The Worcester Railers took on the Brampton Beast in a Sunday afternoon matinee at the CAA Centre in Brampton, Ontario in the first of two contests over the next couple of days against their ECHL North Division rivals hoping to get back in the win column.
For the first 40 minutes it was all about the goaltenders, with Mitch Gillam making his first start since being injured against Newfoundland on November 7th. He showed no signs of rust, making several big saves on some high quality bids.
At the other end of the ice Beast netminder Etienne Marcoux was just as sharp despite not having to face a significant amount of legitimate scoring chances.
In the third period the Railers offense, which has consistently been at the bottom of the ECHL over their season and a quarter franchise history, was a virtual no-show as Brampton picked up their play early in the frame.
The Beast finally beat Gillam on a low two-on-one when David Pacan lit the lamp at 3:05. Brampton made it a two goal lead when they pounced on a loose puck and Boston Leier eventually beat Gillam at 8:43.
The Railers offense finally showed some signs of life at 18:59 when Tyler Mueller connected with an extra attacker on the ice. Mike Cornell and Barry Almeida had the assists.
Any momentum gained from that goal was quickly lost when Worcester failed to control the puck in the Brampton end with Gillam pulled again and Pacan put the puck into the yawning Railers net for the 3-1 final.
The two teams play again Tuesday morning with an 11am start time.
Scratches for the Railers were Malcolm Gould (14-day IR/upper), Tommy Kelley (14-day IR/upper), Yanick Turcotte (14-day IR/lower), and Alex Vanier. Evan Buitenhuis was the back-up goaltender. With only nine healthy forwards on the roster defenseman Connor Doherty took some shifts up front.
Ivan Kosorenkov made his AHL debut Saturday night. Wearing #74 Kosorenkov had no points and a shot on goal in the San Jose Barracuda’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Colorado Eagles. Former WorSharks captain John McCarthy, the only other former Worcester player on the Barracuda roster, had a goal in the game.
Instead of flying as they usually do to Brampton Worcester bussed up on Saturday, and with a couple of breaks took nine and a half hours to get there. With it being Thanksgiving weekend riding the bus was probably a lot less stressful than dealing with crowded airports. They’ll head back to Worcester Tuesday afternoon after their morning game against the Beast.
The Brampton Beast have a few Worcester and Massachusetts connections, starting with former WorSharks forward Daniel Ciampini, who went 3-3-6 in action at the end of the 2014-15 on an ATO. Forwards Jackson Leef (Westfield State) and David Vallorani (UMass-Lowell) both spent four years at Massachusetts colleges, and
Ryan Scarfo was born in North Chelmsford, MA. There are no Brampton connections on the Railers roster.
Saturday night hockey Twitter was abuzz when Jacksonville Icemen goaltender Mikhail Berdin was credited with an empty net goal against the Greenville Swamp Rabbits. The ECHL quickly posted a video to Twitter with “Goalie Goal” all in capital letters that was retweeted dozens of times in a couple of minutes. The big issue was no one apparently watched the video. When this writer noted it was actually Kris Newbury who touched the puck last for the Icemen and not Berdin the video was quickly deleted and a scoring change made.
Also Saturday night, over in Reading the Royals were forced to use two emergency goaltenders when Angus Redmond suffered an upper body injury playing Friday night and Austin Lotz went to Lehigh Valley on a PTO. Nick Niedert, whose pro career started in 2003-04 with the SPHL’s Macon Trax, got into his first ECHL game since 2015-16. His backup was Jacob Beeman, who played three games of Tier III Junior A hockey in 2008-09. All Niedert did was make 38 saves on 39 shots in Reading’s 2-1 win over the Adirondack Thunder.
The three stars of the game were
1) BRM – 61 David Pacan
2) BRM – 40 Etienne Marcoux
3) BRM – 23 Boston Leier
The 210Sports Player of the Game was Mitch Gillam.
Even Strength Lines
Almeida / Holmstrom / Barnes
Gaudreau / Sorkin / Bligh
Hudson / Willick / Block
McKenzie / Cornell
Mueller / Quenneville
MacKinnon / Panico
Worcester 0 0 1 – 1
Brampton 0 0 3 – 3
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Luchuk Brm (bench – too many men), 11:00; Cornell Wor (fighting – major), 18:13; Leier Brm (fighting – major), 18:13.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Martenet Brm (elbowing), 2:45; Racine Brm (cross-checking), 10:25; Doherty Wor (roughing), 13:20; Erkamps Brm (roughing), 13:20.
3rd Period-1, Brampton, Pacan 11 (Marino, Racine), 3:05. 2, Brampton, Leier 1 (Pacan, Marino), 8:43. 3, Worcester, Mueller 1 (Cornell, Almeida), 18:59. 4, Brampton, Pacan 12 (Marino), 19:20 (EN). Penalties-Leier Brm (cross-checking), 6:30; Quenneville Wor (roughing), 8:43.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 7-12-6-25. Brampton 11-10-10-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 4; Brampton 0 / 1.
Goalies-Worcester, Gillam 2-6-0-0 (30 shots-28 saves). Brampton, Marcoux 5-4-0-1 (25 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Alexander Ross (11).
Linesmen-Matt Ceko (32), Dustin McCrank (37).