The Worcester Railers were in cruise control Saturday night in Glens Falls, New York after taking a 2-0 second period lead against the Adirondack Thunder at the Cool Insuring Arena, but then slammed into a pothole and crashed as their ECHL North Division rivals raced past them in the third to send the Railers home 3-2 losers.
After a scoreless opening period that saw Worcester out-shooting Adirondack 16-8 and dominating the twenty minutes by even a larger margin. But while former Railers netminder Eamon McAdam made some nice saves for the Thunder it was once again the same problem that has plagued the Worcester franchise since its inception: Railers forwards being unable to put the puck in the net.
The second frame was a lot like the first, although the Railers did beat McAdam twice in the first half of the period when Tanner Pond fired one through a screen on the power play at 5:45 and Cody Payne collected a Thunder turnover and beat McAdam clean at 11:03. Payne’s goal was unassisted, while Mike Cornell and Ivan Chukarov picked up points on Pond’s tally.
With about five minutes to go in that middle frame Worcester was out-shooting Adirondack 31-14 and they were in complete control of the game. Until they weren’t. From that point on the Railers were out-shot 14-6 and were outscored 3-0.
Charlie Curti cut the Railers lead in half with a laser from high in the right circle at 17:34 of the second, and he struck again to tie it 2-2 8:41 of the third when he fired one from high in the slot. Kelly Summers for the game winner when his short side bid on Worcester netminder Evan Buitenhuis hit a defenseman’s stick and went in. The Railers then managed just one shot on goal the rest of the way.
Scratches for the Railers were Drew Callin, Anthony Florentino (Day to day), Ross Olsson, Chris Rygus, and Henrik Samuelsson (Day to day). Jakub Skarek was the back-up goaltender. In the Railers pregame radio show head coach Jamie Russell said that no one has been sitting because of poor play and that the team needs the opportunity to see all its players in games early in the season.
Tanner Pond’s goal gave him points in all three Railers games this season. Kyle Thomas, who was held without a point for the first time this campaign, and Ryan Hitchcock are the only two Worcester players that have been “even” or better all three games. Thomas leads the team at +5.
With the ECHL now using the AHL’s rule where a player starts receiving suspensions for every fight beyond his ninth, with fighters getting one game for fights number ten through thirteen and two games per fight afterward, it was going to be interesting to see how penalties would be called in altercations. Judging by how referee Matt Menniti called the tilt between Worcester’s Cody Payne and Adirondack’s Michael Sdao apparently it will only be called a fight if ring girls are used. The Payne/Sdao battle was a fight by every manner except on the score sheet, where it was called a double minor for roughing.
Unlike many other times when the Railers visit Glens Falls to take on Adirondack, the team didn’t make the almost three hour trip yesterday after yesterday’s game and instead made the trek earlier Saturday afternoon. It’s a good bet that the team will head up to Glens Falls Thursday for Friday night’s game as following that tilt against the Thunder the Railers will bus to Brampton for a weekend pair against the Beast. It’s an almost 400 mile trek going from Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls, New York to the CAA Centre in Brampton, Ontario.
Next Friday’s meeting between the Railers and Thunder will include Adirondack defenseman Gabriel Verpaelst. He was suspended for five games, one preseason and five regular season games, for leaving the bench to join in an altercation in the Thunder’s preseason game against the Reading Royals on October 5th. Verpaelst was on the Colorado Eagles when the Railers faced them on October 25, 2017, where he fought Yanick Turcotte in the first period and then was part of the wild third period fracas that saw seven players ejected and Turcotte receiving a double game misconduct. Verpaelst had 20 penalty minutes in the contest.
The three stars of the game were
1. ADK – 3 Charlie Curti
2. ADK – 34 Eamon McAdam
3. ADK – 27 Kelly Summers
The 210Sports Player of the Game is Cody Payne.
Even Strength Lines
Hitchcock / Pond / Thomas
Almeida / Dudek / Pierog
Samuels-Thomas / Payne / Schmalz
Murray / Cornell
McKenzie / Chukarov
Doherty / Bolton
Worcester 0 2 0 – 2
Adirondack 0 1 2 – 3
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Payne Wor (double – roughing), 8:51; Sdao Adk (double – roughing), 8:51.
2nd Period-1, Worcester, Pond 2 (Cornell, Chukarov), 5:45 (PP). 2, Worcester, Payne 1 11:03. 3, Adirondack, Curti 1 (Popugaev, Verbeek), 17:34. Penalties-Waked Adk (hooking), 4:26; Bolton Wor (hooking), 11:14; Thomas Wor (cross-checking), 18:34.
3rd Period-4, Adirondack, Curti 2 (Nazarian, Thompson), 8:41. 5, Adirondack, Summers 1 (Pierro-Zabotel, Popugaev), 16:15. Penalties-Riley Adk (tripping), 9:57; Chukarov Wor (interference), 11:50; Samuels-Thomas Wor (tripping), 14:09.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 16-16-3-35. Adirondack 8-9-11-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 2; Adirondack 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Buitenhuis 0-1-0-0 (28 shots-25 saves). Adirondack, McAdam 2-0-0-1 (35 shots-33 saves).
Referees-Matt Menniti (10).
Linesmen-Chris Provost (50), Mike Emanatian (69).