In a game that began Saturday night and was continued to Sunday afternoon due to ice issues at the Norfolk Scope, the Worcester Railers made just about every dumb mistake a hockey team can make in a 7-3 loss to the Norfolk Admirals.
Once again Worcester allowed a goal in the opening minute of a period when Danny Katic made it 1-0 36 seconds into the opening frame after a pass in the offensive zone by Noah Delmas didn’t end up near any Railers player and Chris Ordoobadi failed to cover Katic racing into the Worcester zone two on one with Nico Blachman.
The announcer jinx hit Railers broadcaster Tim Foley as he mentioned the Railers had outscored their opponents 6-0 while skating four-on-four, and moments later Brent Beaudoin threw a blind pass to his right toward Trevor Cosgrove. The puck made it a third of the way there before Admirals forward Darren McCormick could grab it, and he skated in alone on Brent Moran and scored unassisted at 17:53.
To make what was a very long story very short, they were down to one ice resurfacer in Norfolk due to a malfunction in the other one before Worcester’s morning skate, and during the first intermission that machine made an absolute mess of the ice. After a long while the ice was deemed unsafe for play, and the game was postponed. A short while later it was announced the game would resume Sunday afternoon at 2pm. The Railers had planned to leave for Greenville after the game, so they had to spend another night in Norfolk.
As it turned out, they may as well have headed to Greenville.
It took 4:35 of play in the second period Sunday for Worcester to find itself down 5-0. Ken Appleby came into the game to replace Moran, and that settled the Railers a bit. A few moments later Quin Ryan for the Railers on the board.
Just over two minutes later Anthony Repaci scored on the power play to make it 5-2.
It was soon after that point that Worcester head coach Jordan Smotherman put Moran back in the game. There was some confusion on social media, and in the radio booth, as to why, but putting a pulled goalie back into the game is not unheard of if the plan is to fire up your team and get your goaltender to relax a bit. It’s safe to say both of those happened.
Five minutes after the Rapaci tally Ryan struck again to make it 5-3.
After all that the Railers managed to begin the third period where they began the second, down two goals.
Worcester had its chances in the third but couldn’t put another one past Tomas Vomacka. At 6:03 of the period Ordoobadi went after Blachman, chasing him into the Norfolk zone to fight him. Blachman didn’t even drop his stick as Ordoobadi continued to throw punches at Blachman. When the dust settled Ordoobadi was assessed an instigator minor, a fighting major, and a game misconduct. Blachman got just a roughing minor, which he didn’t even deserve as the altercation was entirely on Ordoobadi.
The Railers killed off the major power play, but that took a lot of wind out of their sails. Norfolk would later grab a couple more goals, the last into an empty net, for the 7-3 final.
Scratches for the Railers were Collin Adams (IR/upper body), Jared Brandt (IR/lower), Zack Bross (IR/unknown), Liam Coughlin (IR/unknown), Christain Evers (IR/unknown), Timothy Faulkner, Jack Quinlivan (IR/unknown) and Nolan Vesey (IR/unknown). Ken Appleby was the backup goaltender and played just under five minutes in the second period. After Friday’s game, Jacob Hayhurst was recalled to the Springfield Thunderbirds and was a healthy scratch Saturday and Sunday. Conor Breen began the game in the lineup Saturday and was replaced by Myles McGurty on Sunday.
We’re entering Bill Ballou territory here, but after checking through all the available IceCats and WorSharks notes this game seems to be the first time in Worcester pro hockey history a game has been suspended and then continued on another day. Based on that, it’s also the first time in Worcester pro hockey history a game has spanned multiple days, based on the local time of the game. The closest game to that ever happening before was a triple-overtime playoff game between the IceCats and Monarchs that started at 7:05pm ET and ended at 11:38pm ET when Brendan Brooks beat Manchester netminder Adam Hauser on April 22, 2004.
For fans wondering if this situation could ever happen at the DCU Center, it already has. Well, sort of. On April 3, 1995, after Disney On Ice was at the then-named Centrum the ice had to be cut a bit deeper than usual to get the extra ice layer and white paint off that covered the normal hockey markings. While doing this, the building’s lone Zamboni broke down. The Zamboni at Holy Cross was driven to the Centrum and was able to get the ice in at least playable shape, although the game was paused several times for ice repair. The next season the Centrum had two Zambonis, and on November 11, 1998, one broke down just after warmups. The Holy Cross Zamboni was readied to be driven to the Centrum but was not needed.
This writer long ago asked the Worcester Sharks if they had a plan in case both Zambonis broke down, and then-WorSharks CEO Mike Lehr said they had a vague idea of what they would do, and, as you would have expected of the time, it involved bringing in the Zamboni from Holy Cross. I’ve never asked Railers COO Mike Myers, and I’ll probably forget by the next time I see him, but one would expect one of the ice resurfacers from Worcester Ice would be brought over in an emergency.
The game began Saturday with four officials, two referees and two linesmen. On Sunday linesman Colin Gates was not there, so both referees took up some of the duties of a linesman, calling icings and offside when linesman Evan Knox was at the far blue line. In the four-official system when they lose a linesman usually the “junior” referee becomes a linesman and the game goes on with just one referee, but the method the crew used during the game didn’t seem to cause any confusion to the teams and there didn’t appear to be any missed calls, which is pretty much all you can hope for.
As we did for Friday’s game, we’ll mention a couple of fundraisers. The first is the Worcester Railers Booster Club is holding a 50/50 raffle online during the Railers road trip to help raise funds to take care of the player’s apartments. If you’re a Massachusetts resident over the age of 18 you can purchase your tickets on the group’s 50/50 webpage. If you’re interested in making a donation to the club, you can visit their donation page.
The second fundraiser is a cool one as the Worcester Fire Department’s hockey team is selling hockey jerseys to raise funds for their charitable activities. You can check out their selection right here. This writer has a black jersey, and the quality is amazingly good. The red and green can have a name added to the back, but not on the black as it has a flag in place of a nameplate. You can order jerseys through March 6th.
The three stars of the game were:
1. NOR – 20 Eric Williams
2. NOR – 24 Todd Burgess
3. WOR – 19 Quin Ryan
The 210Sports Player of the Game was Anthony Repaci.
Even Strength Lines (at the start of the game Saturday)
Repaci / Beaudoin / Ryan
Fea / Johnson / Butler
Bakanov / Jerry / Pappalardo
Boutoussov / X / Ordoobadi
Cosgrove / McCarthy
Victor / Breen (McGurty)
Beaulieu / Delmas
Worcester 0 3 0 – 3
Norfolk 2 3 2 – 7
1st Period-1, Norfolk, Katic 12 (Blachman, Williams), 0:36. 2, Norfolk, McCormick 4 17:53. Penalties-Bakanov Wor (roughing), 17:13; Blachman Nor (roughing), 17:13.
2nd Period-3, Norfolk, Bowen 2 (Katic, Williams), 1:00. 4, Norfolk, Burgess 7 (Williams, Schachle), 2:53 (PP). 5, Norfolk, Lunn 9 (Cooley, Timofeyev), 4:35. 6, Worcester, Ryan 14 (Beaudoin, McGurty), 5:21. 7, Worcester, Repaci 15 (Beaulieu, Delmas), 7:41 (PP). 8, Worcester, Ryan 15 (Beaudoin, Repaci), 12:40. Penalties-Cosgrove Wor (holding), 1:21; Louis-Jean Nor (holding), 7:05.
3rd Period-9, Norfolk, Timofeyev 11 (Williams, Burgess), 12:09. 10, Norfolk, Burgess 8 (Roy, Vomacka), 17:01 (EN). Penalties-Ordoobadi Wor (fighting – major, instigating, game misconduct – aggressor), 6:03; Blachman Nor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:03; Blachman Nor (roughing, misconduct – continuing altercation), 19:13.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 8-13-11-32. Norfolk 11-12-11-34.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 2; Norfolk 1 / 2.
Goalies-Worcester, Moran 3-4-0-0 (29 shots-24 saves); Appleby 9-5-1-0 (4 shots-3 saves). Norfolk, Vomacka 4-13-0-1 (32 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Jake Jackson (16), JR Stragar (2).
Linesmen-Evan Knox (83), Colin Gates (52).
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