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.

2022 at Trois-Rivières 3-2 OTL
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (32-32-4-2, 70pts) lost to the Trois-Rivières Lions (34-29-5-1, 74pts) on Saturday afternoon by the final score of 3-2 in front of a crowd of 4204 at Colisée Vidéotron. The Railers await their playoff fate depending on the outcome of Newfoundland & Maine’s game on Saturday night. Trois-Rivières jumped out in front midway through the first, but Anthony Repaci (1-1-2) tied things up early in the second. The Lions once again found the back of the net, this time midway through the second, to take a 2-1 lead. With the goalie pulled and the season on the line late in the third, Bobby Butler (1-0-1) rifled the puck into the back of the net to send the game into OT, and preserve the Railers playoff aspirations. Trois-Rivières would score the OT winner, but the possibility remained for Worcester to make the playoffs, having come away with one point. Should the Newfoundland Growlers defeat the Maine Mariners in regulation in their matchup on Saturday night, the Worcester Railers will clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. Trois-Rivières opened up scoring in the first midway through the period on an Anthony Nellis (21st) deflection out in front on a point blast from Bradley Johnson. Trois-Rivières grabbed the 1-0 lead with 8:33 left in the first. Worcester found themselves with an extended look on the man advantage later in the first, with Trois-Rivières committing three overlapping penalties. Worcester, despite a long outing on the 5-on-3 power play, Worcester continued their struggles on the man-advantage. After twenty minutes of play, Worcester led Trois-Rivières in shots 18-14. Anthony Repaci (23rd) continued what has been a good stretch of play for the Toronto native by tying the game for the Railers at 1-1 just 3:06 into the second. Repaci gained the attacking blue line along the right side, unleashed a shot on Artuts Silovs in net for Trois-Rivières, then finished off his own rebound as he blew through the defense for the tally. The game would be tied for the next 8:30 before Trois-Rivières once again found the back of the net and got back out in front, 2-1. The Lions took advantage of a defensive breakdown for the Railers and swarmed the front of the net, as Justin Ducharme finally swatted it past Appleby for the marker. Shots in the period were even at 11, as Worcester continued to outshoot the Lions on the game, 29-26. Former Olympian Bobby Butler (6th) was the hero for Worcester late in the third with Appleby pulled on the other end of the ice and the extra attacker on. He received a cross-ice pass from Anthony Repaci atop the left point, and one-timed a blast past Silovs to tie the game with 1:45 left on the clock, and eventually send it into overtime tied at 2-2. Shots in the third favored Trois-Rivières 13-6, as the Lions were now outshooting Worcester through 60 minutes at 39-35. In overtime, despite a number of quality chances in the attacking end, it would be another defensive zone breakdown which would allow Anthony Nellis (22nd) to score his second of the night and lock up the win for the Lions, 3-2. Despite the loss, getting at least one point on the afternoon guaranteed Worcester the opportunity to make the playoffs, should the Newfoundland Growlers defeat the Maine Mariners in regulation in their matchup on Saturday night. Shots in overtime favored Worcester 3-1, as Trois-Rivières outshot the Railers on the day 40-38. Notes: Three Stars: 3rd Star: Justin Ducharme (1-0-1, +1, 6 shots), 2nd Star: Ken Appleby (37 saves, 3 GA, .925 SV%), 1st Star: Anthony Nellis (2-0-2, GWG, +1, 4 shots)… Final shots were 40-38 in favor of Trois-Rivières… Arturs Silovs made 36 saves on 38 shots for Trois-Rivières… Ken Appleby (14-12-1) made 37 saves on 40 shots for Worcester, while Colten Ellis served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-6 on the power play while Trois-Rivières went 0-for-2… Chris Ordoobadi (DNP), Mitchell Balmas (DNP), Matt Sredli, Austin Osmanski (INJ), and Grant Jozefek (IR) did not dress for Worcester… Bobby Butler, Brent Beaudoin, and Myles McGurty each led the Railers in shots with 5… The Railers are now 5-4-1-0 all-time vs. the Lions and 3-1-1-0 at the Colisée Vidéotron against Trois-Rivières.

2023 at Adirondack 4-3 loss
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (34-34-4-0, 72 points) lost their regular season finale against the Adirondack Thunder (32-29-9-2, 75 points) with a 4-3 loss in front of 4,753 people at Cool Insuring Arena. Shawn Weller (1-0-1) scored two minutes and thirty seconds into the contest giving Adirondack the lead. Worcester scored the next three goals, the first came from Nick Fea (1-0-1) and the second from Trevor Cosgrove (1-0-1). Anthony Repaci (1-0-1) scored the third Worcester goal and the first goal of the second. Patrick Grasso (1-0-1) got the Thunder back on the board later in the period. Matt Stief (1-0-1) scored on the powerplay halfway through the third to tie the game at three. Brady Fleurent (1-0-1) scored an empty net goal to make 4-3. The Thunder scored first in the most important game of the season for both teams. The Thunder were moving the puck down ice, Ryan Smith found Shawn Weller (14th) out in front of Railers net-minder Ken Appleby, and Weller shot and scored. The Railers got their first of the day when Nick Fea (8th) tapped one in after some beautiful puck movement between Callin and McGurty. Worcester took their first lead when Trevor Cosgrove (5th) loaded up his cannon and fired one past Adirondack goalie, Mike Robinson. The Railers went ahead by one at the end of twenty. Anthony Repaci (27th) scored the third Railers goal midway through the second period. He scored at from the right circle off a feed from Nolan Vesey. After conceding three straight goals the Thunder responded when Patrick Grasso (36th) got the puck past Appleby making it a one goal game. With twenty minutes left in the game, Worcester entered the final period up by one, chasing their second ever playoff berth by playing for a regulation win. Worcester was whistled for a high stick halfway through the third period, putting them on the penalty kill. The Thunder took advantage as Matt Stief (5th) fired one past Appleby seconds into the power play, tying the game 3-3. Worcester got their own power play opportunity with four minutes and thirty seconds to play. Worcester wasn’t able to score on the powerplay. Needing a regulation, Worcester opted to pull Appleby in an attempt to get back ahead and win without overtime. The Thunder grabbed the puck from their own zone and cleared it out as Brady Fleurent (9th) skated it into the net, ending the Railers season by a final of 4-3 on the final day of the regular season. Notes: Jacob Hayhurst and Trevor Cosgrove led the team with four shots. Matt Jennings led the Thunder with five shots. Ken Appleby had 31 saves on 34 shots for Worcester. Mike Robinson had 28 saves on 31 shots for Adirondack.


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