Today in Worcester hockey history: April 8


1995 at Hershey 3-2 win
(HERSHEY) Mark Ouimet sent a backhander past former teammate Les Kuntar to give the Worcester IceCats a 3-2 win over the Hershey Bears in the ‘Cats season finale. Worcester finished it inaugural season 24-45-11 with 59 points. The IceCats scored 234 goals and allowed 300. The IceCats were 2-3-1 against the Bears this season. All 5 Worcester points – 2 wins and the tie – came in Hershey. With the Bears pressing the attack, Shawn Heaphy and Ross Wilson worked the puck up the ice, where Wilson set up Ouimet’s 13th goal of the season. “Wilson passed it though the defenseman, and I got it on my backhand and put it through the five-hole,” Ouimet said. “I was in real tight and just wanted to put in on net.” Bruce Coles gave Hershey the early lead when he stole the puck from ‘Cats defenseman Dave Bassegio in the left-wing circle and fired a shot stopped by goalie Chris Gordon (33 saves). The rebound went back to Coles and he banged it home for a short-handed marker. Five minutes later, at 10:14, Sean Whyte one-timed Roy Mitchell’s feed past Les Kunter to finish off a 2-on-1 break. The Bears regained the lead at 1:38 of the second period after Terry Virtue was sent to the penalty box for holding. Nine seconds later, Mitch Lamoureux netted his 36th goal of the season when Gordon couldn’t control a shot from the right point by Jeff Finley. Less than two minutes later, with the ‘Cats on a power play, Cal McGowan knotted the score at 2-2. Camped in the crease, McGowan tipped a shot by Bassegio through Kunter’s pads for his 22nd goal. The teams played a dump-and-chase final period until the last few minutes, when the Bears started to take the body. That eventually opened the ice for Ouimet’s winner. “All the guys felt real loose before the game and just wanted to go out and have fun in this last game. We just wanted to go out on a positive note,” Gordon said.

2000 vs Providence 6-2 win
(TICKER) Daniel Corso scored twice and added a pair of assists as the Worcester IceCats handed the Providence Bruins their eighth straight loss, 6-2. Corso scored with 8:17 left in the second period, giving Worcester a three-goal lead, then closed the scoring with 48 seconds remaining. Jim Campbell added two goals and an assist for the IceCats, who won for only the third time in their last 11 games (3-7-1). Brent Johnson turned away 34 shots to record his 24th win. Eric Manlow scored both of Providence’s goals in the final period. Kay Whitmore stopped 28 shots for the Bruins, who have been outscored, 36-15, during the skid.

2001 vs Hartford 4-2 win
The Worcester IceCats jumped out to a three goal first period lead and then held on in a 4-2 win over the Wolf Pack. Dale Clarke opened the scoring for Worcester with an unassisted goal at 7:26 of the opening stanza. Jaroslav Obsut made it a two goal lead at 11:14, with Jamie Thompson and Andrei Troschinsky assisting. Marc Brown’s goal at 15:55 made it 3-0, with Eric Boguniecki and Sebastien Bordeleau picking up helpers. Hartford made it a one goal game with strikes by Garett Bembridge at 18:55 of the middle stanza and Boyd Kane at 13:53 of the third, but a Shawn Mamane empty net goal at 19:56 sealed the win. Justin Papineau had the lone assist on the play. Curtis Sanford made 23 saves for the win.

2005 at Springfield 4-3 win OT
(FALCONS) Center Jason Jaspers scored twice, but the Falcons were edged in overtime, 4-3, by the Worcester IceCats at the Springfield Civic Center on Friday. Worcester center Jay McClement also netted two goals including the game-winner in overtime. Falcons right wing Evgeni Artukhin assisted on both of Jaspers’ tallies while rookie forward Dennis Packard netted a goal. McClement’s overtime game-winner was his 16th goal of the season and his seventh of the season against the Falcons. The native of Kingston, Ontario blocked a dump in attempt at the Worcester blue line and carried the puck toward the Springfield net on a two-on-one rush. McClement moved in to blast a slap shot from the left face-off circle to end the game 2:04 into the extra session. Jaspers’ goal 5:15 into Friday?s contest provided the Falcons with a 1-0 lead. On the play, Artukhin wheeled around the Springfield net along the right wing boards and into the slot before firing a low wrist shot. Jaspers redirected the shot under IceCats’ goaltender Curtis Sanford for the score. Worcester vaulted to a 2-1 lead with a pair of goals before the midway point of the second period. Defenseman Matt Walker scored on a shot from the blue line 2:19 into frame. McClement followed with a power-play goal at the 8:10 mark. Right wing Eric Boguniecki shoveled a pass across the slot to McClement, who snapped a shot from the right circle past Pelletier. Jaspers evened the game with 2:31 left in the period. Artukhin again assisted by chipping a pass to the center, who had a step on the IceCats’ defense. Jasper lifted his shot over the glove of Sanford for his second goal of the game and 11th of the season. Packard scored his second goal of the campaign with 7:47 left in regulation to put Springfield back in front. Left wing Nikita Alexeev set up the goal by carrying the puck out from behind the net to take a sharp-angled shot. Sanford initially kept it out of the goal, but Packard pounced on the loose puck in the crease to knock it in. However, Worcester right wing Jeff Hoggan snapped a shot through traffic while the ‘Cats had an extra skater on the ice for Sanford with 1:02 remaining to make the score 3-3. The IceCats held a 35-24 shot advantage in the game.

2009 vs Portland 2-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The combination of Ryan Vesce’s 24th goal of the season, a score by Dan DaSilva, 24 saves by Thomas Greiss and a total team effort launched the Sharks over the Portland Pirates and into the Calder Cup playoffs at the DCU Center on Wednesday night. Worcester would take a 1-0 lead in the 1st period when Vesce split the Portland defense up the middle as he flew toward the net and beat Pirate goaltender Jhonas Enroth for his 24th tally of the season at 6:53. The Sharks would rattle off several more attempts at Enroth as Worcester outshot Portland 19-8 through 20 minutes of play. Despite several fine arrangements by the Sharks in the 2nd period including a heads up feed to Vesce who was streaking through the defense towards the net once again, the score would remain 1-0 in favor of Worcester. The Sharks outshot the Pirates 34-14 through the 2 periods. The Pirates would steal an equalizer :48 seconds into the 3rd period when Felix Schutz cleaned up a wrap around attempt by Colton Fretter that pulled Greiss out of position for the easy score. However, the tie would break quickly when DaSilva pocketed the loose rebound of a Steven Zalewski blast during a 2 on 1 Worcester drive at 3:18 to give the Sharks a 2-1 advantage. Greiss made many pads saves in the final stretch of the game as Worcester defeated the Pirates 2-1 and clinched a playoff position in the Atlantic division. The Sharks outshot Portland 43-25 for their 5th straight win and their 7th win in their last eight games.

2011 at Charlotte 2-1 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks dropped a narrow 2-1 decision vs. the Checkers at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte on Friday night. With the Sharks loss coupled with the CT Whale victory at Bridgeport, Worcester was eliminated from playoff contention in the Atlantic Division.
John McCarthy (7th) was the only goal scorer for the Sharks while Harri Sateri made 25 saves in his third straight start in the net for Worcester. The Sharks came out buzzing in the first period but were held scoreless as Justin Pogge made some early saves for the Checkers. Charlotte picked things up midway through the opening frame and Harri Sateri made 10 first period saves for Worcester. The Sharks were unable to score on a 5-on-3 power play to conclude the first frame. The Checkers barreled out to a 2-0 lead in the second period before John McCarthy got the Sharks on the board at 10:48. Jacob Micflickier (29th) gave the Checkers a 1-0 lead at 3:49 followed by a nice power play one-timer strike by Cedric McNicoll (6th) from the right slot at 10:05. Just 43 seconds later, John McCarthy (7th) deflected a Nick Schaus shot from the point past Pogge to get the Sharks within a goal. The Sharks trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes. T.J. Trevelyan hit the cross bar to kick off the third period but it was as close as the Sharks would get to tie the score as neither team lit the lamp in the third period. Worcester outshot the Checkers 9-8 in the third and would pull Harri Sateri late in the period on the power play but could not find the back of the net. The Sharks record falls to 36-30-4-9 with 85 points.

2018 vs Manchester 2-0 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC(37-27-4-4, 82pts) closed out the regular season with a 2-0 loss to the visiting Manchester Monarchs(41-25-3-3, 88pts) in front of 7,191 fans at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. Sam Kurker and Michael Doherty scored for the Monarchs as Will King made 25 saves in net for the Railers. Worcester had a season high six straight game win streak snapped as Evan Cowley made 24 saves in net for Manchester. Neither team found the back of the net in the opening frame with the only real excitement occurring at 10:14 as Frankie DiChiara (2ndFM) dropped Jake Wood with a series of rights after a high hit on Matt Lane at center ice. Shots were 7-4 in favor of Manchester through 20 minutes of play. Manchester got on the board at 16:08 of the second period after a perfect shot by Sam Kurker (12th) from 25 feet that hit the crossbar and into the net. Yanick Turcotte picked up his 20thfighting major with a long tussle by Tony Turgeon at 17:19. Shots were 20-16 in favor of Manchester though 40 minutes as the Railers trailed 1-0 through two periods of play. The Railers thought they had tied the game late in the third period as the red light went on after a goal mouth scramble, but after a brief discussion it was ruled no goal. Michael Doherty (20th) scored an empty netter at 18:39 to give Manchester a 2-0 road victory.

2023 vs Adirondack 6-2 win
(RAILERS) One of the oldest and most unproven proverbs in sport is that streaks follow streaks. The Railers are hoping to prove it true. They snapped the Adirondack Thunder’s 12-game points streak with a solid 6-2 victory Saturday night in the final regular-season game of the DCU Center hockey season. The triumph ensured that Worcester retains control of its playoff destiny. The Railers have two games left, both at Adirondack next weekend. There are all sorts of numerical possibilities what with games in hand, overtime and shootout losses, etc, but the mathematical truth is undeniable. If Worcester wins both games in regulation, it makes the playoffs. During the ups and downs of the last few weeks the Railers have had trouble scoring goals, but not Saturday night. Steve Jandric scored on a breakway just 69 seconds after the opening faceoff and when Jacob Hayhurst scored 38 seconds into the third period, Worcester had a four-goal lead for the first time since Feb. 24 in South Carolina. “We changed our point of attack,” coach Jordan Smotherman said. “We emphasized making sure we were getting everything to the net from different angles. We wanted to get some traffic there and get some of those dirty ones, which we did tonight.” It marked the first time since Jan. 27, a 7-6 overtime victory over Reading, that Worcester got as many as six goals in regulation. There were a lot of offensive contributors starting with Hayhurst, who had two goals. Anthony Repaci had a goal and two assists, Jandric and Myles McGurty both went 1-1-2 and Brent Beaudoin had a pair of assists. Nick Fea scored his seventh goal of the season, first since March 4. The puck spent a lot of time in the Adirondack zone. When it didn’t, Henrik Tikkanen stopped all but two of the 33 Thunder shots. Adirondack scored back to back goals at 3:13 and 6:42 of the third period. Matt Stief got the first with Worcester two men short, Ryan Smith the second. Jandric’s goal set the tone for the night. Thunder defenseman Kyle Hallbauer had the puck between his skates inside his blue line and Jandric poked it free. He finished the play by beating goalie Mike Robinson with a 15-foot backhander. Hayhurst made it 2-0 at 18:24 of the first period, then McGurty scored his second of the season — fourth as a Railer all-time — at 16:06 of the second period with Repaci setting him up. It was McGurty’s first goal in his 67 games played at the DCU Center. Jandric’s goal was not just good for the Railers. It was good for him, too. He had been playing well but not cashing in on chances. “It was very important,” Smotherman said, “he’d been dealing with some frustration the last couple of games and it was good to see him get that one early.” The Railers enter the final week of the regular season with almost no margin of error. Worcester has 72 points, Adirondack 71, but the Thunder has two games in hand, both on the road. Adirondack plays Sunday at Maine, next Friday at Trois-Rivieres. Even if the Thunder win both, they will lead the Railers by three points, a deficit Worcester could make up with a sweep next weekend. MAKING TRACKS – Defenseman Christian Evers returned to action after a long stint on the injured list. He had last played on Feb. 7 and missed 23 games. … Tikkanen assisted on Hayhurst’s first goal. It was his first assist of the season. … Attendance was 5,636. The Railers finished the regular season with an average of 3,934. That is up from 3,855 last season. … Shawn Heaphy of the IceCats and Barry Almeida of the Railers, with 83 goals between them in four Worcester seasons, were on hand to sign autographs. … Longtime DCU Center operations manager George Sedares is retiring and dropped the ceremonial first puck.


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