. Trukhno and Brad Farynuk were credited with the assists. At 15:28, it looked like Worcester had cut the lead in half, but referee Terry Koharski had blown the play dead thinking Springfield goaltender Jeff Deslauriers had covered up. Derek Joslin’s long shot from the point was saved by Deslauriers and snuck behind him. A Sharks player knocked the puck into the net, but it didn’t matter. In the second period, the Falcons missed a handful of golden opportunities to extend their lead and the Sharks capitalized by cutting the lead in half at 10:35. Grant Potulny had a wide open net on a rebound, but missed the net. On Worcester’s ensuing rush up ice, Tom Cavanagh skated down the right wing side and made a pass to Dennis Packard in front of the net. Packard’s initial shot was saved, but the second opportunity found the back of the net for his eighth of the season. Graham Mink picked up the other assist on the play. Craig Valette was called for a five minute major penalty for boarding at 15:28 of the second giving the Falcons a golden opportunity to add insurance. Less than two minutes later, Riley Armstrong was also whistled for a penalty, giving Springfield two full minutes of a two-man advantage. The Worcester penalty kill continued to do a tremendous job of limiting Springfield’s rush into the offensive zone, and when they did, Greiss came up with timely saves. The power play was negated when Cavanagh drew a penalty on Theo Peckham at 18:58. After Greiss made another tremendous save on a Potulny breakaway, the Sharks went into the locker room with a 2-1 deficit. The Falcons quickly regained the momentum with a tally 1:40 into the third period. Schremp centered the puck from along the right wing boards to Ben Simon. Simon redirected the puck to the top left corner of the net for the crucial insurance goal. T.J. Kemp picked up the other assist on the play. Springfield opened up its first three-goal lead of the evening at 7:35 of the third. Ryan Garlock made a touch pass to Colin McDonald who subsequently fired the shot past Greiss for his 12th of the season and the 4-1 lead, which stood as the final.

2009 vs Hartford 4-1 win
(WORSHARKS) Behind goals from four different players and strong goaltending from Thomas Greiss, the Worcester Sharks topped the Hartford Wolf Pack, 4-1, on Sunday to propel them into a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. The win snapped a four game losing streak to Hartford and evens the final season series at 4-4. Worcester improves to 34-30-1-2 with 71 points through 67 games, handing the Wolf Pack only their second loss in the last 13 games. After a scoreless first period, Hartford took advantage of a questionable tripping penalty assessed to Andrew Desjardins for a 1-0 lead at 2:07 of the second period. Greiss flashed the right pad to stop a Michael Sauer drive from the point, but was unable to cover up, allowing Patrick Rissmiller to clean up the rebound for his ninth goal of the season. Worcester answered just over four minutes later at the 6:14 mark behind Riley Armstrong’s team-leading 22nd goal of the season. Brett Westgarth’s shot from the blue line was blocked in front of the net by Hartford’s Sauer, deflecting right to Armstrong who roofed a backhand shot into the net. Mike Moore was credited with the other assist on the play. Ryan Vesce set up Tom Cavanagh beautifully for a power play goal and a 2-1 advantage at 8:30 of the second. The original shot from the point was blocked, but Vesce corralled the puck in the slot and found Cavanagh just outside the crease, who easily lit the lamp for his 15th goal of the season. The Sharks converted their second straight power play chance for a two goal cushion, 3-1. It was Lukas Kaspar who fired a low rocket along the left wing boards that beat Hartford goaltender Miika Wiikman for his 15th goal. Patrick Traverse and Cavanagh had the assists. In the third period, Hartford nearly cut the Sharks’ lead to 3-2, but instead, T.J. Fox netted his sixth of the season on the ensuing rush, one-timing the feed from Steven Zalewski for the 4-1 advantage at 9:52 of the third.

2013 vs W-B/Scranton 5-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (28-24-1-6, 63 points) had their five-game home point streak snapped with a 5-3 loss to the Wilkes-Barre / Scranton Penguins (34-22-3-2, 73 points) in front of 5,865 fans at the DCU Center on Friday evening. Prior to the game, Avery Bradley of the Boston Celtics made an appearance and signed autographs for Sharks fans. Facing a three-goal deficit heading into the third period, Worcester got goals from James Livingston (6th) and Jon Matsumoto (13th) to make it a one-goal game, but just couldn’t pull it out, as Warren Peters (11th) of the Penguins added an empty netter late to put the game away. Yanni Gourde (8th) scored the other Sharks goal early in the second period. Dylan Reese (6th), Chad Kolarik (23rd), Paul Thompson (15th), and Riley Holzapfel (17th) added the other goals for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton. Brad Thiessen earned his 14th win of the season in net for the Penguins, while Harri Sateri suffered his 13th loss of the season. Both teams came out flying in the early stages of the game, but the first goal didn’t come until 14:48 of the first period. After Wilkes-Barre / Scranton’s goaltender Brad Thiessen made a great save on a shorthanded Bracken Kearns breakaway, Dylan Reese (6th) scored for the Penguins on a 5-on-3 advantage, roofing a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Harri Sateri from just above the right faceoff dot, making it a 1-0 game. Worcester held a 12-11 advantage in shots in the first period. The Penguins were 1-for-3 on the power play in the period, while the Sharks didn’t have a power play opportunity. After an interference penalty was assessed to Adam Comrie less than two minutes into the second period, the Penguins scored their second power play goal of the game, when Chad Kolarik (23rd) wristed a shot past Harri Sateri from the right side, giving the Penguins a 2-0 lead. It didn’t take long for Wilkes-Barre / Scranton to add to their lead. Just 23 seconds after their second goal, the Penguins upped their lead to 3-0, when Paul Thompson (15th) was able to tip a shot by Joey Mormina past Sateri. However, the Sharks weren’t ready to fold easily. Just 14 seconds later, Yanni Gourde (8th) one-timed a pass from Travis Oleksuk past Brad Thiessen, cutting the Worcester deficit to 3-1. The Penguins increased their lead to three once again at 16:35 of the second, when Kolarik made a nice pass to Riley Holzapfel (17th) who buried the puck into an empty cage, giving Wilkes-Barre / Scranton a 4-1 lead. Worcester outshot the Penguins 22-21 through two periods, despite trailing by three goals. The Sharks cut their deficit to two goals less than three minutes into the third period, when James Livingston (6th) retrieved the puck in the neutral zone, skated down the right wing and unleashed a bomb of a slap shot that beat Brad Thiessen top shelf, making it a 4-2 Penguins lead. The Sharks kept rolling offensively. At 15:05 of the period, Jon Matsumoto (13th) collected the puck along the left wing in the attacking zone and banked a shot in off of Thiessen from the goal line, making it a 4-3 Wilkes-Barre / Scranton lead. After two minor penalties being assessed to the Penguins late and the Sharks pulling Harri Sateri, the Sharks had a 6-on-3 advantage with less than two minutes to go, but couldn’t score. With eight seconds remaining, Penguins forward Warren Peters (11th) added an empty netter to put the game out of reach for the Sharks. The Sharks overall record falls to 28-24-1-6 (63pts in 59gp) and 12-11-1-4 (29pts in 28gp) on home ice this season.

2014 at Bridgeport 4-0 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (29-27-3-1, 62pts) won a season high fifth straight game with a 4-0 victory over the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (26-29-2-4, 58pts) in front of 4,135 fans at the Webster Bank Arena on Saturday evening. Rock Higgs (RPI) scored his 1st two professional goals while Dan DaSilva (13th) and Konrad Abeltshauser (1-1-2) each scored power play goals for Worcester. Harri Sateri made 25 saves in net for his 1st shutout of the season as Dylan Demelo and John McCarthy each picked up two assists as the Sharks continue to charge up the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Brock Higgs (1st) scored his 1st professional goal at 12:56 with a rebound score past goaltender Kevin Poulin on a Dylan Demelo power play point shot to give Worcester a 1-0 advantage. Worcester outshot Bridgeport 16-8 in the opening frame and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Worcester would grab a 2-0 lead with another power play goal at 5:28 of the second period. Dan DaSilva (13th) roofed a wicked shot just inside the crossbar from down low in the left circle with assists to John McCarthy and Konrad Abeltshauser. Harri Sateri added seven more saves and had 15 through 40 minutes as Worcester led 2-0 after two periods. Konrad Abeltshauser (5th) scored a 5-on-3 power play goal at 3:01 and Brock Higgs (2nd) finished the scoring at 15:26 of the third period for the 4-0 advantage. Harri Sateri made 10 more saves in the final frame for the 25 save shutout. The Sharks overall record improves to 29-27-3-1, 62pts and 15-15-3-0, 33pts on the road.

2019 at Manchester 5-2 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (29-23-5-4, 67pts) moved closer to a playoff spot after a 5-2 win over the host Manchester Monarchs (32-26-2-2, 68pts) in front of 1,593 fans at the SNHU Arena on Friday evening. With the win, the Railers are now one point behind the Manchester Monarchs for the 4th spot in the North Division with 11 games remaining. Barry Almeida (1-1-2), Bo Brauer (2 goals), and Dylan Willick all scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 38 saves in net for his 18th win of the season. Kevin Dufour scored goals for the Monarchs while Charles Williams made 28 saves in net as Worcester improved to 14-14-1-3 on the road this season and picked up their franchise best fourth straight road win. Goaltender Mitch Gillam was very, very, very sharp in the opening period making 17 saves to keep the Monarchs at bay as Worcester fired nine shots on Charles Williams as the two teams headed to the locker room scoreless. Manchester went ahead 1-0 after the puck pinballed after a faceoff in the Worcester zone and Kevin Dufour (22nd) snapped a quick shot at 3:30 of the second period. Worcester would net the next three as Barry Almeida (20th) jammed home a centering feed after a nice rush by Connor Doherty at 6:13 and Bo Brauer (8th) intercepted a clearing attempt and zipped the puck past Charles Williams at 15:23. Dylan Willick (7th) skated out of the left-wing corner, went around two defenders, before sweeping the puck around the Manchester netminder at 15:48 to put Worcester ahead 3-1. Mitch Gillam had 30 saves through 40 minutes of play as he continued his stellar play in net. Tyler Barnes (24th) added an insurance goal at 3:14 of the third period with a terrific finish after a Barry Almeida centering feed to give Worcester a 4-1 lead. Manchester would pull their goalie with six minutes left in the game and score at 14:13 as Kevin Dufour (23rd) netted his 2nd of the game. Bo Brauer (9th) would find an empty net at 18:24 to seal the deal as the Railers grabbed a 5-2 road victory in Manchester.


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