Today in Worcester hockey history: March 26


1995 at Providence 5-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats once again couldn’t solve the Bruins at the Providence Civic Center and lost a 5-2 contest to the Baby-Bs. After a scoreless first period Denis Chalifoux opened the scoring at 5:40 when he and Blair Atcheynum skated in on Providence netminder John Blue on a two on none break. Jeff Serowik tied it at 10:29 and Cam Stewart made it 2-1 at 13:07. Serowik made it 3-1 at 16:19 on the power play, and then Stewart scored again at 7:42 of the third period. Alex Nikolic made it 5-1 at 9:30. Mark Ouimet made it the 5-2 final at 16:53. Chris Gordon took the loss in net.

1997 vs Adirondack 6-5 OTL
The Worcester IceCats lost five different leads and then lost lost their game against the Red Wings in overtime 6-5. The biggest loss wasn’t the game but goaltender Jamie McLennan, who left the game at 18:36 of the middle period after being run over by Adirondack forward Corey Spring. Kevin Hilton got the ‘Cats on the board just 24 seconds into the contest with Mike Maneluk assisting. Paul Brousseau tied it for the Red Wings on the power play at 8:51. Terry Virtue put Worcester back into the lead, with Hilton helping, at 13:26. In the second stanza Virtue scored again from Hilton. Maneluk picked up the secondary assist on the goal at 8:52. But again the Red Wings tied it, with Curtis Bowen scoring at 9:10 and Brandon Smith connecting at 15:25. Konstantin Shafranov made it 4-3 with a power play goal at 19:10. Virtue and Jamie Rivers picked up points on the goal. Adirondack got the score tied again at 1:50 of the third on a goal by Mark Major. Chris Kenady put Worcester back in front at 14:13, with Shafranov and Marquis Mathieu assisting. Stacy Roest then got the game to overtime with a goal at 16:02. In the extra session David Matsos scored at 3:39 for the 6-5 Red Wings win. McLennan made 20 saves before leaving due to injury. Mike Buzak made 10 saves the rest of the way.

1999 at Fredericton 3-2 OTL
(FREDERICTON) The buzzards were circling the Worcester IceCats last night – until an old buzzard helped save the day. Jamie Thompson, who played the bulk of his first two professional seasons with the El Paso Buzzards of the Western Professional Hockey League, helped the IceCats salvage a single point from a night when they deserved better against the Fredericton Canadiens. The ‘Cats outshot the Canadiens 47-23, but needed a third-period goal from Shayne Toporowski and Thompson’s deflection of Bryan Helmer’s point shot past Canadiens’ goaltender Jose Theodore at 14:22 of the third period to force the overtime. Although the IceCats went on to lose a 3-2 overtime decision when defenseman Francis Bouillon blasted a 35-foot rocket through a screen at 1:19 of the five-minute sudden overtime period, the ‘Cats earned a single point in the New England Division standings. Hey, every little bit helps. Problem was, the two teams ahead of the ‘Cats in the standings, Springfield and New Haven, both won last night. IceCats coach Greg Gilbert could only lament about the one that got away. “They battled back to get a point out of it, but ultimately a mistake cost us the game,” Gilbert said, noting that the ‘Cats lost the draw cleanly in their own end, allowing Canadiens center Boyd Olson to funnel the puck back to Bouillon at the point, giving the Fredericton defender time to tee up his 15th of the season. We were thinking offense instead of defense,” Gilbert complained. “There’s no way a player should have been in that position.” The IceCats probably shouldn’t have been in that position as a team. They had a host of quality chances against Theodore, but the Canadiens’ goaltender denied them until Toporowski tipped one by him 68 seconds into the third. By that time, the Canadiens had accumulated a 2-0 lead on goals 43 seconds apart in the second period by Eric Houde and Aaron Asham. “We’re getting the shots, and the rebounds are there, but we’re not getting at the front of the net to bang away and get the ugly goals,” Gilbert said. “There were opportunities to take more shots and we didn’t do it. We tried to pass and make a prettier play, and ultimately it gets broken up, and ther goes a scoring opportunity.” The IceCats needed the point they picked up last night, but they are still in last place and trail Springfield and New Haven by three points. Theodore wound up with 45 saves, while the IceCats’ Brent Johnson made 20. “The guys battled hard, but we have to regroup,” Gilbert said. “We’ll take the point and go. We can’t look at other teams and what they’re doing. We have to look at what’s on our plate.”

2000 at Quebec 5-3 loss
(TICKER) Xavier Delisle scored twice and added an assist as the Quebec Citadelles defeated the Worcester Ice Cats, 5-3. Delisle snapped a 1-1 tie on his first tally with 5:55 left in the first period and broke another tie 41 seconds into the middle period. Chris Albert added a goal and an assist for Quebec, which won for the 28th time when leading after two periods (28-1-2). Eric Fichaud turned aside 22 shots for the Citadelles, who improved to 3-1-0 against Worcester. Jame Pollock added a power-play tally with 4:12 remaining for the Ice Cats, who have dropped three straight. Brent Johnson, who replaced Cody Rudkowsky in the second after allowing three goals on 12 shots, surrendered a pair in the final period for his 23rd loss.

2004 vs Hartford 2-2 tie
(ICECATS) Aris Brimanis scored with under three minutes remaining in regulation to force overtime and earn the Worcester IceCats a point in a 2-2 tie with Hartford Friday at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. Mike Glumac extended his point streak to 10 games with an assist on Brimanis’ goal, while with a pair of assists Johnny Pohl extended his streak to seven games. Jeff Hereema scored twice for Hartford, giving the Wolf Pack 1-0 and 2-1 leads. Jame Pollock’s 5-on-3 goal at the 8:40 mark of the second period tied the game at 1-1. The 40 foot blast extended his scoring streak to five games. Brimanis’ goal came after Pohl’s face-off win and hard work along the corner boards. Glumac found Pohl, who fed Brimanis as the defenseman pinched in from the left point. The goal was Brimanis’ second goal of the season. Hartford’s Jason LaBarbara, the AHL’s wins leader, denied Worcester on seven shots in overtime and made 32 saves overall. IceCat Curtis Sanford made 24 saves. Worcester remains in third place in the Atlantic Division with 79 points, and remain one point ahead of Providence in the standings, and six points behind second place Manchester.

2005 at Lowell 4-3 loss
The Worcester IceCats spotted the Lock Monsters a big lead, and then saw their furious third period comeback fall short in a 4-3 loss to Lowell. The Lock Monsters had a 2-0 lead after twenty minutes on goals by Carsen Germyn (14:11) and Eric Staal (15:47). Matt Lombardi made it a three goal Lock Monster lead with a shorthanded tally 33 seconds into the middle period. The ‘Cats, who ended up firing 15 shots in the frame, finally got on the board at 7:03 with an Eric Boguniecki power play score assisted by Peter Sejna and Jay McClement. Eric Staal gave Lowell its three goal lead back at 11:59, and that turned out to be the game winner as Jay McClement would score at 15:48, from Jeff Hoggan and Konstantin Zakharov and Boguniecki would grab his second goal of the game at 17:55. Jon DiSalvatore and Sejna had the helpers on the extra attacker goal. Jason Bacashihua had 21 saves in the loss.

2010 at Hershey 7-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks clinched a play-off spot on Friday night, despite allowing a hat trick to Alexandre Giroux as Worcester dropped a 7-2 game to the Bears in Hershey at the Giant Center. John McCarthy extended his scoring streak to eight games with his 13th goal of the season and Jason Demers scored his 3rd, but it wasn’t enough as the Sharks dropped their 22nd game of the season. Worcester clinched a playoff spot as Norfolk fell to the Penguins 3-1 in Virginia. The Bears came out flying in the opening period, scoring three goals on their first six shots in the first six minutes of the hockey game. Jay Beagle (13th) tapped in a nice centering feed by Mathieu Perreault at 3:41 past Alex Stalock to give Hershey a 1-0 lead. Just 46 seconds later, Alexandre Giroux (38th) broke through the Sharks defense and backhanded the puck past a sprawled out Alex Stalock to give the Bears a 2-0 lead. On the next shift, Frazer McLaren and Greg Amadio dropped the mitts in an entertaining heavy weight battle at 5:44. Ten seconds after the fisticuffs, Patrick McNeill’s shot (8th) from the point found its way through traffic to give Hershey a 3-0 advantage. The rest of the period was a physical one, with plenty of hard checks and post whistle scrums. The Sharks trailed 3-0 after the first period as the Bears held a 12-8 shot advantage. Each team scored in the second period but it was a line brawl at 3:51 of the period that got the sellout crowd buzzing. Andrew Desjardins was jumped after he kneed Patrick McNeil at the Bears blue line that sparked two separate fights and several scrums. Dan DaSilva and Andrew Gordon went toe-to-toe after Desjardins and Patrick Wellar tangled. DaSilva and Gordon were tossed after the brawl. The Bears built on the lead as Keith Aucoin (35th) fired a shot off the skate of Mike Moore and past Stalock at 5:57. Worcester got on the board at 19:17 as Jason Demers (4th) intercepted a clearing attempt and snapped a shot past Braden Holtby from the right circle. The Sharks trailed 4-1 after forty minutes of play. Alexandre Giroux scored two quick goals (39 and 40th) for the hat trick to enter the third period to crush any sort of Sharks comeback bid. John McCarthy scored his 13th of the season after he broke up the middle and found the back of the net with a quick snap shot at 18:21. Kyle Wilson (24th) finished the scoring at 19:38 as the Sharks fell 7-2. Win the loss, Worcester’s record falls to (44-22-2-3, 93 points) and they now lead the Atlantic Division by three points over Portland. Worcester has nine regular season games left this season (7 road, 2 home)

2011 vs Springfield 7-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks playoff hopes slipped further out of reach in front of 5,045 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday night at the hands of the Springfield Falcons by the count of 7-2. Worcester trails the Whale for the 3rd and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division by six points with 7 games remaining. Springfield rookie goalie Paul Dainton (UMass-Amherst) made 39 saves on 41 shots for his first professional win, propelling Springfield to their first win in 13 games and their first win in the month of March. Forwards T.J. Trevelyan and Tommy Wingels both scored power play goals for the Sharks in their second straight home loss. Despite racking up the majority of the shots on net in the first period with seventeen, the Sharks found themselves trailing 2-0 to the Falcons when the period ended. Falcons forward Greg Moore (8th) scored shorthanded 9:33 in when he drove home a rebound in front. The Sharks had a chance to return the favor when the Falcons went on a power play of their own at the 11:54 mark, but after a quick pass from Springfield defenseman David Savard, forward Nikita Filatov (7th) sniped a wrist shot stick side to put the Falcons up 2-0. It was more of the same in the second period for the Sharks. At 4:10 in the second, Springfield forward Tomas Kubalik (22nd) was awarded with a goal after a rebound trickled into the net under Carter Hutton. At the 9:58 mark, Falcons defenseman John Moore (5th) drove a shot home glove side off of a Tomas Kubalik feed from the point. Carter Hutton was pulled after allowing 4 goals on 11 shots and was replaced by Harri Sateri. With a little over three minutes to play in the second period, Shark’s bruiser Frazer McClaren tried to inject some life into his team when he dropped the mitts with Falcons’ winger Nick Tarnasky. The period would end 4-0 in favor of Springfield. The Falcons further established their lead just minutes into the third period when forward Aaron Bogosian (1st) received a David Savard feed just over the red line, then out-hustled the defense to the net and drove home his first career goal. Less than two minutes later at 2:57, the Falcons made it 6-0 when defenseman Jonathan Sigalet (4th) drove home a one-timer from the left circle. The Sharks battled back during a power play, when forward T.J. Trevelyan skated behind the net and snuck the puck past Falcons goalie Paul Dainton. With another man advantage at 12:10, Tommy Wingels (17th) ripped a rebound home to cut the lead to 6-2. With 1:16 left in the period, Springfield forward Nick Tarnasky increased the lead to 7-2 when he drove home an attempted clear by Sharks goalie Harri Sateri to complete the scoring. The Sharks record falls to 33-28-4-8 with 78 points. Worcester has 7 games remaining on their 80 game AHL regular season schedule (4 home, 3 away)

2014 at Portland 5-3 win
(WORSHARKS) Head Coach Roy Sommer surpassed Frank Mathers with his 1,257th AHL game behind the bench as his Worcester Sharks (32-29-3-1, 68ts) defeated the Portland Pirates (23-31-2-8, 56pts) in front of 1,667 fans at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, ME on Wednesday evening. With the win, the Sharks are now 9 points behind the 8th place Admirals for the final playoff spot in the East with 11 games remaining. The Sharks scored three goals in the opening period (Tennyson, Oleksuk, and Pelech) while Troy Grosenick was superb with 28 saves for his 15th win of the season. Dan DaSilva extended his point streak to eight games (4-7-11) with two assists while Eriah Hayes (8th) and Chad Rau (2nd) also scored for the Sharks in Roy Sommer’s 572nd victory. Wednesday’s game was the 1,257th of Sommer’s AHL head coaching career, surpassing the previous record held by Hockey Hall of Fame honored member Frank Mathers. Mathers coached the Hershey Bears from 1956-73 and again in 1984-85. Sommer, 56, has spent his entire 16-year AHL coaching career at the helm of the San Jose Sharks’ affiliates, the Kentucky Thoroughblades (1998-2001), Cleveland Barons (2001-06) and Worcester Sharks (2006-present). His 572 regular-season victories rank fourth all-time. For just the 2nd time this season, and the first time on the road, the Sharks scored three goals in the opening period to grab a 3-0 advantage. Matt Tennyson (6th) in his first game back from the NHL, gave Worcester a 1-0 lead at 6:29 and Travis Oleksuk (15th) put the Sharks ahead 2-0 at 8:44 with a shot from the left circle past goaltender Louis Domingue . Adam Schmidt (Holy Cross) and Ryan Carpenter (Bowling Green State) picked up their 1st pro points with assists on the Oleksuk goal after a great job on the fore-check. Matt Pelech (2nd) launched a wrist shot through a screen at 19:58 to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes. Despite the score, Troy Grosenick made several point blank saves and 12 total stops in the first period as Worcester outshot Portland 19-12. Portland scored twice within a 1:33 span in the second period to cut the Sharks lead to 3-2. Lucas Lessio (23rd) snapped a shot through the pads of Grosenick at 14:26 and Andy Miele (24th) struck on the power play poking home a loose puck at 15:59. Eriah Hayes (8th) got a score right back for Worcester with a breakaway strike past goaltender Chris Rawlings at 17:41 as the Sharks headed into the 2nd intermission ahead 4-2. In the third period, the Pirates cut the Sharks lead to 4-3 with the goaltender pulled at 18:49 as James Melindy (2nd) deflected a shot off a Worcester skate and into the net past Grosenick. But the Sharks ended the game with an empty netter off the stick of Chad Rau (2nd) at 19:13 for the 5-3 victory. The Sharks overall record improves to 32-29-3-1, 68pts and 16-16-3-0, 35pts on the road.

2022 at Adirondack 3-2 OTW
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (29-25-4-2, 64pts) beat the Adirondack Thunder (25-33-3-0, 53pts) on Saturday night by the final score of 3-2 in front of a crowd of 4, 104 at Cool Insuring Arena. The Railers are back in Reading, PA at Santander Arena on Sunday, March 27th to take on the Reading Royals at 7:00 p.m. Worcester jumped out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to the keen eye of Max Newton (1-0-1) who scooped up a loose puck from behind Alex Sakellaropoulos and tapped it home. The Thunder blasted one past Ellis backdoor with just before the buzzer to tie the game heading into the second. Bobby Butler (1-0-1) struck again for the second straight night and put Worcester back ahead midway through the middle stanza. The Thunder struck first in the third, as Adirondack tied the game midway through the final period. Neither team scored through the rest of the third, as the game would head to overtime nodded at two. Anthony Repaci (1-0-1) wristed the puck from the right side past Sakellaropoulos for his second OT winner of the season, giving the Railers the 3-2 win. The scoring opened up in the first period when Max Newton (2nd) tapped in a puck which just eked through Sakellaropoulos on a blast from Cole Coskey. Worcester would grab the lead just 5:13 into the first. After an extended look in the offensive zone for the Thunder, Jake Ryczek would find Sebastian Vidmar (21st) backdoor who slammed it past Colten Ellis in net with just 36 seconds left in the period. Neither team scored in the few seconds which remained, as the game stayed tied 1-1 going into the second period. Shots in the period were tied at 12 apiece. For the second straight night, Marlborough’s own Bobby Butler (5th) would light the lamp. He stepped up on a puck that squeaked free from the far boards in the attacking end and blasted it past Sakellaropoulos to put the Railers back in front, 2-1 with 12:19 left in the frame. With 8:33 left in the period, Adirondack would get the game’s first power play on an interference call against Worcester’s Jacob Hayhurst. With 21 seconds remaining on Hayhurst’s penalty, Railers goalie Colten Ellis clearned the puck high above the glass and was assessed a delay of game penalty. The Railers were successful in limiting the number of quality chances that Adirondack got on the extended powerplay and killed off the penalties to maintain their one goal lead. Nolan Vesey was awarded a penalty shot for being hooked up while in alone on a breakaway, but Sakellaropoulos was able to make the save on both the initial shot, and the penalty shot to keep the Thunder within one going into the third period. Shots in the period favored Adirondack 12-11, as the Thunder outshot the Railers 24-23 through the first 40 minutes. Worcester would be assessed their third penalty of the game on a delay-of-game call on Reece Newkirk just 3:25 into the third frame. Worcester continued their success on the penalty-kill, and preserved their one goal lead. Adirondack tied the game off of a deflection from Ryan Smith (10th) in front 8:03 into the third. 14 seconds later, Worcester would head on the power play as Blake Thompson was assessed a penalty for holding with 11:43 left in the game. Adirondack was able to kill their first penalty of the night to keep the game tied 2-2. Neither goalie would budge the rest of the frame, as the game would head into overtime deadlocked at 2-2. Shots in the third favored Adirondack 14-8, as they outshot the Railers 38-31 through three periods. In overtime, it didn’t take long for Anthony Repaci (20th) to rip one past Sakellaropoulos from the right side thanks to a nice setup from Brent Beaudoin, as the Railers won the game 3-2 just 1:14 into overtime. Worcester had the only two shots of the period, as Adirondack still outshot the Railers 38-33 on the game. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd Star: Jake Ryzcek (0-2-2, +2, 1 shot), 2nd Star: Ryan Smith (1-0-1, +1, 5 shots), 1st Star: Anthony Repaci (1-0-1, GWG, 6 shots)… Final shots were 38-33 in favor of Adirondack… Alex Sakellaropoulos (9-13-1) made 30 saves on 33 shots for Adirondack… Colten Ellis (15-7-5) made 36 saves on 38 shots for Worcester, while Ken Appleby served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-1 on the power play while Adirondack went 0-for-3… Ryan Verrier (DNP), Blake Christensen (INJ), Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman (INJ), Felix Bibeau (IR), Chris Ordoobadi (IR), Ethan Price (DNP), and Grant Jozefek (IR)… Bobby Butler led the Railers in shots with 7… The Railers are now 29-15-2-0 all-time vs. the Thunder and 16-7-1-0 at Cool Insuring Arena against Adirondack.


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