The Worcester Railers and Manchester Monarchs hooked up for the second time in 48 hours at the DCU Center Friday night with Worcester hoping to turn the momentum from Wednesday night’s victory into another two points against their ECHL North Division rivals.
Like Wednesday it was a pretty even opening period, with Railers goaltender Mitch Gillam and Monarchs netminder Charles Williams both stopping everything the saw in the period to end the first twenty minutes in a scoreless tie.
Unfortunately for Worcester while the next twenty minutes saw the shots on goal being nearly equal the scoreboard read 3-0 Manchester after the second period was over.
At 7:44 Nic Pierog connected on a two on one rush to give Manchester the lead. Matt Marcinew made it 2-0 at 11:20 when he one-timed Jack Nevins pass from behind the goal line on a play where Railers forward Austin Block looked like he’d never played hockey before. Michael Doherty made it 3-0 when he knocked in a rebound at 14:20.
In the third period Worcester threw a lot of shots on Williams, 16 in fact, but not many were legitimate scoring chances. Williams stop them all.
Not that there was much hope of a miracle comeback to begin with, but Pierog removed any chance with a goal on another two on one break at 14:58 for the eventual 4-0 Monarchs win.
The Railers will take on the Maine Mariners Saturday night at the DCU Center on “Teddy Bear Toss” night, where fans are encouraged to throw stuffed animals on the ice after the Railers score their first goal. Worcester will also wear “Ugly Sweaters” for the contest. Hopefully the game itself won’t be as ugly as Friday’s.
Scratches for the Railers were Ivan Kosorenkov, Malcolm Gould (14-day IR/lower), Tommy Kelley (14-day IR/upper), Kyle McKenzie (14-day IR/upper), Tyler Mueller (Day to day/upper), and Dylan Willick. Evan Buitenhuis was the back-up goaltender.
Prior to Friday night’s game Manchester had several transactions, including signing defensemen Justin Agosta and Daniil Miromanov. Railers fans might remember Agosta as being the player the Monarchs traded to Worcester in exchange for Ashton Rome. Agosta didn’t report to the Railers and was subsequently suspended. A request to speak to Agosta pregame was denied by the Manchester Monarchs.
Many Firefighters from several far off communities were at Friday night’s contest after attending the wake for Worcester Firefighter Christopher Roy. A handful from the Toledo Fire Department in Ohio were shown on the Daktronics board while being interviewed by in-arena host Adam Webster, and received a standing ovation from the crowd and stick taps from both teams. The linesman even held the face-off a short bit so the crowd and team’s appreciation could go on uninterrupted.
You often hear that two players were “tangled up” as they fall to the ice, but seldom is that phrase meant literally. But that was the case in the first period when somehow Barry Almeida’s skate got caught in the pad of Manchester goaltender Charles Williams. As the play went up ice the two were on the ice and couldn’t detach themselves. A Monarchs defensemen skated toward the two in a way that made it look like he was going to defend his goaltender, only to see what the real issue was. He managed to untangle their equipment quickly and play was never stopped. This writer has watched a lot of hockey in his life and can’t recall ever seeing something like that before.
The three stars of the game were
1) MAN – 1 Charles Williams
2) MAN – 21 Matt Marcinew
3) MAN – 61 Nic Pierog
After deciding if there should even be one, we’re giving The 210Sports Player of the Game to Josh Holmstrom.
Even Strength Lines
(Head Coach Jamie Russell changed these all night looking for a combination that worked–spoiler alert: none did)
Almeida / Hitchcock / Barnes
Gaudreau / Holmstrom / Sorkin
Hudson / Schmalz / Turcotte
Cornell / Panico
Doherty / Quenneville
Vanier / MacKinnon
Manchester 0 3 1 – 4
Worcester 0 0 0 – 0
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-1, Manchester, Pierog 12 (Jenys, Shoup), 7:44. 2, Manchester, Marcinew 8 (Nevins, Dancs), 11:20. 3, Manchester, Doherty 3 (Marcinew), 14:20. Penalties-Doherty Man (fighting – major), 5:21; Holmstrom Wor (fighting – major), 5:21.
3rd Period-4, Manchester, Pierog 13 (Jenys, Kolomatis), 14:58. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Manchester 10-13-4-27. Worcester 9-12-16-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 0 / 0; Worcester 0 / 0.
Goalies-Manchester, Williams 5-2-0-1 (37 shots-37 saves). Worcester, Gillam 6-7-0-0 (27 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Alex Garon (9).
Linesmen-William Kingdon (58), Stephen Drain (77).