The Worcester Railers had their annual “School Day Game” during a morning contest against the Reading Royals at the DCU Center on Wednesday, and what those children learned was mistakes will come back to haunt you as Worcester had several that did in a 6-4 loss in front of 6,718 mostly screaming school children.
After Hayden Hodgson gave Reading the lead at 6:35 of the first when a floating shot from the point hit him in front and snuck past netminder Evan Buitenhuis, Ryan MacKinnon tied the game with a booming shot with the Railers on a five on three power play at 16:08. Barry Almeida picked up his first of three helpers in the game on the goal, with Jordan Samuels-Thomas earning the primary assist.
Late in the opening stanza one of those pesky mistakes popped up when Yanick Turcotte got an elbow up high on a Royals player, and Reading took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission when Ralph Cuddemi connected on the ensuing power play.
In the second it was a Railers neutral zone turnover that sent Reading swarming into the Worcester zone, and trailer Frankie DiChiara made his old team pay with a goal at 1:22 to make it 3-1.
Matt Schmalz got Worcester back within one at 4:56 when MacKinnon’s shot from the blueline hit Schmalz and went in, with Almeida picking up his second point of the contest. But another Railers turnover ended up behind Buitenhuis at 5:38 when Hodgson grabbed a loose puck in the slot and scored unassisted.
With just over nine minutes gone in the second frame the Railers put the puck across the goal line, and with the red light flashing behind him referee Casey Terreri waved the goal off, saying it was kicked in. After a brief video review he indicted it was indeed “no goal”.
It took Kyle McKenzie just a second or two to make that moot when Cody Payne won the draw clean back to the defenseman and Mckenzie’s blast beat Reading netminder Kirill Ustimenko at 9:12. According to the ECHL rule book, under rule 76.2 if Worcester was guilty of kicking the puck into the net the face-off should have been outside the zone.
That rules mistake turned out to not matter as Trevor Yates made it 5-3 at 10:35 of the third when he converted after another Worcester turnover. Samuels-Thomas gave the fans some hope with an extra attacker goal at 16:57, but those hopes were dashed by yet another Railers turnover that resulted in Cuddemi hitting an open net for the 6-4 final.
The Railers will be back at it Thursday night when they take on the Brampton Beast.
Scratches for the Railers were Jake Bolton, Tanner Pond (14-day IR), Chris Rygus, Jack Stander, and Shane Walsh (unknown injury). Linus Soderstrom was the back-up goaltender. Before the game defenseman Ryan MacKinnon was loaned to the Railers from the Bridgeport. He made his presence felt quickly, scoring the first Worcester goal and assisting on two others.
With three assists in the contest Barry Almeida continues his climb up the Worcester pro hockey top-20 lists. His three helpers give him 79 for his Railers career, tying him with Lukas Kaspar for 12th all-time in Worcester pro hockey history. His 125 career Worcester points ties him with Blake Evans, Marty Reasoner, and Kaspar for 13th all-time. Yanick Turcotte also is moving up Worcester’s all-time penalty minutes list. His two today give him 407 in a Railers uniform, good enough for 12th all-time in city pro hockey.
Seventeen seconds into the game referee Casey Terreri was hit in the face with a puck off the glass and headed off down the tunnel for some repairs. Linesman Shane Kanaly, who is a college hockey referee, took over the referee duties while linesman Robert Griffin called the blue lines. Terreri returned to the game at 12:09 of the opening period.
There was a scary injury in the second period when Reading forward Hayden Hodgson got a skate cut on the back of the right leg. With the Royals bench yelling both trainers were on the ice to assist Hodgson before the whistle could be blown, and an EMT rushed from the Railers dressing room tunnel to the scene. Within a few moments a stretcher was brought to the ice and Hodgson quickly evacuated to the hospital. There has been no word as to his condition released by Reading.
The three stars of the game were
1. REA – 16 Hayden Hodgson
2. WOR – 4 Ryan MacKinnon
3. REA – 21 Frank DiChiara
The 210Sports Player of the Game is Barry Almeida.
Even Strength Lines
Almeida / Samuels-Thomas / Schmalz
Thomas / Payne / Dudek
Turcotte / Callin / Brauer
McKenzie / Chukarov
Doherty / MacKinnon
Murray / Florentino
Reading 2 2 2 – 6
Worcester 1 2 1 – 4
1st Period-1, Reading, Hodgson 4 (Cockerill, Low), 6:35. 2, Worcester, MacKinnon 1 (Samuels-Thomas, Almeida), 16:06 (PP). 3, Reading, Cuddemi 9 (Willman, DiChiara), 19:04 (PP). Penalties-Mitchell Rea (tripping), 2:52; Gaudreau Rea (holding), 14:23; Knodel Rea (slashing), 15:15; Turcotte Wor (elbowing), 17:55.
2nd Period-4, Reading, DiChiara 7 (Laberge, Mackin), 1:22. 5, Worcester, Schmalz 3 (MacKinnon, Almeida), 4:56. 6, Reading, Hodgson 5 5:38. 7, Worcester, McKenzie 1 (Payne), 9:12. Penalties-Laberge Rea (holding), 6:36; Cockerill Rea (tripping), 16:50.
3rd Period-8, Reading, Yates 3 (Gaudreau, Cuddemi), 10:35. 9, Worcester, Samuels-Thomas 4 (MacKinnon, Almeida), 16:57. 10, Reading, Cuddemi 10 (Knodel), 19:27 (EN). Penalties-Murray Wor (charging), 2:31; Payne Wor (delay of game), 7:27.
Shots on Goal-Reading 8-13-12-33. Worcester 16-12-12-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Reading 1 / 3; Worcester 1 / 5.
Goalies-Reading, Ustimenko 4-1-2-0 (40 shots-36 saves). Worcester, Buitenhuis 1-4-0-0 (32 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Casey Terreri (14).
Linesmen-Shane Kanaly (74), Robert Griffin (53).