The Worcester Railers got goals from seven different players and 41 saves from rookie goaltender Henrik Tikkanen in a 7-0 thrashing of the Greenville Swamp Rabbits Saturday night in front of 5,623 fans at the DCU Center on “Frontline Heroes” night.
Despite the lopsided score, most of the post-game talk should have been about how the young Finnish netminder was able to put Wednesday night’s debacle against Reading behind him, and about how even with many of their top players unavailable the Railers finally played a full 60 minutes of solid hockey and completely overwhelmed an opponent.
But a cheapshot at 13:53 of the third period where Greenville’s Bobby Russell speared Railers rookie forward below the belt has dominated the discussion.
Even though referee Marc-Olivier Phaneuf missed the call, there is little doubt that the ECHL will take note of the incident as the act and intent are clear on the regular game video. It should be noted that was the second time in as many games that Russell speared a Worcester player below the belt this weekend. He did it just after the 13-minute mark of the 3rd period Friday to Collin Adams. That too went unpenalized by referee Phaneuf.
That play, along with all seven goals, is on the Railers YouTube highlight video, so we’ll go Sharkspage old-school and just post the video for all to see.
Worcester will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in Norfolk for a three-game series against the Admirals, with game one on Wednesday with a 7pm puck drop. The Railers next game at the DCU Center will be Friday, December 9 against the Idaho Steelheads, which will feature the return of broadcaster Cam McGuire as the now-voice of the visitors.
Scratches for the Railers were Philip Beaulieu (bereavement list), Conor Breen, Jack Quinlivan, and Anthony Repaci (IR/upper body). Ken Appleby was the backup goaltender. Both Jared Brandt and Jimmy Lambert finished the game in the dressing room, which might lengthen the injury list again.
Pregame was the annual Guns n’ Hoses match-up between the Worcester Fire Department and Worcester Police Department and as usual, the Worcester firefighters came out on top, this time by a 7-1 score that could have been much more lopsided. After a very chippy first period that saw a bit of a scuffle in front of the home bench, both teams settled into more of a “polite” game over the final two 12-minute frames.
Upon further review, Friday’s match-up with the Swamp Rabbits saw the Railers tie their franchise mark for the fewest shots allowed in a game at 17. This one might end of with an asterisk next to it as 15 of those shots came in regulation, which would have been a new record. The Railers also set franchise marks for shots in an overtime period with eight, and the latest regular-season overtime goal at 6:40 of the extra stanza.
In something that wasn’t a record, this writer’s list for goal-scoring records only went as high as “six quickest”, which is 15:41 set on November 26, 2021, in Adirondack. So off to the record books I went to see if Saturday’s seven goals were the quickest in franchise history. They weren’t. Last night it took over 52 minutes. On that November night in 2021, the Railers needed just 30:43. And, yes, it’s now on the goal record sheet.
The three stars of the game were:
1. WOR – 39 Henrik Tikkanen
2. WOR – 17 Blade Jenkins
3. WOR – 12 Brent Beaudoin
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
Greenville 0 0 0 – 0
Worcester 3 3 1 – 7
1st Period-1, Worcester, Lambert 5 (Newkirk), 4:21. 2, Worcester, Butler 5 (Newkirk), 12:43. 3, Worcester, McCarthy 1 (Ryan, Jenkins), 16:19. Penalties-Freeman Gvl (interference on the goalkeeper), 8:58; Lambert Wor (high-sticking), 19:40.
2nd Period-4, Worcester, Beaudoin 6 (Delmas, Lambert), 7:19. 5, Worcester, Jenkins 6 (Adams, McCarthy), 9:07. 6, Worcester, Vesey 3 (Christensen, Jenkins), 13:27 (PP). Penalties-Brandt Wor (delay of game), 0:06; Nachbaur Gvl (double – roughing, misconduct), 10:27; Lambert Wor (slashing), 10:59.
3rd Period-7, Worcester, Ryan 4 (Vesey, Beaudoin), 16:37. Penalties-Bross Wor (slashing), 2:51; Delmas Wor (hooking), 7:42; Russell Gvl (fighting – major), 15:46; Newkirk Wor (fighting – major), 15:46.
Shots on Goal-Greenville 9-14-18-41. Worcester 12-13-5-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Greenville 0 / 4; Worcester 1 / 3.
Goalies-Greenville, Hrenak 2-4-1-0 (11 shots-8 saves); McNiven 3-1-2-0 (19 shots-15 saves). Worcester, Tikkanen 6-1-0-0 (41 shots-41 saves).
Referees-Marc-Olivier Phaneuf (23).
Linesmen-Noah Merrow (57), Nathan Frechette (49).
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