Tikkanen’s 49 saves leads Railers to 4-3 win over Reading

The Worcester Railers visited Santander Arena in Reading, Pennsylvania Tuesday morning for a school-day game against the Royals and the Railers got multi-point games from Brent Beaudoin and Jimmy Lambert along with 49 saves from Henrik Tikkanen to defeat their ECHL North Division rivals 4-3.

It was Reading that would get on the board first at 4:40 of the opening period after an Andrei Bakanov turnover in the neutral zone. The Royals would carry the puck into the Worcester zone and eventually it would end up on the stick of Devon Paliani behind the Railers’ net. Paliani tried to jam it home at the near post but the puck bounded back behind the net right on the tape of Brendan Hoffmann’s stick. With Tikkanen leaning in the wrong direction Hoffmann wheeled to the far side and easily scored, ignoring Trevor Cosgrove’s half-hearted poke check attempt.

Beaudoin gets credit for the power play goal that made it 1-1 at 7:04, but that’s only because Anthony Repaci forgot to yell “bank” as he shot the puck. OK, maybe not. But it still counts the same.

Longtime readers will know this writer hates the automatic delay of game minor when a player accidentally shoots the puck over the glass from the defensive end, and when Cosgrove did it early in the second frame it gave Reading its third power play of the game. Turns out it wasn’t a bad thing for Worcester as Lambert turned defense into offense with a shorthanded goal.

It’s always nice when the fourth line can contribute, and Billy Jerry’s goal at 19:24 of the middle period was about as nice a close-in goal as you’re going to see. It was truly an NHL-caliber shot.

It didn’t take long into the third period for Worcester to make it 4-1 when Bakanov scored his first North American pro goal just 47 ticks into the frame.

From that point on Reading outshot the Railers 23-7. The 23 shots against in the frame were a Railers record for the third period. And that was when Tikkanen was at his finest, setting a franchise mark of 21 saves for the stanza, and it was the third-most saves by a Railers netminder in any period.

The Royals would score two power play goals in the period. Dominic Cormier scored at 3:30 with Jerry in the box for one of the many crosschecks he threw at Alec Butcher in front of the Worcester net. Cormier second of the period would come at 15:19 with Jerry in the box for the automatic delay of game minor.

Tikkanen made that one goal lead stand up, with a little help from Bobby Butler, for the 4-3 win.

Scratches for the Railers were Collin Adams (upper body), Ken Appleby (IR/unknown), Phil Beaulieu (IR/unknown), Jared Brandt (IR/lower), Liam Coughlin, Noah Delmas, Jack Quinlivan (IR/unknown), and Nolan Vesey. Brent Moran was the backup goaltender.

The three stars of the game were:
1. WOR – 44 Jimmy Lambert
2. REA – 58 Dominic Cormier
3. REA – 24 Jacob Gaucher

The 210Sports Player of the Game was no one, and there won’t be any until this roster is blown up.

Even Strength Lines
Repaci / Lambert / Beaudoin
Bakanov / Newkirk / Christensen
Fea / Ryan / Butler
X / Jerry / Bross

Evers / McCarthy
Terchiyev / McGurty
Cosgrove / Breen

Our affiliates last night
NY Islanders 2, Philadelphia 1

In the ECHL’s North Division
No games scheduled

North Division Standings
Newfoundland 65 (.739)
Reading 54 (.643)
Maine 52 (.634)
Worcester 49 (.543)
Adirondack 36 (.439)
Trois-Rivieres 36 (.409)
Norfolk 19 (.216)

Worcester 1 2 1 – 4
Reading 1 0 2 – 3

1st Period-1, Reading, Hoffmann 7 (Paliani, Kirkup), 4:40. 2, Worcester, Beaudoin 12 (Repaci, Lambert), 7:04 (PP). Penalties-McGurty Wor (tripping), 1:34; Paliani Rea (holding the stick), 6:13; McCarthy Wor (holding), 7:28; Newkirk Wor (tripping), 14:35; Cormier Rea (diving/embellishment), 14:35.

2nd Period-3, Worcester, Lambert 10 (Beaudoin), 3:48. 4, Worcester, Jerry 3 (Fea, McCarthy), 19:24. Penalties-Cosgrove Wor (delay of game), 3:10; Butcher Rea (interference on the goalkeeper), 6:56; Gerard Rea (slashing), 17:17.

3rd Period-5, Worcester, Bakanov 1 (Lambert, Beaudoin), 0:47. 6, Reading, Cormier 6 (Millman, Gaucher), 3:30 (PP). 7, Reading, Cormier 7 (Butcher, Gaucher), 15:19 (PP). Penalties-Jerry Wor (cross-checking), 2:05; Fea Wor (delay of game), 5:39; Newton Rea (high-sticking), 10:42; Jerry Wor (delay of game), 13:21.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 4-11-8-23. Reading 13-16-23-52.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 4; Reading 2 / 6.
Goalies-Worcester, Tikkanen 12-12-2-0 (52 shots-49 saves). Reading, Nagle 9-4-0-0 (23 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Steven Sailor (5), Bobby Esposito (35).
Linesmen-John Rey (75), JP Waleski (51).

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