Today in Worcester hockey history: April 14


1998 at Springfield 5-3 win (New England Division SF, lead 1-0)
The Worcester IceCats stole home ice way from the Falcons with a 5-3 win over Springfield. Bob Lachance opened the scoring with what’s officially listed as an unassisted shorthanded goal at 5:01 of the first period, but Chris Kenady played a huge role in the strike when he and Lachance broke into the Falcons zone two on one. Lachance held the puck the entire way before beating Scott Langkow for the goal. Shayne Toporowski was the final recipient of the ‘Cats tic-tac-toe passing that gave them a 2-0 lead at 10:28 on the power play. Ricard Persson passed the puck from the point to Michal Handzus behind the goal line. He then passed to a wide open Toporowski for the score. Richard Lintner cut Worcester’s lead in half at 5:07 of the second stanza, but Toporowski would score again at 9:28 when he poked the rebound of Jamal Mayers’ shot in. Persson had the secondary helper. Lubos Bartecko made it 4-1 when he tipped Nick Naumenko’s blast in at 14:57 on the power play. Mike Prokopec picked up a point on the play. In the third the Falcons tried to make a game of it with goals by Trevor Letowski (8:24,pp) and Tavis Hansen (11:17), but Fred Cassivi slammed the door on the comeback bid with 15 saves in the final frame. He made 39 for the game.

2000 at Portland 4-2 win (New England Division SF, lead 2-0)
(TICKER) Marc Brown scored a pair of goals and Brent Johnson stopped 44 shots as the Worcester IceCats beat the Portland Pirates, 4-2, to take a commanding two-game lead in their opening-round playoff series. Brown snapped a 1-1 tie with 47 seconds left in the second period and added an empty-net goal with 59 seconds remaining. Johnson stopped all 16 shots he faced in the second period and another 14 in the final session for the IceCats, who owned a 2-4-2 record against Portland in the regular season. Steve Poapst scored with five seconds left in the third period for the Pirates, who were shut out, 4-0, in Game One on Wednesday. Martin Brochu, who had a 3-1-1 record with a 1.58 GAA in five appearances against Worcester during the regular season, surrendered three goals for the loss. The IceCats will get the chance for the sweep on Saturday when they host Game Three.

2007 at Manchester 4-1 loss
(MONARCHS) The Manchester Monarchs beat the Worcester Sharks 4-1, tying a franchise record with 51 wins on the season, in front of a sellout crowd of 9,932 at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Saturday night. The Sharks scored first at 5:22 of the opening period. Left wing Jamie McGinn skated below the Monarchs end line to the right of goaltender Barry Brust and attempted a wrap around shot. His attempt ricocheted off Manchester defenseman T.J. Kemp and snuck through the legs of Brust. Center Riley Armstrong received an assist on McGinn’s first goal of his professional career. At 17:32 of the middle frame, the Monarchs got the equalizer to tie the game at 1-1. From the top of the left face-off circle, defenseman Peter Harrold put a wrist shot on net that made its way through traffic. Sharks goaltender Dimitri Patzold made the initial leg save but center Marty Murray picked up the loose puck and put it in the net for his 14th tally of the season. Left wing Noah Clarke earned an assist on the goal. With Sharks left wing Mathieu Darche in the penalty box for a hooking minor, the Monarchs took the lead capitalizing on their seventh power play goal in two games at 2:09 of the final stanza. Center Patrick O’Sullivan skated the puck into the right face-off circle and fed a tape-to-tape pass to Kemp. Streaking down the left side, Kemp pick up the pass and netted the one timer. Center Trevor Lewis picked up an assist on the goal. The Monarchs struck again 33 seconds later with another one timer. Left wing Jeff Giuliano, extended his assist and point streak to seven games (1-6=7), made a cross ice pass to defenseman Joey Mormina. Picking up the pass in the left face-off circle, Mormina buried the biscuit past Patzold. Veteran defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky added to the Monarchs lead with his fifth tally of the season at 9:40 of the third period. Skating down the left side, Tverdovsky held the puck as he glided toward Patzold’s left side. After the Sharks netminder overcommitted, Tverdovsky roofed a puck into the top of the net. Murray and left winger Matt Moulson picked up assists on the tally to bring the score to 4-1. Brust backed the win with 17 saves on 18 shots. Patzold took the loss stopping 29-of-33 shots. Manchester went 1-for-4 with the man advantage. Worcester was 0-for-3 on the power play.

2010 vs Lowell 3-2 loss (Atlantic Division SF, trail 1-0)
(WORSHARKS) Lowell used a strong, defensive fore-check and never trailed as they took game one of the best-of-seven Atlantic Division semi-finals series, 3-2, over the Sharks at the DCU Center Wednesday night. Alexander Vasyunov scored the game-winning goal late in the second period to give the Devils the victory as Worcester now trails the best-of-seven series, 0-1. Worcester was led by Dan DaSilva who collected two points on the night, with a goal and an assist. John McCarthy scored the other Sharks goal. Lowell opened the scoring for the series at the 15:16 mark when Nick Palmieri’s wraparound attempt caromed off Alex Stalock into the slot where Brad Mills (1) slapped one into the back of the net giving the Devils the lead, 1-0. Alexander Vasyunov earned the other assist. The Devils used a neutral zone trap the rest of the way and kept the Sharks off the scoreboard. Worcester did hold the shot advantage though, 12-8. Worcester controlled the opening minutes of the second period and broke through at the 8:36 mark on the power play. After failing with the man advantage the first three times, Dan DaSilva gave the Sharks their first tally of the game as he banked one in off the pads of Mike McKenna. Ryan Vesce and Danny Groulx picked up the assists. Lowell inched back ahead, 10:10 into the period, when Ben Walter (1) snuck a shot in backdoor behind Stalock after a feed from Matt Taormina. John McCarthy tied the game for the second time when he broke down the left-wing side and snapped one past McKenna at the 14:53 mark, tying the game, 2-2. Brett Westgarth and DaSilva assisted on the goal. Lowell would claw ahead once again late in the period at the 18:33 mark when Vasyunov (1) collected a loose puck in the low slot and beat Stalock, sending the teams into the locker rooms with Lowell ahead, 3-2. Shots were even at 11-11. Neither side scored in the third period despite Worcester pulling the netminder and having opportunities late in the period. Worcester outshot Lowell, 13-5.

2012 at Adirondack 3-2 loss
(WORSHARKS) Jack Combs and Brian O’Hanley scored for Worcester but Phantoms netminder Michael Leighton made 48 saves in goal as the Sharks fell 3-2 to the Adirondack Phantoms at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Saturday night. Rookie Thomas Heemskerk made 22 saves in his first career AHL start and Tony Lucia added two assist in the los as the Sharks dressed 11 rookies in the loss. Goaltender Michel Leighton stood tall in the first period making 16 saves to keep the Sharks off the board and Phantoms rookie Jason Akeson (13th) scored a late power play goal at 15:58 as the Phantoms took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Captain Mike Moore (7th FM) fought Frank Mathers (2nd FM) in a long battle at 11:59 in a physical period. The Sharks outshot the Phantoms 16-10 in the opening frame with Thomas Heemskerk making nine saves. Each team scored in the 2nd period with the Phantoms charging out to a 2-0 lead. Tye McGinn (the younger brother of Jamie McGinn)(12th) deflected a hard pass in front of the net past Heemskerk at 7:57 to give Adirondack a two score lead. Jack Combs (16th) got the Sharks on the board on a controversial strike at 16:43 after goaltender Michael Leighton was down on his back after he was nudged by a battle on top of his crease. Leighton threw his blocker in discuss and earned a two minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct but Worcester was unable to capitalize. The Sharks trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes despite outshooting the Phantoms 29-16. Brian Holmstrom (14th) finished off a 4-on-1 rush at 7:57 of the third period to put Adirondack ahead 3-1. But the Sharks got the score right back after a nice rush down the left side by Tony Lucia who found Brian O’Hanley (4th) breaking down the middle for a quick one timer score at 9:06. Worcester fired 21 shots in the third period but couldn’t tie the score as the Phantoms held on for the 3-2 win. Worcester’s record falls to 30-33-4-8, with 72pts and currently in 13th place in the Eastern Conference with 1 game remaining.

2013 at Manchester 3-0 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (30-33-4-6, 70pts) fell to the Manchester Monarchs (35-31-3-4, 77pts) by the count of 3-0 on Sunday afternoon in front of 9,019 fans at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Alex Stalock was excellent in goal with 24 saves in the loss as Worcester dressed 12 rookies, eight players on ATO’s, and just seven players from their opening night lineup on Oct 12. The Monarchs scored three times in the third period and Martin Jones picked up his 6th win against Worcester this season with a 32 save shutout. Worcester outshot Manchester 11-5 in the opening frame as neither team could find the back of the net. Rookie Matt Nieto had the best try for Worcester on the power play midway through the period after a great feed by Riley Brace and Brandon Kozun hit the crossbar for the Monarchs with three minutes remaining. There was no score through 20 minutes. Manchester fired seven shots on Alex Stalock in the middle frame and Martin Jones made six more saves for the Monarchs as neither team found the back of the net. After the final horn, a skirmish developed that involved all ten skaters to set the tone for the final period. The Monarchs scored three times in the third period for a 3-0 win. Brandon Kozun (26th) buried a rebound past Stalock at 9:05 for the eventual game winner, it was the 6th goal Kozun scored against Worcester this season. Manchester scored two shorthanded goals late as Linden Vey (21st) finished off a 2-on-1 rush at 17:56 and Marc-Andre Cliche fired the puck into the empty net at 19:07 to seal the victory.

2018 vs Adirondack 2-0 win (North Division SF, tied 1-1)
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC(1-1) returned home and evened up the best of seven North Division Semifinals with a 2-0 win over the visiting Adirondack Thunder(1-1) in front of 4,108 fans at the DCU Center on Saturday evening. Woody Hudson and Barry Almeida scored for the Railers while Mitch Gillam made 14 saves for his first professional playoff win and shutout in the first ever Kelly Cup playoff game played in the state of Massachusetts. Worcester outshot the Thunder 27-14 and went a perfect 4-4 on the power play. A high tempo first period saw no scoring but a ton of scoring chances as Worcester outshot Adirondack 10-4. Matt Lane was stopped on a breakaway midway through the frame as MacKenzie Blackwood made the pad saves and Mitch Gillam stopped Thunder forward Terrence Wallin on a rebound try just a few minutes later. Worcester would score their first ever playoff goal as Yanick Turcotte provided the forecheck and Woody Hudson (1st) was able to jam the puck at the side of the net off the skate of MacKenzie Blackwood at 7:40 of the second period to give the Railers a 1-0 lead. Physical play picked up 10-fold in the middle frame as several post whistle skirmishes broke out. Shots were 21-10 in favor of Worcester through 40 minutes of play as the Railers held a 1-0 advantage. Shots were just 6-4 in favor of Worcester in the third period but Mitch Gillam had to make a few tough saves which included when the Railers were shorthanded late in the third period. Barry Almeida (1st) skated down the ice after he stole the puck in the Worcester end and sent the puck into the empty net at 19:14 to give the Railers a 2-0 win.


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