Collapse complete: Railers fail to make playoffs after 4-3 loss to Thunder

The Worcester Railers entered Sunday afternoon’s contest against the Adirondack Thunder needing a regulation win and took a 3-2 lead into the third period but allowed two goals to lose 4-3 and miss the ECHL’s Kelly Cup playoffs.

Since at least mid-December this writer has not been shy about saying this team was not very good, and that lots of changes had to be made to be competitive. Every time the team’s struggles were mentioned someone would immediately bring up that nine-game winning streak to start the season as if that had any meaning as Worcester tumbled down the standings. Since starting 9-0 the Railers played just .429 hockey, which would rank 24th out of the 28 teams in the league.

Do you believe me now?

Mathematically Worcester was eliminated Sunday, but realistically they’ve been so bad for so long people didn’t notice they’ve been down and out for weeks. One of the reasons for their continued losing is every team in the division got better as the season went on, but the Railers got worse. It was as if hockey operations were more worried about the dressing room as opposed to what was going on on the ice. And what was happening on the ice was losing. A lot of losing.

The particulars of Sunday’s game aren’t remotely important, so suffice it to say Nick Fea, Trevor Cosgrove, and Anthony Repaci were the goal scorers in a lineup that simply didn’t have enough talent to compete for a Kelly Cup playoff spot.

Their record proves that to be true.

Scratches for the Railers were Philip Beaulieu (IR/upper body), Christian Evers, Adam Goodsir (IR/unknown), Max Johnson (IR/unknown), Connor McCarthy, Reece Newkirk, Jack Quinlivan (IR/unknown), and Quin Ryan (IR/unknown). Henrik Tikkanen was the backup goaltender.

With his “minus” this afternoon Noah Delmas ties the Railers and Worcester pro hockey record for worst single-season rating at minus-34. To put that number in perspective, his one-season “career mark” would be tied for 4th all-time lowest in Worcester pro hockey with Ashton Rome. Worsharks Nick Petrecki and Freddie Hamilton are tied at minus-41 in second, and former Railers captain Barry Almeida is first at minus-46. It’s Alemieda’s single-season mark that Delmas tied. To complete the record, the lowest career rating for a former IceCats player is Reed Low’s minus-27.

The three stars of the game were not listed on the score sheet at posting time.

The 210Sports Player of the Game was Anthony Callin.

Even Strength Lines
Bakanov / Beaudoin / Repaci
Jandric / Hayhurst / Butler
Fea / Callin / Vesey
X / Coughlin / Lambert

Brandt / McGurty
Cosgrove / DaSilva
Delmas / Kulakov

Our affiliates last night
Providence 7, Springfield 3

In the ECHL’s North Division
Maine 10, Norfolk 2

North Division Standings
Team points (points percentage)
X-Newfoundland 98 (.691)
X-Reading 88 (.611)
X-Maine 87 (.604)
X-Adirondack 75 (.521)
Worcester 72 (.500)
Trois-Rivieres 61 (.424)
Norfolk 47 (.326)

Worcester 2 1 0 – 3
Adirondack 1 1 2 – 4

1st Period-1, Adirondack, Weller 14 (Smith), 2:39. 2, Worcester, Fea 8 (McGurty, Callin), 9:48. 3, Worcester, Cosgrove 5 (Butler, Hayhurst), 12:25 (PP). Penalties-Orgel Adk (hooking), 10:42; Jandric Wor (hooking), 16:48.

2nd Period-4, Worcester, Repaci 27 (Vesey, Delmas), 11:59 (PP). 5, Adirondack, Grasso 36 (Letourneau, Harper), 13:55. Penalties-Hayhurst Wor (tripping), 1:18; Broughman Adk (tripping), 10:37; Long Adk (tripping), 14:45.

3rd Period-6, Adirondack, Stief 5 (Vidmar, Harper), 10:24 (PP). 7, Adirondack, Fleurent 9 17:54 (EN). Penalties-Hayhurst Wor (cross-checking), 5:46; Da Silva Wor (high-sticking), 10:18; Slick Adk (delay of game), 15:32.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 15-8-8-31. Adirondack 12-12-11-35.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 2 / 4; Adirondack 1 / 4.
Goalies-Worcester, Appleby 13-13-1-0 (34 shots-31 saves). Adirondack, Robinson 4-3-2-0 (31 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Alex Normandin (26).
Linesmen-Trevor Waite (73), Matthew Heinen (93).

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