The Worcester Railers took on the Brampton Beast Wednesday morning in the first of three games this week in Canada looking to get back to their winning ways with their sights set firmly on getting into playoff position.
The Railers had the first five shots of the game but couldn’t convert on them, and when Tommy Panico was called for a phantom hold and Matty Gaudreau followed him to the penalty box on a very borderline tripping call Brampton would take advantage of the five on three power play when Chase Golightly fed Jordan Henry for a booming one-timer at 5:23 of the opening period.
That lead didn’t last long as the Railers got a power play opportunity of their own and Ivan Kosorenkov fired a one-timer to get the score back to even off a nice feed from Ryan Hitchcock to tie the game at 6:29.
Brampton retook the lead at 14:47 when Jackson Leef fired an absolute laser from the left circle that went over the right shoulder of Worcester goaltender Mitch Gillam and just under the crossbar. Defenseman Austin McEneny had the assist on the play.
Once again the Railers would answer right back. After Gillam made back to back great saves on Brampton bids Worcester would break out of the zone toward the Beast end where Hitchcock would feed Tyler Barnes in the right circle. Barnes’ shot beat Brampton goaltender Jake Paterson to tie it 2-2 at 16:51
With time winding down in the period Worcester would grab their first lead of the game when Barnes fed Ryan MacKinnon, who skated down the middle and went forehand backhand on Paterson to light the lamp at 19:14.
Barnes would give the Railers a two goal lead at 5:04 of the middle period when he skated around several Beast players and fired a high shot from the right circle that beat Paterson for the unassisted tally.
Former WorSharks forward Daniel Ciampini got Brampton back within one at 4-3 when he took a pass from Artur Tianulin at the far post and banged it into the empty net at 10:14 of the third period.
With time winding down and Paterson off for an extra attacker Nick Sorkin failed to make a clear out of the Worcester zone and instead sent the puck right to the tape of Nathan Todd’s stick. Eventually David Vallorani would tip a shot past Gillam to send the game to overtime.
Both teams had good bids in the extra session, with Gillam stopping a two on none break to keep the Railers in the game. In the shootout Kosorenkov would score for Worcester but the Beasts’ final two shooters would score to give Brampton the 5-4 win.
Scratches for the Railers were Malcolm Gould, Tommy Kelley, Kyle McKenzie (14-day IR/upper/out for season), Tyler Mueller (14-day IR/upper), Matt Schmalz (14-day IR/upper), and Yanick Turcotte. Evan Buitenhuis was the back-up goaltender. As was expected on Monday the Railers released defenseman Kevin Hart. What was unexpected was a couple of injured reserve moves with Malcolm Gould being taken off the list and Matt Schmalz being added to it. According to Bill Doyle’s feature on Barry Almeida Schmalz will be out four weeks and McKenzie is out for the remainder of the season.
For the first time since he joined the Railers Ivan Kosorenkov made a road trip to Canada. He was prohibited from making the previous treks up north because of issues with his visa, which as it turns out is a pretty standard issue for Russian born players. It would take thousands of words to explain the whole situation and there’s a good chance it wouldn’t even be totally correct, so suffice it to say it took a lot of effort from the Railers front office and others to get him eligible to go to Canada and then come back into the Unites States with the rest of the team.
It was quite the trek to Canada for Worcester as they were delayed several hours at Logan Airport in Boston. The snowstorm–such as it was here–that blanketed New England Wednesday morning hit the Toronto area much harder Tuesday morning causing massive delays at Toronto Pearson International Airport. The plane the Railers was supposed to take there for their late morning flight never even left that airport for Boston until early afternoon. It was late afternoon before the Railers took off for Toronto, landing just a bit past 7pm.
On Wednesday night the Railers are to fly to St. John’s Newfoundland for a pair against the Growlers this weekend, but during the radio broadcast around noontime Eric Lindquist was already talking about potential flight delays heading to the rock.
With it being the first game of the week we’ll take a look at the voting for last week’s “Railers Player of the Week” held over in the Railers Fans Facebook group, and in another runaway vote Ryan Hitchcock gets the nod with over 95% of the votes cast when the voting was called postgame Wednesday. Barry Almeida and Tyler Barnes were the other nominees.
On this date in Worcester hockey history…in 2004 Scott Pellerin and Ernie Hartlieb both scored in the IceCats 2-1 win over the Springfield Falcons. Blake Evans assisted on both scores, and Curtis Sanford had 29 saves in the win…in 2009 the WorSharks held the Falcons to 17 shots in a 3-1 win over Springfield. Lukas Kaspar had a goal and an assist, and Steve Zalewski and Riley Armstrong both added goals.
The three stars of the game were
1. BRM – 73 Artur Tianulin
2. WOR – 7 Tyler Barnes
3. BRM – 97 David Vallorani
The 210Sports Player of the Game is Ryan Hitchcock.
Even Strength Lines
Almeida / Hitchcock / Barnes
Sorkin / Holmstrom / Gaudreau
Kosorenkov / Willick / Hudson
Doherty / Cornell
Panico / MacKinnon
Vanier / Quenneville
Worcester 3 1 0 0 – 4
Brampton 2 1 1 0 – 5
1st Period-1, Brampton, Henry 13 (Golightly, Vallorani), 5:23 (PP). 2, Worcester, Kosorenkov 7 (Hitchcock), 6:29 (PP). 3, Brampton, Leef 8 (McEneny, Petgrave), 14:47. 4, Worcester, Barnes 13 (Hitchcock), 16:51. 5, Worcester, MacKinnon 4 (Barnes), 19:14. Penalties-Panico Wor (holding), 3:35; Gaudreau Wor (tripping), 4:21; Ciampini Brm (tripping), 6:10.
2nd Period-6, Worcester, Barnes 14 5:04. 7, Brampton, Ciampini 10 (Tianulin, Pacan), 10:14. Penalties-Gaudreau Wor (interference), 10:45; Almeida Wor (high-sticking – double), 16:11.
3rd Period-8, Brampton, Vallorani 13 (Todd, Ciampini), 19:23. Penalties-Vanier Wor (holding), 13:17.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
Shootout – Worcester 1 (Kosorenkov G, Barnes NG, Hitchcock NG), Brampton 2 (Vallorani NG, Todd G, Tianulin G).
Shots on Goal-Worcester 15-10-7-2-0-34. Brampton 10-7-10-4-1-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 1; Brampton 1 / 6.
Goalies-Worcester, Gillam 12-11-0-2 (31 shots-27 saves). Brampton, Paterson 6-9-1-0 (34 shots-30 saves).
Referees-Chris Pontes (12).
Linesmen-Brady Fagan (89), Dustin McCrank (37).