Railers stumble again in 4-1 loss to Thunder

GLENS FALLS, NY — The Worcester Railers hit the road Friday for a three-hour ride to the Cool Insuring Arena for the first of a pair of games this weekend against the Adirondack Thunder and once again seemingly treated the game like an open skate as they dropped a 4-1 contest to Adirondack in a game that shouldn’t have been as close as the score makes it look.

Railers starting goaltender Henrick Tikkanen and backup netminder Ken Appleby must be getting furious from the lack of support the skaters have given them this season. Other than the record-breaking start of the first nine games Worcester has done little right in the current campaign, with the offense not showing up time and time again and the non-existent defense making bantam-level mistakes every game.

And despite all of that, Worcester still controls its own destiny in cinching a playoff berth. All they need to do is win. Based on their play as of late, that might be asking too much.

Shot totals can be deceiving, but when you’re outshot by 20 (45-25) those numbers don’t fool anyone into thinking you may have been in the game. Scoring chances were even more in the Thunder’s favor, who may have had more great bids on accident than Worcester had the entire game.

Amazingly it was a 1-0 game after 40 minutes, with Adirondack’s goal coming on a one-timer by Patrick Grasso about 12 minutes into the opening period.

Brent Beaudoin tied the game at 4:12 of the third period on a nice give-and-go with Nolan Vesey.

As has happened far too often this season, Worcester’s celebration was short-lived as just 38 seconds later old friend Grant Jozefek answered for the Thunder to make it 2-1. Grasso would then complete his hat trick, the final one into an open net, for the 4-1 Adirondack win.

Scratches for the Railers were Noah Delmas, Christain Evers (IR/unknown), Billy Jerry, Max Johnson (IR/unknown), Chris Ordoobadi, Jack Quinlivan (IR/unknown), and Quin Ryan (IR/unknown). Ken Appleby was the backup goaltender.

Earlier on Friday Springfield assigned Steve Jandric to the Railers, and to create a needed roster spot Nick Fea was released. Word is the team is still very high on Fea and is hoping to be able to bring him back at some point.

Getting a few people asking if Blake Christensen, who recently was spotted at the DCU Center after returning from a brief stint in Europe, was eligible to play for Worcester again this season. At least as far as this writer understands the rules, he isn’t. There’s a deadline for players coming over from overseas to be eligible for the ECHL, and Christensen’s European season ended long after that.

The three stars of the game were
1. ADK – 21 Patrick Grasso
2. ADK – 22 Sebastian Vidmar
3. ADK – 43 Grant Jozefek

The 210Sports Player of the Game was Brent Beaudoin.

Even Strength Lines
Jandric / Beaudoin / Repaci
Hayhurst / Newkirk / Butler
Vesey / Coughlin / Bakanov
Goodsir / Callin / X

Brandt / McGurty
Beaulieu / McCarthy
Victor / Breen

Our affiliates last night
Columbus 5, NY Islanders 4 (OT)
Bridgeport 5, Belleville 2
Hartford 6, Springfield 5

In the ECHL’s North Division
Maine 4, Atlanta 3 (OT)
Trois-Rivieres 5, Norfolk 0
Reading 4, Toledo 2
Newfoundland 3, Florida 0

North Division Standings
Team points (points percentage) games in hand vs Worcester
Newfoundland 88 (.683) 1
Reading 76 (.623) 3
Maine 73 (.598) 3
Worcester 67 (.523)
Adirondack 62 (.500) 2
Trois-Rivieres 50 (.403) 2
Norfolk 39 (.310) 1

Worcester 0 0 1 – 1
Adirondack 1 0 3 – 4

1st Period-1, Adirondack, Grasso 28 (Harper, Vidmar), 12:01. Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Newkirk Wor (tripping), 1:01; Weller Adk (elbowing), 9:48.

3rd Period-2, Worcester, Beaudoin 19 (Vesey, McGurty), 4:12. 3, Adirondack, Jozefek 17 (Fleurent, Broughman), 4:50. 4, Adirondack, Grasso 29 (Vidmar, Orgel), 8:03. 5, Adirondack, Grasso 30 (Vidmar), 17:22 (EN). Penalties-Rivera Adk (elbowing), 14:09.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 10-6-9-25. Adirondack 17-12-16-45.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 2; Adirondack 0 / 1.
Goalies-Worcester, Tikkanen 17-15-2-0 (44 shots-41 saves). Adirondack, Theut 15-13-4-1 (25 shots-24 saves).
Referees-Trevor Wohlford (38).
Linesmen-Shane Kanaly (74), Sam Schildkraut (46).

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