Today in Worcester hockey history: April 26


1996 vs Portland 6-5 OTL (Northern Division SF, trail 2-1)
The Worcester IceCats had a two goal lead with under five minutes left in the game and watched it all fall apart, and eventually lost 6-5 in overtime to Portland. Craig Darby put the ‘Cats in the lead at 15:54 of the opening period on the power play. Harry York and Alex Vasilevskii had the assists on the play. Portland grabbed the next two in the period to take the lead, with Jay Mazur scoring at 17:42 and Ron Pascucci connecting at 18:32. Worcester scored the first three goals of the middle stanza to take a 4-2 lead, with Vasilevskii scoring from York at 2:09, Derek Armstrong scoring a four on four goal at 3:41 assisted by Jarrett Dueling and Ken Sutton, and Armstrong adding another four on four goal at 9:53 assisted by Jamie Rivers. Sean Selmser stopped the ‘Cats run with a goal for Portland at 16:27. At 15:17 of the third Dueling made it 5-3 IceCats with a goal assisted by York and Lindsay Vallis, but Worcester couldn’t hold that lead as Norm Batherson scored for the Pirates at 16:33 and Richard Zednik scored on a penalty shot at 17:57 to tie it. The IceCats outshot Portland 8-2 in the extra session, but the Pirates second shot by Martin Gendron beat Eric Fichaud at 7:15 for the 6-5 loss. Fichaud ended the game with 30 saves.

1997 vs Providence 3-2 loss (New England Division SF, eliminated 3-2)
The Worcester IceCats and Providence Bruins were tied after two periods in their elimination game, and it was the Baby-Bs with the only third period goal to win both the game and the series 3-2. Jamal Mayers had the only goal of the first period at 1:58 on the power play, assisted by Jason Zent and Rory Fitzpatrick. Ken McRae tied it 44 seconds into the middle period. Mayers one again gave the ‘Cats the lead at 11:42, with Terry Virtue and Libor Zabransky helping. Scott Morrow made it 2-2 at 18:19, setting up Landon Wilson’s game and series winning goal at 9:31 of the third period. Mike Buzak had 29 saves in the loss.

2000 vs Hartford 2-1 loss (New England Division F, trail 2-1)
(TICKER) Chris Wells scored with 50 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Hartford WolfPack a 2-1 victory over the Worcester Ice Cats and a two games to one lead in their best-of-seven playoff series. Wells broke a 1-1 tie on assists from Brad Smyth and Dale Purinton. Alexei Vasiliev registered a power-play goal for Hartford, which outshot Worcester, 31-22. Jean-Francois Labbe recorded 21 saves to improve to 5-2 in the playoffs for the WolfPack. Jamie Thompson provided the only offense for the Ice Cats, who tied the series at one game apiece with a 4-1 win on Tuesday. Brent Johnson turned away 29 shots for Worcester, which will host Game Four on Saturday.


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