The Worcester Sharks 2006-07 inaugural hockey season has officially begun.
The Sharks took to the DCU Center ice on Sept. 25 for the first day of training camp and
showed more than 250 fans what to expect for the coming season. A total of 34 players skated during the two-and-a-half hour session including Lukas Kaspar (pictured on the right).
The final hour and a half showcased a Gray vs. Black scrimmage where the two teams skated to a 6-6 tie.
In normal fashion, a shootout decided the winner. Rhode Island’s own Tom Cavanagh (pictured at right) broke the tie in the sixth round for Team Black with a nifty deke to the backhand that beat netminder Ryan MacDonald to the glove hand for the win.
Eric Przepiorka also added a hat trick for Team Black, which included a penalty shot in the latter half of the game. Przepiorka, a native of Grosse Point, Mich., played for Dartmouth College last season and had 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in 33 games.
Team Gray had a little more balanced scoring attack with six different players figuring in the goals. Left wing Tyler McGregor, a product of Holy Cross, added some local flare with a laser to the top corner during a 2-on-1 rush for Team Gray's fifth goal of the game.
For both the fans and players, it was everybody's first interaction. The players enjoyed stepping onto the DCU Center ice and seeing die-hard Worcester Hockey fans in the seats. On the flip side, the fans enjoyed the opportunity to come into the arena and see their brand new team for the first time.
“Thanks for bringing hockey back to Worcester,” yelled one excited fan.
The magnitude of support for the Worcester Sharks has been overwhelming from the people in town. Since early January, this city has known of a new team returning to the DCU Center. They are excited... as they should be.
The support does not go unnoticed either. The team appreciates seeing fans attend practice and cheer.
“When we were in Cleveland last season, we maybe had five fans attend practice,” said forward Riley Armstrong, who played 64 games for the Barons before they moved to Worcester. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I stepped onto the ice. It’s really exciting.
“I just got here yesterday, so I don’t know the city too well yet,” Armstrong added. “What I do know is that the facility and setup is top-notch and we couldn’t ask for anything better.
“I’ve heard from different people that the fans are great here and I just experienced that tonight,” Armstrong concluded. “We all had a great time. I can’t wait for opening night! I hear they’re almost sold out.”
The fans are excited, the players are excited and the building is excited.
Hockey has begun and it’s right here in Worcester. It doesn’t get any better than that.