Today in Worcester hockey history: April 16


1996 vs Portland 6-3 win
The Worcester IceCats got a Fred Knipscheer hat trick and some great door opening from equipment manager turned emergency back-up goaltender J.C. Ihrig in a 6-3 win over the Pirates. Sean Selmser (6:28) and Alexander Kharlamov (9:02) gave Portland a 2-0 lead after one period. Knipscheer got his first of the game at 3:28 to cut the Pirates lead in half. Ken Sutton and Jason Strudwick had the helpers on the play. Thirty-one seconds later Chris Kenady got the ‘Cats even with a goal assisted by Alex Vasilevskii and Roy Mitchell. Harry York made it 3-2 Worcester at 16:12, with Lindsay Vallis and Vasilevskii getting the helpers. Knipscheer then added his second of the game at 17:51, with Craig Darby and Jamie Rivers getting points on the play. In the third Allan Sirois made it 5-2 with his only career AHL goal, assisted by Jason Widmer. Joel Poirier got the Pirates within two at 9:54, but Knipscheer capped the scoring with his hat trick goal at 10:51, with Sutton assisting. Jamie McLennan got his then franchise record 14th win making 27 saves.

1999 at Providence 5-4 loss
The Worcester IceCats had a two goal lead but then lost it and the game 5-4 to the P-Bruins. Bryan Helmer got the game’s first goal at 8:44 of the first period, with assist going to Marty Reasoner and Reed Low. Randy Robitaille then tied it at 16:28. Low made it 2-1 late in the period with Reasoner helping. After Aaron Downey took a silly penalty Helmer scored his second of the night 31 ticks into the second stanza on the power play. Antti Laaksonen made it 3-2 at 10:32, and Robitaille tied it at 14:43. In the third period Eric Nickulas gave Providence the lead at 0:55, and Dan Ceman made it 5-3 at 1:09. Derek Bekar scored with an extra attacker at 19:51 for the 5-4 final. Brent Johnson took the loss.

2005 vs Providence 5-2 win
The Worcester IceCats used three third period goals to defeat the Providence Bruins 5-2. Brendan Brooks had the only goal of the first period to give the ‘Cats the lead at 4:00. D.J. King and Ryan Ramsay had the assists. Keith Aucoin tied it for the Baby-Bs at 6:48 of the middle period. With four seconds left in the second stanza Justin Maiser scored his only career AHL goal to give the ‘Cats a 2-1 lead. Brian Collins had the primary assist for his only AHL point ever. Colin Hemingway had the other helper. Peter Sejna made it a two-goal lead with an unassisted marker at 6:48 of the third, and Hemingway made it 4-1 with a power play goal at 13:24. Mike Stuart and Patrick Wellar had the assists. Chris Dyment for Providence within two at 18:56, but Jon DiSalvatore added an empty net goal at 19:34, with help from Brooks. Jason Bacashihua had 25 saves in what was the last win in IceCats franchise history.

2009 at Hartford 2-0 loss (Atlantic Division SF, trail 1-0)
(WORSHARKS) Despite controlling play for much of the game, the Worcester Sharks were unable to beat Hartford goaltender Matt Zaba as they dropped a 2-0 decision to the Wolf Pack in Game 1 of the Atlantic Division Semifinals on Thursday evening in Hartford. The Sharks held the shot advantage, 38-23, but Zaba stopped all of them for his third shutout of the season (and his career). Thomas Greiss was strong himself, making 21 stops. The teams skated to a scoreless first period, but it wasn’t for a lack of chances. Worcester had a 12-10 shot advantage after 20 minutes with its best opportunity coming midway through the period when Cory Larose was stopped point blank on top of the crease by Zaba. Things got nasty at 18:19 of the period when a scrum ensued, which led to the Sharks’ second power play after Brodie Dupont was whistled for a double minor for roughing while Brett Westgarth was assessed two minutes. Despite the Sharks holding an 18-7 second period shot advantage, Hartford scored the only goal of the period for a 1-0 lead after two periods of play. Artem Anisimov converted on the team’s second shot of the period, taking a nifty pass from Dale Weise and beating Greiss. Corey Potter was credited with the other assist on the play. The Wolf Pack added insurance at 7:20 of the third period behind a Dane Byers goal for a 2-0 advantage. Mike Oullette lost the puck on the rush up ice, but Jordan Owens picked up the loose change to set up Byers. Zaba made his best save late in the third period, robbing Dan DaSilva, who put the puck on net after making the initial stop on Frazer McLaren. It appeared that Larose had cut the lead in half, but it was waived off due to being touched with a high stick.


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