Today in Worcester hockey history: April 23


1997 vs Providence 4-2 loss (New England Division SF, lead 2-1)
The Worcester IceCats only allowed 17 shots on goal for the Bruins, but unfortunately four went in for a 4-2 loss to the Baby-Bs. Jean-Yves Roy had the only first period goal, at 17:59 on the power play. Clayton Beddoes made it 2-0 Bruins at 1:12 of the second period. Rob Pearson cut the Providence lead in half at 2:20 with a goal assisted by Jamie Rivers and Justin Hocking, and Jason Zent made it 2-2 at 6:04 with Terry Virtue and Jamal Mayers getting helpers. But Barry Richter would give Providence the lead at 17:52. John Lilley added an empty net goal at 18:41 of the third for the 4-2 final.

1999 at Providence 4-1 loss (New England Division SF, trail 1-0)
The Worcester IceCats made too many mistakes in their game against the P-Bruins and the Baby-Bs took advantage in a 4-1 win over the IceCats. Joel Prpic scored at 11:40 of the opening period to give Providence the lead. With the ‘Cats on the power play defenseman Geoff Smith tried to use his glove to keep the puck in the P-Bruins zone. It bounced away from him, and with the other IceCats players waiting for Smith to retouch the puck Eric Nickulas swooped in and stole the it, breaking in all alone and beating Brent Johnson glove side from about 20-feet out for the unassisted goal. Jochen Hecht got the IceCats on the board at 8:52 with a power play goal to make it 2-1. Brandon Smith and Dennis Vaske (EN) added third period goals for the 4-1 final.

2009 at Hartford 3-1 win (Atlantic Division SF, lead 3-2)
(WORSHARKS) The Sharks scored three goals in the first period, two on the power play, and held off a late Wolf Pack attack to take Game 5 by the count of 3-1 at the XL Center on Thursday night. With the victory, the Sharks can clinch their first ever playoff series victory at home when they host Game 6 at the DCU Center on Saturday, April 25th at 7:05pm. Riding the momentum train after a five goal third period the night before, the Sharks stormed out to three goals in the first period at the XL Center. Patrick Traverse gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead after his shot from the point on the power play found the back of the net at 5:56. Just 69 seconds later, T.J. Fox deflected a shot past Matt Zaba after a huge hit by Brad Staubitz on the fore-check to give the Sharks a 2-0 edge. Traverse would notch his 2nd power play goal of the period, striking with the two man advantage, firing a puck from in between the faceoff circles at 13:50. The Sharks led 3-0 after 20 minutes outshooting the Wolf Pack 13-4. The Wolf Pack tried to turn things on offensively in the 2nd period, but Thomas Greiss made nine saves to hold the fort. Neither team would score in the middle period as the Sharks headed into the 2nd intermission up by three. Thomas Greiss was even better in the third, as the Wolf Pack outshot the Sharks 15-3 in the final period. Dane Byers would light the lamp at 13:33 on the power play to give the Wolf Pack a pulse but the Sharks shut the door the rest of the way and held on for the 3-1 victory. The Sharks have won three straight games and now lead the best of seven series at three games to two.

2018 vs Adirondack 3-1 loss (North Division SF, eliminated 4-2)
(RAILERS) The Worcester Railers HC (2-4) inaugural season came to an end after a 3-1 loss in Game 6 in the best of seven North Division Semifinals to the visiting Adirondack Thunder (4-2) in front of 2,523 fans at the DCU Center on Monday evening. Barry Almeida scored the only Worcester goal while Eamon McAdam made 22 saves in net for the Railers. Paul Rodrigues, Desmond Bergin, and Mike Szmatula all scored for the Thunder while Olivier Mantha made 27 saves in net as Adirondack took the series four games to two and will face the Manchester Monarchs in the North Division Finals. The Thunder struck first with an unassisted shorthanded goal by Paul Rodrigues (2nd) as he got behind the Worcester defense and zipped a shot past the glove of Eamon McAdam at 8:27 to give Adirondack a 1-0 lead. Worcester tied the score just 42 seconds later as the power play expired as Barry Almeida (3rd) ripped a shot from just inside the right circle past Olivier Mantha at 9:09. Adirondack scored a disputed goal at 19:57 as Desmond Bergin fired a wicked shot from 30 feet just inside the crossbar, but the Railers thought the puck never went into the net. Worcester trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes as the Thunder led in shots 8-6. Neither team found the back of the net in the second period as Worcester outshot Adirondack 12-10 in the middle frame as Worcester trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes of play with each team set with 18 shots on goal. The Railers put on a charge late and fired 10 more shots on goal in the third period but could not even the score. Mike Szmatula (2nd) scored an empty netter at 19:15 to seal the deal as the Railers fell 3-1.


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