Today in Worcester hockey history: April 24


1997 at Providence 5-4 loss 2OT (New England Division SF, tied 2-2)
The Worcester IceCats and Providence Bruins played a see-saw contest and needed double overtime to determine a winner, and unfortunately for ‘Cats fans it was Bruins defenseman Barry Richter with the game winning goal. The IceCats got on the board first on a goal by Rob Pearson at 1:32, assisted by Bob Lachance. Clayton Beddoes tied it at 12:41. Jean-Yves Roy (2:26) and John Gruden (13:50) made it 3-1 Providence in the second, but Justin Hocking made it a one goal lead with help from Kevin Hilton at 15:34. At 11:36 David Williams tied the game, with Hilton and Libor Zabransky assisting. Pearson gave the IceCats a 4-3 lead at 13:55, with Mike Maneluk earning a point. But with Providence on the power play after challenging goaltender Jamie McLennan’s stick, Landon Wilson tied the game at 18:14. Richter’s game winner came at 22:07 of overtime to tie the series. Scott Bailey had 62 saves for the win while McClellan made 38.

1998 vs Springfield 5-2 win (New England Division SF, win series 3-1)
The Worcester IceCats scored in the opening minute and never trailed in their game four win over the Springfield Falcons. Bob Lachance gave the ‘Cats an early lead with a goal just 47 seconds into the game, with Robert Petrovicky and Bryce Salvador picking up assists. Daniel Briere would tie it with an unassisted goal at 9:20, but Worcester would retake the lead on a Shayne Toporowski power play tally at 16:49. Michal Handzus and Lubos Bartecko had the helpers on the goal. In the second period Jamal Mayers made it 3-1 with a shorthanded goal at 14:52. Lachance and Terry Virtue had the assists. Jason Morgan would then cut the ‘Cats lead to one at 18:49. In the third period Petrovicky made it 4-2 at 17:21, with Toporowski picking up the lone assist. At 18:53 Chris Kenady hit the empty net, with help from Petrovicky and Michal Handzus, for the 5-2 final. Frederic Cassivi had 25 saves in the win.

1999 at Providence 3-1 loss (New England Division SF, trail 2-0)
The Worcester IceCats were victims of a third period phantom spearing call and on the ensuing major power play the P-Bruins scored two goals to defeat the ‘Cats 3-1. The number on star of the game for Providence was referee Bernie DeGrace, who called 60 minutes in penalties on Worcester to just 16 for the Baby-Bs. Under twenty-five minutes of the game was played five on five. Tyson Nash scored at 16:38 of the first period to give the IceCats the 1-0 lead. Antti Laaksonen scored on a five on three power play at 9:46 of the second frame to tie it. In the third period DeGrace called Rory Fitzpatrick for a major allegedly for spearing ex-Cat’s forward Marquis Mathieu. As soon as the major was announced Mathieu got up off the ice and skated to the Providence bench laughing. Steven King (16:11) and Jeremy Brown (19:32, en) scored with the man advantage to make it the 3-1 final. Brent Johnson made 33 saves in the game.

2001 at Providence 5-0 win (New England Division F, trail 2-1)
(TICKER) Dwayne Roloson stopped 24 shots and Justin Papineau scored two goals as the Worcester IceCats blanked the Providence Bruins, 5-0, and now trail their best-of-seven conference semifinal series, 2-1. Roloson, who recorded a league-best six shutouts during the regular season, helped thwart six Providence power plays to pick up the win. Papineau opened the scoring 9:37 into the first period with a shorthanded goal and tallied midway through the third to give Worcester a 3-0 lead. Jeff Panzer, a Hobey Baker finalist who led the nation and the University of North Dakota in scoring with 81 points before signing as a free agent with the IceCats yesterday, delivered a goal and an assist. John Grahame suffered the loss after allowing five goals on 33 shots for the Bruins, who had a five-game playoff winning streak snapped.

2004 vs Manchester 6-1 win (Atlantic Division SF, win 4-2)
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats won their Atlantic Division Semifinal series on home ice in convincing fashion Saturday night, defeating the Manchester Monarchs 6-1. The ‘Cats took the best of seven series four games to two. Six different players scored for Worcester, and the team rattled off four power play goals on consecutive opportunities, the most in any game this season, regular season or playoffs. Terry Virtue collected four assists for the ‘Cats. Blake Evans, Mike Glumac, Jeff Panzer, Peter Sejna, Scott Pellerin and Trevor Byrne provided the goal support, in that order. Evans, Glumac, Sejna and Byrne’s markers came via the power play. Curtis Sanford sparkled, making 28 saves for his fourth win of the playoffs. The win at home was the first for either team in the series. The road team had taken each of the previous five games.

2015 vs Hershey 4-1 loss (Eastern Conference QF, trail 1-0)
(WORSHARKS) The Worcester Sharks (#7 seed in East) opened up the playoffs with a 4-1 loss to the Hershey Bears (#2 seed in East) in front 3,026 fans at the DCU Center on Friday evening in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. Micheal Haley scored a power play goal for Worcester and Aaron Dell made 20 saves in net. Hershey broke a 1-1 tie late in the third period with three power play goals in the final 2:21 on a major power play. Phoenix Copley made 41 saves in net for Hershey as the Bears got goals from Connor Carrick, Nate Schmidt, Stan Galiev, and Chris Brown for the 4-1 victory. The Sharks came out buzzing in the opening period as they outshot the Bears 14-5 and took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. Micheal Haley (1st) found a loose rebound in the Bears crease and fired it home past goaltender Pheonix Copley at 19:46 on the power play for the only strike of the period. Aaron Dell was sharp in net for Worcester with five saves as the Sharks finished the period 1-3 on the power play. Hershey scored the only goal of the second period as defenseman Connor Carrick (1st) came in late on a rush and fired a quick shot from the left slot after a great feed by Chandler Stephenson at 18:31. Worcester held a 21-15 shot advantage through 40 minutes but the score was tied 1-1 after two periods of play. After a collision between Steve Oleksy and Jeremy Langlois resulted in a major penalty to Langlois for checking from behind and a game misconduct at 17:39 of the third period, the Bears would break the 1-1 tie. Nate Schmidt (1st) scored the game winner at 17:39 after he kept in a clearing attempt by the Sharks and then cut diagonal to the left circle and snapped a shot that broke off Aaron Dell and into the net to put Hershey up 2-1. Stan Galiev (1st) added an insurance goal at 19:03 with another power play goal after a goal mouth scramble. Chris Brown (1st) sealed the deal with an empty netter power play goal at 19:30 to give Hershey the 4-1 victory.


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