The Worcester Railers and Adirondack Thunder hooked up Wednesday night at the DCU Center in the first of eight contests between the ECHL North Division rivals that will determine which of the pair makes the Kelly Cup playoffs, and the Railers got off on the wrong foot by losing another winnable game 3-1.
If the Railers had won just half of the games they were in a great position to get victories from so far this season their playoff berth would be well secured, but as seems to be the case with all Worcester pro hockey teams they seem to find ways to not take advantage of all their opportunities, and their lack of playoff success is a result.
After a scoreless first period, a quick whistle by referee Trevor Wohlford three minutes into the middle stanza cost the Railers a power play goal. As almost always happens, soon after Adirondack capitalized on the break by lighting the lamp behind Ken Appleby.
In the third period, the Thunder would take a 2-0 lead when the Worcester defense apparently forgot they were allowed to clear opponents from the front of the net. The fact it looks like they didn’t even know where the Adirondack players were on the ice seems to have played a major role too.
Just over two minutes later Reece Newkirk would give his team a chance by cutting the Thunder lead to 2-1.
Worcester would pull Appleby for an extra attacker late, but once again their “dump and chase” play fails when you can’t win puck battles as the Railers allowed their 13th empty net goal of the season. The only reason why the video is included is Matt Jennings made a great play after he got the puck and that’s worthy of a stick tap.
Scratches for the Railers were Noah Delmas, Christain Evers (IR/unknown), Nick Fea, Billy Jerry, Max Johnson (IR/unknown), Jack Quinlivan (IR/unknown), and Quin Ryan (IR/unknown). Henrik Tikkanen was the backup goaltender. With Reece Newkirk being assigned to the Railers by the New York Islanders Worcester needed another transaction to fit him on the roster, so they released Zack Bross. Trevor Cosgrove was recalled to Bridgeport, so for him to return once again the Railers will need another transaction to open a roster spot.
Earlier this week Railers assistant coach and Worcester State head coach Bob Deraney was named the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Coach of the Year. Deraney led the Lancers to a 14-12-1 record this season, including ten wins in the MASCAC 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.
In scoring changes from last weekend, add an assist to Jared Brandt on Jacob Hayhurst’s shorthanded goal from last Friday in Maine. That goal now reads “3. WOR Hayhurst, (6) (Brandt), 16:50 (SH)”. Nolan Vesey gets an assist on Hayhurst’s opening goal on Saturday against Maine. That now reads “1. WOR Hayhurst, (7) (Butler, Vesey), 4:37 (PP)”. Adam Goodsir had an assist added to Andrei Bakanov’s goal Sunday in Maine. That now reads “2. WOR Bakanov, (4) (Goodsir), 9:16”.
Drew Callin was in the house for the game Wednesday night, with Steve Jandric tagging along. If you follow this writer on Twitter you see lots of tweets mentioning that the Springfield Thunderbirds aren’t playing Jandric and he would help the Railers a lot as opposed to sitting in the stands every night.
The three stars of the game were
1. ADK – 8 Wayne Letourneau
2. WOR – 37 Reece Newkirk
3. ADK – 35 Jake Theut
The 210Sports Player of the Game was Ken Appleby.
Even Strength Lines
Goodsir / Beaudoin / Repaci
Hayhurst / Newkirk / Butler
Vesey / Coughlin / Bakanov
X/ Callin / Ordoobadi
Brandt / McGurty
Beaulieu / McCarthy
Victor / Breen
Adirondack 0 1 2 – 3
Worcester 0 0 1 – 1
1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-1, Adirondack, Letourneau 3 (Chukarov, Grasso), 5:29. Penalties-Harper Adk (tripping), 2:44; Butler Wor (holding), 5:59; Breen Wor (boarding), 16:01.
3rd Period-2, Adirondack, Middendorf 1 (Fleurent, Vidmar), 5:29. 3, Worcester, Newkirk 16 (Brandt, Hayhurst), 7:32. 4, Adirondack, Harper 20 (Jennings, Rivera), 18:48 (EN). Penalties-Breen Wor (boarding), 11:45; Harper Adk (tripping), 14:47.
Shots on Goal-Adirondack 11-15-13-39. Worcester 8-10-15-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Adirondack 0 / 3; Worcester 0 / 2.
Goalies-Adirondack, Theut 14-13-4-1 (33 shots-32 saves). Worcester, Appleby 12-10-1-0 (38 shots-36 saves).
Referees-Trevor Wohlford (38).
Linesmen-Matthew Heinen (93), Shane Kanaly (74).
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