Today in Worcester hockey history: March 19


1995 at Providence 4-3 loss
The Worcester IceCats continued to find ways to lose games at the Providence Civic Center as they dropped another one to the P-Bruins 4-3. Ross Wilson opened the scoring at 3:50 of the first period on a nearly three zone breakaway. Jeff Serowik then grabbed the next two goals for Providence in a 23 second span, the first at 14:23 and the second was at 14:56. Blair Atcheynum tied the game at 3:18 of the middle period, with Jim Nesich and Cal McGowan earning helpers. Sergei Zholtok got the Baby-Bs their lead back at 5:22. Jarrett Deuling tied it 3-3 at 11:32 of the third period, but Darren Stolk got the game winner for Providence at 14:32. Wayne Cowley took the loss in net.

1999 at Lowell 4-3 win
The Worcester IceCats got a second straight game winning goal from Andrej Podkonicky, this time to defeat the Lowell Lock Monsters 4-3. Jamie Thompson gave the IceCats a 1-0 lead at 16:35 of the first period, and just as it looked like that would stand up through the end of the frame Craig Charron scored a power play goal at 19:59 to make it 1-1. Tyson Nash gave the ‘Cats the lead back with a shorthanded goal at 9:38 of the second period, and Vladimir Orszagh would tie it again six minutes later. Nic Beaudoin gave Lowell the lead early in the third, and it was the ‘Cats turn to tie it and Jeremiah McCarthy did that at 11:36. That set up Podkonicky’s game winner at 19:32, with Rory Fitzpatrick providing the assist. Rich Parent made 18 saves in the win.

2000 vs Lowell 4-3 win
(TICKER) Reed Low scored twice and Cody Rudkowsky stopped 27 shots as the Worcester IceCats held off a late charge and defeated the Lowell Lock Monsters, 4-3. Low got both of his goals in the third period, when Lowell scored three times. But Rudkowsky turned aside 23 shots over the final 40 minutes for Worcester, which won for only the third time in the last 11 contests (3-6-2). Greg Phillips’ goal with 77 seconds left in the third got the Lock Monsters within a goal. Roberto Luongo made 34 saves for Lowell, which has dropped four of its last five games.

2003 vs Providence 2-2 tie
(ICECATS) In their tenth and final meeting this season, the Worcester IceCats and Providence Bruins skated to a 2-2 tie Wednesday night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre Worcester’s Matt Walker opened the scoring 8:28 into the first, sending a shot over the shoulder of Providence goalie Tim Thomas. Mark Rycroft and Jason Dawe assisted on Walker’s first goal in a Worcester uniform this season. Ivan Huml scored twice for the Bruins, with his second goal at 12:32 of the third period sending the game into overtime. Greg Day preceded Huml’s second goal with a shorthanded marker at 17:07. Day knocked home a Terry Virtue centering feed after Virtue rushed the puck from his own blueline. Despite catching a high stick in the face, Virtue continued the rush that resulted in Day’s goal.

2004 vs Portland 4-0 win
(ICECATS) Curtis Sanford made 26 saves and Johnny Pohl scored twice as the Worcester IceCats shutout the Portland Pirates 4-0 Friday night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. Rookies Aaron Mackenzie and Mike Glumac also scored, with Glumac extending his point-streak to an IceCats season-high eight games. Glumac’s two-point effort bumped up his eight game totals to 12 points (6/6/12). He leads the IceCats and is among the best in the entire AHL rookie class with 24 goals and 46 points. Pohl also extended a scoring streak, elevating his run to five games. Both of his goals came in the first after MacKenzie caromed in a fluke goal off the boards from the neutral zone at 7:20. Pirates netminder Rastislav Stana had vacated the net to play the intended dump in behind the cage, only to helplessly stagger back into the goal crease with his team down 1-0. Pohl followed with a pair of rebound goals. Glumac gave the ‘Cats the 4-0 advantage with a 30 foot wrister at 8:05 of the second. It was Sanford’s show the rest of the way, as he earned his 15th win this season and his fourth shutout. Worcester has now won four-in-a-row at home and three-in-a-row overall. They continue to occupy third place in the Atlantic Division with 76 points and 11 games left in the regular season.

2008 vs Bridgeport 4-2 win
(SOUND TIGERS) The Sound Tigers carried the play for the first nine minutes of the first period scoring two goals but the Worcester Sharks would score four unanswered goals to earn the victory, 4-2. Jeremy Colliton and Trevor Smith had the goals for the Sound Tigers. Jeremy Colliton jumped on the bus this afternoon after returning from Long Island last night and put the Sound Tigers up 1-0 in the first period. A turnover behind the Sharks goal allowed Colliton to grab the puck and walk out from behind Worcester starting goalie Dimitri Patzold. Colliton had the patience to wait for Patzold to drop to his knees and fire a shot past Patzold’s blocker for his eighth goal of the season, unassisted at 5:13. Trevor Smith would take the 2-0 lead for the Sound Tigers just over six minutes later. Jean Desrochers sent a cross-ice pass from the right corner to Drew Fata at the left point. Fata walked in and wired a slap-shot that Patzold stopped but Smith snapped the rebound past the Worcester net-minder for his 14th tally of the season. The Sound Tigers seemed to have the momentum until the Sharks went on the power-play with just under five minute to play in the opening frame. Tom Walsh took a slap-shot from the left point that hit off the post and in while Sound Tigers’ starter, Mike Morrison was screened. The goal was Walsh’s fourth of the season and was assisted on by Tom Cavanagh and Mike Iggulden cutting the Sound Tigers’ lead in half, 2-1. Worcester would knot the score at two when Dennis Packard scored his ninth goal of the season on a scramble in front of Morrison with a minute and 48 seconds remaining in the first period. Brennan Evans and Derek Joslin had the assists on the goal. Iggulden would give the Sharks their first lead of the game at 3-2, when he wristed his 23rd goal of the season over the shoulder of Morrison, 13 minutes into the second period. Lukas Kaspar and Cavanagh had the helpers on the goal. Worcester would score their fourth unanswered goal with 53 seconds remaining in the middle frame when Dan Spang sent a seeing-eye-shot on goal that went through Morrison. Kaspar and Brad Staubitz had the assists on Spang’s eighth marker of the season, making the score 4-2 going into the third period. The Sound Tigers would fire 11 shots on Patzold in the third period but could not put one past him as the Sharks defeated the Sound Tigers 4-2. Patzold finished the game with 29 saves while Morrison had 20. The Sound Tigers were 0-for-3 on the power-play and 2-for-5 while out-shooting Worcester 31 to 24.

2011 at W-B/Scranton 5-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks led 1-0 and 2-1 but dropped game 2 of a 4 game road trip with a 5-3 loss to the AHL point leading Penguins on Saturday evening at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza. To complicate matters, Worcester now trails the Whale for the 3rd and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division by four points with 11 games remaining. Tommy Wingels extended his point streak (5-1-6) to five games with his 16th goal and John McCarthy extended his point streak to five games (3-3-6) with an assist in the 5-3 loss. Harri Sateri made 21 saves in his first professional start while Dan DaSilva and Cam MacIntyre also scored for Worcester. Binghamton pulled ahead by three points past Worcester for the 4th spot in the division. The Sharks came out buzzing in the opening period establishing a terrific fore-check and creating several turnovers deep in the offensive zone. Cam MacIntyre (4th) zipped the puck past Brad Thiessen at 10:21 from the left slot to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead after the Sharks went banging deep in the zone. After Worcester had nothing going on their first power play, Zach Sill (9th) banged in a loose rebound past Harri Sateri after the initial shot from the point was stopped at 13:42. Dan DaSilva (15th) struck on the power play as his snap shot from on top of the left circle buzzed by a Cam MacIntyre screen and into the net at 16:44. Worcester led 2-1 after 20 minutes of play while holding an 8-6 shot advantage. The Penguins grabbed two power play goals in the middle frame to take a 3-2 advantage through 40 minutes. Brett Sterling (23rd) tied the score 2-2 just :39 seconds into the period as he slammed the puck into the empty net after a cross the crease centering pass from the left side by Andrew Hutchinson. Wilkes-Barre Scranton took their first lead of the game on a two man advantage at 10:48 after a faceoff win deep in the Worcester zone. Corey Potter’s (4th) blast from the point gave the Penguins their first lead of the evening. Harri Sateri made a terrific stop on Chris Collins shorthanded breakaway rush at the end of the period to keep the score a one goal game. The Sharks trailed 3-2 after two periods and were outshot 16-12 through 40 minutes. Tommy Wingels (16th) extended his point streak to five games, as he wrapped the puck around the net on the power play and past Thiessen at 3:19 to tie the score 3-3. Keven Veilleux stole the puck away from Dan DaSilva in the Sharks zone and found Tim Wallace (19th) alone in between the circles at 11:16. Wallace sent a laser past the blocker of Sateri to put the Penguins up for good. Tim Wallace (20th) added an empty netter at the final horn to secure the 5-3 Penguins victory over the Sharks. The Sharks record falls to 31-26-4-8 with 74 points and to 13-16-2-4 on the road. Worcester has 11 games remaining on their 80 game AHL regular season schedule (6 home, 5 away).

2022 vs Newfoundland 4-3 win
(RAILERS) Sports is mostly about numbers these days but there are still judgment calls to be made, so let’s throw this out there: The Railers’ 4-3 victory over the Newfoundland Growlers Saturday night at the DCU Center was the most intense, compelling and dramatic game in franchise history. It was, perhaps, the best one ever at the DCU Center but that is truly a judgment call because, including playoff games, there have been almost 1,000 of them. Where to begin? It was Military Appreciation Night and a crowd of 8,774 jammed into the building. It was the fourth-largest in Railers history and made them a perfect 5-0-0 playing before crowds of 8,000 or more. Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman, age 35, recorded his second hat trick of the season and the first natural hat trick in Railers history. Bobby Butler, 34, assisted on one of those goals. Mitchell Balmas, who turned 24 on Saturday, scored the game-winning goal and had Worcester’s third Gordie Howe Hat Trick of the year. Smotherman scored at 4:22, 8:04 and 12:48 of the second period to turn a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Three straight goals in the same period — that’s a natural hat trick. It was only the fifth-ever by a Worcester player in some 1,844 regular season games. It was the first since Jeremy Langlois did it at Portland in a 4-1 Sharks victory on Jan. 21, 2015. The Railers captain, who has played on teams and in leagues at almost every level around the world, was asked if the game was as much fun to play as it was to watch. “Absolutely,” he replied “We don’t get a crowd like that every night and especially playing against a great team. There are only a few games like that during the season, especially during the regular season.” The Growlers were up, 2-0, after one period on goals by Isaac Johnson and Riley McCourt. Given that Newfoundland had won four in a row going into the game and was 8-2-0 in its last 10 games, that was not the position the Railers wanted to be in after 20 minutes. Smotherman’s first goal of the second period, a deflection of a shot by Matt Sredl, turned the night in Worcester’s favor. “That was the biggest thing,” coach David Cunniff said. “Every goal is big, right, but that’s what we talked about after the first period. I thought we had played a pretty good period and the game was not out of control. At the same time we knew we had a heavyweight in the other corner and to get knocked down twice in the first period, it wasn’t going to be easy to come back.” But Worcester did. Smotherman fired a high wrist shot home from the slot to make it 2-2, then made it a 3-2 lead on another shot at 12:48. Tyler Boland’s power play goal for the Growlers turned it into a 3-3 game at 14:30 and it was 3-3 headed into the third. At 2:03 Balmas took advantage of a turnover near the Growlers net — credit Ethan Price with strong forechecking — and was left alone in front of goalie Angus Redmond. Balmas, who assisted on Smotherman’s third goal and fought Jeremy McKenna near the end of the first period, made a couple of great moves and had a lot of net to hit from just outside the crease. The rest of the third period was a remarkable blizzard of up-and-down rushes, great saves and hard hits. Referee J.R. Stragar, doing his first-ever game at the DCU Center, went with the philosophy of “if nobody loses consciousness it’s not a penalty” and the 8,000-plus in the seats were the winners. “I had to ask for an extra rest shift,” Smotherman said, “because it just kept going and going. (Stragar) let the players decide the game. It was a great hockey team we played against and the game was something special.” The big crowd and the adrenaline of honoring the military was a big boost for the home team. “How can you not compete with that in mind?” Cunniff said, “then getting down by two and showing that character, that’s what our country’s all about.” Balmas was 1-1-2 on the way to his Gordie Howe hat trick and Anthony Repaci continued his strong play with a pair of assists. Ken Appleby stopped 26 of 29 shots to post his third straight win. “I know people get tired of hearing this,” Cunniff said, “but we’ve got the best goaltending tandem in the league.” The victory was the fifth straight for the Railers, their longest winning streak since they also won five in a row from Feb. 27 to March 9, 2019. That was a nice streak, too, but none of those victories compared with this one and not many will, no matter how long the streak. MAKING TRACKS_Felix Bibeau, hurt late Friday, did not dress but is not on the injured list. Liam Coughlin and Grant Jozefek remain on injured reserve. Nolan Vesey and Blake Christensen were rested. … Following up on Colten Ellis’ shutout Friday night — it was his 14th win of the season, moving him into third place on the team’s all-time list in that category. Mitch Gillam and Evan Buitenhuis are ahead of him. It was also Ellis’ first No. 1 star of the season after eight times getting the second star. … The Railers completed the third quarter of the season Friday night and were 10-4-4 in those 18 games. That compares with 4-13-1 in 2019-20. Worcester’s best-ever quarter is the fourth quarter of the 2017-18 season when it was 13-4-1 to surge into the playoffs. … ECHL commissioner Ryan Crellin was in attendance.… The Booster Club took in a record $1,800 for its 50-50 raffle. … The game featured three plays that went under video review and Worcester was 0 for 3. However, all three supported the original calls. … The teams play again Sunday afternoon, finishing the Railers’ 3 in 3 weekend. Worcester is 19-9-3 in Game 2s like Saturday but just 9-14-3 in third games including 1-7-1 in the last nine.

2023 at Maine 3-2 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (32-27-3-0, 67 points) capped off the final game of their four-game series against the Maine Mariners (33-23-2-1, 69 points) with a 3-2 win in front of 4,622 fans at the Cross Insurance Arena. Worcester is home Wednesday night for a 7:05 p.m. puck drop against the Adirondack Thunder. Grant Gabrielle (1-0-1) scored the first goal of the game in the second period. Anthony Callin (2-0-2) scored Worcester’s first goal, and his first professional goal in the second to start a Worcester run. Andrei Bakanov (1-0-1) scored seventeen seconds later. Anthony Callin scored his second goal of the game another 2:04 after Bakanov to end the Worcester flurry of offense. Alex Kile (1-1-2) scored the only goal in the third period forty-five seconds in, while Worcester held strong the remainder of the period to pick up the win. Henrik Tikkanen allowed zero pucks to find the back of the cage in the first period, stopping all eighteen shots he faced. Worcester’s offense only tallied four total shots. In the first, the Railers successfully killed two penalties, with the second one carrying over to the second period. Worcester killed the remainder of Josh Victor’s tripping penalty, but another penalty from Worcester put them on the kill again. They were unable to hold Maine off this time, as Grant Gabrielle (7th) found the back of the net on their third power play of the day. Worcester found their way back into the contest halfway through the second period when they got their first power play opportunity. Anthony Callin (1st), younger brother of former Railer Drew Callin, scored the Railers first goal of the game, and his first professional goal on a drive from the far circle. Andrei Bakanov (4th) scored seventeen seconds later to give Worcester a one-goal lead. Callin (2nd) scored his second goal of the game two minutes later to give Worcester a two-goal lead. After a huge hit in the corner, a pane of glass popped out of the frame and landed in the stands, pausing the game. Play resumed five minutes later with a little less than six minutes to play in the period. Neither team would score for the rest of the period, Railers ahead 3-1. Maine opted to put Michael Dipietro in net for the third period after Francois Brassard allowed three goals on 17 shots through the first two periods. Maine cut the lead in half forty-five seconds into the final period when Alex Kile (13th) fired one past Tikkanen, making it a 3-2 game in favor of Worcester. With less than eight minutes left to play Railers defensemen, Josh Victor, was tossed from the game for a misconduct penalty. After a scrum in front of Maine’s goal, Brent Beaudoin was sent to the box for two minutes. Worcester successfully killed that penalty. With two minutes and thirty seconds left, Maine pulled DiPietro in favor of an extra skater. Maine had three separate offensive zone faceoffs but failed to score on each chance. Worcester was able to outlast Maine despite being outshot 50-19. Notes: 3rd Star: Alex Kile (1-1-2). 2nd Star: Anthony Callin (2-0-2). 1st Star: Henrik Tikkanen (48 saves on 50 shots. Jacob Hayhurst led the Railers with 4 shots. Alex Kile led the Mariners with 6 shots. Francois Brassard had 14 saves on 17 shots for, while Michael DiPietro had 2 saves on 2 shots each the Mariners. Henrik Tikkanen was one save shy of tying his career-high of 49.


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