For the fourth consecutive campaign, the Worcester Railers’ season ended without making the playoffs, so once again we get an all-too-early posting of the “210 Awards”
For those new to the “210 Awards”, they are a mix of serious and (hopefully) slightly humorous awards named for the moniker this writer used to use on many message boards. Just remember, for the most part, these are just one man’s opinion and I like to spread these around a little so one player doesn’t get every award.
This season’s winners are:
Best Forward: He didn’t have the most goals on the team, but Brent Beaudoin was the most consistent all season and did have the most points, so he’s our pick here.
Best Defenseman: Myles McGurty wins for the second time in a row. If you’re looking for a flashy defender, McGurty isn’t your man. If you want a solid one, ink him into your lineup.
Tough Guy Award: For the second year in a row we don’t have a winner for this. Being a “tough guy” is more than just getting into fights, but using even the loosest description not a single everyday player for the Railers qualifies.
Best Single-Game Performance: Henrik Tikkanen made 48 saves in Maine on March 19 in a 3-2 win in a game where the Railers were outplayed for 55 minutes and most times it looked like the Mariners were on the power play.
Most Improved: Andrei Bakanov gets the nod here. When he first got here Bakanov looked like he belonged doing anything other than playing pro hockey. By the end of the season, he turned himself into a solid depth ECHL forward. It will be interesting to see if Springfield signs him again in the offseason.
Seventh Player Award: It would have been very interesting to see how far the Railers could have gone if Quin Ryan didn’t get hurt. He finished third on the team in scoring despite playing far fewer games than those above him on the stat sheet, and his pairing with childhood friend Nick Fea could have led to great things, But, alas…
Best Mid-season Addition: On a list of candidates that is far too short, Anthony Callin is the easy winner here.
The “Mike Moore Award”: For the player that gives 100% every single shift no matter the score or the situation, we’re going to give this one to Reece Newkirk.
Rookie of the Year: Henrik Tikkanen is the easy winner here, with an asterisk. He’s an ECHL rookie, but not a true rookie as he played pro hockey in Europe. The Railers have no other legitimate candidates, which will be an issue next season.
Most Valuable Player: It comes down to two or three players but in the end it’s really just one as Anthony Repaci comes out on top here.
The 210Sports Player of the Year: Brent Beaudoin was the 210Sports “Player of the Game” ten times last season, the most of any Railers player. The scary thing is “nobody” won seven times, which might explain Worcester not being in the playoffs again this season.
So now that we’ve gotten the serious awards out of the way, here are a few that this writer thinks should be handed out…
The “Three Stars Award”: Using 5-3-1 scoring, Henrik Tikkanen wins the First Star, with a franchise record of 47 points. Anthony Repaci is Second Star with 40 points, and Collin Adams is Third Star with 25.
The “Two-By-Two Award”: Myles McGurty wins this award that goes to the player with the most penalty minutes without receiving a major or misconduct.
The “Iron Man Award”: No player was in the lineup for all 72 games during the season, so once again we’ll put this one back on the shelf. And also once again, Brent Beaudoin misses just a single game during the season to rip this award from his hands.
The “Man In The Box Award”: For being in the penalty box for the most power play goals scored against the team, both Billy Jerry and Myles McGurty tie with six. Jerry played far fewer games, so if we had a tie-breaker he’d win, but seeing as both he and McGurty are the two of the Railers’ top penalty killers it’s not shocking to have that many goals scored while they were unavailable.
The “Dead-Eye Award”: Christian Evers, for having the lowest shooting percentage of any player with 50 or more shots on goal at 1.8% (1 for 57).
The “Buzzer Beater Award”: Brent Beaudoin for his empty-net goal with 2.1 seconds left on December 18, 2022, in a 4-1 win over Newfoundland.
The “Whose Jersey Is This? Award”: Trevor Cosgrove, Steve Jandric, Jimmy Lambert, Ryan MacKinnon, Jake Schultz, and Josh Victor for all wearing the #44 jersey this season. Both Jandric and Schultz also wore it twice in different stints this campaign.
The “I Like It Award”: Jared Brant, who liked a tweet where I said he took a brainless holding penalty. And he did indeed take a brainless holding penalty, which is why I tweeted it.
The “72 Award”: The award that goes to the only media outlet to cover all 72 of the Worcester Railers regular season, and that would be me.
The “Potato Head Award”: Anthony Repaci for jokingly signing a potato at the Booster Club table during the Thanksgiving turkey ornament raffle.
The “Nether Regions Award”: Jared Brandt and Myles McGurty, as the defensive pairing both went down on the same shift as each appeared to have blocked a shot with their, shall we say, nether regions on January 27 vs Reading.
The “Mother Pheasant Plucker Award” – Broadcaster Tim Foley, who uses the tongue twister as part of his pre-game warm-up regimen. Foley shared his entire vocal warmup repertoire to a Booster Club meeting to loud applause and laughter, which itself is worthy of an award.
The “Skate Guard Award” – Brent Beaudoin for forgetting to remove them prior to hitting the ice on March 12th. And of course, the rest of the team didn’t make fun of him. Nope, not at all.
The “Which Team Am I On? Award”: Jordan Kaplan, who was claimed off waiver from Newfoundland by the Railers, who were in St. John’s at the time. Kaplan then dressed for Worcester against the Growlers for two games, scoring a goal in his debut.
The “Delta Dental Award” – Henrik Tikkanen, who twice had teeth knocked out or broken in games by shots despite wearing his mask. He’s a hockey player and stayed in the game both times.
The “I Just Sell Tickets Award” – Railers Director of Ticket Sales Connor Haynes, who some don’t realize has no control over anything that happens with the team and on the ice. As he says, he just sells tickets. Oh, and while he’s up getting that award…
The “Linus Ullmark Award”: Connor Haynes. He knows why, and I won’t explain it.
The “Max Newton Award” – It’s not his fault, but Jared Brandt will always be connected with that lopsided trade, so he may as well get an award for it.
The “We Can All Hear You Award” – Hardly shocking if you know her, but Donna Ahaesy can not only be heard throughout the DCU Center shouting from this writer’s old perch during games but she can also be clearly heard on the radio during home games, proving there is no way the players can’t hear her.
The “Guacamole Goal Award” – Anthony Repaci for being the first player ever to score during the minute-long Mezcal promotion where a lucky section gets free guac if the Railers score.
The “Ringo Starr Award” – Railers captain Bobby Butler, for continuing to smack his stick on the ice calling for the puck, even when he’s not in a position to do anything with it, which was far too often the case.
The “.368 Award” – All of Railers hockey operations earns this one. On December 4, 2022, the Railers were 16-2-1 with 33 points. In the next 53 games, Worcester earned just 39 points, which is a .368 points percentage. Doing that for a while season would have put them in 27th of the 28 teams.
The “David Haas Award”: The award that goes to the player with the most talent that uses the least of it, and after a brief meeting of the committee it was correctly determined that we’ll be putting this back on the shelf again this season.
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