Today in Worcester hockey history: March 16

25B

1996 at Portland 4-0 loss
The Worcester IceCats fired 28 shots on Pirates netminder Ron Tugnutt but couldn’t light the lamp in a 4-0 loss to Portland. Pirates goal scorers were Stephane Charbonneau (2:11 of 1st), Jay Mazur (7:43), Steve Poapst (7:11 of second), and Mazur (10:01 of third). Jamie McLennan made 28 saves for the ‘Cats. The IceCats game notes say “Tugnutt was unbeatable” and “We were horse(bleep)”.

1997 vs Syracuse 3-3 tie
The Worcester IceCats, down 3-2 midway through the third period, used a little gamesmanship to get a power play, and it worked as Rob Pearson scored with the man advantage to send the game into overtime and the contest ended 3-3. Bob Lachance got the ‘Cats on the board with a breakaway goal 58 seconds into the opening period. Pearson and Rory Fitzpatrick assisted on the play. By the end of the frame the Crunch would have a 2-1 lead on goals by Darren Sinclair (11:10) and Rick Girard (12:35). Neither team scored in the middle period, and Alexander Semak made it a 3-1 lead at 7:50 of the third period. Lachance cut that lead to one goal at 10:32, assisted by Chris Kenady and Chad Dameworth. Wanting to give his team a chance Head Coach Greg Gilbert challenged the curve on the stick of Semak’s stick. Referee Greg Kimmerly originally ruled it legal, which would have given the IceCats a delay of game penalty, but ‘Cats alternate captain Mike Maneluk convinced Kimmerly to remeasure the curve and on the second test the stick was ruled illegal. Pearson then scored at 12:07, with Marquis Mathieu and Maneluk assisting. Jon Casey made 27 saves in the tie.

2001 vs W-B/Scranton 3-2 win OT
The Worcester IceCats jumped out to a two goal first period lead but needed an overtime strike from Dan Trebil to defeat the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins 3-2. Mark Rycroft opened the scoring for Worcester with a power play goal at 6:10, assisted by Doug Friedman and Andrei Troschinsky. Dan Corso made it 2-0 with another ‘Cats power play goal, this one at 9:01 with Jame Pollock and Trebil providing the helpers. Milan Kraft cut the IceCats lead in half with a penguins power play strike at 18:19. At 1:12 of the third period Eric Meloche score the first even strength goal of the contest to tie it for Wilkes-Barre. That led to Trebil’s overtime game winner at 1:30, assisted by Darren Clark and Marc Brown. Dwayne Roloson had 29 saves for the win.

2002 Manchester 4-0 loss
(ICECATS) Saturday night, at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, the Worcester IceCats lost to the Monarchs, 4-0. Manchester’s Travis Scott, a former IceCat, made 32 saves in the ‘Cats fifth road shutout loss. The scoreless final set a new franchise record for most times Worcester has been shutout on the road.

2003 vs Cleveland 4-3 win
(ICECATS) IceCats jerseys trimmed with shamrocks proved to be lucky for Worcester. Sergei Varlamov scored with 10:25 remaining in regulation to lift the IceCats to a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Barons Sunday at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. It was the second win for Worcester in their special St. Patrick’s Day jerseys, which were auctioned after the game. In green, the IceCats beat Norfolk on Friday night 3-2. The sweaters raised over $17,000 for the Worcester Parks and Recreation department. Marc Brown had a goal and two assists, while Curtis Sanford notched his second win for the ‘Cats since returning from the St. Louis Blues. He finished the night with 28 saves. After granting the Barons a 2-0 lead in the second period on power play goals from Kevin Mitchell and Brad Boyes, Worcester scrambled back to tie the game. Simon Tremblay scored his first goal as an IceCat on the power play at the midway point of regulation. Jeff Panzer then converted at 14:11 to even the score. It took just 15 seconds for Cleveland’s Graig Mischler to regain a one-goal lead, but it didn’t last long. Worcester’s Brown knotted the tilt at 3-3 with a power play goal at 16:37. In a homecoming of sorts, Cleveland’s Patrick Rissmiller had two assists. The former Holy Cross standout earned a helper on each of the Barons’ first two goals.

2005 at Norfolk 3-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats went to the Norfolk Scope to take on the Admirals on a Wednesday night and came up on the wrong side of a 3-1 decision. After a scoreless first period Norfolk scored twice within a minute near the mid-point of the middle stanza, with Travis Moen lighting the lamp at 8:55 and Mike Brown scoring at 9:24. Peter Sejna got the ‘Cats within one at 12:31 with a shorthanded marker assisted by Jay McClement. But Worcester would get no closer, and former IceCats captain Eric Nickulas added an empty net goal at 19:22 for the 3-1 final. Jason Bacashihua had 18 saves in the loss.

2007 vs Hershey 7-6 win SO
(BEARS) Despite a half dozen goals, the Bears dropped a 7-6 shootout decision in Worcester Friday night against the Sharks. Worcester claims the two-game season series with a pair of victories, and the win also keeps Hershey from getting to the 40-win plateau for the second consecutive game. Hershey opened the scoring in a goal-crazy first 20 minutes. Dave Steckel popped in his 25th goal of the season at 2:47. The goal came off a rebound of a Quintin Laing shot and gave the Bears a 1-0 lead. Graham Mink would again haunt his former team, scoring his second goal against Hershey in two games, and his 21st of the season at 9:27 to tie the game at 1-1 The scoring was just getting warmed up, when Steckel tipped an Andy Hedlund right point shot at 12:56 to give the Bears a 2-1 lead. After the Bears started the game on a 7-0 shot run, Worcester started to turn the tide in the second half of the period. Mathieu Darche would score a pair of goals, one at 14:03 and one at 16:58 to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead. Trailing by that mark late in the period, the Bears would rally for the lead before intermission. Tim Wedderburn scored his first goal of the season at 17:18 from the top of the left circle to tie the game, and Matt Hendricks would pop in a rebound off a Troy Milam right point shot at 18:59. Hershey would score four times on 13 shots against Dimitri Patzold, while the Sharks scored three times on 12 shots against Frederic Cassivi. The Bears took a 4-3 lead to the dressing room after one. The game really turned into a tale of two games in the second period, with neither team scoring after a game that featured seven goals in the first. The Bears led off the scoring with Kyle Wilson’s 18th goal of the year at 1:28. Worcester got back within a goal when Craig Valette scored his 10th of the season at 5:22. The Sharks tied the game when Scott Ferguson redirected a puck off his leg into the back of the goal to tie the game at 5-5. Hershey seemingly put the game away with a goal late from Hendricks at 15:10 from Wilson and Milam, but the Sharks found the back of the net again to tie the game at 6-6 when Mink scored his second of the game and 22nd of the season. After a scoreless overtime, Worcester won the shootout one goal to one to claim the game 7-6.

2008 vs Hartford 4-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) An episode of déjà vu struck the Sharks last night during their home ice loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack at the DCU Center. Despite a different venue and different opponent, for the second straight game Worcester was scored upon from behind its own goal line, trimmed a 2-0 first period deficit to 2-1 with a dominant second period, and let the game slip away in the third en route to a 4-1 final score. The similarities began early in the first, when Hartford’s Jordan Owens opened the scoring from behind the Sharks goal line. Owens tracked down an Artem Anisimov shot that caromed off the end boards and fired the puck off Sharks netminder Thomas Greiss, who was late to recover from the initial shot. The puck bounced into the net, giving Owens his fourth goal of the year and Hartford a 1-0 lead just 1:23 into the contest. Craig Valette was sent to the penalty box for slashing at 14:42, giving the league’s third-best power play unit their only chance of the period. Hartford took advantage, however, as Mike Ouellette redirected a slap shot from Anisimov past Greiss to double the Wolf Pack advantage heading into the first intermission. Worcester received a man advantage chance of its own early in the middle frame when Corey Potter was booked for closing his hand on the puck, but Hartford goaltender Miika Wiikman used a quick glove to rob Sharks newcomer Oren Eizenman from close range. Wiikman made 9 saves over 5:28 worth of Wolf Pack penalty killing before the Sharks broke through at even strength. Dennis Packard played a centering feed from the left corner, and Brad Staubitz touched the puck just beyond the outstretched foot of Wiikman to cut the Hartford lead in half at 11:57. The goal, also assisted by Marc Busenburg, was the fourth of the year for Staubitz. Graham Mink nearly tied the game two minutes later on a goal mouth scramble, but Hutchinson swept the puck out of the crease behind Wiikman to preserve the one goal lead for Hartford. After firing 18 shots in the second period, the Sharks remained aggressive in the third with eight shots over the first six minutes of the period. Hartford bent but did not break amidst the onslaught, and picked up an insurance goal with just over six minutes remaining. Winger Hugh Jessiman found Owens alone on the weak side of the crease, and the rookie used fancy stickhandling to freeze Greiss before flicking the puck top shelf. Following concurrent minor penalties to Dennis Packard for goaltender interference and Riley Armstrong for unsportsmanlike conduct, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau capped the scoring with a 5-on-3 power play goal to produce the 4-1 final score.

2012 vs Providence 5-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Five different goal scorers lit the lamp for Worcester and James Livingston added three assists as the Sharks defeated the Providence Bruins 5-2 in front of a sellout crowd of 7,787 at the DCU Center on Friday during Heroes Night. Jack Combs scored in his second straight game and Nathan Moon scored the first Sharks power play in nine games while Tyson Sexsmith made 19 saves in the victory. Brian O’Hanley scored the game winner in the third period and Marek Viedensky and Tony Lucia added late insurance goals in the win. Sharks head to Wilkes-Barre Scranton for a 7:05pm start vs. the Penguins on Saturday night. Brockton, MA native Josh Hennessy (17th) gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead just 94 seconds into the first period tapping in a loose puck past Tyson Sexsmith after a drive from the left circle by Craig Cunningham. The Sharks would take charge midway through the period and would grab a 2-1 advantage with a pair of goals within 2:04. Nathan Moon (11th) knocked in a rebound past netminder Michael Hutchinson after a great feed by Tony Lucia and a shot by James Livingston at 14:31 to tie the score. Then on the Sharks first power play, Jack Combs found a loose rebound on top of the crease after Ben Guite’s shot was originally stopped at 16:35 to give Worcester the 2-1 lead. Worcester outshot Providence 15-6 in the first period. Bruins captain Trent Whitfield (6th) deflected a shot off his helmet and just over the shoulder past Tyson Sexsmith to tie the score at 2-2 at 5:46 for the only score in the middle frame. Worcester held a 25-13 shot advantage through 40 minutes as the Sharks went to the 2nd intermission tied for the 20th time this season (most in AHL). Brian O’Hanley (2nd) gave the Sharks a 3-2 lead at 11:19 with a blast from on top of the circles through traffic in front of the Bruins net. Marek Viedensky (5th) struck at 17:14 to put the Sharks ahead 4-2 and Tony Lucia (6th) added an empty net tally for the 5-2 win. Worcester’s record improves to 27-23-4-7, with 65pts and currently in 7th place in the Eastern Conference.

2014 vs Manchester 5-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (30-27-3-1, 64pts) topped the Manchester Monarchs (40-17-2-6, 88pts) 5-1 before 4,645 fans as they played the final of three consecutive weekend games Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center. With the win, the Sharks swept the weekend, earning 6-of-6 points for the second weekend in a row. In the game, the Sharks sported specialty SHINE Initiative jersey to raise awareness about mental illness in children and young adults as a mainstream health issue. The Sharks racked up four goals the second period on just nine shot – the first time the Sharks have scored four goals in a period all season The Monarchs put up the first tally of the night with a goal by Andrew Crescenzi, but the Sharks answered with five of their own, including two on the power play. The Sharks’ four second period goals were netted by Travis Oleksuk (1-2-3), Mike Pereira (1-0-1), Daniil Tarasov (2-0-2), and Brock Higgs (1-1-2). Tarasov scored again in the third, solidifying the game at 5-1. In the win, tender Harri Sateri put on a solid performance making 26 saves. The first period resulted in a lone Monarchs tally as the Sharks entered the second period trailing 1-0. The period opened with some action when Jimmy Bonneau (15th FM) and Andy Andreoff (10th FM) dropped the gloves for an evenly fought battle just 1:55 in. After 16:26 of back and forth hockey, the Monarchs broke the tie with just their second shot on goal. Ian O’Connor skated down the right side of the Sharks’ defensive zone and sent a pass out to the slot from deep in the right corner of the boards. Andrew Crescenzi (2nd) read the play well and gave Manchester the lead with a shot by Sateri’s glove-side. As the clock expired, Mike Pereira tried to even the game with a rush down the ice, but Monarchs’ tender Jean-Francois Berube remained strong down to the last second making all seven necessary saves. Shots for the period were 7-3 in favor of Worcester. The Sharks scored four goals in a period for the first time all season and brought the score to 4-1 in the second. Worcester’s first three goals came within 3:53 of each other. The first occurred at 3:17 on a Sharks’ power play when Dan DaSilva cycled the puck from the low right to the open left point where Travis Oleksuk (13th) sniped a shot for Worcester’s first mark of the afternoon. Then at 5:24, Mike Pereira (1st) scored his first goal as a professional when he picked up a pass from Chad Rau and skated the puck through the offensive zone and across the front of the net. After a quick dangle, Pereira snuck the puck between Berube’s right pad and the left post. The third mark at 7:10, came after Oleksuk hoisted a lifted pass over a pressuring defenseman to Tarasov (16th) directly in front of the Monarchs’ net, where he finished the play. The Sharks’ final tally of the second came at 12:12 from Brock Higgs (3rd) in his debut at the DCU Center. Higgs picked up a pass from Rylan Schwartz in the middle of the offensive zone and rocketed a shot through the Monarchs’ defense and Berube. The Monarchs switched out Berube for Mathias Niederberger for the remainder of the game after Higgs’ goal. While the Sharks’ offensive put up some work taking nine shots, their defense kept the Monarchs off the board as Sateri stopped all 14 of the Manchester’s shots. The Sharks furthered their scoring in the closing period with another insurance goal, making the final 5-1 over Manchester. The third period tally came at 15:14 on a power play when Oleksuk dished the puck from the point to Higgs just outside the right post where he took a shot that was pushed aside by Niederberger. Tarasov (17th) awaited the rebound and buried it for his second of the night. Shots for the final period were 10-5 in favor of Manchester. The Sharks’ overall record improves to 30-27-3-1, 64pts and 15-12-0-1, 31pts at home.

2018 vs Wheeling 6-1 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (28-25-4-3, 63pts) scored a season high six goals in a dominating 6-1 win over the visiting Wheeling Nailers (31-25-6-1, 69pts) in front of 4,287 fans at the DCU Center on Friday evening. Jeff Kubiak scored twice, Chris Langkow, Barry Almeida, Woody Hudson, and Frankie DiChiara also found the back of the net for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 28 saves. Ryan MacKinnon and Kyle Schempp also added two assists as the Railers scored a season high four goals in the second period. It was a back and forth first period of play with each team finishing their checks but unable to finish any scoring chances. Mike Cornell and Troy Josephs dropped the mitts in a spirited bout at 2:51 as both teams went 0-for-1 on the power play. Both goaltenders made some big saves as Worcester held a 12-9 shot advantage through 20 minutes of play. Worcester dominated the second period scoring a season high four goals and Yanick Turcotte (17th FM) dropped Jeremy Biernes (18th FM) with a series of lefts and rights in an entertaining fight. Jeff Kubiak (12th) got the Railers on the board at 2:02 with a rebound strike past goaltender Adam Morrison. Just 23 seconds later, Chris Langkow (18th) knocked in a loose puck after a Rayan MacKinnon shot at 2:25 to give the Railers a 2-0 lead. Barry Almeida (19th) fired home a cross the crease pass by Nick Saracino at 8:38 and Jeff Kubiak (13th) crashed the net for a goal at 10:34 to put the Railers up 4-0 and end the night for goaltender Adam Morrison. Worcester led 4-0 after 40 minutes and held a 28-18 shot advantage through two periods. Danny Fick (4th) got Wheeling on the board at 9:58 of the third period with a slap shot from on top of the left circle with a screen in front of Mitch Gillam to cut the Railers lead to 4-1. Woody Hudson (12th) gave the Railers a 5-1 advantage as he fired home a Yanick Turcotte rebound past goaltender Matt O’Connor at 12:15. Worcester would record a franchise record 6th goal as Frankie DiChiara (6th) scored on the power play at 19:32 to give the Railers a dominating 6-1 home victory over the Wheeling Nailers.

2019 vs Maine 5-3 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (30-23-5-4, 69pts) picked up their seventh win in their last eight games with an exciting 5-3 win over the visiting Maine Mariners (33-26-2-1,69pts) in front of 5,353 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. With the win, the Railers are now tied for third place in the North Division with the Mariners with 10 games remaining. Tyler Barnes (2-2-4), Ryan Hitchcock (1-2-3), Dylan Willick, and Barry Almeida (1-1-2) all scored for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 24 saves in net for his 19th win of the season. Dwyer Tschantz, Dillon Fox, and Michael McNicholas scored goals for the Mariners while Chris Nell made 38 saves in net as Worcester improved to 16-9-4-1 on home ice this season. Worcester trailed 1-0, led 2-1, 3-2, and 4-3 before Almeida’s empty net goal late in the third period to seal the victory.
Each team found the back of the net in the opening frame as former Railer Dwyer Tschantz (9th) gave Maine a 1-0 lead at 3:44 but Tyler Barnes (25th) countered back and finished off a beautiful odd man rush assisted by Ryan Hitchcock and David Quenneville at 5:25 to tie the score. Shots were 13-11 in favor of Worcester through 20 minutes of play. A wild second period saw the two clubs score a total of five goals in the first 10:20 of the middle frame. Tyler Barnes (26th) deflected a David Quenneville blast from the point at 2:16 to give Worcester a 2-1 lead. But just 10 seconds later, Dillan Fox (10th) boke down the right side and snapped a quick shot from 30 feet to tie the score at 2-2. The Railers went back ahead at 3:59 on the power play after a great effort and finish by Ryan Hitchcock (16th) to make it 3-2. Maine countered again at 9:36 as Michael McNicholas (13th) tapped home an easy one after a nice feed by Tony Cammarata on the rush to tie the score 3-3. Dylan Willick (8th) came rushing down the right side and zipped home the go-ahead goal past netminder Chris Nell at 10:20 to give Worcester the 4-3 advantage. Things would simmer down the rest of the way as Worcester outshot Maine 19-9 in the middle frame and took a 4-3 lead into the third period of play. Worcester would shore things up defensively in the third period as they outshot Maine 11-6 in the final frame. Barry Almeida (21st) would fire into an empty net at 19:28 to seal the deal in a big 5-3 home victory.

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