Railers double up Thunder in 4-2 win

The Worcester Railers and Adirondack Thunder are going to see a lot of each other over the last six weeks of the ECHL’s regular season, with the four-point swing games likely determining the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. Worcester got off to a good start when they got two goals from Anthony Repaci Friday night in a 4-2 win over the Thunder at the DCU Center.

Giving up early goals has been an issue all season for Worcester, but the Railers finally got one of their own to jump out to an early lead.

Bobby Butler made it 2-0 at 11:58 of the frame on one that Adirondack netminder Brody Claeys probably wants another crack at.

Speaking about wanting another crack at a shot, Ken Appleby probably thinks the same of this Thunder goal at 12:24 of the middle frame.

To the third period the teams went, with the next goal being huge. It was one of the smallest Railers, Max Johnson, who came up big.

Adirondack would pull Claeys for the extra attacker, and once again the Railers’ strategy of not pressuring the puck carrier while skating against an extra man resulted in the puck ending up in their net when Xavier Parent scored at 17:47.

The Thunder pulled Claeys again, but this time a great individual effort by Repaci sealed the win for Worcester.

Worcester gets a rare late-season Saturday night off and will face Maine Sunday at the DCU Center. The Mariners don’t have an off night Saturday and will host the Norfolk Admirals.

Scratches for the Railers were Zack Bross, Noah Delmas, Christain Evers (IR/unknown), Jacob Hayhurst (day-to-day), and Jack Quinlivan (IR/unknown). Henrik Tikkanen was the backup goaltender. Before the start of the game, Worcester announced that they had released Jake Pappalardo and Conor Breen as they needed roster spots to activate Quin Ryan and Nolan Vesey from the injured reserve list.

There was one disallowed goal in the contest, at 13:19 of the third period when referee Marc-Olivier Phaneuf ruled Shawn Weller deflected Matt Stief’s shot past Railers netminder Ken Appleby with a high stick. The Thunder didn’t complain much, actually not at all, as referee Phaneuf quickly conferred with the game’s second referee John Lindner and linesman Nathan Frechette. The play is not reviewable under ECHL rules, not that it would have mattered as the available video would not have produced enough evidence to overturn the “no goal” call on the ice.

As he has several times this season, Worcester State University men’s ice hockey head coach Bob Deraney joined Jordan Smotherman and Jimmy Sharrow behind the Railers bench. Deraney led the Lancers to a 14-12-1 record this season, including ten wins in the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference for the first time ever in the program’s history. Worcester State ended up losing 5-2 to Plymouth State in the MASCAC Championship game. Plymouth State finished its conference schedule undefeated and advanced to the NCAA D3 championship tournament.

A transaction Friday afternoon perked the eyes of Railers fans when Newfoundland released Nathan Noel. Many fans, including this writer, believe Noel made racial gestures from the penalty box toward Worcester defenseman Josh Victor last Saturday night. While it’s not known if clear video of the incident exists, the supervisor of officials at the DCU Center last weekend was Joe Ernst, the Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations for the ECHL. Ernst is in charge of the League’s Hockey Operations Department and Officiating Department, and he’s the ECHL’s player supplemental discipline person. There are whispers of an investigation by the ECHL into the incident, but so far nothing official has been announced by the league. This writer didn’t run into Railers COO Mike Myers Friday night, but as the Railers generally don’t comment on such matters our conversation on the subject would have likely been very short.

Former Worcester Sharks head coach Roy Sommer reached another milestone last night, coaching in his 1,800th AHL game. Sommer has coached in the AHL for 25 seasons, amassing an 826-760-88-126 record. Sommer is the AHL’s career leader in games coached, won, and lost, and he appears to be pro hockey’s all-time loss leader at 884.

We usually don’t cover Holy Cross sports here on the site, but a playoff overtime breakaway winner that gives the Crusaders a 1-0 win? Yeah, we’ll gladly show that highlight.

If you have FloHockey you can catch game two of their series against RIT Saturday night, with a 6:30pm puck drop.

The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 37 Max Johnson
2. WOR – 81 Anthony Repaci
3. WOR – 35 Ken Appleby

The 210Sports Player of the Game was Jared Brandt.

Even Strength Lines
Repaci / Beaudoin / Ryan
Fea / Johnson / Butler
Vesey / Coughlin / Bakanaov
Jerry / X / Ordoobadi

Brandt / McGurty
Cosgrove / Beaulieu
Victor McCarthy

Our affiliates last night
Charlotte 7, Bridgeport 1
Springfield 6, Providence 3

In the ECHL’s North Division
Norfolk 6, Maine 4
Reading 6, Newfoundland 1

North Division Standings
Team points (points percentage) games in hand vs Worcester
Newfoundland 77 (.688) 2
Maine 67 (.620) 4
Reading 67 (.609) 3
Worcester 61 (.526)
Adirondack 50 (.455) 3
Trois-Rivieres 46 (.411) 2
Norfolk 32 (.281) 1

Adirondack 0 1 1 – 2
Worcester 2 0 2 – 4

1st Period-1, Worcester, Repaci 18 (Ryan, Beaudoin), 0:56. 2, Worcester, Butler 16 (Johnson), 11:58. Penalties-served by Jennings Adk (bench – too many men), 1:42; Weller Adk (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:05; Ryan Wor (hooking), 8:45; McGurty Wor (hooking), 12:52.

2nd Period-3, Adirondack, Hallbauer 1 (Harper, Grasso), 12:24. Penalties-Jerry Wor (holding), 11:20; Stief Adk (hooking), 11:36; Beaulieu Wor (hooking), 13:10; Broughman Adk (hooking), 13:29.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, Johnson 3 (Bakanov, Ordoobadi), 7:46. 5, Adirondack, Parent 20 (Broughman, Harper), 17:47. 6, Worcester, Repaci 19 19:06 (EN). Penalties-Cosgrove Wor (holding), 2:11; Smith Adk (closing hand on puck), 8:58.

Shots on Goal-Adirondack 13-11-17-41. Worcester 10-14-11-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 5; Worcester 0 / 5.
Goalies-Adirondack, Claeys 2-3-0-0 (34 shots-31 saves). Worcester, Appleby 11-8-1-0 (41 shots-39 saves).
Referees-Marc-Olivier Phaneuf (23), John Lindner (6).
Linesmen-Nathan Frechette (49), Sam Schildkraut (46).

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