Today in Worcester hockey history: April 12


1996 vs Springfield 4-2 loss
The Worcester IceCats were, according to their game notes, “outshot and outplayed” in their 4-2 loss vs the Falcons. Tavis Hansen put Springfield in the lead at 7:40 of the opening period. Alex Vasilevskii tied it at 3:58 of the middle period, assisted by Harry York and Jamie Rivers. Ed Ronan then put the Falcons in the lead again at 6:33. Bob Lachance tied the game for Worcester at 1:14 of the third on the power play, with Jason Widmer and Paul Broten picking up points, but Jeff Bes (8:01) and Ronan (19:46, empty net power play) scored for the 4-2 final. Jamie McLennan made 25 saves in the loss.

2000 at Portland 4-0 win (New England Division SF, lead 1-0)
(TICKER) Brent Johnson recorded 36 saves as the Worcester Ice Cats blanked the Portland Pirates, 4-0, to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-five, first-round playoff series. Johnson, who notched three shutouts in the regular season, stopped 14 shots in the third period to preserve the win. Tyler Willis scored the game-winner just 70 seconds into the first period and Andrej Podkonicky had a pair of assists for Worcester, which will skate at Portland in Game Two on Friday. Sebastian Charpentier made 33 saves for the Pirates, who had just 13 losses in 40 games at home during the regular season (23-13-4).

2008 vs Lowell 4-1 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks took a mulligan on the game’s opening minute and proceeded to dominate the Lowell Devils, using goals from four different skaters to cruise to a 4-1 victory at the DCU Center on Saturday night. The lone bright spot for the visitors came when Ryan Murphy opened the scoring on the game’s first shot, which came just 33 seconds after the opening faceoff. Nicklas Bergfors fed Murphy from behind the Worcester net, and the winger one-timed the puck over the shoulder of Sharks netminder Taylor Dakers for his ninth goal of the season. Looking to provide a spark after a slow offensive start, Sharks newcomer Mike Moore dropped the gloves with Devils winger Brad Mills at 10:34. Moore got off a handful of solid swings before tearing Mills to the ice. Worcester took advantage of the momentum when Dennis Packard tied the game just over three minutes later. Tom Cavanagh threaded a pass through the legs of Devils defenseman Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, and Packard in turn redirected the puck through the legs of Devils goaltender Jeff Frazee to tally his 11th goal of the season. A roughing call on Brad Staubitz late in the period left the Sharks shorthanded to start the middle frame, but Worcester’s penalty kill was more than up to the task. The Sharks not only killed off the penalty, but turned the game on its head when Craig Valette broke cleanly into the Devils zone and beat Frazee to the low stick side at 1:10 of the second period. Worcester exerted complete control for the remainder of the period, holding a 16 to eight shot advantage while converting on one of three power play chances to take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission. The power play goal came at 13:56 from Lukas Kaspar, who cleaned up a rebound after successive shots by Brad Staubitz and Steven Zalewski. Mike Iggulden added insurance for the Sharks late in the third period with his team-leading 29th goal of the year. The close range shot beat Frank Doyle, who took over for Frazee in the Lowell net at the start of the third period. For Worcester, Dakers stopped everything but the first shot he faced in the game, finishing with 24 saves and collecting his second win in as many nights.

2013 vs Norfolk 4-3 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (30-32-3-6, 69pts) fell to the Norfolk Admirals (36-30-4-1, 77pts) on Friday evening in front of 3,192 fans at the DCU Center. With the loss, the Sharks are now eight points behind the 8th place Admirals in the Eastern Conference playoff picture with five games remaining. Bracken Kearns (21st), Matt Pelech (2nd), and Riley Brace (3rd) all contributed goals for the Sharks in their comeback effort that fell just short. Norfolk built a four-goal lead in the first two periods on goals from Harry Zolnierczyk (11th), Josh Brittain (11th), and two goals from Reading, Massachusetts native and former Boston College standout Steven Whitney (2nd, 3rd), who received the game’s first star honors. The Admirals were backstopped by Frederik Andersen, who turned aside 39 of the 42 Worcester shots that he saw. Alex Stalock suffered the loss in net for the Sharks, stopping 20 of the 24 shots that he faced. Physical play early in the first period led to a fight less than five minutes in, when Bracken Kearns (9th FM) and Norfolk’s Patrick Maroon (8th FM) dropped the gloves in a short bout with not many punches connecting. After the fight, the Admirals came out flying, getting on the board first at 12:29 on a highlight reel goal by Harry Zolnierczyk (11th), slipping the puck past Alex Stalock after being tripped on a breakaway, making it a 1-0 game. The Admirals upped their lead less than two minutes later, when Steven Whitney (2nd) collected a rebound amidst traffic out in front of Stalock and buried the puck into an empty cage, giving Norfolk a 2-0 lead. The Sharks threw 12 shots at the Norfolk cage in the first, but couldn’t solve Frederik Andersen in net. The Admirals kept rolling offensively to start the second period. Less than three minutes in, Josh Brittain (11th) backhanded a saucer pass out of the air and by Stalock, making it 3-0. Just over two minutes later, Steven Whitney (3rd) scored his second goal of the game, after cleaning up the initial bid by teammate Chris Wagner, giving the Admirals a four-goal lead. The Sharks cut their deficit to three at 12:01 of the second, when Bracken Kearns (21st) beat Frederik Andersen on a point-blank shot after a nice feed from Daniil Tarasov, making it a 4-1 game. The Sharks trailed by three after two periods, despite holding a 29-23 advantage in shots. The Sharks came out flying in the third period. At the 3:27 mark, the Sharks made it a two-goal game, when Matt Pelech (2nd) teed up a slap shot from the blue line that beat Frederik Andersen. Less than a minute later, Riley Brace (3rd) scored his third goal in as many games, catching Andersen out of position and tucking the puck into an empty cage, cutting the Worcester deficit to just 4-3. Worcester applied a ton of offensive pressure down the stretch, but couldn’t find the equalizer.

2014 vs Norfolk 3-0 loss
(WORSHARKS) Head coach Roy Sommer coached his 1,600th professional game as the Worcester Sharks (35-33-4-2, 76pts) fell to the Norfolk Admirals (37-25-3-7, 84pts) by the count of 3-0 before 4,500 fans at the DCU Center Saturday evening. The Admirals and Sharks kept the shots close at 29-28 respectively, but the Worcester could not get up on the scoreboard in the shutout loss. Norfolk’s goals were made up by Antoine Laganiere (1-0-1), who opened the scoring and Andre Petersson (2-0-2), who added tallies in both the second and third periods. Norfolk’s tender Brad Thiessen put on a solid performance, stopping all 28 of Worcester’s chances, which included 14 shots in the Sharks’ third period rally attempt. Worcester’s shots were led by Eriah Hayes (7), Dan DaSilva (5) and Dylan DeMelo (5), but no one could break through Thiessen. Sharks goalie Troy Grosenick made 26 saves on 29 shots in the loss. The first period of action closed with the Sharks behind a goal, as the Admirals made for the period’s only mark. The Norfolk goal came at 12:33 when Dave Steckel picked up the puck near the left circle and sent a shot towards Grosenick that was blocked by a Sharks defender in front and redirected into the right circle. Antoine Laganiere (10th) came skating up to the loose puck and used a long stick to wrist it in for the lead. Shots for the period were 13-11 in favor of Norfolk. The Norfolk Admirals controlled a fair amount of the middle period outshooting the Sharks 8-3 and adding a goal to the score sheet. The tally came at 14:56 after a face-off win by William Karlsson in the right circle of the Sharks defensive end. Karlsson dished the puck behind off the drop to an unmarked Andre Petersson (21st) who quickly wristed the biscuit stick-side of Grosenick to make it 2-0. Norfolk added a third mark, sealing the game with a comfortable 3-0 win in the third period. The score came at 17:11, when Emerson Etem flung a loose puck from along the low right boards to Andre Petersson (22nd) free in the center of the offensive zone. Petersson sent a one-timed slapper through the defense and Grosenick for the final goal of the tilt and his second of the night. Worcester picked up its offensive presence in the final 20 minutes, outshooting Norfolk 14-8, but couldn’t break by Thiessen. The Sharks’ overall record drops to 35-33-4-2, 76pts and 18-16-1-1, 38pts at home.

2015 vs Albany 3-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (40-27-4-2, 86pts) closed out their 3-in-3 weekend with a 3-2 defeat to the Albany Devils ( 34-28-5-6, 79pts) in front of 3,745 fans at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. With the loss, the Sharks remain in 7th place in the Eastern Conference with three regular season games left on the schedule. Three skaters scored for Albany in the victory, including Reid Boucher (1-0-1, E), Paul Thompson (1-0-1, E) and Stephon Matteau (1-0-1, E). Two players scored for Worcester, including Daniil Tarasov (1-0-1, +1 and Barclay Goodrow (1-0-1, E) as Devils’ goaltender Scott Wedgewood made 26 saves and picked up his 13th victory. Worcester was outshot 30-28 in the loss; they went 1-3-0-0 against Albany this season. Aaron Dell made 28 saves on 30 shots in the loss as the Sharks magic number remains at 1. Worcester struck first with 48 seconds left in the first period when right winger Daniil Tarasov (15th) found the back of the net on a power play after ripping a shot from below the right circle. Despite getting outshot 8-7 in the period, the Sharks had the 1-0 lead through twenty minutes. Albany got on the board at the 10:56 mark of the second period on the power play when forward Reid Boucher (15th) lit up the lamp after firing a shot from thirty feet out, tying the game at 1. The Devils outshot the Sharks 14-9 in the second frame with the game knotted at 1 heading into the second intermission. Devils’ forward Paul Thomson (33rd) scored a power play goal on a rebound at 7:32 of the third period to give Albany a 2-1 advantage. With 1:14 left in the game, the Devils tacked on another when Stefan Matteau (10th) scored an empty netter, giving Albany a 3-1 lead. The Sharks would get one back with 23 seconds left after Barclay Goodrow (1st) scored after a net scramble, but Albany would hold on for the 3-2 victory. The Sharks overall record falls to 40-27-4-2, 86pts and 22-12-2-1, 47pts at the DCU Center this season.


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