The Worcester Railers and Adirondack Thunder hooked up Saturday night for the back half of their weekend home and home series with the Railers hoping their hot play from Friday night in New York continued at the DCU Center.
It took just 44 seconds to find out after Barry Almeida was breaking out of the Worcester zone and was tripped by Thunder forward John Edwardh. With Almeida laying on the ice and referee Andrew Bruggeman throwing his arm up to call a penalty Almeida slid a pass from his stomach over to Ryan Hitchcock as he broke in all alone on Adirondack netminder Evan Cormier. Hitchcock went five-hole and it was 1-0.
The Railers would also score on their next shot, this one coming at 4:31 when David Quenneville backhanded a pass to Yanick Turcotte on the right wing side. Turcotte skated into the Thunder zone and fired a hard wrist shot from about 40-feet out that beat Cormier clean and just snuck inside the far post. Dylan Willick had the secondary assist.
At the next puck drop, and even before the clock ticked down another second, Turcotte dropped the gloves with Alexandre Carrier in a battle that would have made boxing promoters jealous. We seldom mention the fisticuffs here on 210Sports, but this was a pro fight all the way, with both getting in their shots and the linesmen letting them go at it. Once the linesmen reached in to stop the battle both players immediately stopped throwing punches. Hometown scoring gives the edge to Turcotte.
With Worcester sitting on two goals on two shots fans were wondering if their third shot would go in. It didn’t. But the fourth one did at 5:07. Hitchcock started the puck toward the net by skating down the left wing side and wheeling the cage, throwing the puck out front. Ivan Kosorenkov misfired the puck and Cormier made the easy save, but as the puck bounced around in the crease both Almeida and Kosorenkov swatted at it. Almeida ended up getting the goal with Cormier laying flat on his back helpless.
Worcester made it 4-0 goal as they continued the theme of wheeling the net and firing it back out front. This time it was Willick as he gathered Mike Cornell’s dump in and the left side and swung around finding Woody Hudson all alone in front. Hudson’s slap one-timer at 8:54 not only lit the lamp it also chased Cormier from the game.
The four goals in 8:10 of play established a new Railers franchise mark.
In the second period Worcester needed to come out of the gates in the second period playing as hard as they did in the opening twenty minutes and not just protect their four goal lead. While on the scoresheet it looks like the middle stanza wasn’t as good as the first, as they continued to limit the Thunder’s scoring chances.
Adirondack did get one back on the power play on a true goal scorer’s bid by Edwardh. With the Thunder on the power play and Edwardh with the puck in left wing circle he peeked around the screen to see where Railers netminder Mitch Gillam was standing. Once he saw the opening in the near side high corner he fired the puck hard and found his target at 8:59.
Hitchcock got that goal back at 11:25 of the third period with a nice highlight goal. Tyler Barnes and Hitchcock were both behind the goal line battling for the puck when it bounced into the air. Hitchcock gloved it to the ice and quickly fired a backhand spin-o-rama shot that snuck between Alex Sakellaropoulos and the near post to make it the 5-1 final.
Things got a little chippy after that but not much came of it as the Railers enjoyed the two game sweep of their North Division rivals.
Scratches for the Railers were Bo Brauer, Malcolm Gould (14-day IR/lower), Tommy Kelley, Kyle McKenzie (14-day IR/upper), Tyler Mueller (14-day IR/upper), Matt Schmalz (Day to day/upper), and Alex Vanier (Day to day/lower). Evan Buitenhuis was the back-up goaltender. With Worcester down to five healthy defensemen Head Coach and General Manager Jamie Russell brought back defenseman turned accountant Kevin Hart. Late Saturday afternoon Bridgeport assigned Matty Gaudreau to the Railers.
On this date in Worcester hockey history…in 2005 playing in Albany the IceCats scored two extra attacker goals, the first by Jon DiSalvatore with just over a minute left in regulation and the second by Mike Glumac with one second remaining on the clock. The River Rats would go on to win 4-3 in overtime on a goal assisted by Pascal Rheaume, who played for the IceCats five years earlier…in 2007 the WorSharks got a power play goal by Scott Ferguson and a shorthanded tally by Patrick Traverse to beat the Binghamton Senators 2-1. Dimitri Patzold had 28 saves in the win…in 2008 Marc-Edouard Vlasic played his only game for the WorSharks, assisting on Lukas Kaspar’s second period shorthanded goal and on Tom Cavanagh’s extra attacker goal. Worcester won 5-4 in the shootout…in 2018 the Railers got two goals from Matty Gaudreau and three points from Barry Almeida in a 5-2 win against visiting Quad City.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 27 Ryan Hitchcock
2. WOR – 51 Yanick Turcotte
3. WOR – 11 Dylan Willick
For the second game in a row the 210Sports Player of the Game is Barry Almeida.
Even Strength Lines
Almeida / Hitchcock / Barnes
Sorkin / Holmstrom / Gaudreau
Kosorenkov / Willick / Hudson
Doherty / Cornell
Panico / MacKinnon
Hart / Quenneville
Adirondack 0 1 0 – 1
Worcester 4 0 1 – 5
1st Period-1, Worcester, Hitchcock 4 (Almeida), 0:44. 2, Worcester, Turcotte 1 (Quenneville, Willick), 4:31. 3, Worcester, Almeida 12 (Kosorenkov, Hitchcock), 5:07. 4, Worcester, Hudson 5 (Willick, Cornell), 8:54. Penalties-Carrier Adk (fighting – major), 4:31; Turcotte Wor (fighting – major), 4:31; Ward Adk (roughing), 5:48; Doherty Wor (roughing), 5:48; Kosorenkov Wor (slashing), 15:35.
2nd Period-5, Adirondack, Edwardh 14 (Cleland, Bergin), 8:59 (PP). Penalties-Cornell Wor (hooking), 7:41.
3rd Period-6, Worcester, Hitchcock 5 (Barnes), 11:25. Penalties-Thompson Adk (holding), 5:17; Edwardh Adk (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:47; Gaudreau Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 14:47.
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 9-9-10-28. Worcester 12-9-10-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 1 / 2; Worcester 0 / 1.
Goalies-Adirondack, Cormier 0-2-0-0 (7 shots-3 saves); Sakellaropoulos 12-4-2-1 (24 shots-23 saves). Worcester, Gillam 12-10-0-1 (28 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Andrew Bruggeman (25).
Linesmen-Shane Kanaly (39), Brent Colby (38).