Today in Worcester hockey history: March 30


1996 vs Providence 4-3 win OT
The Worcester IceCats were up two goals after 40 minutes but needed an overtime goal by Craig Darby to defeat the Providence Bruins 4-3. Mitch Lamoureux gave the Baby-Bs the lead at 6:36 of the opening period on the power play, but B.J. MacPherson scored his only career AHL goal to tie it at 13:44. Fred Knipscheer and Lindsay Vallis had the assists on the goal. Harry York gave the ‘Cats the lead at 1:55 of the middle period, with helpers from Jason Widmer and Chris Kenady. Alex Vasilevskii’s power play goal at 5:11 made it 3-1, with Knipscheer and Ken Sutton picking up points on the goal. But the third period was all Providence, who got the game to even on goals by Peter Laviolette (1:19) and Ryan Hughes (4:45). The IceCats had all five shots in the extra session, with Darby beating Scott Bailey top shelf (according to the ‘Cats game notes) at 3:47 from Knipscheer and Paul Broten. Bailey finished the game with 43 saves for the Bruins, while Jamie McLennan had 23 in the win.

2001 at Quebec 4-1 win
(TICKER) Pascal Rheaume scored two goals and had two assists and Darren Rumble broke a third-period tie as the Worcester Ice Cats defeated the Quebec Citadelles, 4-1. Rumble gave Worcester a 2-1 lead just 37 seconds into the final period and Rheaume, who had three assists in the Ice Cats other meeting with Quebec earlier this season, put the game away with a pair of power-play goals. Rumble also added two assists and Eric Boguniecki scored in the second period as Worcester improved its league-best road record to 20-13-5. Dwayne Roloson picked up the win after stopping 24 of 25 shots. Eric Chouinard scored the lone goal for Quebec, which is still tied with Worcester and Norfolk for a league-high 24 home wins. Eric Fichaud stopped 32 shots in defeat.

2002 vs Providence 5-0 win
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats clinched a spot in the post-season with a 5-0 win over the Providence Bruins last night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. The ‘Cats now hold a 37-31-7-1 record for 82 points in the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Eastern Conference. Jeff Panzer and Eric Boguniecki championed Worcester’s offensive charge as each scored two goals. Panzer scored short-handed four minutes into the game to put the ‘Cats up 1-0, an edge Worcester would have until 1:44 of the second. At that point, Marc Brown put Providence in a two-goal hole when he finished off a play that started with a feed from Darren Rumble. Brown made an acrobatic move to send himself into the Providence zone. The finale was a 30-foot blast. Eric Boguniecki scored his 36th of the season at 15:54 of the middle frame. Panzer then greeted Providence’s replacement goaltender Andrew Raycroft with a goal just 38 seconds into the third. Boguniecki’s second of the night and 37th of the season came on the power play with 7:05 remaining in regulation. Not withstanding to other action around the AHL last night, Boguniecki is now tied with teammate Justin Papineau for first in AHL’s goal-scoring race. In addition, the recently named First Team AHL All-Star notched his 79th point of the 2001-2002 campaign. “Everybody’s trying to clinch a playoff spot,” Panzer said. “We came into tonight’s game knowing that we had to win. Even though we’ve got the spot, though, we’re still going to come out strong and try to rack up the W’s every night.” Reinhard Divis was in goal for Worcester for the 18th consecutive game and stopped all of Providence’s 28 offerings. Jeff Maund started the game in the Bruins’ net and stopped 25 shots before being replaced by Raycroft. The baby B’s second backstop of the night turned aside 11 of the remaining 13. “He’s just been great,” Panzer said of Divis, who was named the game’s number one star. “We know that we can count on him and that gives us confidence playing in front of him.”

2003 vs Manchester 7-6 win OT
(ICECATS) Trailing 6-1 entering the third period, it looked like the Worcester IceCats were set for their second straight loss. But a five-goal third period explosion and Jeff Panzer’s hat trick goal in overtime capped an improbable 7-6 comeback win over Manchester Sunday at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. Down 3-1 after the first on Manchester goals from Kip Brennan, Pavel Rosa and Jeff Giuliano, the ‘Cats spotted the Monarchs a five-goal cushion on second period goals from Chris Aldous and a pair by former IceCat Derek Bekar. Jeremy Yablonski had Worcester’s only goal to that point. The comeback began 4:27 into the third when Panzer potted his first of the night. Johnny Pohl followed at 6:11. Panzer then made it a three-goal game at 11:59 finishing a cross-crease pass from Ernie Hartlieb. On their heels, Manchester pulled starting goalie Jeff Sanger in favor of Travis Scott. It didn’t pay off, as Aris Brimanis ripped a shot past an unsuspecting Scott from center ice just five seconds after Panzer scored his second goal. Pohl buried his second of the game with 1:13 remaining in regulation, tying the game at 6-6. Panzer’s overtime winner, and 20th goal of the season, came 1:53 into the overtime session as he redirected a high-slot shot from rookie Mike Stuart. Curtis Sanford, who was initially pulled after Manchester’s fourth goal, returned to the net to start the third period and earned the win with 17 saves. Manchester’s Scott took the loss.

2005 vs Providence 5-4 loss
The Worcester IceCats scored first in every period but the Providence Bruins scored more often in a 5-4 ‘Cats loss to the Baby-Bs. Jeff Hoggan opened the scoring in the first period with a power play goal assisted by Brendan Buckley and Aris Brimanis at 12:28. The Bruins would take the lead with two goals in under a minute when Brad Boyes scored at 16:16 and Jay Henderson lit the lamp at 17:05. Jon DiSalvatore had the firtt goal of the second period with a power play tally at 4:44. Brendan Brooks and Buckley had the helpers. But once again Providence would score the next two, with Andy Hilbert getting a shorthanded goal at 9:23 and Boyes scoring a power play goal at 15:09. In the third period Eric Boguniecki had a power play goal, assisted by Dennis Wideman and Mike Mottau, at 3:46. Andy Hilbert then got the eventual game winner on the power play at 12:50. Boguniecki would have his second of the game, assisted by Hoggan, at 13:40 for the 5-4 final. Jason Bacashihua made 20 saves in the loss.

2008 at Providence 5-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) Byron Bitz scored two goals and added an assist to lead Providence to their league high 50th win of the season as the Bruins extended the Sharks winless skid to five games with a 5-3 Loss in Providence on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the Sharks (27-34-5-6) fall 14 points behind the Manchester Monarchs for the fourth and final Atlantic Division playoff spot. The Sharks trailed early as Byron Bitz scored his first of two goals of the afternoon after he connected on the first power play of the game to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Tom Walsh would tie the score at 1-1 after a 60-foot bomb from the blue line beat Bruins netminder Jordan Sigalet top shelf at 11:37 of the first period. The Bruins would come right back after T.J Trevelyan was set up in front of the Sharks net by Matt Hendricks on the power play to give the Bruins a 2-1 edge after twenty minutes of play. Each team would score a goal in the second period as Pascal Pelletier would record his league leading 35th goal of the season after Byron Bitz stole the puck deep in the Sharks zone and fed a pass in front to Pelletier. Derek Joslin connected from the offensive blue line for his 10th goal of the season, a power play strike at 3:58 to get the Sharks back within a goal. In the third, Bitz would connect again at 11:18 to give the Bruins a two goal lead. Sharks’ rookie Matt Jones would score his 2nd in as many games after he fired a slap shot on the rush from the right wing circle to edge the Sharks back within a goal. With Thomas Greiss pulled for the extra attacker, Aaron Slattengren would ice the game with his 10th of the season, an empty net goal at 19:15.

2012 vs Portland 5-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks broke out to a 2-0 lead early in the second period but could not hold on and dropped their 4th straight game in a 5-3 loss to the Portland Pirates at the DCU Center on Friday night. Brodie Reid, Matt Irwin, and Sena Acolatse scored goals for the Sharks and Tony Lucia added two assists while Harri Sateri made 31 saves in the loss for Worcester. The Sharks came out buzzing in the first period and grabbed a 1-0 lead through 20 minutes of play. Brodie Reid (9th) got the Sharks on the board after he shot the puck from behind the goal line and off the skate of goaltender Peter Mannino at 8:33 for the only strike in the opening frame. Frazer McLaren (7th FM) and Mark Louis (5th FM) had a great tilt at 5:33 for the only scrap of the first period that saw Worcester outshot the Pirates 14-10. Five total goals were scored in the middle frame as the two teams headed into the second intermission tied at 3-3. Matt Irwin (10th) struck on the power play with a blast from the blue line at 1:02 to put the Sharks ahead 2-0. But the Pirates truck right back just 9 seconds later as Brett McLean (22nd) hoped on a turnover in the Sharks zone and blasted the puck through Harri Sateri at 4:56. The Pirates would go ahead 3-2 with two more scores as Tyler Eckford (9th) struck on the power play with a rebound score at 15:51 followed by a tough angle rebound score by Kenndal McArdle (9th) at 16:01. Worcester tied the score late in the period as Sena Acolatse (5th) sent a rocket from the right point on the power play through a screen and past Peter Mannino at 18:47. The Pirates held a 27-22 shot advantage through 40 minutes. In the third period, Sharks killer Andy Miele (14th) scored his 6th goal of the season vs. Worcester with a terrific deflection past Sateri after a soft backhander from the blue line by Ryan Duncan at 14:47 to put the Pirates ahead 4-3. The Pirates added an empty net goal at 19:45 to seal the deal with Brett Sterling (27th) as Portland took the 5-3 victory. Worcester’s record falls to 28-28-4-7, with 67pts and currently in 14th place in the Eastern Conference with 9 games remaining.

2013 vs St. John’s 5-4 OTL
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (29-28-2-6, 66pts) were defeated by the St. John’s IceCaps (29-33-1-4, 63pts)by the count of 5-4 in overtime on Saturday evening in front of 4,143 fans at the DCU Center. With the overtime loss, the Sharks are now seven points behind the 8th place Hershey Bears in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with two games in hand and 11 games remaining. The Sharks led 4-2 late in the third period but the IceCaps forced overtime and birthday boy Ben Maxwell scored his 2nd of the game just 23 seconds into overtime. Goaltender Thomas Greiss made 22 saves in his first AHL game since Apr 10, 2009 for Worcester as the Sharks wasted a three point night by Bracken Kearns (2-1-3) and a third period penalty shot score by Jon Matsumoto. Rookie Daniil Tarasov added three assists and Peter Sivak also score for Worcester. Each team scored in the opening frame as Peter Sivak (3rd) gave the Sharks an early 1-0 lead at 3:29 with a bullet from 55 feet past goalie Eddie Pasquale. The IceCaps countered at 14:41 as Jason Gregoire (10th) beat goaltender Thomas Greiss on a shorthanded breakaway strike to tie the score at 1-1. Worcester outshot St. John’s 14-9 in the opening frame. Each team would score again in the second period with Aaron Gagnon (11th) extending his point streak to 12 games at 1:41 to give the IceCaps a 2-1 lead. Veteran Bracken Kearns (18th) tied the game at 2-2 late in the period after a nice cycle behind the St. John’s net at 17:26. The Sharks grabbed a 4-2 lead early in the third period as Jon Matsumoto (14th) scored on a penalty shot at 5:40 after he was hauled down by Patrick Cullity. Bracken Kearns (19th) extended the Sharks lead to 4-2 at 7:33 after he tipped a centering pass by Sebastian Stalberg past Pasquale. Worcester had several chances to go ahead 5-2 after Adam Comrie hit the post and Eddie Pasquale made some big saves. Salem, MA native Will O’Neill (2nd) gave the IceCaps some life at 17:16 after his shot from 50 feet found its way through a screen and past Greiss. With Pasquale off for the extra attacker, Ben Maxwell (9th) deflected a shot from the point with 53 seconds left to tie the score at 4-4. In overtime, Ben Maxwell (9th) fired a shot from 40 feet that beat Thomas Greiss up high as the IceCaps came all the way back for the 5-4 overtime win for their 4th straight win.

2018 vs Brampton 3-2 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (33-26-4-4, 74pts) picked up their sixth straight win on home ice after a 3-2 victory over the visiting Brampton Beast (26-32-6-4, 62pts) in front of 4,727 fans at the DCU Center on Friday evening. TJ Syner, Mike Cornell, and Frankie DiChiara found the back of the net for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 30 saves in his 10th straight start in net for his 20th win of the season. The Railers charged out to a 3-0 lead before holding on in the final minutes for the one goal victory. Despite being shorthanded three times in the opening period, Worcester would score the only goal on their first shot as TJ Syner (8th) fired a shot from 40 feet that broke through goaltender Chris Driedger at 3:03. Worcester was outshot 8-5 in the opening 20 minutes but held a 1-0 lead. Mike Cornell (4th) struck on the power play with a one-timer from on top of the left circle after a cross ice feed at 1:39 of the second period to give the Railers a 2-0 lead. Mitch Gillam made 10 more saves in the second period including a diving glove save midway through the period as the Railers took a 2-0 lead into the second intermission. Frankie DiChiara (7th) banged home a Dylan Willick rebound at 2:05 of the third period to put Worcester ahead 3-0. Brampton would then pour on the pressure and get within a goal after Jordan Henry (9th) struck at 7:52 and Alex Foster (14th) at 11:49 managed the score to 3-2. Mitch Gillam would then have to make some big saves and the Railers penalty kill made a big stop in the final two minutes as Worcester held on for the 3-2 home victory.

2019 vs Brampton 7-0 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (30-27-6-4, 70pts) gave up a touchdown in a 7-0 loss to the visiting Brampton Beast (34-28-5-1,74pts) in front of 5,600 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. With the loss,the Railers are now four points behind Brampton for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division with five games remaining. With the Lombardi trophy in the building and the Railers wearing New England football themed jerseys, Worcester was shutout for the 4th time this season as Mitch Gillam allowed four goals on 19 shots before getting replaced midway through the second period. Jackson Leef (2-0-2), Daniel Ciampini (1-2-3), and Boston Leier (1-2-3) led the way offensively for Brampton while Jake Paterson made 30 saves in net as Worcester dropped their fifth straight game (0-4-1-0). Each team had nine shots on goal and Barry Almeida hit the post, but it was the Beast that grabbed a 2-0 lead through 20 minutes. Jordan Leaf (10th) had the puck go off his chest and into the net at 6:02 and David Pacan (27th) lit the lamp with a shot through a screen at 10:37. Brampton piled things on in the second period with three more goals on 14 shots. Jackson Leef (11th) gave the Beast a 3-0 lead at 3:31 with a rush down the leftwing side and Artur Tianulin (18th) scored on a rebound at 12:17 to end the night for goaltender Mitch Gillam. Daniel Ciampini (14th) lit the lap on the power play at 18:23 to end the onslaught as Worcester trailed 5-0 after 40 minutes of play. The Beast grabbed two more goals in the third period on netminder Blake Wajtala as Boston Leier (3rd) struck on the power play at 1:53 and Mike Folkes (1st) sent a blast from the point at 4:44 to end the scoring. Worcester outshot Brampton 11-7 in the third period but Jake Paterson held his own and ended with a 30 save shutout.


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