Railers turn laugher into nail-biter, but manage to hold on for 6-4 win

The Worcester Railers and Newfoundland Growlers played the middle game of their three-in-three series at the Mary Brown’s Centre in St. John’s Saturday night, and after falling behind early Worcester put up six goals in just under 14 minutes to seemingly take control of the game, only to have to hold on for dear life in the third period before coming away 6-4 victors.

It’s the first time in Railers franchise history they’ve taken four points in a trip up to The Rock, and just the second time ever the team has beaten Newfoundland two games in a row.

It didn’t start out looking like it was going to go well for Worcester as the Growlers came out of the gate on fire, looking for some revenge for the Railers’ win on Friday. Nolan Walker gave Newfoundland the 1-0 lead just 2:16 into the contest when his attempted centering feed to Pavel Gogolev hit the skate of Worcester defender Connor McCarthy and bounced right back to him. Railers netminder Ken Appleby had already begun to slide to his left to take on the anticipated Gogolev shot and had no chance of getting back to the far post to stop the Walker bid.

In the past that might have been enough to shut the door on the Railers for the evening, but as has been said before, Jordan Smotherman’s gang is different, and the much-maligned power play got the equalizer when Brent Beaudoin connected from the slot.

It took just 36 seconds for Jared Brandt and the Railers to grab a lead of their own.

Worcester’s next goal came even quicker when Reece Newkirk unleashed a laser 34 seconds after Brandt lit the lamp.

With Newfoundland still reeling from the three quick strikes, Bobby Butler made it four in a row at 15:53.

Currently, the scoring lists Beaudoin as having the lone assist, but should eventually be changed to Blake Christensen and Myles McGurty.

The first frame ended with Worcester up 4-1, but the Railers kept putting the red light on early in the second, with McGurty getting his first goal of the season at 2:40.

Quinn Ryan is listed as the lone helper, but Anthony Repaci will be picking up a point on that goal when changes are made.

Phil Beaulieu capped Worcester’s scoring at 5:00 of the middle frame with a power play goal to make it 6-1 Railers.

The scorers in Newfoundland got that one wrong too as Liam Coughlin’s assist will need to be changed to Ryan.

It should have been an easy night from that point, but Worcester stopped playing the kind of hockey that has made them successful this season and watched Newfoundland slowly crawl back into it with three goals in just over four minutes to close out the middle period, with Zach O’Brien grabbing back to back goals at 14:23 and 16:07 and Brett Budgell scoring at 18:27.

But the second intermission was all the time Smotherman needed to get the team back on track as Appleby and the Railers held the fort down for the 6-4 win.

Scratches for the Railers were forward Derek Osik and defenseman Jeff Solow. Henrik Tikkanen was the backup goaltender. Billy Jerry made his Railers debut, wearing #13. It turns out he wasn’t available to play in Friday’s game as his airline lost his equipment. It arrived early Saturday.

The offensive onslaught set some Railers franchise marks for fastest goals. The new records are the fastest three goals (1:10); four goals (4:26); five goals (11:03); and six goals (13:32).

We don’t usually get into the suspension of players that don’t play for the Railers or generally have no connection to Worcester, but this one is so odd it bears mentioning. Mikael Robidoux, who Railers fans learned to hate in his brief stint with the Maine Mariners, was suspended six games by the ECHL as the result of off-ice incidents during Allen’s games vs. Utah on November 11th and 12th. The key is Robidoux was off the ice because he was already serving a 14-game suspension for slashing at Wichita fans after being ejected from a game on October 23rd. There is a video of that incident.

As we did last yesterday, 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. WOR – 81 Anthony Repaci
2. NFL – 10 Zach O’Brien
3. WOR – 8 Bobby Butler

The 210Sports Player of the Game was Brent Beaudoin.

Even Strength Lines
Newkirk / Beaudouin / Repaci
Christensen / Ryan / Butler
Vesey / Coughlin / Bross
Jerry / x / Quinlivan

Brandt / McGurty
Beaulieu / Delmas
Evers / McCarthy

Our affiliates last night
Pittsburgh 6, St. Louis 2
Bridgeport 5, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 1
Providence 2, Springfield 1

In the ECHL’s North Division
Trois-Rivieres 5, Iowa 4 (OT)
Reading 4, Norfolk 1
Maine 4, Adirondack 3

Worcester 4 2 0 – 6
Newfoundland 1 3 0 – 4

1st Period-1, Newfoundland, Walker 4 (Budgell, Melindy), 2:16. 2, Worcester, Beaudoin 7 (Vesey, Butler), 11:27 (PP). 3, Worcester, Brandt 3 (Ryan, Christensen), 12:03. 4, Worcester, Newkirk 8 (McCarthy, Repaci), 12:37. 5, Worcester, Butler 7 (Beaudoin), 15:53. Penalties-Jerry Wor (tripping), 6:24; Kapcheck Nfl (hooking), 10:04; Bross Wor (fighting – major), 19:19; Melindy Nfl (slashing, fighting – major), 19:19.

2nd Period-6, Worcester, McGurty 1 (Ryan), 2:40. 7, Worcester, Beaulieu 1 (Repaci, Coughlin), 5:00 (PP). 8, Newfoundland, O’Brien 7 (Cavallin), 14:23. 9, Newfoundland, O’Brien 8 (Plouffe, Skirving), 16:27. 10, Newfoundland, Budgell 6 (Gogolev), 18:27. Penalties-Kubicek Nfl (cross-checking major), 1:31; Delmas Wor (interference), 1:51.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Brandt Wor (hooking), 0:53.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 15-7-5-27. Newfoundland 16-11-13-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 2 / 4; Newfoundland 0 / 2.
Goalies-Worcester, Appleby 8-1-1-0 (40 shots-36 saves). Newfoundland, McKay 5-3-1-0 (17 shots-11 saves); Cavallin 7-2-0-0 (10 shots-10 saves).
Referees-Brendan Schreider (12).
Linesmen-Joe Maynard (92), Mark Day (93).

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