Adams saves Railers with overtime goal to defeat Reading 7-6

The Worcester Railers took on the Reading Royals Friday night at the DCU Center in the first of a home-and-home series against the ECHL North Divison rivals, and despite Trevor Cosgrove’s five-point evening Worcester still needed a Collin Adams overtime goal to defeat the Royals 7-6.

Even with the five points, if you asked Cosgrove if he’d like that first-period back odds are he’d wholeheartedly say yes as both of Reading’s goals in the frame came by way of mistakes made by the rookie defenseman.

The first happened at 1:43 when Cosgrove whiffed on a big check against Tyler Kirkup at the halfboards to the left of Railers netminder Brent Moran. With Cosgrove down and out Will MacKinnon was able to eventually knock in a rebound.

A couple of minutes later Nick Fea would make it 1-1 on a goal originally credited to Quin Ryan.

With just over five minutes to go in the opening frame, Brendan Hoffmann scored on a shorthanded breakaway after a Cosgrove turnover to make it 2-1 Reading. Worse than the turnover, Cosgrove appeared to give up the chase on the play. Looking at the game video it appears Cosgrove’s turn in the rotation then was skipped twice.

Pretty clearly, the rest did him some good.

What it didn’t do was get Worcester back on track right away as they once again allowed a goal in the first or last minute of a period when former Railers forward Max Newton scored on the power play 37 seconds into the middle stanza. The high tip by Newton looked good from this writer’s perch, but referee Austin O’Rourke did his due diligence and asked both linesmen. It looked to be the right call live when it happened and a look at the video confirms it.

At 4:24, Liam Coughlin got Worcester back within one.

It was a great assist by Anthony Repaci that allowed Blake Christensen to tie it 3-3 at 11:36.

But the whole first-minute, last-minute thing would rear its ugly head twice again as the Railers allowed a power play goal with nine seconds left in the frame to head into the second intermission down 4-3, and 25 seconds into the third Newton scored to make it 5-3 Reading.

In the span of 30 seconds, Cosgrove would score his first two professional goals to make it a 5-5 game. The first came at 5:13 when he took a Christensen feed and blasted one through the legs of Reading goaltender Nolan Maier.

Before PA man Adam Webster could announce the first goal Cosgrove lit the lamp again at 5:43. He and Fea broke into the Royals zone two-on-one, and when that didn’t pan out Cosgrove didn’t go back to the point and instead went to the front of the net and screened Maier. Ryan, who was covering Cosgrove’s point, passed it over to Artur Terchiyev at the other point. Terchiyev’s shot was saved by Maier, as was Cosgrove’s rebound bid. But after the second save the puck went up in the air about waist high, and Cosgrove picked it out of the air and past Maier.

At 14:29 of the third Coughlin would give the Railers their first lead of the game.

In a “here we go again” moment, Worcester didn’t challenge any Reading puck carrier when the Royals were skating with an extra attacker, and with 15.6 seconds left in regulation Charlie Gerard tied the game 6-6.

The overtime frame had just one shot taken, and luckily for Railers fans, it was by Adams.

The two teams meet again Saturday night at Santander Arena in Reading.

Scratches for the Railers were Ken Appleby (injured), Phil Beaulieu (IR/unknown), Zack Bross, Noah Delmas, Jack Quinlivan (IR/unknown), and Nolan Vesey. The recently signed Austin Cain was the backup goaltender as Appleby is being called “banged up” after last Saturday’s game. He was run into a couple times by the Maine Mariners, with Yannick Jobin-Manseau not calling a penalty on any of them.

In addition to the Cain signing, and with general manager Jordan Smotherman signing him to a contract rather than as an EBUG that allows Cain to play without the starting goaltender being hurt, the Bridgeport Islanders recalled Henrik Tikkanen as Cory Schneider is unavailable. Last Saturday Schneider left the AHL Islander’s game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton after the second period. There was no word as to his condition. And finally, Springfield assigned Andrei Bakanov to Worcester. After Friday Bakanov has now played 22 pointless North American pro games, and he is minus-10 over that stretch.

The third period saw a busy few moments for Railers trainer Alex Maring, who had to deal with both members of the Jared Brandt / Myles McGurty defensive pairing going down on the same shift as both blocked shots in their, shall we say, nether regions. Brandt made it to the bench on his own, but McGurty needed some assistance. Word on the street is McGurty then added his name to the long list of Worcester players who have thrown up under the stands. As if that wasn’t enough for Maring, under a minute of game time later Christain Evers took a puck to the facial area in the Worcester end. With Maring down the tunnel tending to McGury Reading Royals trainer Sean Berberich headed to Evers, but sprinting out of the tunnel and beating Berberish to Evers was Maring. Both trainers tended to the bleeding Evers, who then got up and skated off on his own.

That was Collin Adams’ third overtime goal of the season, a new Railers franchise record. In Worcester pro hockey history, only Ryan Vesce has had more when he scored four extra-time markers in 2008-09. Trevor Cosgrove is listed with 5 points (2g,3a), and according to this writer’s notes that should be a new franchise mark, but we’ll wait for Bill Ballou on that one because despite four being listed in my notes as the team record I thought the Railers have had a player with a 5-point game before. Ballou will know with 100% certainty, so more on this later I’d imagine.

If someone were to write “linesman Ryan Bradshaw got hit in the head with the puck” you’d expect that would be, at best, just a “thankfully he was wearing a helmet” type of story, and it could potentially be something catastrophic. Luckily, it was more the former than the latter and actually had linesman Bradshaw shrugging his shoulders and smiling as play continued. In the faceoff after Liam Coughlin’s goal, Brent Beaudoin got control of the puck in the Railers’ end and flipped it high off the glass toward the Reading zone. The puck arched up and forward, coming down right at the Royals’ blue line and off the top of the head of linesman Bradshaw. As the puck bounded into the Reading end you can see Bradshaw with a “really?” type gesture. There was a stoppage in play a few moments later and Bradshaw and referee Austin O’Rourke can be seen laughing about it.

The three stars of the game were:
1. WOR – 21 Collin Adams
2. WOR – 10 Trevor Cosgrove
3. WOR – 7 Liam Coughlin

The 210Sports Player of the Game was Blake Christensen.

Even Strength Lines
Bakanov / Newkirk / Butler
Fea / Adams / Ryan
Christensen / Beaudoin / Repaci
X / Coughlin / Jerry

Evers / McCarthy
Brandt / McGurty
Terchiyev / Cosgrove

Our affiliates last night
NY Islanders 2, Detroit 0
Springfield 5, Belleville 1

In the ECHL’s North Division
Newfoundland 2, Cincinnati 1
Norfolk 3, Maine 0
Trois-Rivieres 4, Adirondack 2

North Division Standings
Newfoundland 59 (.738)
Reading 52 (.684)
Maine 46 (.639)
Worcester 45 (.549)
Trois-Rivieres 32 (.410)
Adirondack 30 (.405)
Norfolk 17 (.218)

Reading 2 2 2 0 – 6
Worcester 1 2 3 1 – 7

1st Period-1, Reading, MacKinnon 4 (Kirkup, Felix), 1:43. 2, Worcester, Fea 4 (Evers, Adams), 3:23. 3, Reading, Hoffmann 6 14:26 (SH). Penalties-Cormier Rea (closing hand on puck), 13:41; Christensen Wor (hooking), 17:25; McGurty Wor (tripping), 18:43.

2nd Period-4, Reading, Newton 19 (McFadden, Barratt), 0:37 (PP). 5, Worcester, Coughlin 4 (Cosgrove, Jerry), 4:24. 6, Worcester, Christensen 8 (Repaci, McCarthy), 11:36. 7, Reading, McFadden 4 (Barratt, Newton), 19:51 (PP). Penalties-Ryan Wor (high-sticking), 18:50.

3rd Period-8, Reading, Newton 20 (Cormier, Barratt), 0:25. 9, Worcester, Cosgrove 1 (Christensen, Beaudoin), 5:13. 10, Worcester, Cosgrove 2 (Terchiyev, Ryan), 5:43. 11, Worcester, Coughlin 5 (Newkirk, Cosgrove), 14:29 (PP). 12, Reading, Gerard 17 (Newton, McFadden), 19:44. Penalties-Cormier Rea (holding the stick), 10:56; Fea Wor (high-sticking – double), 10:56; Felix Rea (holding), 13:40.

1st OT Period-13, Worcester, Adams 13 (Cosgrove), 0:53. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Reading 12-15-10-0-37. Worcester 12-15-8-1-36.
Power Play Opportunities-Reading 2 / 4; Worcester 1 / 2.
Goalies-Reading, Maier 11-4-2-0 (36 shots-29 saves). Worcester, Moran 1-2-0-0 (37 shots-31 saves).
Referees-Austin O’Rourke (10).
Linesmen-Ryan Bradshaw (76), Nathan Frechette (49).

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