Today in Worcester hockey history: April 15


1997 at Providence 4-3 win
The Worcester IceCats and Providence Bruins combined for 268 penalty minutes, which included six sets of fighting majors, and three and half hours after the opening puck dropped the final horn sounded with the ‘Cats winning 4-3. For the fights, it was Rob Pearson and Bill Armstrong in the second period, and then third period battles between Marquis Mathieu and John Lilley, Terry Virtue and Ken McRae, Justin Hocking and Kevin Sawyer, Chad Dameworth and Sawyer, and Jamie Rivers and Scott Morrow. Stephane Roy had the only goal of the first period, assisted by Rivers 14:03 on the power play. Kirk Nielsen tied it for Providence at 5:15, and then McRae gave them the lead at 14:41. Jamal Mayers tied it 2-2 at 19:52, assisted by by Roy and Mike Maneluk. In the third Libor Zabransky gave the IceCats the lead at 3:16, with Bob Lachance and Maneluk helping. McRae scored again to tie it 3-3 at 4:30, but Roy would get the game winner on the power play at 13:22 with Jason Zent and Virtue assisting. Jamie McLennan made 26 saves for the win.

2000 vs Portland 5-4 loss 2OT (New England Division SF, lead 2-1)
(TICKER) Mike Peluso scored the game-winning goal four minutes into double overtime as the Portland Pirates avoided playoff elimination with a 5-4 triumph over the Worcester IceCats. Peluso, who also tallied six minutes into the third period, was assisted by Trent Whitfield and Krys Barch. Sebastian Charpentier posted 38 saves, including 19 in the first overtime, to earn the win for Portland. Brad Church scored midway through the final period and Jeff Toms had a goal and an assist for the Pirates, who trail 2-1 in their best-of-five, first-round playoff series. Tyler Rennette registered a pair of goals and Bryan Helmer tied the score at 4-4 with only 27 seconds remaining in regulation for Worcester, which won the first two games of the series on the road. Brent Johnson made 50 saves for the IceCats, who will host Game Four on Tuesday.

2001 at Lowell 4-0 loss (New England Division SF, lead 2-1)
(LOWELL) With elimination from the playoffs and tee times staring them in the face, the Lowell Lock Monsters — and in particular goaltender Travis Scott — responded with perhaps their best effort of the season last night. Scott stopped all 31 shots he faced and Lowell iced Worcester, 4-0, to pull within two games to one in the best-of-five first-round American Hockey League Calder Cup playoff series. Lowell led 2-0 after one period and two empty-net goals means Tsongas Arena will host another hockey game this season. First-period goals by Marko Tuomainen and David Hymovitz lifted Lowell to a 2-0 lead. Empty-net goals in the final two minutes of the third period by Joe Corvo and Cody Bowtell iced the IceCats. Corvo, a defenseman, has scored a goal in each game of the series. Scott was the big story as he shut down the IceCats, 4-0. It was the first shutout by a Lowell goaltender since Scott blanked Worcester on Feb. 9, a span of 31 games. Lowell held a 32-31 edge in shots on goal.

2004 at Manchester 2-1 win (Atlantic Division SF, lead 1-0)
(MONARCHS) Two goals in less than four minutes of play and then tight, defensive hockey the rest of the way. That was the formula used by the Worcester IceCats, who held off the Manchester Monarchs, 2-1, in Game 1 of a best-of-seven Atlantic Division Semifinal Series before 4,233 at the Verizon Wireless Arena on Thursday night. Right wing Ernie Hartlieb’s goal 3:45 into the opening period gave the IceCats the 2-1 lead. Goaltender Jake Moreland preserved that lead with 17 saves, allowing no goals in 40 minutes of relief work after starter Curtis Sanford (10 saves) was injured in the opening period. The Monarchs threatened to tie the game late in the third period with an extra attacker, but Moreland stopped close range shots from right wing Pavel Rosa and center Michael Cammalleri in the final minute. An early penalty led to the first IceCats goal, scored by center Blake Evans just 32 seconds in, and just five seconds after defenseman Bryan Muir was whistled for interference. Defenseman Jame Pollock had the only assist on the power play goal, Evans’ first of the playoffs. The Monarchs tied the game 1:08 later when left wing Noah Clarke redirected Rosa’s quick wrist shot past Sanford. Cammalleri also collected an assist on Clarke’s first of the playoffs. A nice give-and-go play between rookie center Jay McClement and Hartlieb led to the game-winner just over two minutes later. McClement cycled out of the corner and slipped the puck to Hartlieb in the slot. Hartlieb collected the pass and wired his shot by Hnilicka. After the slow start, the Monarchs regained their footing in the later stages of the period. A good portion of their 11 shots in the frame occurred late, including defenseman Tomas Zizka’s heavy slap shot that appeared to drill Sanford in the mask. Sanford, who was shaken up on the play, left the game at the end of the period. Worcester outshot Manchester 14-9 in the scoreless middle period. The Monarchs held the slight 8-6 shots on goal edge in the scoreless final period. Moreland, who had nine saves in the middle period and eight more in the final stanza, earned his first career win in the Calder Cup Playoffs. Hnilicka, who finished with 27 stops, took the loss. The IceCats finished 1-for-4 on the power play. The Monarchs were 0-for-3.

2005 at Providence 3-1 loss
The Worcester IceCats scored first against the Providence Bruins, but the Baby-Bs had the next three in a 3-1 ‘Cats loss. Jay McClement would get the IceCats on the board, assisted by Eric Boguniecki and Mike Mottau, at 2:18. But that would be the only one they’d get past Hannu Toivonen, who made 24 saves in the game. Patrice Bergeron tied the game with a second period power play goal at 9:18, and Ben Guite (1:00) and David Gove (4:04) would add third period markers for the 3-1 final. Curtis Sanford took the loss making 26 saves.

2007 vs Lowell 3-2 win OT
(DEVILS) Graham Mink lit the lamp in overtime to propel the Worcester Sharks (41-28-3-8) to a 3-2 victory over the Lowell Devils (38-30-6-6) Sunday evening at the DCU Center in the Devils Inaugural Season finale. Neither team got on the board in a first period that featured three penalties called, two of which were against the Devils. Frank Doyle got the start in net, his 50th appearance of the season, and he turned aside all nine Sharks shots. Dmitri Patzold made 10 saves in net for Worcester. The second period appeared to be headed in the same direction, scoreless through nearly three quarters of the period. A flurry of goals, three in the span of less than two minutes, put the Sharks in front 2-1 after two periods. Mike Iggulden scored his 30th of the season at 14:59 on a two-man advantage to give Worcester the 1-0 lead, and Lukas Kaspar lit the lamp 45 seconds later with another power play tally to make it 2-0. David Clarkson became the second Devils player to reach the 20-goal mark at 16:26, cutting the Sharks lead in half. Worcester had the shot lead, 14-9 in the second stanza. The Sharks, who were fighting to climb back into third place in the division, came out aggressive in the third period. They jumped out to a 12-4 lead in shots, keeping Doyle busy between the pipes. A trio of power plays in the period provided Lowell with a chance to tie it up, and Rod Pelley connected. His 17th of the season tied the game at 2-2 with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, forcing overtime. Lowell could not withstand the Worcester attack in overtime, and the Sharks fired the only four shots on goal in the extra session. The goal by Mink, his 31st of the season, served as the game winner at 1:46. D Sean Zimmerman made his season debut tonight for the Devils, and Lowell also welcomed the return of C Ivan Khomutov, who was reassigned by New Jersey from the Trenton Titans on Saturday. Khomutov last played for Lowell on October 28th, when he recorded a goal and an assist.

2010 vs Lowell 3-2 win OT (Atlantic Division SF, tied 1-1)
(WORSHARKS) Worcester blew a late two-goal lead in the third period, but the captain Ryan Vesce’s overtime game-winning goal with 56 seconds remaining lifted the Sharks to a 3-2 victory in game two of their first round series against the Lowell Devils at the DCU Center. Vesce has scored the only two overtime playoff goals in Sharks franchise history. The best-of-seven series is now tied, 1-1. Derek Joslin and Danny Groulx scored during regulation for the Sharks as they raced out to an early 2-0 advantage. The team that has scored first has now won all 12 contests in this series, regular season included. Worcester looked to gain the early advantage, but Andrew Desjardins’ initial goal from the high slot was disallowed after referee Mark Lemelin ruled that Dan DaSilva interfered with Mike McKenna. Lowell then went on back-to-back power plays immediately following the disallowed goal, but was unable to convert on either opportunity. The Sharks then used a power play of their own to build momentum in the attacking zone and just after the man advantage ended, at the 7:36 mark of the opening period, the Sharks struck. Joslin (1) slapped one from the point that snuck through a maze of bodies in front of the net and past McKenna, putting the Sharks in front, 1-0. Steven Zalewski and Justin Braun earned the other assists. Worcester stretched the lead to 2-0 when Groulx (1) wristed one to the top corner past McKenna as he was screened by Desjardins at the 13:48 mark. DaSilva and John McCarthy picked up the assists. The teams skated to locker rooms with Worcester ahead by two despite the Sharks being outshot, 15-10. Neither side scored in the second period as Worcester held the advantage on the shot chart, 9-6. The physical play escalated severely in the third period with 16 combined penalty minutes called in less than a three minute span that included several scrums and a battle between the two benches. Lowell benefited from the physical play as they scored two goals nine seconds apart, to tie the game at 2-2. The Devils first goal came off a hard wrist-shot from the blue line by Tyler Eckford (1). Lowell knotted the game at 2-2 just nine seconds later when Patrick Davis (1) banged home a rebound off a hard Brad Snetsinger shot. It would remain that way and the teams headed for sudden-death overtime, 2-2. Lowell outshot Worcester, 9-6. Vesce (1) scored the game-winning overtime goal with 56 seconds left in overtime after he took a pass from T.J. Trevelyan on an odd-man rush, and beat McKenna glove-side. The Sharks outshot the Devils, 10-6 in the overtime period.

2012 vs Hershey 3-2 win
(WORSHARKS) Rookie Yanni Gourde scored his first professional goal and added two assists as the Sharks won their regular season finale 3-2 over the Hershey Bears in front of 5,810 at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. Harri Sateri made 34 saves in his 15th win of the season, Matt Irwin scored his AHL leading 9th power play goal from the blue line, and Time Kennedy scored the game winner for the Sharks. The Sharks closed out their 6th season in Worcester with a 31-33-4-8 record with 74 points. Two players scored their first professional goals and another scored his first goal of the season in game #68 as the Sharks trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes. BC Eagle alum Barry Almeida (1st) gave the Bears a 1-0 lead on his first professional shift and shot at 2:57 after he blasted the puck from between the circles past Harri Sateri. Sharks rookie Yanni Gourde (1st) scored his first pro goal with a rebound rocket from on top of the circles past rookie netminder Scott Greenham at 8:12. Just 10 seconds later, Andrew Carroll (1st) scored his first goal in his 68th game after he buried a centering feed from behind the Worcester net by DJ King. The Sharks trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes of play with the Bears holding a 14-9 shot advantage. The Sharks scored the only two scores in the middle frame to take a 3-2 lead into the 2nd intermission. Matt Irwin (11th) scored his 9th power play goal of the season just 49 seconds into the 2nd period wristing a shot from on top of the left circle off the cross bar and past Greenham to tie the score at 2-2. Tim Kennedy (13th) gave Worcester their first lead after he found a loose puck in front of the net at 13:30. Hershey held the shot advantage through 40 minutes of play. Harri Sater made nine more saves in the third period as the Sharks were able to hang on for a 3-2 victory over the visiting Hershey Bears.
Worcester’s record finalizes at 31-33-4-8, with 74pts and 18-18-0-2 at the DCU Center.

2018 vs Adirondack 3-1 loss (North Division SF, trail 2-1)
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (1-2) dropped Game 3 to fall behind 1-2 in the best of seven North Division Semifinals after a 3-1 loss to the visiting Adirondack Thunder (2-1) in front of 4,216 fans at the DCU Center on Sunday evening. Jeff Kubiak scored for the Railers while Eamon McAdam made 33 saves in his first professional playoff game but Brian Ward had a goal and assist for the Thunder as the Railers continue to have a tough time scoring on netminder MacKenzie Blackwood. The Thunder outshot the Railers 18-11 in the first period and scored the only goal as Brian Ward (2nd) banged home a loose rebound after a goal mouth scramble at 10:51 past Eamon McAdam to give Adirondack a 1-0 lead. Adirondack went ahead 2-0 as Mike Szmatula (1st) sent a quick shot from 20 feet past the blocker of Mackenzie Blackwood after a Railers turnover in their own zone at 2:48 of the second period. Worcester got on the board about four minutes later as Jeff Kubiak (1st) struck on the rush with a high shot assisted by TJ Syner and Connor Doherty at 6:23. Eamon McAdam made several nice saves to keep the Railers close headed into the second intermission as the Thunder held a 28-20 shot advantage. The Railers brought the pressure late in the third period and had several chances to tie the score, especially in the final two minutes with the goaltender pulled but had a tough time against goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood. Ryan Schmelzer (1st) sealed the deal for Adirondack with an empty net tally with 13 seconds left to give the Thunder a 3-1 win and a 2-1 series lead.

2022 at Trois-Rivières 5-0 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (32-32-4-2, 70pts) were dispatched by the Trois-Rivières Lions (33-29-5-1, 72pts) on Friday night by the final score of 5-0 in front of a crowd of 4,102 at Colisée Vidéotron. The Railers are back in Trois-Rivières, QC at the Colisée Vidéotron on Saturday, April 16th to take on the Trois-Rivières Lions at 3 p.m. Worcester will need to come away with one more point than Maine does tomorrow as the Mariners will face Newfoundland at 6 p.m. for the Railers to advance to the playoffs. The Trois-Rivières Lions got on the board late in the first period, scoring what would be the eventual game winner with ten seconds left in the frame. Four insurance goals scored in the second made it 5-0 Trois-Rivières. The Lions would go on to win the game and clinch the three seed in the Kelly Cup Playoffs, coming away with the 5-0 victory over the Railers on Friday night. Worcester and Trois-Rivières exchanged good looks on offense throughout the first period, but it would be Trois-Rivières late in the frame to break the ice first. With just 10 seconds remaining in the opening period, Alexis D’Aoust (19th) would find the back of the net as he swatted a loose puck in front to make it 1-0 Lions. Shots in the period favored Worcester 10-8. It didn’t take very long for Trois-Rivières to extend their lead and start to pull away from the Railers in the second. First it would be Max Kaufman (3rd) who received a cross-ice feed from Tim Vanstone and one-timed the puck past Colten Ellis in net for the Railers to extend the Trois-Rivières lead to 2-0 just 1:12 into the period. Four minutes later, Cedric Montminy (19th) batted home a rebound off of a point blast from Justin Ducharme just eight seconds into Trois-Rivières’ first power play of the night, making it 3-0 Trois-Rivières with 14:46 to go in the second. After Montminy’s goal, Blake Christensen stepped up for the Railers and dropped the gloves with Jonathan Joannette to try to inject some life into Worcester, with important points on the line. Unfortunately for the Railers, Trois-Rivières didn’t slow up, as the Lions went on to add two more in the frame. It would be Anthony Nellis (20th) ten minutes later who would continue to pile on for the Lions. Nellis came gliding down the right side of the attacking end for Worcester and placed a perfect shot past the right shoulder of Colten Ellis and made it a 4-0 Trois-Rivières lead. The final goal of the night came from Brenden Locke (3rd), who capitalized on the individual effort from Joannette to split the Worcester defense and open up the left side of the ice for him, as he tapped the puck past Ellis to give the game its final score of 5-0. Shots in the period favored Trois-Rivières 15-14, as Worcester still led in shots 24-23 through two periods. The third period proved empty for the Railers, who despite pouring another ten shots on Lions goaltender Phillippe Desrosiers, were unable to score in the final frame as the game came to a 5-0 close on Friday night. Trois-Rivières outshot Worcester 14-10 in the third, and 37-34 on the game. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd Star: Anthony Nellis (1-1-2, +2, 4 shots), 2nd Star: Phillippe Desrosiers (34 saves, 0GA, 1.000 SV%), 1st Star: Justin Ducharme (0-3-3, +2, 3 shots)… Final shots were 37-34 in favor of Trois-Rivières… Phillippe Desrosiers made 34 saves on 34 shots for Trois-Rivières … Colten Ellis (15-13-1) made 32 saves on 37 shots for Worcester, while Jérémie Forbes-Brisebois served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-1 on the power play while Trois-Rivières went 1-for-1… Bobby Butler (DNP), Chris Ordoobadi (DNP), Ethan Price (DNP), Grant Jozefek (IR), and Austin Osmanski (INJ) did not play for Worcester… Blake Christensen led the Railers in shots with 6… The Railers are now 5-4-0-0 all-time vs. the Lions and 3-1-0-0 at the Colisée Vidéotron against Trois-Rivières.


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