The Worcester Railers played the first game of their franchise long ten-day road trip Sunday afternoon at the Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania against the Royals, and it was more of the same as the Railers couldn’t find the back of the net in a 3-0 loss to Reading.
The game began as many have this season, with Worcester controlling the play but not being able to light the lamp. Reading then turned a Railers mistake into a goal when Kyle McKenzie went with Royals forward Matthew Strome toward the boards leaving Connor Doherty to try and chase down Brayden Low. Strome’s centering feed to Low sent him in all alone on Worcester netminder Jakub Skarek, and Low went five hole to make it 1-0 Reading at 11:38 of the first.
Steven Swavely then made it 2-0 Royals at 1:27 of the middle period when he took a two on one feed from Corey Mackin and went in alone on Skarek, beating the rookie netminder clean over the glove.
At that point it looked like Worcester was just running the clock down, putting almost no pressure on Reading netminder Kirill Ustimenko the rest of the way. Late in the third period Thomas Ebbing added an empty net goal for the 3-0 final.
The Railers will fly to Jacksonville on Monday to take on the Icemen on Wednesday before continuing on to Greenville for a pair of games Friday and Saturday. They’ll finish the game Sunday in South Carolina when they take on the Stingrays.
Scratches for the Railers were Arnaud Durandeau (day to day/upper), JD Dudek (14-day IR/upper), Ian Milosz, Tanner Pond (14-day IR/upper), Dylan Sadowy (14-day IR/upper), Kyle Thomas (14-day/lower), and Yanick Turcotte (14-day IR/upper). Evan Buitenhuis was the back-up goaltender. Before the Railers headed to Reading on Saturday the Sound Tigers recalled defenseman Ryan MacKinnon. It may end up being a long stay in Bridgeport as just prior to Worcester’s puck drop Sunday the Islanders announced they traded defenseman David Quenneville to the New Jersey Devils.
Eddie Matsushima made his debut with the Railers, wearing the #11 that had been assigned to Dylan Sadowy. The reason why was teased by play by play man Eric Lindquist, but even after being prompted on Twitter early in the third period to continue the story he never did say why the number change was made.
The three stars of the game were
1. REA – 72 Kirill Ustimenko
2. REA – 9 Brayden Low
3. REA – 12 Steven Swavely
There is no 210Sports Player of the Game, and there won’t be one named until they win again.
Even Strength Lines
Thomson / Callin / Salituro
Almeida / Pierog / Walsh
Matsushima / Olsson / Brauer
McKenzie / Doherty
Stander / Chukarov
Murray / Macnee
Worcester 0 0 0 – 0
Reading 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Reading, Low 14 (Strome, DiChiara), 11:38. Penalties-Olsson Wor (roughing, roughing), 5:18; Hodgson Rea (roughing), 5:18.
2nd Period-2, Reading, Swavely 9 (Mackin, Michel), 1:27. Penalties-Cecere Rea (hooking), 5:11; Payne Wor (roughing), 8:53; Cecere Rea (roughing), 8:53; Murray Wor (roughing), 9:37; Thomson Wor (roughing), 17:40; Cockerill Rea (hooking), 17:40.
3rd Period-3, Reading, Ebbing 7 (Drake), 19:15 (EN). Penalties-Matsushima Wor (tripping), 1:22; Salituro Wor (hooking), 13:31; Mackin Rea (hooking), 14:22; Drake Rea (high-sticking – double), 20:00.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 18-9-6-33. Reading 8-11-9-28.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 2; Reading 0 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Skarek 2-6-2-0 (27 shots-25 saves). Reading, Ustimenko 19-4-5-0 (33 shots-33 saves).
Referees-Zane Stout (37).
Linesmen-CJ Hallman (59), Tyler Loftus (72).