Railers steal point in 5-4 OT loss in Norfolk

Good teams steal points, great teams steal a lot of them. We don’t know if this season’s version of the Worcester Railers is a great team yet, but we know it’s a very good one and they showed that Friday night against the Admirals at the Norfolk Scope as they dug deep into the roster and scored three third-period goals to force the game into overtime, eventually dropping the contest 5-4.

Things started off pretty much as they have for most of the season, with Worcester scoring the opening goal of the game.

We’re pretty good at detecting scoring errors here on 210Sports, and currently, the Quinn Ryan goal lists just Reece Newkirk as assisting. While neither assist is on the highlight, defenseman Jeff Solow is the Railers player who got the puck to Newkirk, so expect a point to be added to his totals.

It stayed 1-0 deep into the opening frame when Worcester committed one of the Cardinal Sins of hockey in allowing a goal in the final minute of a period when Tag Bertuzzi connected all alone in front with 32.5 seconds left in the stanza.

It would get worse for the ECHL’s first-place team when Norfolk, the worst team in the league, scored twice in the middle period to take a 3-1 lead into the final 20 minutes.

Ryan would grab his second of the game early in the third period to give Worcester a little momentum when he converted off a nice outlet pass by Christian Evers.

That momentum was short-lived as Danny Katic scored for Norfolk at 7:40 to give the Admirals their two-goal lead back.

At 13:41 Blake Christensen took matters into his own hands and scored a nice goal on a four-zone breakout when the Norfolk defense apparently forget they were playing hockey.

With time winding down and Railers goaltender Ken Appleby reading himself to head off the ice Jimmy Lambert deflected a Phil Beaulieu shot past Admirals goaltender Michael Bullion to tie the score 4-4.

As you can see in the video, there will be another scoring change when Myles McGurty gets the secondary assist added.

The two teams then went to overtime where Worcester tried to get too fancy with the puck, but Norfolk didn’t have that problem, and their one shot in the extra stanza, by Cody Milan, beat Appleby clean to the stick side to end the Admirals 12-game losing streak.

Scratches for the Railers were Bobby Butler, Jared Brandt, and Anthony Repaci (IR/Lower Body). Henrik Tikkanen was the backup goaltender. Brandt was a scratch in both games in Norfolk so far after leaving last Saturday’s game early. That seems to indicate he might be a little banged up. If he’s a scratch again Saturday night you could pretty much bet on it. On Friday, Blade Jenkins was re-assigned by the NY Islanders to Bridgeport.

With Jenkins off to Bridgeport that put Derek Osik back into the lineup for his second game with Worcester. The #22 he wore in his first stint is now being worn by Jeff Solow, so Osik was in #10. It would be an equipment manager’s and statisticians’ nightmare, but seeing as Osik wore the orange #22 and blue #10 if he ever wears a white or specialty jersey they should give him a third number. That’s never happened before in Worcester hockey history, so it would be an interesting bit of trivia if it ever does.

As expected, Blade Jenkins was given an assist on Jack Quinlivan’s first pro goal on Wednesday night. That gives Jenkins a team-leading 11 assists and 18 points.

In a game that goes to overtime any potentially missed call by the on-ice officials looms a little bit bigger. With 11:40 gone in the second frame Norfolk forward Liam MacDougall took control of the puck out of a scrum of players after a faceoff to the left of Admirals netminder Michael Bullion and shot the puck out of play. The Railers, of course, immediately indicated it went out of play untouched. Linesman Evan Knox, who had dropped the puck for the faceoff, was out of position to make the call, but actually had a much better view of the play from the goal line he was standing on. He made no call. Referee JR Stragar, who was on the opposite side of the ice, called in the second linesman, Colin Gates, and they discussed it, eventually ruling it deflected off the glass. After a quick look at the video, let’s just say this writer disagrees. Would a power play for Worcester have changed the outcome? Who knows? But they should have gotten one.

The Norfolk Admirals have been wearing specialty jerseys some weekends to celebrate and represent each of the region’s other six cities for one weekend per month. Friday and Saturday they wore sweaters calling themselves the Newport News Admirals. The Railers will also see the Norfolk in a second specialty jersey during the February 17 and 18 weekend where the Admirals will don Chesapeake Admirals jerseys.

We’ll mention again that the Worcester Railers Booster Club is going a bit of online fundraising this weekend. If you’re a Massachusetts resident you can take part in their 50/50 raffle. The money raised goes toward many of the activities and charities the club supports. The club is also selling some amazing Jordan Smotherman t-shirts. (You should click the link just to see the shirt, trust me). The order form is for buying and picking up your t-shirt at Railers games, for shipping options send a Twitter DM to the club or email info@railersbc.com.

The three stars of the game were:
1. NOR – 23 Cody Milan
2. NOR – 12 Danny Katic
3. NOR – 20 Eric Williams

The 210Sports Player of the Game was Quinn Ryan.

Even Strength Lines
Newkirk / Lambert / Ryan
Christensen / Beaudoin / Adams
Coughlin / Vesey / Bross
Quinlivan / x / Osik

Evers / McGurty
Beaulieu / Delmas
Solow / McCarthy

Our affiliates last night
NY Islanders 3, Columbus 2
Tampa Bay 5, St. Louis 2
Rochester 6, Bridgeport 5

In the ECHL’s North Divison
Trois-Rivieres 6, Utah 4
Reading 1, Maine 0
Adirondack 3, Newfoundland 2

Worcester 1 0 3 0 – 4
Norfolk 1 2 1 1 – 5

1st Period-1, Worcester, Ryan 5 (Newkirk), 9:32. 2, Norfolk, Bertuzzi 4 (Ouderkirk, Louis-Jean), 19:28. Penalties-Beaulieu Wor (tripping), 2:15.

2nd Period-3, Norfolk, Lunn 2 (MacDougall), 16:25. 4, Norfolk, Williams 2 (Katic), 18:42 (PP). Penalties-McGurty Wor (holding the stick), 8:30; Williams Nor (tripping), 13:47; Lambert Wor (slashing), 17:24; Lunn Nor (cross-checking), 19:52.

3rd Period-5, Worcester, Ryan 6 (Evers), 2:27. 6, Norfolk, Katic 2 (Milan, Louis-Jean), 7:40. 7, Worcester, Christensen 3 (Beaudoin, Beaulieu), 13:41. 8, Worcester, Lambert 6 (Beaulieu), 18:22. Penalties-No Penalties

1st OT Period-9, Norfolk, Milan 3 (Foss, Williams), 3:16. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Worcester 11-9-12-1-33. Norfolk 7-9-9-1-26.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 2; Norfolk 1 / 3.
Goalies-Worcester, Appleby 6-1-1-0 (26 shots-21 saves). Norfolk, Bullion 1-3-0-0 (33 shots-29 saves).
Referees-JR Stragar (2).
Linesmen-Evan Knox (83), Colin Gates (52).

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