Today in Worcester hockey history: April 1


1995 at Hershey 3-2 win
(HERSHEY) Ross Wilson’s two goals led the Worcester IceCats to a 3-2 win over the Hershey Bears, their first win over the AHL’s oldest franchise. The pair of goals gives Wilson 16 for the year. The IceCats kept the pressure on the Bears in the early going and finally beat former ‘Cats goalie Les Kuntar at the 7:20 mark of the first period. Dave Bassegio’s shot from the left point deflected off a Hershey defenseman into the cage. Cal McGowan and Denis Chalifoux picked up the assists. The Bears tied the game four minutes later when Tracy Egland intercepted a clearing pass in the Worcester zone and fed Vaclav Prospal at the crease for his 12th score of the season. Wilson’s first goal came when he pushed a rebound home midway through the second period, just 24 seconds into an IceCats’ power play. Hershey’s Phil Crowe was credited with an unassisted goal three minutes into the final period when he passed the puck from behind the net and it bounced off a Worcester player and behind IceCats goalie Chris Gordon. With 6:51 to play, Wilson slammed in a 15-footer for the game-winner.

1998 vs St. John’s 5-2 win
The Worcester IceCats and St John’s Maple Leafs combined for seven goals and 182 penalty minutes, with the ‘Cats coming out on top 5-2. After a scoreless first period the ‘Cats would put up three in the middle frame. Lubos Bartecko started it out with a power play goal assisted by Robert Petrovicky and Jamal Mayers at 10:10. Michal Handzus followed that with a goal at 15:05, assisted by Mayers, and Jason Zent would make it 3-0 at 16:49 with help from Nick Naumenko. St John’s would get on the board at 1:25 of the third period on a tally by Jason Podollan. Stephane Roy answered that goal at 9:26, with Lubos Bartecko and Justin Hocking picking up assists. Shawn Carter added a goal for the maple Leafs at 11:33, but once again the ‘Cats answered on a Shayne Toporowski goal at 18:19, with Handzus and Bob Lachance picking up points. Reed Low finished the game with 29PIM, instigating a fight with D.J. Smith in the third period after the two had a second period altercation that saw Low getting a misconduct. Terry Virtue had 15PIM in the game, fighting Shawn Thornton in the first period.

2000 vs Rochester 2-1 win
(TICKER) Jamie Pollock scored 61 seconds into overtime as the Worcester Ice Cats snapped a five-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the Rochester Americans. Pollock scored his third game-winner of the season on the power play for Worcester, which defeated the Amerks for the first time in four meetings this season (1-1-2). Daniel Corso tied it with 4:59 remaining in the second period for the Ice Cats, who won for only the second time in 16 OT games (2-4-10). Brent Johnson turned aside 31 shots, including 12 in the final period, for his 23rd win. J.P. Dumont opened the scoring 4:56 into the second period for Rochester, which is still unbeaten in eight of its last nine games (7-1-1). Mika Noronen suffered his 13th loss in 49 appearances despite making 34 saves for the Americans.

2005 at Binghamton 3-2 SOL
(SENATORS) The Senators rallied from a 2-0 deficit and defeated the Worcester IceCats 3-2 in a shootout before 4,394 people at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday night. Worcester got on the board first, needing only 28 seconds to do so, when Jay McClement put the puck past Binghamton goaltender Billy Thompson. Brendan Brooks and Jeff Hoggan were credited with assists on the goal. Aaron MacKenzie extended the IceCats’ lead to 2-0 at the 17:47 mark of the opening frame giving Worcester the lead at the first intermission for the first time in 33 games. D.J. King was given an assist on the goal and Brooks picked up his second helper of the game as well. Josh Langfeld started the comeback with his 26th tally of the year at the 3:08 mark of the middle period. Antoine Vermette and defenseman Brian Pothier each picked up an assist on the play. The Sens pulled even at two 12:45 into the third period as Denis Hamel picked up his team leading 34th goal of the season. Anton Volchenkov and Jason Spezza were given assists on the goal. After a scoreless overtime the game headed for a shootout, the first for Worcester in 42 games. Jason Spezza scored the lone shootout goal lifting the Senators to their first home shootout victory of the season. Binghamton was 1 for 8 on the power play while Worcester finished the game 0 for 8. Billy Thompson stopped 39 of 41 shots for the Sens while Jason Bacashihua made 28 saves on 30 shots.

2009 at Springfield 3-2 win OT
(WORSHARKS) After allowing Springfield to tie the score on two occasions, Patrick Traverse ended it with his ninth goal of the season at 2:17 of overtime to give the Sharks a huge 3-2 win which propelled them into a third place tie in the Atlantic Division standings. Traverse set up an overtime power play, when he was hooked by Bryan Young. Then on the ensuing man advantage, his rocket from the slot beat Springfield goalie Dany Sabourin five hole for the 3-2 thriller. The win ups Worcester’s overtime record to 7-1. It also marked the fourth overtime win over Springfield this season. The Falcons came out firing with eight of the first nine shots, forcing Sharks goalie Thomas Greiss to make a number of sensational saves. The best chance came at 9:32 when he acrobatically stopped Ryan O’Marra, point blank. Worcester took advantage with the first goal of the game and a 1-0 advantage at the 13:41 mark. Jason Demers’ shot from the top of the right wing circle found its way past Sabourin. Steven Zalewski and Traverse were credited with the assists on the play. Ryan Potulney made a goal-scorer’s move in front of the net only 55 seconds later to tie the score at 1-1. Only nine seconds into the Falcons’ second power play, he took the feed from Rob Schremp and adjusted from backhand to forehand before beating Greiss. The Sharks took a 2-1 lead behind Matt Jones’ second goal of the season and first in 43 games. He fanned on a shot from the left wing boards, but it deflected off a Springfield defenseman and found the inside of the right post at 4:15 of the second period. Frazer McLaren was credited with his first assist of the season on the play. A huge hit by Colin McDonald on Traverse set up Guillaume Lefebvre for his fourth goal of the season to make it 2-2 at 13:42 of the third period. After the hit, Tyler Spurgeon kept the puck in the zone and made the feed to Lefebvre, who made a move around Greiss and found the open net. The win brings Worcester’s record to 38-34-1-2 with 79 points through 75 games and the Sharks currently sit tied with Portland in the Atlantic Division standings and one point ahead of Manchester.

2011 vs Manchester 2-0 win
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks started an important 3-in-3 weekend with a hard fought 2-0 victory over the second place Manchester Monarchs at the DCU Center Friday night. Combined with a Providence win over the Connecticut Whale, the Sharks are now just two points out of the final guaranteed playoff spot with five games remaining. John McCarthy scored both goals for Worcester with Brandon Mashinter adding two assists for the multi-point game. Carter Hutton made 27 saves for the shutout and his 11th victory of the season. The Sharks got on the board first as John McCarthy (5th) put home a rebound on a Sean Sullivan shot at 11:55 just as a Manchester penalty expired. Brandon Mashinter also recorded an assist on the McCarthy goal. Carter Hutton made several big stops to preserve the 1-0 lead, and the Sharks took the one goal lead into the locker room. Both teams traded odd man rushes and scoring chances in the second, but once again it was Worcester who tallied a goal. John McCarthy (6th, 2nd of game) parked himself on top of the crease and banged home a rebound after Tommy Wingels tried a wrap around at 8:16. Worcester led 2-0 heading into the third period with shots at 17-16 in favor of Manchester. Worcester played shutdown defense in the third period to seal the victory. Manchester managed late pressure with 2:13 remaining as they went on a power play and pulled goalie Martin Jones to go on a 6-on-4 man advantage. But the Sharks held firm and killed off Joe Loprieno’s penalty on their way to a 2-0 win. The Sharks record is now 35-28-4-8 with 82 points. Worcester has 5 games remaining on their 80 game AHL regular season schedule (2 home, 3 away)

2012 vs Springfield 3-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks charged out to an early 2-0 lead but dropped their season high 6th straight game and fell nine points behind the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference after a 3-2 loss to the Springfield Falcons at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. The Sharks wrap up their four game home stand with a 7pm start vs. the Albany Devils on Wednesday night. Rookies Brodie Reid and Sebastian Stalberg scored for Worcester and Harri Sateri was sharp with 29 saves on net as the two teams combined for 80 penalty minutes and three game misconducts. With the loss, the Sharks dropped two games below .500 for the first time all season. Brodie Reid (10th) struck on the power play at 4:09 with a blast from the point past goaltender Manny Legace after a face off win in the Falcons zone to put Worcester ahead 1-0. A near brawl broke out at 15:42 after Aaron Bogosian jumped Curt Gogol at center ice which led to a Sharks major power play and a game misconduct to Sena Acolatse. The Sharks led 1-0 after 20 minutes of play and outshot Springfield 13-9. In the second period, rookie Sebastian Stalberg (2nd) gave the Sharks a 2-0 lead with a wicked shot on the rush from on top of the left circle at 3:15. The Falcons finally found the back of the net with a rebound score by Andrew Joudrey (10th) from on top of the Sharks crease past Harri Sateri at 6:33 to cut the Sharks lead to 2-1. At the end of the middle frame, all ten skaters came together and Curt Gogol (19th FM) received a game misconduct after he fought an unwilling Wade MacLeod at center ice. Prolific AHL goal scorer Alexander Giroux (25th) fired a one-timer blast from on top of the right circle on the power play at 11:54 of the third period to tie the score at 2-2. Andrew Joudrey (11th) fired a loose puck over the shoulder of Harri Sateri at 15:10 to give Springfield a 3-2 lead. Worcester would have a late power play but could not convert as the Sharks dropped their 6th straight game. Worcester’s record falls to 28-30-4-7, with 67pts and currently in 14th place in the Eastern Conference with 7 games remaining.

2014 vs Portland 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (34-30-3-1, 72pts) topped the Portland Pirates (24-33-2-8, 58pts) 3-2 before 1,544 fans Tuesday evening at the DCU Center in the final meeting of the season between these two teams. With the win, the Sharks are now five points behind the 8th place Norfolk Admirals for the final playoff spot in the East with eight games remaining. The Sharks got on the board with a goal by Travis Oleksuk (17th) in the first, for a lead that would carry throughout the contest to the end. After a second Worcester tally by Freddie Hamilton (20th) early in the second period, Tobias Rieder of Portland lit the lamp for his first of two goals in the tilt for the Pirates. In the third period, Matt Pelech (3rd) netted the game-winner and Rieder scored again to bring the Pirates close, but the Sharks edged the Pirates by one goal as Troy Grosenick picked up his 17th win with 21 saves. The Sharks tallied the lone goal of the opening 20 minutes of play to take a 1-0 edge over Portland. Worcester took the lead at 7:44 after they broke out of the defensive zone. Eriah Hayes floated a pass into the stick-side circle where Travis Oleksuk (17th) picked up the loose puck and drove across the slot, putting on a deek before Portland tender Louis Domingue before lifting the puck over his right shoulder. Worcester controlled the shots for the period, outshooting Portland 11-6 while Troy Grosenick kept the Pirates off the scoreboard with a solid performance between the pipes. Each team registered a goal in the middle frame, as the Sharks maintained their one-goal lead after 40 minutes. Worcester doubled up its scoring early in the period, with a power play goal at 3:43, when Freddie Hamilton sent the puck from outside the glove-side post up to Matt Tennyson at the left point. Tennyson then returned the pass back down to Hamilton (20th) who back-doored Domingue for a 2-0 lead. Portland got up on the scoreboard, keeping the game close at 8:17, after Andy Miele delivered a puck from the right circle to Tobias Rieder (25th), who one-timed it through the five-hole of Grosenick. Worcester kept the upper-hand on Portland in shots, outshooting the Pirates 12-9. The third period also resulted in a goal-a-piece as the Sharks carried their one-goal lead until the clock expired. Worcester added on their third tally, and what would serve to be the game-winner, at 6:32 when Mirco Mueller sent loose puck from along the left boards to the front of the net where Matt Pelech (3rd) deflected it behind Domingue. Mueller’s assist marked his first point as a professional in his debut with the Sharks. The Pirates answered back at 9:31 when Tobias Rieder (26th) netted his second of the night. After two huge saves by Grosenick, the Sharks defense could not clear the puck out of danger as Rieder forced the puck free and across the goal line from inside the paint. In the final minute, the Pirates pulled Domingue for the extra attacker and once last effort to even the game, but came up short as the Sharks ran out the clock and took the game with a final of 3-2. The Sharks’ overall record improves to 34-30-3-1, 72pts and 17-13-0-1, 35pts at home.

2015 at Hershey 3-2 win SO
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (38-23-4-2, 82pts) notched their sixth straight win with a come from behind 3-2 victory over the Hershey Bears (42-19-5-3, 92pts) in front of 10,995 fans at the Giant Center on Wednesday evening. With the victory, the Sharks jump up to the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games remaining in the regular season. The Sharks trailed 2-0 early in the second period before Travis Oleksuk and Matt Willows scored for Worcester to force overtime. Aaron Dell was superb in net making 36 saves and stopping six of seven shooters in the shootout. John McCarthy scored in the 7th round as Worcester began their five game road trip with a win in Hershey. Hershey controlled the opening 20 minutes and outshot Worcester 20-10 to take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. The only score of the period was on a nice deflection in front of the Sharks net by Casey Wellman (23rd) after a shot from the point by Connor Carrick at 7:01. Aaron Dell was great in the first period making 19 saves to keep the score close through 20 minutes. The Bears grabbed a 2-0 lead as another deflection in front of the Sharks net found its way through Aaron Dell at 4:28 of the second period with Liam O’Brien (3rd) getting credited with the score. Worcester countered back at 5:50 after Micheal Haley rushed down the left wing and carried the puck behind the net and sent a quick pass on top of the crease to a crashing Travis Oleksuk (9th) who buried the puck past Philipp Grubauer. Worcester outshot Hershey 10-6 in the middle frame as the Sharks trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes of play. Matt Willows (3rd) extended his point streak to four games as his shot on the rush from on top of the right circle trickled through the Bears netminder at 2:23 of the third period to tie the score at 2-2. Aaron Dell made nine more saves in the third period as the two teams headed into overtime tied 2-2. Dylan Demelo was stopped on a breakaway midway through the seven minute overtime session as Worcester outshot Hershey 5-3 in a scoreless extra frame. Daniel Ciampini and Andre Burakovsky were the only two shooters to score in the first six rounds of the shootout before John McCarthy won the game for Worcester in Round 7 as the Sharks won their 6th straight with a 3-2 victory. The Sharks overall record improves to 38-23-4-2, 82pts and 16-13-2-1, 35pts on the road this season.

2018 at Adirondack 4-1 win
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (35-26-4-4, 78pts) kicked off their three-game road trip with their fourth straight win with a 4-1 victory over the host Adirondack Thunder (39-24-3-4, 85pts) in front of 2,880 fans at the Cool Insuring Arena on Easter Sunday. Franke DiChiara scored twice, TJ Syner and Mike Cornell also found the back of the net for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 27 saves in his 12thstraight start in net for his 22nd win of the season. The Railers won all four games in their 4-in-5 week without trailing in any of the four games. A feisty first period had playoff intensity and the Railers would score the only goal as Frankie DiChiara (8th) buried a hard shot from the right slot past the glove of netminder Mackenzie Blackwood at 10:55 assisted by Mike Cornell and Barry Almeida. Shots were 10-5 in favor of the Railers through 20 minutes of play. Adirondack tied the score on the power play with a wicked shot from the center point by Troy Bourke (10th) with traffic in front of Mitch Gillam at 6:17 of the second period. Matty Gaudreau was boarded from behind by Mathieu Brodeur in the Adirondack zone which resulted with no call so Ben Masella dropped the mitts and fed Brodeur with a series of uppercuts at 7:29. TJ. Syner (9th) gave the Railers a 2-1 advantage as he followed up his original shot and snapped a rebound into the net at 15:55 assisted by Nick Saracino and Matty Gaudreau. Shots were 19-14 in favor of the Thunder through 40 minutes but Worcester held a 2-1 advantage into the second intermission. Frankie DiChiara (9th) would add insurance after he crashed the net and buried a beautiful cross ice feed by Josh Holmstrom on the rush at 13:04 to give the Railers a 3-1 lead. Mike Cornell (5th) would seal the deal with an unassisted empty netter at 19:50 to give Worcester the 4-1 win. Mitch Gillam made nine more saves in the final frame to keep the Thunder off the board.

2022 at Newfoundland 4-0 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (29-27-4-2, 64pts) lost to the Newfoundland Growlers (37-16-6-2, 82pts) on Friday night by the final score of 4-0 at the Mary Brown’s Centre. The Railers are back in St. John’s Newfoundland at the Mary Browns Centre on Saturday, April 2nd to take on the Newfoundland Growlers at 5:30 p.m. The Growlers took the early lead against Worcester on Friday night, and they never looked back. Zach O’Brien continued his success against the Railers for Newfoundland with two goals and an assist, as the Growlers came away with the 4-0 victory thanks in part to the shutout effort put forth by Angus Redmond for Newfoundland. Zach O’Brien (24th) wasted no time getting things started in the first. He finished an up-ice rush alongside Tyler Boland with a backhander past Ellis to put the Growlers up 1-0 just 3:33 into the game’s opening frame. Newfoundland dominated the pace of play from there throughout the rest of the period, spending a majority of the stanza in the Railers zone. Neither team broke through for the remainder of the period, as the frame closed with the Growlers ahead 1-0. Shots in the first favored Newfoundland 20-6. It was a similar story to start the second period. Zach O’Brien (25th) put some nifty moves on display as he deked Ellis out of his net, then dipped beneath the goal line and tucked the puck inside the near post and in. O’Brien’s second of the game would make it 2-0 Newfoundland just 1:50 into the second. The Growlers struck again in the frame with 4:23 to go, this time on the man-advantage. Jeremy McKenna (15th) received a centering feed from Gordie Green and then pulled the puck around an aggressive Colten Ellis and netted it to make it a 3-0 Newfoundland going into the locker rooms. The Growlers outshot the Railers 13-8 in the period, and outshot Worcester 33-14 through two periods. Worcester got their first chance on the man-advantage just 3:25 into the third. The team struggled to generate good offensive chances, as the power-play came to an end with the Railers still trailing 3-0. The Growlers would tack on a fourth goal late in the final period of play. With 3:39 to go, Orrin Centazzo (25th) received a feed at the near side of Ellis from O’Brien out in front and finished past Ellis to give the game its final score of 4-0. The Growlers outshot Worcester 11-6 in the third, and 44-20 for the game. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd Star: Ben Finkelstein (0-2-2, +2, 5 shots), 2nd Star: Angus Redmond (20 saves, 0 GA, 1.000 SV%), 1st Star: Zach O’Brien (2-1-3, +2, 4 shots)… Final shots were 44-20 in favor of Newfoundland… Angus Redmond (9-10-0) made 20 saves on 20 shots for Newfoundland… Colten Ellis (15-8-5) made 40 saves on 44 shots for Worcester, while Matt Jenkins served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-2 on the power play while Newfoundland went 1-for-4… Liam Coughlin (IR), Blake Christensen (IR), Felix Bibeau (IR), Chris Ordoobadi (IR), Grant Jozefek (IR), Myles McGurty (INJ), Ryan Verrier (DNP), Reece Newkirk (DNP), and Ethan Price (DNP) did not dress for Worcester… Nolan Vesey and Brent Beaudoin each led the Railers in shots with 3… The Railers are now 6-16-1-1 all-time vs. the Growlers and 2-8-1-1 at Mary Brown’s Centre against Newfoundland.

2023 vs Adirondack 3-1 loss
(RAILERS) Not next year, probably, but somewhere down the road Railers fans will turn on their TVs to see an episode of History’s Mysteries investigating why their team can’t beat the Adirondack Thunder. This strange turn of events in the playoff drive added another chapter Saturday night at the DCU center with the Thunder beating Worcester, 3-1, even though the home team had a 33-22 edge in shots on goal. The outcome disappointed an enthusiastic crowd of 5,681 on Military Night. It was the sixth largest crowd of the season. Adirondack has taken 9 of a possible 10 points in the last five games between the teams. Worcester still has a one point lead in the North Division playoff race but the Thunder has two games in hand. The Railers have four games left, three against Adirondack, so they are hardly out of the race but they have to find a way to score. How do they do that? “Shoot the puck,” coach Jordan Smotherman said. “When we’re in scoring areas we don’t shoot the puck.” That was really evident in this defeat. If Railers forwards did not make the extra pass when they were in scoring areas, they made one too many moves with the puck trying to get even closer. Worcester’s shots on goal margin included a 22-3 margin in the second period when there were times it seemed as though the Railers were playing with a two-man advantage. The outcome might have been different if Worcester had played a better first period. The Thunder scored twice to take 2-0 lead as Sebastian Vidmar registered a power play goal at 5:04, then Matt Jennings converted a breakaway at 18:55, beating Henrik Tikkanen with a backhander. The Railers only goal came in that second period. It was also on a power play as Nolan Vesey snapped a 14-game goal drought at 12:44 by firing a 20-footer past Thunder goaltender Isaac Poulter, who was great. The final Adirondack goal was an empty netter by Travis Broughman with 10 seconds left in the third period. A word about Thunder goaltending in general. Aside from Friday night when Adirondack used two rookie goaltenders in the Railers’ 5-4 overtime victory, Poulter and Jake Theut have combined to stop 121 of 125 Worcester shots in their team’s four recent triumphs. Even though they are still mathematically in fourth place, the Railers’ hold on a playoff berth is tenuous. The Thunder is playing almost perfect hockey; they have earned at least one point in 11 straight games. Worcester’s road to the playoffs is a bumpy one, but the way the Railers need to play is not complicated. “You can’t play just 40 minutes of hockey,” Smotherman said. “We show it for glimpses of time, and it’s on the leadership in that (dressing) room. You have to coach everybody up, bring guys together.” And take the shot, not make the pass. MAKING TRACKS – Worcester plays host to Maine Wednesday night. The series has been a close one, but the Mariners have taken three of the four games at the DCU Center. … Reece Newkirk was recalled by Bridgeport and the Islanders matched that move by sending defenseman Trevor Cosgrove to Worcester. The Railers also signed defenseman Ryan Da Silva, who was released by Wheeling. … Future Star Bangled Banner singers would do well to study how it is done by Singing Trooper Daniel M. Clark, who hit all the right notes and had the right pace Saturday night. … The officials spent more time in the spotlight than usual. Referee Casey Terreri and Myles McGurty collided near the Railers net at 6:20 of the first period and the game was held up a bit. Both men were hobbled. Terreri did not miss any time but McGurty did not return for seven minutes. … Linesman Brent Colby, who had been doing pro games since 1993 including many here with the Sharks and Railers, officiated his final game. … It was a very good day for pro sports in the city in spite of the results. Between the Railers gate and the Worcester Red Sox crowd of 8,402 — the WooSox also lost — the two games drew a combined 14,083.


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