Today in Worcester hockey history: April 20


1996 at Portland 2-1 win (Northern Division SF, tied 1-1)
The Worcester IceCats gave up the first goal of the game but then got the next two in a 2-1 win over the Pirates for the IceCats first ever franchise playoff win. Darren McAusland got Portland on the board at 2:29 of the opening period, but that lead didn’t last long as Alex Vasilevskii tied it at 4:19 with Lindsay Vallis and Ken Sutton assisting. Sergei Kharin got the game winner at 5:01 of the middle period, with Jarrett Deuling and Jason Strudwick helping. Eric Fichaud made 23 saves for the win.

2004 vs Manchester 6-0 loss (Atlantic Division SF, tied 2-2)
(ICECATS) The Manchester Monarchs shutout the Worcester IceCats 6-0 Tuesday night at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. The loss evened the best-of-seven Atlantic Division Semifinal series at two. It was the second consecutive whitewash by Manchester and goaltender Adam Hauser, who made 25 saves in Game Three and 26 last night. Pavel Rosa had a goal and two assists for Manchester. The teams combined for 17 power plays, including several five-on-three chances for the Monarchs. They scored three times on nine man-advantage opportunities.

2007 at Manchester 4-3 2OT (Atlantic Division SF, trail 2-0)
(MONARCHS) Right wing John Zeiler scored his second game-winning goal of the series, this time in double overtime, to lift the Manchester Monarchs over the Worcester Sharks 4-3 in double overtime in front a crowd of 4,147 at the Verizon Wireless Arena to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Monarchs opened the scoring early with a power play goal by right wing Tim Jackman at 1:15 of the first period. Making his return from injury, goaltender Jason LaBarbera stopped the puck behind his own net for defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky. The two-time Stanley Cup winner made a home run pass up to Jackman at the right side of the Sharks blueline. The winger moved the puck into the zone and fired a blistering slap shot from the right face-off circle inside the right post for a 1-0 lead. Worcester did not wait long to tie the score with their own power play goal as center Mike Iggulden lit the lamp. Left wing Mathieu Darche let a snap shot go on LaBarbera who made the rebound. However, the puck squirted out to the left doorstep where Iggulden lifted a backhand into the open net. Right wing Graham Mink also earned an assist on the goal. The tally occurred at 3:39 of first frame. In the second period, the Monarchs recaptured the lead at the 8:53 mark. Center Brian Boyle collected the puck in front of the Sharks net and ripped a wrist shot wide. The puck bounced off the boards and went to center Matt Ryan who was stationed on the right post. Ryan cradled the puck, switched to his backhand and poked the puck home. Right wing Lauri Tukonen collected an assist on the goal. At 1:07 of the third frame, the Sharks tied the score for the second time in the game. With sticks and bodies flailing in front of LaBarbera’s net, the Sharks started hacking away as Iggulden and Mink were able to get wood on the puck. It was Darche who finally put the puck in the back of the net for a 2-2 tie. Darche tallied again on an unassisted goal that gave Worcester their first lead of the series, 3-2. The winger flew down the left boards and entered the Monarchs zone. Darche then fired a snap shot over the glove of LaBarbera. The goal happened at 7:14 of the third period. Monarchs center Patrick O’Sullivan tied the score at 3-3 at 9:07 of the final stanza. Monarchs defensemen Peter Harrold and Tverdovsky made multiple passes at the top of the point. Tverdovsky then moved a pass down to O’Sullivan along the right boards. The center cut into the middle and fired a snap shot inside the left post past the blocker of Sharks goaltender Thomas Greiss. With thirty seconds remaining in regulation the Monarchs thought they had moved ahead 4-3. However, the men in stripes called the goal off saying it was tipped in with a high stick. With just 47.3 seconds left in the second overtime, the Monarchs made fish food out of the Sharks with Zeiler’s second goal of the series. Tverdovsky fed center Gabe Gauthier with a pass just inside Worcester’s blueline. Gauthier fired a slap shot that was blocked by a Sharks’ defenseman. The redirection went to the stick of Zeiler who let the shot go while being tripped. The puck traveled over the left shoulder of Greiss and into the back of the net to give the Monarchs a 2-0 lead in the series. LaBarbera earned the victory with 44 saves on 47 shots. Greiss took the loss saving 43-of-47. Manchester went 2-for-10 with the man advantage. Worcester was 2-for-7 on the power play.

2009 vs Hartford 3-2 win 2OT (Atlantic Division SF, trail 2-1)
(WORSHARKS) Fans got their money’s worth as the Sharks went goal for goal with Hartford in a physical 81+ minute battle that was decided by a Ryan Vesce’s 2nd goal at 1:07 in the 2nd overtime period to give the Sharks a 3-2 win in Game 3 on Monday night at the DCU Center. Each squad’s goaltender would be tested early with several threatening bids by each team but it would be Hartford that would open the scoring. Wolf Pack defensemen Corey Potter wound up and found the back of the net with a blast from the point at 14:16 for the power play score. However, Tom Cavanagh would score an equalizer for the Sharks at 18:42 when he stuffed a rebound past Hartford net minder Matt Zaba. Riley Armstrong and Derek Joslin were credited with assists. Worcester outshot Hartford 12-7 through the 1st. Dale Weise regained the lead for Hartford in the 2nd stanza. Weise was on the receiving end of a crossing pass in front of the Worcester net from Brodie Dupont to put the Wolf Pack up 2-1 at 5:01. The Hartford lead would not hold for long as Ryan Vesce re-tied the game just 1:24 later when he redirected a Mike Moore slap shot at 6:25 to make the score 2-2. Armstrong picked up his 2nd assist of the night on the play. Both Zaba and Worcester goaltender Thomas Greiss continued to impress with many fine stops as the Sharks outshot the Wolf Pack 13-7 in the 2nd. Ironman Greiss came up big again in the 3rd period with a number of saves including a quick glove stab as the game remained deadlocked 2-2 at the end of regulation. The Sharks outshot the Wolf Pack 33-25 through 3 periods. After a 1st OT period that saw the Wolf Pack with two power play chances, the tie was broken in the 2nd OT period when Vesce picked up his 2ND goal of the night at 1:07 to beat the Hartford Wolf Pack 3-2. The over time goal was the 5th of the season for Vesce and the 8th Sharks victory in OT this year.

2010 at Lowell 4-2 win (Atlantic Division SF, lead 3-1)
(WORSHARKS) Worcester’s power play came alive and Dan DaSilva tallied three assists as the Sharks defeated the Lowell Devils in game four, 4-2, at the Tsongas Center in Lowell Tuesday night. It was the first time in 14 meetings this season between the two clubs that the team which scored first did not come away with the victory. DaSilva assisted on the first three Worcester goals, Danny Groulx picked up two assists, and Benn Ferriero broke a 24-game goalless drought with a third period game-winning goal as Worcester erased a 2-1 deficit after two periods. Worcester now leads the best-of-seven series, three games to one. Lowell opened the scoring early in the first period, just 1:55 into the game. Alexander Vasyunov (2) stole the puck off Derek Joslin deep in the Worcester zone and beat Alex Stalock high to give the Devils a 1-0 lead. The “Crazed Rats” line knotted the score at the 9:18 mark, when DaSilva found Andrew Desjardins (1) from behind the net for a one-timer than Desjardins batted past the glove of Mike McKenna. John McCarthy earned the other assist. The score stayed tied through one period with the Sharks outshooting the Devils, 10-4. Patrick Davis (2) gave the Devils a 2-1 lead, 3:36 into the middle frame, as he backhanded a Rob Davison pass through the legs of Stalock. It would be the only goal of the period as McKenna was strong, denying multiple scoring opportunities from the Sharks. Worcester outshot Lowell, 15-12. A rare three-on-two offensive rush from the Sharks, put Worcester back even with Lowell at 4:28 of the third period. DaSilva patiently held the puck on the left-wing before sliding a pass across to McCarthy (2) who backhanded a shot into the far side of the net. Nick Shaus also assisted on the goal. Worcester ratcheted up the pressure which led to their first power-play opportunity of the game and they did not let it go to waste. Groulx’s drive from the point was tipped home by Ferriero (1), 10:27 into the period which gave Worcester a 3-2 lead. T. J. Trevelyan (2) gave the Sharks a two-goal lead with the Sharks on a five-on-three power play as he beat McKenna from a tough angle at the side of the Lowell net. The game finished 4-2 with Worcester outshooting Lowell, 16-11. Worcester now leads the best-of-seven series, 3-1.

2013 at Syracuse 4-3 SOL
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (31-34-4-7, 73pts) fell to the Syracuse Crunch (43-21-6-5, 97pts) by the count of 4-3 in the shootout on Saturday evening in front of 5,438 fans at the War Memorial Arena in the final game of the 2012-13 season for the Sharks. The Sharks trailed 3-0 after 26 minutes of play but barreled back for three goals in the third period to force overtime. Alex Stalock made 26 saves in net as Worcester dressed 11 rookies and seven players on ATO’s. Curt Gogol, Eriah Hayes, and Danill Tarasov scored for Worcester as the Sharks closed out the season with a point on the road. Brett Connolly (31st) scored the only goal of the opening frame after he found a loose puck in front of the Sharks net and slid the puck through the skates of Alex Stalock at 11:39 after the Crunch power play expired. Worcester outshot Syracuse 8-7 in a relatively quiet first period. The Crunch grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first six minutes of the 2nd period with goals by P.M Devos (7th) at 3:50 and Tyler Johnson (37th) at 5:40. Syracuse outshot Worcester 9-6 in the middle frame. Worcester came out flying in the final frame scoring three times on Crunch goaltender Cedric Desjardins. Curt Gogol (4th) fired a backhander into the net at 6:37 to get the Sharks on the board followed by Eriah Hayes (2nd) with a deflection of an Adam Comrie point shot at 8:20. The Sharks tied the score at 3-3 after Daniil Tarasov (14th) intercepted a clearing attempt and snapped a wicked shot from the left circle top shelf at 12:26 to force overtime. Neither team scored in overtime and Daniil Tarasov, Eriah Hayes, and Matt Nieto were denied in the shootout while the Crunch scored three times on four shots to win 4-3 and clinch the East Division title.


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