Today in Worcester hockey history: March 27

25B

1996 at Baltimore 4-3 win
(BALTIMORE) Numbers say only one team in the AHL is more feeble than the Worcester IceCats when it comes to power-play efficiency. Wait’ll the computer in the league office gets the statistics from last night’s game: Tilt! The IceCats, off to a good start with the game’s first two goals against the Bandits, ended up hanging on, 4-3. All Worcester goals were the result of Bandits penalties, causing coach Jimmy Roberts to exalt, “We haven’t scored four power plays in the month. I guess my strategy of leaving them [the personnel] alone paid off.” The visitors had hit on a paltry 16 percent of man-advantage chances previously, but by hitting on four of five tries on this occasion, they raised that number to 17 percent, going past four others. The Bandits (26-35-9) once again are in the midst of adjusting, tinkering and trying to find effective combinations as the fight for the last playoff spot in their conference heats up. Baltimore gave indication early that it might go an entire period without putting a shot on goal. It was 12:40 into play before the Worcester goalie had to stir. It was still scoreless, however. The IceCats, who captured the season series 3-2-1, got power plays 19 seconds apart. But the Bandits got those back, Steve King (33) and Slava Butsayev (21) scoring, and it was square at 2. The home team couldn’t keep from taking sojourns in the penalty box, though, and the second of Paul Broten’s goals put the Cats ahead for good after the mid- point of the second session. The teams swapped power-play goals over the last 20 minutes.

1998 at Saint John 3-3 tie
The Worcester IceCats and Saint John Flames skated to a 3-3 tie in a game dominated by goaltending as Brent Johnson made 39 saves for the ‘Cats and Jean-Sebastien Giguere had 32 for the Flames. Each made five saves in the overtime period including a glove save by Giguere against Libor Zabransky while the netminder was down and out, which had Johnson saying post game he had no idea how Giguere even saw the puck, much less how he could have saved it. Bob Lachance got the IceCats on the board at 7:47 of the first period on the power play, with assists going to Jamal Mayers and Stephane Roy. Eric Landry tied it at 9:46, but Jason Zent got Worcester the lead back at 11:35. Robert Petrovicky and Mike Prokopec had the helpers. In the middle stanza Martin St. Louis scored twice give Saint John the lead, at 13:14 and 19:20. In the third Mayers got he game tying goal at 3:36, with Roy assisting.

1999 at Saint John 2-0 loss
(SAINT JOHN) New Brunswick may be known Canada-wide as the Picture Province, but it wasn’t a very scenic junket for the Worcester IceCats. Worcester dropped a 2-0 decision last night to the Saint John Flames, finishing its three-game AHL stint through the province with three setbacks. The IceCats, fighting for a New England Division playoff spot, did earn one point, that coming in Friday’s overtime loss to the Fredericton Canadiens. The IceCats sit fifth in their division with 69 points, five behind the Springfield Faclons, who beat Hartford last night and three behind the idle Beast of New Haven. Saint John beat the IceCats twice – including a 5-4 decision Thursday – as the hosts inched closer to clinching the fourth and final Atlantic Division playoff spot. David Cooper and Sergei Varlamov provided the offense for Saint John against Worcester goaltender Brent Johnson. It was Johnson’s counterpart who spelled the difference as Jean-Sebastien Giguere was at times brilliant in the Saint John crease. Giguere, making his sixth straight start, rejected 49 IceCats shots for his second shutout of the season. The shots against tied a season high for the Flames. It took long enough to finish the game, things wrapping up in just over three hours. With Worcester playing its third game in as many nights, the fuses were a little short, resulting in a chippy start to the contest that carried on throughout the game. Stick work and some pugilism took center stage over offense until the Flames finally broke the scoreless contest early in the second period during a 4-4 situation. Varlamov paddled the puck behind Johnson’s net, where teammate Travis Brigley took over. Brigley shrugged off a Worcester check and hit Cooper wading in from the blue line, the defenseman’s one-timer beating Johnson high to the stick side. Giguere kept the IceCats off the scoresheet with some goaltending theatrics, but perhaps none of them better than a second period save with 43 seconds left. Worcester’s Bryce Salvador unloaded from the point through traffic only to watch the drive snared by Giguere’s glove hand. The IceCats had fired 38 shots at the Saint John keeper through 40 minutes, but came up empty, including seven power plays. The backbreaker for the IceCats came in the third after doing a fine job killing off a 4-on-4 Saint John power play for 1:48. Shortly after the kill, Varlamov stood alone in the slot for Chris Clark’s pass low in the slot, beating Johnson at 12:39 to seal the contest.

2004 vs Portland 4-2 loss
(ICECATS) Johnny Pohl scored mid-way through the third period to pull the Worcester IceCats within a goal, but the Portland Pirates bagged an empty-netter and held on for a 4-2 win Saturday night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. Pohl extended his scoring streak to eight games with the goal at 9:45 of the third. After a scoreless first period, Blake Evans put Worcester up 1-0 at 4:51 of the second. Portland’s Jason Ulmer scored twice, while Maxime Ouellet’s 23 saves earned the win, his first against Worcester this season. Curtis Sanford suffered the loss with 22 saves, including 14 in the first. Rookie forward Mike Glumac was held off the score-sheet putting an end to his IceCats season-high 10 game points-streak. Despite losing, the ‘Cats playoff picture has not changed. They entered the game one point ahead of Providence, holding third place in the Atlantic Division. The B’s lost 3-1 to Springfield, so Worcester maintained the edge.

2009 vs Springfield 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) After two periods of back and forth scoring, Dan DaSilva’s 2nd goal of the game would edge the Falcons in a 3-2 Worcester victory on “Officials Night” at the DCU Center Friday. The Sharks would take a 1-0 advantage in the 1st period when Trent Campbell fired a pass from the corner that would find its way through the crease and onto the stick of DaSilva who would drive home his 1st goal of the evening at 11:29. However, the Falcons would be quick to score an equalizer as Ryan Potulny would beat Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss in front of the net on a bang-bang play to even the score 1-1 at 12:31. In between the scoring, rookie Frazer McLaren officially became Worcester’s heavyweight fighter as he broke the Sharks franchise fighting major record when he threw down for his 20th bout this season, this time against Springfield right wing Hans Benson at 12:00. At 1:57 in the 2nd frame and just :7 seconds into a Springfield power play, right wing Shane Willis would unload a shot that would ricochet off Sharks defensemen Brett Westgarth and past Greiss to take a 2-1 Falcons lead. The Sharks would later cash in on a power play opportunity of their own when Lukas Kaspar launched a missile from the point past Falcon net minder Devan Dubnyk to tie the game 2-2 at 18:04. Worcester would go on to outshoot Springfield 20-9 in the 2nd period. Worcester would strike quickly in 3rd period when DaSilva netted his 2nd score of the night at :21 seconds to put Worcester up 3-2. Andrew Desjardins and Campbell would each be credited with their 2nd assist of the game. The Sharks would maintain the lead for the remainder of the 3rd period to pick up a 3-2 win over Springfield. The win brings Worcester’s record to 36-33-1-2 with 75 points through 72 games.

2010 at Norfolk 2-0 win
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks set a franchise record with their 20th road win of the season behind goals by Frazer McLaren and Tony Lucia in a 2-0 victory over the Admirals in Norfolk at the Scope Arena on Saturday night. Alex Stalock made 46 saves for his AHL leading 37th win of the season and hit the post with under a minute remaining in his attempt for an empty net goal as the Admirals pulled Tokarski for the extra attacker. Stalock was solid in the first half of the first period holding off an early Admirals charge to open up the game. The Sharks hit the post twice before finding the back of the net with just 83 seconds remaining in the period. Frazer McLaren (4th) fired in a rebound after a shot from the point by Derek Joslin was stopped by Dustin Tokarski. The Sharks led 1-0 after twenty minutes despite being outshot 15-14. Tony Lucia scored his first professional goal in his first professional game at 7:07 to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead. Lucia skated into the Norfolk zone and fired a tough angle shot from the left wing wall that banked off an Admirals defenseman and past Tokarski. Alex Stalock was sharp making 17 second period saves as the Sharks led 2-0 after forty minutes. Stalock made 14 more saves in the third period to remain perfect and also hit the post with under a minute remaining as the Admirals pulled Tokarski for the extra attacker. Stalock’s shot from on top of his crease towards the empty net sailed over everyone and wobbled its way and hit the post on the right wing side. Win the win, Worcester’s record improves to (45-22-2-3, 95 points) and they now lead the Atlantic Division by three

2011 vs Adirondack 3-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks capped off their three game home weekend with a 3-1 victory over the Adirondack Phantoms on Sunday afternoon in front of 5,003 at the DCU Center. Worcester now trails the Connecticut Whale for the 3rd and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Atlantic Division by four points with 6 games remaining.Kevin Henderson, T.J. Trevelyan, and Patrick Davis scored for Worcester while Carter Hutton was superb in net earning his 10th win of the season and making 35 saves for the Sharks to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Sharks got off to a fast start as forward Kevin Henderson (8th) deflected in a Nick Petrecki shot, up high from the left circle at 1:21 giving Worcester a 1-0 lead. Worcester’s netminder Carter Hutton was the story in the first period coming up with 14 saves on all 14 shots he faced, including a potential save of the year, robbing Tom Sestito during a Sharks penalty kill. The Sharks rang two posts in the first but only had a 1-0 lead on the board after twenty minutes. Worcester started the second period on the power play but couldn’t add to their one goal lead. Adirondack got on the board at 3:59 on a sweet drop pass by Harry Zolnierczyk to Jonathon Kalinski (6th) who sniped it high from outside the slot knotting the game up 1-1. The Phantoms thought they had a 2-1 lead early in the second period however referee Geno Binda waved the goal off due to the net off its pegs. Worcester went three for three on the penalty kill including a four minute high-sticking double minor in the middle frame. Total shots after two periods were Worcester 12 and Adirondack 25. Worcester fought hard to keep their playoff hopes alive in the third period and was rewarded at 11:46 when T.J. Trevelyan (16th) tipped in another nicely placed Petrecki slap shot giving the Sharks back their lead at 2-1. Hutton played well the rest of the way and Patrick Davis scored the empty netter to give the Sharks a big 3-1 victory. The Sharks record is now 34-28-4-8 with 80 points. Worcester has 6 games remaining on their 80 game AHL regular season schedule (3 home, 3 away)

2012 at Bridgeport 5-4 loss
(WORSHARKS) Sena Acolatse broke a personal 46 game goalless drought and scored two goals for Worcester but the Sharks allowed the final four goals in the game and lost 5-4 to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers at the Webster Bank Arena on Tuesday night. John McCarthy extended his point streak to six games (4-4-8) with his team leading 19th goal and added an assist while Tim Kennedy added a goal and an assist in the tough loss. The Sharks return home for three games in three nights at the DCU Center in Worcester beginning with a 7:30pm start vs. the Pirates on Friday night. For the first time in eight games, the Sharks grabbed a 1-0 lead as defenseman Sena Acolatse(3rd) swept the puck around goaltender Kevin Poulin from on top of the crease after great work behind the Sound Tigers net by Tony Lucia and Curt Gogol at 2:40. Worcester took a 2-0 advantage with a power play rebound strike by Tim Kennedy (12th) at 10:42 assisted by John McCarthy. The Sharks outshot the Sound Tigers 12-4 through 20 minutes and took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. The Sharks broke out to a 4-1 lead early in the second period before Bridgeport rattled off three straight scores to tie the score through 40 minutes. John McCarthy (19th) got a rebound score at 42 seconds to give Worcester a 3-0 lead before Blair Riley (5th) got the Sound Tigers on the board with a tough angle shot through Tyson Sexsmith at 2:38. Sena Acolatse (4th) scored his 2nd of the night with a terrific rush and back hand finish at 4:18 to put Worcester ahead 4-1. But Scott Howes (11th) at 5:38, Justin DiBenedetto (19th) on the power play at 10:05, and Kael Mouillierat (8th) at 19:52 evened the score at 4-4 through 40 minutes of play. Justin DiBenedetto (20th) scored the only goal in the third period on the power play and it stood up as the game winner as he sent a loose puck at the side of the net past Harri Sateri at 11:05 to put the Sound Tigers ahead 5-4. Worcester’s record falls to 28-27-4-7, with 67pts and currently in 13th place in the Eastern Conference with 10 games remaining.

2013 vs Manchester 3-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (29-27-1-6, 65pts) fell to their Atlantic Division rivals the Manchester Monarchs (31-28-3-4, 69pts) on Wednesday evening in front of 1,908 fans at the DCU Center. With the loss, the Sharks remain six points behind the 8th place Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with two games in hand and 13 games remaining. Harri Sateri made 22 saves on 25 shots in his 10th straight start in goal for Worcester before he was replaced by Thomas Heemskerk at 7:18 of the second period and the Sharks trailing 3-0. Peter Sivak scored the only goal for Worcester as Martin Jones made 40 saves for the win. Manchester held the majority of the puck possession in the opening frame and scored the only goal of the period after defenseman Justin LoVerde (2nd) slammed home a third rebound attempt past Harri Sateri at 8:59. Manchester outshot Worcester 13-9 in the first period as the Sharks trailed 1-0. The Monarchs grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first nine minutes of the 2nd period to chase goaltender Harri Sateri. A quick power play goal by David Kolomatis (6th) with a wicked shot from the left circle through a screen game the Monarchs a 2-0 advantage. Brandon Kozun (24th) gave Manchester a 3-0 lead with a snipe on the rush at 7:18 on the Monarchs 25th shot on goal. Thomas Heemskerk replaced Sateri and the Sharks would finally found the back of the net at 13:32. Peter Sivak (2nd) finished off a nice give and go with Bracken Kearns to get the Sharks within striking distance through 40 minutes of play. Neither team would score in the third period as Worcester fired 19 shots on Martin Jones to take the 41-34 lead on the shot clock but it wasn’t enough as the Monarchs held on for the 3-1 win. The Sharks overall record falls to 29-27-1-6 (65pts in 63gp) and 13-13-1-4 (31pts in 31gp) on home ice this season.

2015 at Springfield 6-3 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (35-23-4-2, 76pts) exploded for six goals in route to a 6-3 win over the host Springfield Falcons (34-26-7-0, 75pts) in front of 4,019 fans at the Mass Mutual Center on Friday evening. With the victory, the Sharks jump into the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference with 12 games remaining. Roy Sommer picked up his 611th AHL victory behind the bench to surpass Frank Mathers for the 2nd most in AHL history as Worcester scored six goals for a second consecutive game. Aaron Dell made 34 saves in net for his 3rd consecutive victory as the Sharks battled back from an early 2-0 deficit. Eriah Hayes (2-1-3), Daniel Ciampini, John McCarthy, Evan Trupp, and Matt Willows all scored for Worcester in the road victory. A wild first period saw the two clubs combine for 35 shots and five goals. Springfield took a 2-0 lead as Luke Adam (15th) struck at 4:43 and Ryan Craig (14th) scored at 6:39. The Sharks came barreling back as Eriah Hayes (7th) knocked in a rebound past goaltender Scott Munroe at 8:55 and Daniel Ciampini (2nd) fired home another rebound at 11:08 to tie the score at 2-2. Just 25 seconds later Eriah Hayes sprung John McCarthy (13th) on a breakaway score at 11:33 to give the Worcester a 3-2 advantage. Worcester outshot Springfield 19-16 through 20 minutes as the Sharks had a 3-2 lead. Worcester scored the only goal of the second period as Evan Trupp (14th) tipped a Taylor Fedun point shot on the power play at 17:24 to give the Sharks a 4-2 lead. Aaron Dell stopped all 11 shots he saw in the middle frame as the Sharks took a 4-2 advantage into the second intermission. Sean Collins (15th) broke a 0-47 slump on the power play with a rebound score with the man advantage at 8:22 of the third period to cut the Sharks lead to 4-3. But Matt Willows (1st) scored his first professional goal with a great individual effort at 12:19 for an insurance marker to put Worcester back up by a pair of goals. Eriah Hayes (8th) capped the scoring with an empty netter at 18:54 to give Worcester a 6-3 win. The Sharks overall record improves to 35-23-4-2, 76pts, and 15-13-2-1, 33pts on the road this season.

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