The Worcester Railers faced off against the defending ECHL Kelly Cup champion Newfoundland Growlers Saturday night at the DCU Center and dug themselves a hole way too deep to climb out of in a 5-3 loss that was nowhere near as close as the score indicated.
For the first fifty-five minutes of the contest the Railers were completely dominated by Newfoundland, being outshot 36-19 and having an even larger deficit in legitimate scoring chances. They were out-skated, out-passed, out-hit, and out-everything to do with hockey you could possibly think of.
And despite playing as poorly as Worcester was they probably would have still beaten every team in the North Division except the Growlers.
If you’re interested in the particulars of Saturday’s contest, which will be depressing until you reach the final five minutes of the game, You can check out the game story on the Railers official site. The Growlers have their point of view over on their website. As is usual for home games Bill Ballou has a story on the Telegram website that includes a feature on Ben Thomson.
Scratches for the Railers were JD Dudek (14-day IR/upper), Cody Payne, Tanner Pond (14-day IR/upper), Kyle McKenzie (lower), Dante Salituro, and Jordan Samuels-Thomas (lower). Ian Milosz began the game as the back-up goaltender and entered the contest at 11:47 of the third.
The three stars of the game were
1. NFL – 14 Trey Bradley
2. NFL – 36 Michael Kapla
3. WOR – 61 Nic Pierog
The 210Sports Player of the Game was Shane Walsh.
Even Strength Lines
Almeida / Pierog / Thomas
Thomson / Walsh / Durandeau
Turcotte / Callin / Olsson
Stander / Doherty
Murray / MacKinnon
Chukarov / Johansson
Newfoundland 1 3 1 – 5
Worcester 0 0 3 – 3
1st Period-1, Newfoundland, Bradley 7 (Kapla, Melindy), 11:04. Penalties-Doherty Wor (slashing), 0:41; Estephan Nfl (roughing), 19:55; Pierog Wor (roughing), 19:55.
2nd Period-2, Newfoundland, Luchuk 13 0:25 (PS). 3, Newfoundland, Bradley 8 (Brazeau, Sapego), 8:12. 4, Newfoundland, Estephan 15 (Woods, Vander Esch), 12:11. Penalties-Thomas Wor (roughing), 9:42.
3rd Period-5, Newfoundland, O’Brien 11 (Kapla, Melindy), 9:40. 6, Worcester, Pierog 15 (Durandeau, Walsh), 15:34 (PP). 7, Worcester, Almeida 10 (MacKinnon, Chukarov), 16:57 (PP). 8, Worcester, Durandeau 1 (Thomson, Walsh), 19:02. Penalties-Melindy Nfl (unsportsmanlike conduct), 0:49; Turcotte Wor (double – roughing, game misconduct – fighting (continuing altercation)), 4:09; Sapego Nfl (high-sticking – double), 14:28.
Shots on Goal-Newfoundland 12-14-10-36. Worcester 8-10-6-24.
Power Play Opportunities-Newfoundland 0 / 4; Worcester 2 / 3.
Goalies-Newfoundland, Redmond 8-0-0-0 (24 shots-21 saves). Worcester, Buitenhuis 9-11-1-0 (35 shots-30 saves); Milosz 2-2-0-0 (1 shots-1 saves).
Referees-Stan Szczurek (15).
Linesmen-Shane Kanaly (74), Neil Frederickson (54).