The Worcester Railers took their modest two-game winning streak up to Portland, Maine Friday night in a battle against the Mariners, and while Cross Insurance Arena hasn’t been very hospitable to the gang from Worcester this time it was no match for the suddenly high-flying Railers as six different players scored in a 6-3 victory over Maine.
It was a complete team effort in The Pine Tree State, with Worcester controlling the play in the offensive end and keeping second chances to a minimum on their own zone. With the exception of early in the third period, the Railers forecheck and defense prevented the Mariners from gaining any momentum. The only bad checkmark for Worcester was they once again took bad penalties, and against the ECHL’s top power play that almost cost them.
As they have for the last handful of games the Railers came flying out of the gates, and it was Cole Coskey who got them on the board when he converted on a Maine turnover.
It stayed 1-0 into the second frame until the swarming offense once again lit the lamp when Brent Beaudoin banged home a loose puck.
Less than three minutes later Reece Newkirk kept his hot streak going and made it 3-0.
Pascal Laberge got Maine on the board with a power play goal at 9:14, but Nolan Vesey didn’t waste much time in getting Worcester’s three-goal lead back.
The Railers got themselves in a bit of trouble to open the third period when they came out of the dressing room flat and the Mariners took advantage, with Nick Jermain making it a two-goal game just 49 seconds into the frame and Mathew Santos scoring on an absolute laser for a power play goal at 2:27.
One of the keys to winning in any sport is to convert off of turnovers, and Anthony Repaci did just that to make it 5-3 Worcester.
Maine then threw everything that had at the Railers, but just before the Mariners could think about pulling their netminder for an extra attacker, that would have really made it five on five, Ross Olsson put a dagger in their hearts.
For as chippy as the game was, the final two-plus minutes was played incident-free as Worcester put another victory in the win column.
Scratches for the Railers were Karl Boudrias (Commissioner’s Exempt List), Bobby Butler (Commissioner’s Exempt List), Grant Jozefek (IR/upper body), Danny Katic, Chris Ordoobadi (Commissioner’s Exempt List), and Matt Sredl (IR/unknown). Colten Ellis was the backup goaltender. On Wednesday Springfield loaned Blake Christensen and Austin Osmanski to the Railers. Both were in the lineup Friday.
Earlier this week Devon Paliani was released and claimed off waivers by Toldeo, and Luke Peressini was traded to the Allen Americans. He’s the third player Worcester has sent to the Amerks this season for future considerations. JD Dudek and Tyler Poulsen were sent there on November 16th.
With all the lineup changes it was bound to happen, and last night this writer lost track of who was on the team and who wasn’t. With it being a road game I grabbed the notepad that was sitting on my desk and flipped it to the back where I have a roster taped, checking off the scratches as Cam McGuire mentioned them in the pregame show. When Tommy Besinger’s name wasn’t mentioned I looked at the lines Cam had tweeted earlier and didn’t notice Besinger listed. I tweeted about it, only to be reminded by Railers Community Relations Manager Paul “Pablo” Harris that Besinger was released over a week ago. Needless to say, I tore the old line-up sheet off the back of that notepad.
One of those hockey oddities happened with just over a minute to go in the opening period when suddenly there were two pucks on the ice. Referee Jack Young, who was working his first Railers game, quickly blew the whistle to stop play. Even though this rarely happens, if that had been the whole story it would have hardly been worth a mention. Except that it happened again right after Nick Jermain’s third-period goal. Because FloSports is showing an onscreen ad at the time of the first dual-puck incident it’s not possible to tell where it came from. And while the camera view isn’t very good on the second incident, it’s enough to know some idiot fan threw the second puck onto the ice.
Those two idiot fans weren’t the only ones in the Cross Insurance Arena as Cam had to deal with a couple loud dolts during the first two periods of the radio broadcast. The fact that the loudest had no idea what a delayed penalty was, yelling “there’s no goalie” multiple times when Ken Appleby left for an extra attacker, was at least humorous, but the fact the entire group had some sort of issue with Worcester defenseman Will Cullen was a bit perplexing. The way they were yelling at him you’d have thought Cullen was Tom Wilson or Matt Cooke. It was suggested that perhaps the next time Maine comes to the DCU Center the visitor’s radio booth should be moved over to section 210, right next to Railers’ superfan Donna Ahaesy. It won’t happen, but it absolutely would be hilarious.
With it being the first game of the week we’ll take a look at who was voted as “Player of the Week” last week in the Railers fans Facebook group, and it was Ross Olsson and his three goals last week with just over half the votes cast. Cole Coskey, Jacob Hayhurst, and Reece Newkirk were the other nominees.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 81 Anthony Repaci
2. WOR – 16 Jacob Hayhurst
3. WOR – 24 Cole Coskey
The 210Sports Player of the Game was John Furgele.
Even Strength Lines
Vesey / Beaudoin / Repaci
Newkirk / Hayhurst / Coskey
Olsson / Price / Smotherman
Spetz / Cullen
Osmanski / McCarthy
Furgele / McGurty
Worcester 1 3 2 – 6
Maine 0 1 2 – 3
1st Period-1, Worcester, Coskey 5 2:42. Penalties-Horvath Mne (slashing), 8:05; Olsson Wor (fighting – major), 11:52; Santos Mne (fighting – major), 11:52; Christensen Wor (high-sticking), 13:57; Doherty Mne (roughing), 19:14.
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Beaudoin 9 (Repaci, Furgele), 1:57. 3, Worcester, Newkirk 3 (Hayhurst), 4:16. 4, Maine, Laberge 15 (Santos, Askew), 9:14 (PP). 5, Worcester, Vesey 6 (Hayhurst, Repaci), 13:03. Penalties-Price Wor (hooking), 4:41; Cullen Wor (boarding), 9:03.
3rd Period-6, Maine, Jermain 3 (Hinam, Bleackley), 0:49. 7, Maine, Santos 13 (Laberge, Askew), 2:27 (PP). 8, Worcester, Repaci 10 4:53. 9, Worcester, Olsson 12 (Coskey), 17:34 (PP). Penalties-Coskey Wor (tripping), 1:09; Spetz Wor (holding), 5:56; Master Mne (tripping), 9:53; Robbins Mne (slashing), 16:35.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 15-11-6-32. Maine 13-10-14-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 4; Maine 2 / 5.
Goalies-Worcester, Appleby 7-7-0-1 (37 shots-34 saves). Maine, Brodeur 10-7-1-1 (32 shots-26 saves).
Referees-Jack Young (18).
Linesmen-Shane Kanaly (74), Brady Fagan (89).