Today in Worcester hockey history: The final post

25B

Today is May 14, or more correctly when this gets posted it will be May 14, and from today on there are no more Worcester pro hockey games to look back on.

It’s sad that for a city that’s had professional hockey for most of the last 25 seasons we’ve never once had a team make it out of the second round of the playoffs and never had the opportunity to play games later in the month and beyond. Hopefully the Railers will be able to bring us fans into uncharted territory next season.

Tossing out some statistics from this endeavor, there were 235 posts that contained game day histories. It took 518,000 total words, give or take, to tell the stories. I had an exact number when I finished, but some edits have added to the number I had come up with. As I note further along in this post, I am very happy I did not need to write every single one of those words myself.

In those 235 days, counting regular season games only, there is just a single date where Worcester is undefeated: January 1, where Worcester teams have gone 2-0-0. There are four days where Worcester teams have never won a game:
November 13: 0-9-1 (1 OTL, 1 tie)
November 18: 0-6-1 (2 OTL, 1 tie)
March 4: 0-7-2 (2 OTL, 2 SOL)
March 25: 0-5-1 (1 tie)
Statistically, an overtime loss counts as a loss while a shootout loss counts as a tie.

Looking back on this project there are a few people I need to thank for their help. The first being all of the Worcester hockey public relations people who wrote outstanding game stories that I was able to include. Eric Lindquist wrote most of them from the 2007-08 season onward, so he’ll get an individual shout out.

It’s hard to do something like this without the input of the person who had written more words about Worcester hockey than any other, former Telegram and Gazette reporter Bill Ballou. My conversations over the years with Ballou that provided insights on some of the events over the last 25 years were invaluable. The TD Garden has Johnny Most’s microphone hanging “high above courtside”; when he officially retires the DCU Center should hang a typewriter for Ballou.

But all of this wouldn’t have been possible were it not for a decision longtime friend Stan Hosmer made in the summer of 2005 as the IceCats were closing their offices. There were several boxes of official game sheets going back to the inaugural season that were going to be tossed out. Stan was given the chance to take those, along with boxes of photos and VHS tapes. Luckily Stan is somewhat of a packrat, so he took them.

When my wife and I moved into our new house years ago at least three boxes of hockey stuff somehow got lost. Those game sheets Stan saved from the trash compactor helped fill in the numerous gaps I had in my notes.

After all that work, I still failed to find any real information on two preseason games. Jason Chaimovitch and the communications people at the AHL never returned emails sent by myself and WorSharks/Railers Booster Club President Rich Lundin looking for information on those games. So if anyone stumbles into information on the IceCats 4-2 exhibition loss at Albany (played at the Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford, NJ) on September 27, 2003, or the WorSharks 4-3 exhibition shootout win vs Providence at the New England Sports Center on September 29, 2007, please let me know.

I’ve been asked if I’m going to update each post with this season’s results to keep every day current. At one point I had decided I was absolutely not going to do that. Now it looks like I will eventually get to it. I guess we’ll see.

I want to thank everyone who read and commented, either on social media or in person at Railers games. This was a lot of work and your kind thoughts were appreciated.

Thanks again for reading.

-30-

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