Today in Worcester hockey history: April 19


1996 vs Portland 5-0 loss (Northern Division SF, trail 1-0)
The Worcester IceCats essentially didn’t show up for the franchise’s first ever playoff game and lost 5-0 to Portland. Goal scorers for the Pirates were Kent Hulst (4:27 and 8:40 of first), Ron Pascucci (13:11), Mark Kaufmann (2:23 of second), and Jason Allison (8:29). Jamie McLennan made 26 saves in the loss. The start of the second period was delayed by 14 minutes due to a Zamboni malfunction.

1997 at Providence 5-4 win (New England Division SF, lead 2-0)
The Worcester IceCats used four second period goals to overcome a two goal deficit and beat the Bruins 5-4. John Gruden (2:04) and Kirk Nielsen (14:54) gave the Baby-Bs the lead after a penalty filled opening twenty minutes. Stephane Roy got Worcester on the board at 2:04, assisted by Libor Zabransky and David Williams. Zabransky then tied it 2-2 at 5:11, with Jamal Mayers and Jason Zent. Rory Fitzpatrick gave the ‘Cats a lead with a goal assisted by Konstantin Shafranov and Jamie Rivers at 9:12. Martin Simard then knotted it 3-3 at 10:54. Zent then put the IceCats in front again with a shorthanded goal at at 15:57, with Zabransky getting the lone assist. In the third period John Lilley tied it 4-4 at 2:28, but Roy grabbed the game winner at 7:14. Shafranov and Chris Kenady had the assists on the goal. Scott Bailey made 50 saves in the loss for Providence while Jamie McClellan had 33 saves in the win.

1998 vs Springfield 3-2 win OT (New England Division SF, lead 2-0)
The Worcester IceCats came back from two one-goal deficits and got an overtime game winner from Bob Lachance to beat the Falcons 3-2 in their New England Division semi-final match-up with Springfield. Jeff Shevalier gave the Falcons their first lead of the game at 7:12 of the opeing period onthe power play, but Jamal Mayers would tie it at 13:31. Terry Virtue and Shayne Toporowski had the assists. The Falcons would grab the lead again at 1:58 with a power play goal by Ted Crowley. Toporowski, with help from Ricard Persson and Stephane Roy, at 9:46. The game would go into overtime, where the ‘Cats had three shots in 20 seconds, with Lachance connecting on the third one for the 3-2 victory. Frederic Cassivi had 38 saves in the game, including an incredible 23 of them in the third period.

2013 at W-B/Scranton 4-2 win
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (31-34-4-6, 72pts) defeated the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins (42-29-2-2, 88pts) by the count of 4-2 on Friday evening in front of 7,995 fans at the Mohegan Sun Arena. Alex Stalock made 20 saves in net in his 17th victory of the season as Worcester dressed 12 rookies and seven players on ATO’s. Adam Comrie (1-2-3) recorded three points and Rylan Schwartz (Colorado College) scored his first professional goal before Freddie Hamilton scored twice shorthanded in the final two minutes of the game that featured 105 penalty minutes. Each team scored in a feisty first period of play. Adam Payerl (3rd) put home his own rebound try past Alex Stalock at 3:08 to put the Penguins ahead 1-0. The Sharks would tie the score at 1-1 at 14:39 after a great rush by defenseman Adam Comrie as he skated down the left wall and was able to wrap around a shot on net that allowed Rylan Schwartz(1st) to score his 1st professional goal after he roofed a back hander past Jeff Zatkoff. Worcester outshot the Penguins 9-6 in the first period. Neither team found the back of the net in the middle frame with each team firing seven shots on goal and each team 0-1 on the power play as we headed to the third period tied 1-1. All sorts of action occurred in the third period with four total goals and 89 combined penalty minutes. Adam Comrie (3rd) gave the Sharks a 2-1 lead with a power play blast from 40 feet at 6:00 of the third period. On the next shift, chaos broke out after Bobby Farnum received a major penalty for boarding Eriah Hayes in the Sharks zone. Several fights broke out with Taylor Doherty and Nick Petrecki ejected for fighting and Farnum and Alex Grant ejected for the Penguins at 6:19. Wilkes-Barre tied the score at 2-2 at 2:56 as Riley Holzapfel (21st) slammed home a rebound to even the score. With the Sharks shorthanded late, Freddie Hamilton (12th) broke down the left wing and used Adam Comrie as a decoy and fired a wicked shot past Zatkoff at 18:06 to put Worcester ahead 3-2. Hamilton (13th) fired the puck into an empty net at 19:02 to secure a 4-2 Sharks victory.

2014 vs Providence 2-0 win
(WORSHARKS) Rookie tender Troy Grosenick notched his second shutout of the season as the Worcester Sharks (36-34-4-2, 78pts) took down the Providence Bruins (40-26-2-9, 91pts) by a score of 2-0 before 6,470 fans at the DCU Center Saturday evening. The Sharks closed out the regular season with a win on Fan Appreciation Night, in which Worcester sported teal jerseys. Before the game, the Sharks hosted the annual Boston Bruins Alumni doubleheader to benefit the Why Me organization. The Worcester Sharks earned their third shutout win of the season with outstanding efforts on both the offensive and defensive ends. After a scoreless opening frame, the Sharks registered a goal in both the second and third periods while slating the Bruins on the defensive end. The Sharks goals were notched by Eriah Hayes (1-0-1) and Travis Oleksuk (1-1-2). Sharks tender Troy Grosenick was a brick wall in the contest denying all 23 of Providence attempts, which were led by Alexander Khokhlachev and Matt Fraser, who each had three. Providence netminder Malcolm Subban made 25 saves on 27 Worcester shots in his first loss to the Sharks in regulation this season. The first 20 minutes ended scoreless as both teams were slated by the opposing sides defense and goaltenders. The Bruins edged the Sharks in shots at 9-6, while Subban stopped all six of Worcester’s attempts and Grosenick blanked the Bruins on their nine tries. Both goalies also made crucial saves on the penalty kill as neither team was able to convert on their single power play opportunity in the opening frame. The Sharks broke the tie in the second with a single goal as the Worcester defense and Grosenick kept the Bruins off the scoresheet after 40 minutes of play. The tally came at 5:47 after a loose puck along the left boards of the Sharks offensive zone was rocketed to the front of the net by Rob Davison. Subban made the save, sending a rebound out to the slot that Eriah Hayes (12th) backhanded topshelf of the net while Subban was still down on the ice. Shots in the period were even at nine-a-piece while Grosenick remained solid in the crease. The Sharks’ penalty kill matched up to the league’s sixth ranked power play unit keeping Providence to minimal shots on two tries with the man advantage in the middle frame. The Sharks added an insurance goal in the final frame while Grosenick kept strong in net to finish out the tilt with a 2-0 shutout win. The power play marker occurred at 8:50 with a five-on-three man advantage. After cycling the puck, Dan DaSilva dished the puck across the paint to Travis Oleksuk (19th) who buried it in from wide open at the backdoor. Subban made a diving effort, forcing the original call to be deemed a save, but after review the Sharks were awarded the well-earned tally that sealed the game. Grosenick made all five necessary saves and helped shut down both of Providence’s power play tries. Worcester outshot Providence 12-5 in the final 20 minutes of action in the Sharks 2013-2014 season. The Sharks’ final overall record stands at 36-34-4-2, 78pts and 19-17-1-1, 40pts at home.

2015 vs Portland 5-4 loss
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (41-29-4-2, 88pts) dropped a close game to the Portland Pirates (39-28-7-2, 88pts) in front of 6,242 fans at the DCU Center on Fan Appreciation Day on Sunday afternoon, as this marked the last regular season game that the Sharks will play at the DCU Center before heading to San Jose. With the loss, the Sharks take the 7th place spot in the Eastern Conference in the final game of the season and will play the Hershey Bears in the first round of the Calder Cup playoffs. Portland’s right winger Henrik Samuelsson (2-1-3, +3) led the way for the Pirates in the 5-4 victory that put them into the playoffs. Four Worcester players, including Travis Oleksuk (1-0-1, E), Matt Taormina (1-1-2, E), Barclay Goodrow (1-1-2, -1), and Gus Young (1-0-1, E), scored goals in the loss. After replacing Louis Domingue in net, Pirates’ Mike McKenna made 7 saves on 7 shots for his 27th win of the season. Portland outshot Worcester 39-25 in the victory. Both teams are now headed to the Calder Cup Playoffs, which begin on Friday at the DCU Center. Portland kicked off the scoring 59 seconds into the game when center Christian Dvorak (1st) scored in front of the crease after a behind-the-net pass from right winger Henrik Samuelsson, giving the Pirates a 1-0 lead. At the 8:19 mark, Worcester center Travis Oleksuk (10th) scored on a backhander from in tight on a rebound following a shot by Matt Tennyson on a power play to tie the game at 1. Less than two minutes later, defenseman Matt Taormina (11th) hammered a shot home from the right point, beating Pirates’ netminder Louis Domingue to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead. Worcester was outshot 13-11 by Portland in the first frame but held the one-goal lead through twenty minutes. At 2:35 of the second period, Worcester right winger Barclay Goodrow (2nd) scored in tight after a feed across the goalie crease from Chris Tierney to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead. At the 10:52 mark, Portland center Brendan Shinnimin (22nd) ripped a shot from the top of the right circle to get the Pirates back within one goal. Worcester defenseman Gus Young (5th) lit up the lamp at 12:16 after launching a shot from the left point, as the Sharks regained the two-goal lead. Portland outshot Worcester 11-7 in the period, but the Sharks had the 4-2 advantage heading into the second intermission. Portland’s right winger Henrik Samuelsson (17th) tipped one in close on a power play after a shot from the point at 1:19 of the third period to get the Pirates within one. At the 6:46 mark, Samuelsson (18th) struck again after scoring in front of the goalie crease, tying the game at 4 a side. With 43 seconds left in the game, Portland center Alexandre Bolduc (23rd) found the back of the net from the right circle for the game-winner, scoring unassisted for the Pirates fifth goal. Portland would hold on for the win, outshooting Worcester 14-6 in the final period. The Sharks overall record falls to 41-29-4-2, 88pts and 22-13-2-1, 47pts at the DCU Center this season.


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