The Worcester Railers took on the Manchester Monarchs Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center hoping to run their winning streak to three games. The opponent was different but circumstances of the first goal of the game were pretty similar to Saturday night against Reading. After a scoreless first period the Railers got on the board with an early second stanza goal.
Matty Gaudreau started the play by trying to lead Nick Sorkin into the Monarchs zone. The pass was too far in front of Sorkin on the left wing side, but he was able to beat the Manchester defender to the circles to avoid the icing call. Sorkin then gathered the puck and skated behind the net, hitting Gaudreau with a nice pass. Gaudreau continued toward the net and skated across the goal mouth patiently waiting for Monarchs netminder Charles Williams to make a move. As soon as he did Gaudreau fired the puck and beat him clean at 1:39.
The Railers would make it a two goal lead on a broken play. Tommy Kelley lead his linemates into the Manchester zone on a three on two break, but the play broke down in front of Williams at the Monarchs net. Suddenly the puck popped free right at the feet of Matt Schmaltz, who pushed the puck into the yawning net eight minutes into the middle stanza.
Just over a minute later Manchester would get within a goal when Nic Pierog floated a backhander toward Worcester goaltender Mitch Gillam. The shot handcuffed Gillam as the puck went between the near post and Gillam’s blocker at 9:02.
Late in the period the Railers would regain their two goal lead when some sustained pressure lead to the red light going on. Worcester had the puck for a nearly a minute in the Monarchs zone, and the Railers were able to start rotating in a new line despite it being the long change in the middle period. With Manchester running around in their own zone Kelley was able to find an open lane to the net, and Barry Almeida hit him with a nice pass. Kelley’s slow backhander fooled Williams as it floated past him at 18:10. Schmalz had the secondary assist on the play.
The Monarchs made it interesting when Drake Rymsha converted after a Worcester turnover to make it a one goal game at 9:11 of the third period, but Gillam and his defense made th3 lead stand up the rest of the way.
David Quenneville put the game out of reach with an 180-foot unassisted empty net goal at 19:07 for the 4-2 final.
The Railers are off until Friday when they host the Newfoundland Growlers in the first of pair of games next weekend at the DCU Center.
Scratches for the Railers were Malcolm Gould (14-day IR/lower), Ivan Kosorenkov (Day to day/lower), Kyle McKenzie (14-day IR/upper), and Yanick Turcotte (suspended, game three of five). With Mitch Gillam being reassigned to Worcester the Railers released penalty box attendant turned EBUG Rob Lemelin, and Evan Buitenhuis was the back-up goaltender. They also released defenseman Alex Adams.
Didn’t mention this in yesterday’s posting, mostly because last week’s “Railers Player of the Week” choices in the Railers fans’ Facebook Group were so slim it was turned into a joke, but because this writer was asked we’ll mention the winner was “Bo Brauer (scored on his first shot)”. The other two nominees were “Bo Brauer (Bo knows hockey)” and “Bo Brauer (wears #15, the number of “The Legend”)”. So essentially the winner was predetermined to be Brauer, who was the only legitimate candidate.
The Railers wore a “Red Sox but we can’t call it ‘Red Sox’ so we’ll call it ‘Worcester baseball'” themed jerseys for the game that were auctioned off to benefit The Be Like Brit Foundation. According to their mission statement, their commitment is to continue the compassion of Britney Gengel by serving the children of Haiti through sustaining a safe, nurturing home rooted in the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love while developing a sense of social responsibility, community involvement and unconditional love. Britney Gengel was killed in a massive earthquake in Haiti on January 10, 2010 while on a “Journey of Hope” humanitarian visit. It took 33 days for her remains to be located and removed from the collapsed Hotel Montana in Pétion-Ville, Haiti.
On this date in Worcester pro hockey history…In 2007 Brady Leisenring would score two of his three career AHL goals in the WorSharks 4-2 win over Springfield. He also added an assist. …In 2012 Brandon Mashinter would score the only goal in a 1-0 Worcester win over Providence. Harri Sateri had the 23 save shutout. …In 2015 in a rare Tuesday night contest Troy Grosenick made 32 saves in a 3-1 win over Manchester. Micheal Haley had the early third period game winner for Worcester.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 37 Tommy Kelley
2. WOR – 17 Matt Schmalz
3. MAN – 61 Nic Pierog
The 210Sports Player of the Game is Mitch Gillam.
Even Strength Lines
Almeida / Willick / Barnes
Gaudreau / Holmstrom / Sorkin
Schmaltz / Kelley / Brauer
Doherty / Quenneville
Mueller / MacKinnon
Panico / Vanier
Manchester 0 1 1 – 2
Worcester 0 3 1 – 4
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-1, Worcester, Gaudreau 7 (Sorkin), 1:39. 2, Worcester, Schmalz 7 (Kelley), 8:00. 3, Manchester, Pierog 17 (Doherty, Walsh), 9:02. 4, Worcester, Kelley 1 (Almeida, Schmalz), 18:10. Penalties-Miromanov Man (holding), 19:08; Wyszomirski Man (cross-checking), 19:59.
3rd Period-5, Manchester, Rymsha 3 (Dancs, Sullivan), 9:11. 6, Worcester, Quenneville 2 19:07 (EN). Penalties-Holmstrom Wor (high-sticking), 6:17.
Shots on Goal-Manchester 10-6-11-27. Worcester 7-11-8-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 0 / 1; Worcester 0 / 2.
Goalies-Manchester, Williams 9-6-0-1 (25 shots-22 saves). Worcester, Gillam 10-9-0-1 (27 shots-25 saves).
Referees-Mike Sheehan (11).
Linesmen-Colin Gates (30), Matt Fox (63).