The Worcester Railers took on the Newfoundland Growlers Saturday night at the DCU Center in the second of two match-ups this weekend between the teams and the Railers allowed three goals in the final period to lose 5-2.
If Worcester misses the playoffs yet again this season, Saturday night is one of the games they can look back on as the reason why. The Growlers were playing with just 16 skaters available with half of them being defensemen, and they were on the last night of a long three-week road trip. The Railers’ lineup was the same one they threw out there in Friday night’s win and had a 28-14 shots advantage after 40 minutes.
The opening period saw the shot totals heavily leaning toward Worcester but the game continued to be scoreless deep into the frame. It was the Railers that made the first big mistake when Liam Coughlin and Connor McCarthy both headed behind the net to join defenseman Josh Victor in a puck battle. That left Todd Skirving and Brett Budgell all alone in front of Henrik Tikkanen, with Skirving banging home the pass from Keenan Suthers at 16:43.
The Railers got lucky at the end of the first period when Newfoundland put the puck into the net just as the final horn sounded. How close was it? Using the FloHockey video the clock says .1 and the green light is already on, and the puck is over the goal line. Ignoring the clock and just watching the green light behind the goal, the puck appears to be just at the line before the light goes on. This is one where the overhead view would be great to see, and after referee Dominic Cadieux saw it he changed his on-ice call from a good goal to no goal.
The fact the play even happened is because the Railers inexplicably changed players with under 10 seconds left in the period, and then made a terrible change on top of it. That’s a complete lack of situational awareness by the team. Jared Brandt, who wasn’t rushed and had plenty of time, followed the line change blunder with one of the worst clearing attempts you could ever see.
It took until the game was half over, but Worcester was able to knot the score 1-1 with a power play goal.
Three minutes later, Brent Beaudoin made it a 2-1 Railers lead.
Just a short while later the Growlers would make it a 2-2 game when Jacob Hayhurst turned the puck over in the offensive zone and Newfoundland played some transitional hockey, with Chris Martenet beating a screened Tikkanen at 16:06.
It was that 2-2 score heading to the third, where once again the next goal would play a big role in determining the winner. Unfortunately for Worcester fans, it was the Growlers connecting at 2:11 when Skirving picked up his second of the contest after another failed line change resulted in the puck going into the Railers’ net, only this time it counted.
Suthers made it 4-2 at 11:32 when a Michael Joyaux booming shot went well wide and the puck rebounded off the end boards right to the stick of Suthers. His shot hit the glove of Tikkanen and then Anthony Repaci made a diving bid to knock the puck out of the air. Referee Cadieux emphatically waved the goal off, but then went to video review and counted the goal.
Suthers struck again into an empty net at 17:54 for the 5-2 final.
Scratches for the Railers were Conor Breen, Zack Bross (IR/unknown), Christain Evers (IR/unknown), Chris Ordoobadi, Jack Quinlivan (IR/unknown), Quin Ryan, and Nolan Vesey (IR/unknown). Ken Appleby was the backup goaltender.
Despite not making the scoresheet Jacob Hayhurst had 12 shots on goal, setting a new Worcester pro hockey record for a single game.
It was “WooSox Night”, but you would have hardly known it had someone not told you. With the exception of having the 2007 Boston Red Sox World Series trophy in the building, the WooSox did essentially nothing to promote the night. They had no Twitter or Facebook posts about it, didn’t supply any players to sign autographs (and if you’re the knucklehead who tweeted at me that all their players are in Florida, every other “WooSox night” had retired Boston Red Sox players there), and their mascots that were supposed to arrive for a 5:45pm door opening were incredibly late and were only seen by most fans for the photo-op ceremonial puck drop.
Growlers forward Nathan Noel might be hearing from the ECHL about his antics Saturday night, which included making gestures twice at Railers defenseman Josh Victor. The first one was the exact same gesture Jacob Panetta made toward Jordan Subban after Noel was sent to the penalty box for matching minors with Railers forward Max Johnson. This writer can’t even describe what Noel was going the second time other than looking like an ass, but referee Dominic Cadieux had seen enough and gave him a ten-minute misconduct. The bad news for Noel is Joe Ernst, the ECHL’s Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations, was in attendance. Ernst is in charge of player supplemental discipline.
The three stars of the game were:
1. NFL – 15 Todd Skirving
2. NFL – 33 Luke Cavallin
3. WOR – 12 Brent Beaudoin
The 210Sports Player of the Game was Anthony Repaci.
Even Strength Lines
Fea / Beaudoin / Repaci
Johnson / Hayhurst / Butler
Bakanov / Coughlin / Jerry
Delmas / X / Pappalardo
Brandt / McGurty
Victor / McCarthy
Beaulieu / Cosgrove
Our affiliates last night
NY Islanders 4, Detroit 1
Los Angeles 4, St. Louis 2
Hartford 9, Bridgeport 0
Springfield 4, Charlotte 1
In the ECHL’s North Division
Jacksonville 5, Adirondack 2
Reading 5, Trois-Rivieres 1
Greenville 5, Norfolk 1
North Division Standings
Team points (points percentage) games in hand vs Worcester
Newfoundland 77 (.700) 1
Reading 65 (.625) 4
Maine 63 (.618) 5
Worcester 59 (.527)
Adirondack 50 (.472) 3
Trois-Rivieres 42 (.389) 2
Norfolk 30 (.268) 0
Newfoundland 1 1 3 – 5
Worcester 0 2 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Newfoundland, Skirving 25 (Suthers, Budgell), 16:43. Penalties-Kubicek Nfl (interference), 4:35; Coughlin Wor (hooking), 9:09; Kubicek Nfl (interference), 11:52; Noel Nfl (roughing), 18:18; Johnson Wor (holding), 18:18.
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Delmas 2 (Beaudoin, Repaci), 10:32 (PP). 3, Worcester, Beaudoin 16 (Repaci, Fea), 13:26. 4, Newfoundland, Martenet 2 (Budgell, Suthers), 16:06. Penalties-Kruse Nfl (delay of game), 10:02.
3rd Period-5, Newfoundland, Skirving 26 (Budgell, Cavallin), 2:11. 6, Newfoundland, Suthers 13 (Joyaux, Budgell), 11:32. 7, Newfoundland, Suthers 14 (Skirving), 17:54 (EN). Penalties-Cosgrove Wor (cross-checking), 7:10; Noel Nfl (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:56; Butler Wor (clipping), 9:56; Noel Nfl (misconduct), 14:26.
Shots on Goal-Newfoundland 9-5-13-27. Worcester 13-15-9-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Newfoundland 0 / 2; Worcester 1 / 3.
Goalies-Newfoundland, Cavallin 20-8-0-0 (37 shots-35 saves). Worcester, Tikkanen 15-14-2-0 (26 shots-22 saves).
Referees-Dominic Cadieux (3).
Linesmen-Noah Merrow (57), Nathan Frechette (49).
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