The Worcester Railers began their post-Thanksgiving schedule with a trip to Glens Falls, New York Friday night to take on the Adirondack Thunder at Cool Insuring Arena, and got multiple-point nights from six different players, including a Ross Olsson hat trick, to defeat the Thunder 8-1.
It was the first time in franchise history the Railers scored eight goals in a game, and their five-goal outburst in the middle period also set a franchise mark. The team also set records for four quickest goals (7:02), five quickest goals (11:28), and six quickest goals (15:41). Their twenty shots in the second period tied the franchise mark for shots in a road second frame.
In addition to all that, Olsson’s hat trick, his first as a professional, took 32:42 of game time to complete and is also a new franchise mark. He just missed a Gordie Howe hat trick by not recording an assist.
Despite the lopsided score, the Railers trailed 1-0 after the opening twenty minutes by committing one of hockey’s cardinal sins in allowing a goal in the last minute of a period. With the clock winding down on the frame Anthony Repaci’s outlet pass ended up in the skates of Charlie Spetz, and Adirondack picked up the loose puck and in the ensuing play, Pete MacArthur lifted a backhander over Worcester netminder Colten Ellis with 12.7 seconds left on the clock.
The second period, as was the rest of the game, was all Railers, with Worcester putting up 30 shots and eight goals in the final forty minutes. At the risk of this posting looking like the “WorHokeyAlum highlight” post that appears here on 210Sports each Monday, we’ll go to the video for the highlights.
Olsson’s first of the game came at 4:47 of the second.
There’s no video of Olsson’s second goal of the night, likely because the third came so quickly, but he was set up by a nice pass from Repaci from the bumper position. The winger’s pass found Olsson just behind the goal line to the left of Thunder netminder Alex Sakellaropoulos. Olsson’s first bid was blocked but he managed to flip the rebound in. The battle around the net continued for a short bit as many players didn’t realize the puck was in the net, but the red light was on, and referee Matt Menniti was there signaling it was indeed a goal.
Just 37 seconds later, Repaci made it a 3-1 game
The Thunder then called their timeout, but that only stemmed the tide for a short bit as Worcester continued to mount the pressure. This tally chased Thunder netminder Sakellaropoulos from the game.
The Railers’ record-breaking fifth goal of the frame was their second power-play marker of the period and set the franchise mark for four quickest goals.
The third period started with Worcester still red hot, and even being shorthanded couldn’t cool them down. This was their franchise-record fifth goal in 11:28 of game time.
Things then started to get nasty. Worcester had only two fights on the season entering the game but got into three in under two minutes in the third frame. The first was Liam Coughlin against Alexandre Carrier after Coughlin threw a hard check. It was just Coughlin’s second as a pro, with Carrier getting an instigator minor and then being shown the showers after complaining about it at 6:48 of the third.
One second later Olsson absolutely dismantled Jimmy Mazza.
The fisticuffs didn’t stop there and at 8:17 Robbie Payne threw a cheap-shot hit on Drew Callin that the ECHL could possibly take a look at. Karl Boudrias was right there to challenge Payne and the rookie defenseman acquitted himself quite well in his first pro battle. Somehow Thunder defender Chris Lijdsman earned himself an inciting misconduct during the battle.
Pretty much all that was left was to see if Olsson could grab another goal for the hat trick, or maybe an assist for the Gordie Howe hat trick. He ended up getting the goal, and it was a nice one.
With time running down Jordan Smotherman put the icing on the cake.
The Railers are off Saturday and will take on the Newfoundland Growlers Sunday at the DCU Center.
Worcester’s lone scratch was Carlos Fornaris. Earlier Friday the Bridgeport Islanders signed Will Cullen, a defenseman who left Miami University after seven games this season, to an AHL contract and assigned him to Worcester. He was not activated in time for the game. Ken Appleby was the backup goaltender.
Every arena has some sort of stoppage of play sponsorship opportunities, and Adirondack is no exception. One of theirs is a trivia question sponsored by Uno Pizzaria, and the question was “What Thunder goalie has the second-most wins in franchise history?”. What makes this notable for Railers fans is all three possible answers, Alex Sakellaropoulos, Ken Appleby, or JP Anderson, all are goaltenders who donned a sweater for Worcester. Sakellaropoulos and Appleby played for the Railers, Anderson for the WorSharks. The answer is Appleby, and the camera showed him sitting off to the side wearing a cap.
Maybe not worth noting, but we’ll do so anyway. The media packet before the game listed the referee as Samuel Bernier, who wears #33. It was instead Matt Menniti, who wears the #30 referee sweater. To make it a tad more confusing, Menniti is listed on the scorer’s sheet and game report as wearing #10.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 23 Ross Olsson
2. WOR – 81 Anthony Repaci
3. WOR – 92 Colten Ellis
The 210Sports Player of the Game was Jordan Smotherman.
Even Strength Lines
Vesey / Hayhurst / Jozefek
Repachi / Beaudoin / Smotherman
Christensen / Coughlin / Callin
Malatesta / McGurty
Spetz / Furgele
Procopio / Boudrias
Worcester 0 5 3 – 8
Adirondack 1 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Adirondack, MacArthur 4 (Long), 19:47. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Olsson 3 (Spetz, Smotherman), 4:47. 3, Worcester, Olsson 4 (Repaci, Furgele), 9:13 (PP). 4, Worcester, Repaci 2 (Furgele, Smotherman), 9:48. 5, Worcester, Coughlin 2 (Callin, Christensen), 13:02. 6, Worcester, Repaci 3 (Christensen, Furgele), 16:15 (PP). Penalties-Ryczek Adk (tripping), 7:51; Chukarov Adk (holding), 14:37; Furgele Wor (hooking), 18:37.
3rd Period-7, Worcester, Hayhurst 4 0:28 (SH). 8, Worcester, Olsson 5 (Hayhurst, Smotherman), 17:29 (PP). 9, Worcester, Smotherman 4 18:56. Penalties-Coughlin Wor (fighting – major), 6:48; Carrier Adk (instigating, fighting – major, misconduct), 6:48; Olsson Wor (fighting – major), 6:49; Mazza Adk (fighting – major), 6:49; Boudrias Wor (fighting – major), 8:17; Lijdsman Adk (misconduct – inciting), 8:17; Payne Adk (charging, fighting – major), 8:17; Masonius Adk (tripping), 15:46.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 17-20-10-47. Adirondack 11-7-14-32.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 3 / 5; Adirondack 0 / 1.
Goalies-Worcester, Ellis 2-2-0-0 (32 shots-31 saves). Adirondack, Sakellaropoulos 2-4-0-0 (31 shots-27 saves); Mitens 3-4-1-0 (16 shots-12 saves).
Referees-Matt Menniti (10).
Linesmen-JP Waleski (51), Steven Herbs (55).