The Worcester Railers hosted the Greenville Swamp Rabbits Friday night in the first of a pair of contests this week between the two clubs at the DCU Center, and when sixty minutes was not enough to decide a winner in the opener Worcester’s overtime weapon Collin Adams scored his second extra-time goal of the season to lift the Railers to a 3-2 victory.
Worcester was hoping to erase the memories of their Wednesday night debacle against the Reading Royals with a good start, but despite outshooting the Swamp Rabbits 7-6 in the opening frame the puck belonged to Greenville most of the period. Nikita Pavlychev had the only goal of the stanza, at 5:03, when he wheeled around newcomer defenseman Jeff Solow and was pushed into Railers netminder Ken Appleby, with the puck ending up in the net.
Referee Marc-Olivier Phaneuf, who was sporting a mustache that this writer would rate as second-best on a referee behind only the AHL’s Chris Brown’s, went to video review to check for goaltender interference. He didn’t see any. I didn’t see any. We’ll include the video so you can not see any.
The Railers were getting a bit frustrated and started trying to be too fancy with the puck instead of using the straight-on attacking style they were successful with earlier this season. Even on Jimmy Lambert’s tying goal, you can see early on where Reece Newkirk tried to do too much with the puck before it ultimately went into the net at 18:04 of the middle frame.
Before the Lambert tying goal, at around the ten-minute mark of the frame, this writer realized that Solow hadn’t been on the ice for a long while, and he didn’t make an appearance for the rest of the period. He did get a shift early in the third, and we know this because he’s the primary assist on Blade Jenkins’ go-ahead goal.
From there Greenville threw everything they had at Worcester as they tried to tie the game, and with Adams in the box for a borderline tripping call–with referee Phaneuf missing Adams being speared in the nether regions by Bobby Russell–Carter Souch knotted the game 2-2 with his first pro goal as the Swamp Rabbits converted on the power play for the first time on the road this season at 14:58.
The game then went into overtime, which secured the 2,000th regular-season point in Worcester hockey history for the Railers, and in the end-to-end action the Railers ended up with a four-on-three power play to close out the frame. And with 19.3 seconds left on the clock, Adams went off the near post and in for the 3-2 victory.
The two teams meet again Saturday, 7pm puck drop. The DCU Center doors open at 4pm for the Worcester Fire Department and Worcester Police Department hockey games in their annual Guns n’ Hoses match-up.
Scratches for the Railers were Philip Beaulieu (bereavement list), Conor Breen, Jack Quinlivan, and Anthony Repaci (IR/upper body). Henrik Tikkanen was the backup goaltender. Worcester lost another key forward this week when Steve Jandric was signed to a PTO by Springfield Thursday just minutes after this writer predicted Jandric might be getting looks from AHL teams. To fill the empty roster spot Railers general manager Jordan Smotherman signed defenseman Jeff Solow.
For some connections between the two teams, defenseman Justin Hamonic is an inaugural Railers player and former alternate captain. He was 1-8-9 in 69 games with Worcester in 2017-18. Hamonic did not make the trip from Greenville. Mason Baptista, the Swamp Rabbits assistant coach, was signed by the Railers for the 2020-21 season but was released when the team sat out the season due to COVID. Off the ice, Mellissa Lafleur, who was the Railers Corporate Fulfillment Coordinator for two seasons, is the Manager of Corporate Activations for Greenville. For the Railers, recalled forward Jacob Hayhurst played ten games for the Swamp Rabbits in 2021-22, going 1-1-2 with 4 PIM.
Over at LFG: A Page For Worcester Railers Fans on Facebook we had our first “Railers Player of the Week” voting for last week, with netminder Henrik Tikkanen being the easy winner, getting 29 of 37 votes. Quinn Ryan, Bobby Butler, and Jimmy Lambert were the other finalists.
As mentioned on Twitter, last night was the first win on November 18th in Worcester hockey history. The IceCats were 0-2-1 on the date, with a tie coming against the Albany River Rats in 1994. The WorSharks were 0-2-1, with an overtime loss at Manchester. The Railers were 0-0-1, with an overtime loss to Orlando at the DCU Center.
Closing the book on the Railers’ nine-game winning streak to open the season we end up with one interesting stat, of the 542:50 minutes in those nine games, Worcester trailed or was tied at a score greater than 0-0 for just 89:03 of that. That means more than 80% of the time the game was scoreless, or the Railers were leading. That’s some amazing hockey.
On an amusing note, I try to use whatever name a player prefers, to the point of asking them if I think I’m getting it wrong. But usually, the spelling is easy. Enter Quinn Ryan. Or is it Quin Ryan? Well, the answer is both clear and murky at the same time. Ryan says legally it’s “Quin”, with one N. But his parents wanted it “Quinn” with two N’s. It seems a nurse recorded his name incorrectly, and Ryan’s parents never got around to changing it but taught him it was with two N’s. As you may have guessed, this eventually caused some issues. So Ryan ties to use Quin with one N but absentmindedly uses Quinn with two Ns a lot. So because all the Quinns I know use two N’s, odds are that’s what I’ll use, unless I accidentally use the one N version. See, clear as mud.
A quick mention for those reading prior to the start of Saturday’s game, the Railers Booster Club is doing some fundraising by raffling off some incredible Turkey ornaments autographed by the players. You can buy your tickets on the concourse behind section 109. The club also has some other great things going on, including an upcoming holiday party that includes Railers players and staff. For more information on the raffle, party, or any other Booster Club activities stop by the tables and ask.
The three stars of the game were:
1. WOR – 21 Collin Adams
2. WOR – 23 Jimmy Lambert
3. WOR – 17 Blade Jenkins
The 210Sports Player of the Game was Quinn Ryan.
Even Strength Lines
Newkirk / Lambert / Butler
Adams / Jenkins / Ryan
Vesey / Beaudoin / Bross
Christensen / x / Coughlin
Brandt / McGurty
Evers / Delmas
Solow / McCarthy
Our affiliates last night
Charlotte 4, Bridgeport 1
In the ECHL’s North Divison
Trois-Rivieres 6, Norfolk 4
Reading 5, Adirondack 2
Newfoundland 5, Maine 4 (OT)
Greenville 1 0 1 0 – 2
Worcester 0 1 1 1 – 3
1st Period-1, Greenville, Pavlychev 8 (Gatenby), 5:03. Penalties-Souch Gvl (tripping), 14:39.
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Lambert 4 (Brandt, Newkirk), 18:04. Penalties-Somoza Gvl (holding), 5:37; Inamoto Gvl (tripping), 12:23; Gerads Gvl (instigating), 15:24.
3rd Period-3, Worcester, Jenkins 5 (Solow, Adams), 2:18. 4, Greenville, Souch 1 (Zieky, Hora), 14:58 (PP). Penalties-Adams Wor (tripping), 13:15.
1st OT Period-5, Worcester, Adams 7 (Christensen, Butler), 6:40 (PP). Penalties-Beauchamp Gvl (high-sticking), 5:15.
Shots on Goal-Greenville 6-3-6-2-17. Worcester 7-8-4-8-27.
Power Play Opportunities-Greenville 1 / 1; Worcester 1 / 5.
Goalies-Greenville, McNiven 3-1-2-0 (27 shots-24 saves). Worcester, Appleby 6-1-0-0 (17 shots-15 saves).
Referees-Marc-Olivier Phaneuf (23).
Linesmen-Matthew Heinen (93), Patrick Philbin (88).
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