On Wednesday, the Worcester Railers made their first visit to Wheeling, West Virginia to take on the Nailers at the WesBanco Arena.

The Railers showed no sign of their 11 and a half hour bus ride down to Wheeling on Tuesday and came out on fire. They would strike first when Chris Langkow won a face-off clean back to defenseman Josh Monk at the top of the right circle, and Monk blasted one past Wheeling goaltender Sean Maguire at 5:25 of the opening period. It was Monk’s first goal as a professional.

The Nailers showed Worcester why they have one of the best power plays in the ECHL when after the Railers failed to clear the puck Garrett Muers took a feed from Cam Brown and fired it over the shoulder of Worcester netminder Eamon McAdam at 10:22. Wheeling would take a 2-1 lead when the Nailers took advantage of a Railers turnover and converted on an odd man rush. Jeff Taylor was the one credited with the goal at 14:30.

In the early parts of the second period it was Wheeling controlling the play, and were it not for a few key saves by McAdam the game could have easily gotten out of reach. Slowly Worcester began to reassert themselves, and as the shot totals began to close it was Railers captain Ashton Rome that got the score back to even.

With Worcester on the power play the Railers caught a lucky break when the puck struck referee Stephen Thomson and remained in control of Worcester as opposed to being cleared out of the zone. Wade Murphy fired a pass from Patrick McNally on goal, and Rome was there to fire home the rebound at 14:43.

Wheeling would regain their lead in the third period at 5:29 when the Railers lost track of Riley Bourbonnais in front of the net, and he slammed home a pass from Nick Sorkin from behind the net.

Once again Worcester would tie the game on a nice play. With the puck in the Nailers zone Matt Gaudreau fed the puck over to Nick Saracino. The second year forward then found Langkow in front, and Langkow’s shot rocketed to the back of the net to make it 3-3 at 11:04.

It stayed that way through the end of regulation, and for just the second time in their franchise history the Railers headed to overtime. Despite spending almost the entire five minutes of the extra period on the power play Worcester couldn’t convert, so to the shootout the teams went where the Nailers would prevail to take the game 4-3.

RAILERS NOTES

Scratches for the Railers were Connor Doherty (21-day IR), Woody Hudson, Kellen Jones (injured, lower body), and Matt Lane. Mitch Gillam was the back-up goaltender.

While Worcester didn’t have any significant roster moves since last Saturday’s win over Manchester, a former Railers player has found a new home. Defenseman Ryan Lannon, released by Worcester last week, was signed by the Atlanta Gladiators, the ECHL affiliate of the Boston Bruins. Despite playing just four games for the Railers Lannon will forever be a part of Worcester hockey lore having played for both the Sharks and Railers.

The WesBanco Arena, home of the Nailers, is one of the few ice rinks that host pro teams in North America that has a non-regulation sized ice surface. The size of an NHL rink is 200’ by 85’, but at the WesBanco Arena the ice surface is 185’ x 85’. That’s the same size as the old Boston Garden, and it’s one of the reasons the Nailers are so hard to beat at home.

The games this week in Wheeling are the first time a Worcester pro team has played in West Virginia, and is the second of three new states for a Worcester pro team to play in. They’ve already visited Colorado, and have a visit to Orlando, Florida coming up in February.

Standing behind the Wheeling bench tonight was a familiar face for Worcester hockey fans as fan favorite Riley Armstrong is the assistant coach for the Nailers. Armstrong played 208 games for the WorSharks, and ranks ninth all-time in goals scored (59) and nineteenth in points (112). He also had 300 penalty minutes with the Sharks.

There is another bit of hockey history that connects Worcester and Wheeling as “Mr IceCats” Terry Virtue had two stints in each of the cities. Before playing for the IceCats in their 1994-95 inaugural season Virtue played parts of the previous two seasons with the then-named Thunderbirds. Soon after his second stint with the IceCats Virtue played a season with the Nailers in 2005-06.

The Railers will be enjoying a Thanksgiving meal in Wheeling before busing later Thursday afternoon to Toledo for Friday night’s game against the Walleye. They’ll make the four hour trip back to Wheeling after that game to take on the Nailers again on Saturday.

The three stars of the game were

1) Hunter Fejes (Wheeling #18) shootout game winner

2) Zach Tolkinen (Wheeling #27)

3) Garrett Meurs (Wheeling #23) goal, assist

The TWIW Player of the Game was Chris Langkow

Even Strength Lines

Saracino/Langkow/Gaudreau

Syner/Almeida/Kubiak

DiChiara/Rome/Murphy

Turcotte

McNally/Hamonic

McKenzie/Cornell

Masella/Monk

BOX SCORE

Worcester 1 1 1 0 – 3

Wheeling 2 0 1 0 – 4

1st Period-1, Worcester, Monk 1 (Langkow), 5:25. 2, Wheeling, Meurs 10 (Brown), 10:22 (PP). 3, Wheeling, Taylor 2 (Wydo), 14:30. Penalties-Masella Wor (roughing), 8:46; Tolkinen Whl (interference), 18:38.

2nd Period-4, Worcester, Rome 6 (Murphy, McNally), 14:43 (PP). Penalties-Murphy Wor (high-sticking), 8:53; Tolkinen Whl (tripping), 13:04.

3rd Period-5, Wheeling, Bourbonnais 1 (Sorkin, Meurs), 5:29. 6, Worcester, Langkow 3 (Saracino, Gaudreau), 11:04. Penalties-Cornell Wor (slashing), 6:50.

OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-served by Gardiner Whl (bench – too many men), 0:38; Wydo Whl (boarding – major, game misconduct – boarding), 2:02.

Shootout – Worcester 1 (Syner NG, Gaudreau NG, DiChiara G, Murphy NG), Wheeling 2 (Brown NG, Gardiner NG, Meurs G, Fejes G).

Shots on Goal-Worcester 8-14-7-2-0-31. Wheeling 13-7-8-1-1-30.

Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 4; Wheeling 1 / 3.

Goalies-Worcester, McAdam 4-3-1-1 (29 shots-26 saves). Wheeling, Maguire 7-2-0-0 (31 shots-28 saves).

A-2,168

Referees-Stephen Thomson (27).

Linesmen-Michael Fusani (41), Zach Roberts (84).

WORCESTER – With the Worcester Railers having Saturday night off and the Manchester Monarchs playing their fourth game in five days it should have been Worcester that came out with tons of energy, but unfortunately for the 3,370 Railers fans in attendance it was the Monarchs that controlled the opening 20 minutes.

Worcester was lucky to escape the period down just a single goal, mostly due to a few nice saves by netminder Eamon McAdam. Despite his stellar play one did make it past him, as Zac Lynch buried a centering feed by Craig Wyszomirski at 11:27 on the power play.

In the second period Worcester came out on fire, but early on it looked like it was once again going to be one of those nights when Patrick McNally fired a blast that stunned Monarchs goaltender Charles Williams but no Railers player could get to the rebound.

A little later on in a wild scramble in front of the Manchester net Williams was down and out but still managed to make an incredible save through the legs of half a dozen players. In the next sequence Worcester captain Ashton Rome was all alone in front but fired the puck over the net.

Rome would make amends for the miss when he took a Barry Almeida pass and skated down the left side of the Monarchs zone. Williams made the save on the shot, but Rome collected the rebound and banked it in off Williams from just behind the goal line for the shorthanded tally at 9:47.

The Railers made it 2-1 on another shorthanded goal when Chris Langkow flipped a pass to Kellen Jones. The fourth year pro was so far ahead of the play he had to wait at the Manchester blue line for the puck to get to him. Jones collected the puck, skated in, and beat Williams to the glove side. The puck banked off the far post, off the crossbar, and in at 12:31.

The Railers had 27 shots in the second period, smashing their franchise mark in that category and setting a new season high in the ECHL.

In the third period Worcester kept their foot on the throttle, and their hard work was rewarded again when Kyle McKenzie blasted one past Williams at 7:42 for an insurance goal. It looked to this writer that Nick Saracino tipped the puck as it flew past him, but the goal is currently listed as McKenzie’s. The assists went to Mike Cornell and Langkow.

Because of the Railers continued pressure as time wound down it took a long while for Manchester to get Williams to the bench for an extra attacker, but nearly as soon as they did Saracino sent Matt Gaudreau in all alone down the left side for the empty net goal with 49 seconds remaining. Langkow picked up his third assist of the game on the tally.

The Railers next game is against the Nailers in Wheeling, West Virginia on Wednesday.

RAILERS NOTES

Scratches for the Railers were Connor Doherty (21 day IR), Frankie DiChiara, Wade Murphy, and T.J. Syner. Mitch Gillam was the back up goaltender.

Sunday was the fourth time in nine days that the Railers and Manchester played each other. It’s the fourth time that’s happened in Worcester hockey history, with the IceCats taking on the Providence Bruins four times between January 11 and 19, 2002, and the WorSharks playing the Abbotsford Heat four times between February 26 and March 6, 2010 and the Portland Pirates between January 15 and 23, 2011. The record, if one could call it that, is the four games in eight days that the IceCats and Hartford Wolf Pack played between January 15 and 22, 1999.

While Manchester doesn’t have any former Worcester players in its roster, the Railers have two players who played for the Monarchs. Rookie Wade Murphy finished off last season with Manchester on an amateur try-out after his season at Arizona State was over. He had 2 goals and 4 assists in 14 regular season games with the Monarchs. Worcester captain Ashton Rome played a half season with Manchester after returning from Europe, going 12-6-18 in 36 regular season games and tacking on another 9-3-12 in the Monarchs playoff run to the ECHL Eastern Conference Finals.

Usually here on This Week in Worcester we like to list the even strength lines, even though the top lines don’t change often from game to game. For Sunday’s game Railers head coach Jamie Russell changed up his lines so often in the opening period looking for combinations that would work it was near impossible to keep track. It seemed for most of the game at even strength either forward Aston Rome or defenseman Patrick McNally was on the ice at all times.

The three stars of the game were

1) Kellen Jones (Railers #9), game winning shorthanded goal

2) Eamon McAdam (Railers #39), 28 saves

3) Kyle McKenzie (Railers #5), goal

The TWIW Player of the Game was Chris Langkow.

BOX SCORE

Manchester 1 0 0 – 1

Worcester 0 2 2 – 4

1st Period-1, Manchester, Lynch 6 (Wyszomirski, Kolomatis), 11:27 (PP). Penalties-McKenzie Wor (hooking), 1:46; Hudson Wor (interference on the goalkeeper), 10:26; Hudson Wor (tripping), 18:29; Morris Man (interference), 19:42.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Rome 5 (Almeida), 9:47 (SH). 3, Worcester, Jones 4 (Langkow), 12:31 (SH). Penalties-Schurhamer Man (interference), 3:46; Lane Wor (hooking), 9:00; Lowry Man (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:47; Cornell Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 9:47; Morris Man (roughing), 12:02; Kubiak Wor (boarding, roughing), 12:02; Kurker Man (roughing), 16:26; Nemcik Man (hooking), 18:18.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, McKenzie 2 (Cornell, Langkow), 7:42. 5, Worcester, Gaudreau 4 (Saracino, Langkow), 19:11 (EN). Penalties-Nemcik Man (boarding), 14:10; Turcotte Wor (misconduct – unsportsmanlike conduct), 20:00.

Shots on Goal-Manchester 12-6-11-29. Worcester 7-27-14-48.

Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 1 / 5; Worcester 0 / 5.

Goalies-Manchester, Williams 5-3-1-0 (47 shots-44 saves). Worcester, McAdam 4-3-1-0 (29 shots-28 saves).

A-3,370

Referees-Tyler Puddifant (28).

Linesmen-Kyle Richtelle (73), Dan Panciocco (59).

MANCHESTER – The slumping Worcester Railers headed north to the Granite State Friday night to take on the Manchester Monarchs at the SNHU Arena looking to end a four game losing streak.

It started off badly for the Railers when the Monarchs scored just 45 seconds into the contest. After a Joel Lowry shot went wide the puck caromed off the endboards, and in the following scramble in front of the net Matt Leitner was able to bang it home past a down and out Eamon McAdam. It’s the second time this season Worcester has allowed a goal to Manchester on the first shot of the game.

The Railers had a golden opportunity halfway through the first period to tie the score when they had a two man advantage for nearly a full two minutes. Worcester generated no offense on that power play even after head coach Jamie Russell called his timeout to give his top unit a rest. The stat sheet indicates the Railers didn’t get a shot on goal during that 1:56 power play.

Worcester was lucky to escape that period down just a goal as in the final 30 seconds of the frame the Monarchs had two great opportunities to grab a second goal while shorthanded, but a breakaway bid by Kevin Morris slid just wide and a last second blast by Sam Kurker rang off the post.

In the second period the Railers picked up their play but couldn’t get the puck to bounce for them. It looked like it was going to be one of those nights when about half way through the stanza Patrick McNally beat Manchester goaltender Charles Williams clean but the puck found the iron and bounded away harmlessly.

They eventually did light the lamp at 13:54 when Worcester broke into the Monarchs zone on an odd man rush. As the play continued on Chris Langkow fed the puck to Kellen Jones from the right corner, and after Williams made the save on Jones’ bid the rebound went into the slot right to an uncovered Ashton Rome. The Railers captain had all 24 square feet to shoot at and buried the puck to knot the score 1-1.

Matt Gaudreau then gave the Railers a 2-1 lead with an unassisted shorthanded goal at 18:58. Gaudreau followed his own shot and gathered the rebound and beat Williams for the go-ahead goal. That would turn out to be the game winner, but only because McAdam came up huge in the third period, making a handful of great saves.

RAILERS NOTES

Scratches for the Railers were Connor Doherty (IR list), Matt Lane, Nick Saracino and Yanick Turcotte. Mitch Gillam was the back-up goaltender. After Tuesday’s loss to Brampton Worcester released EBUG Joe Spagnoli. He was called in when Gillam was unavailable due to illness. It was Spagnoli’s second stint as emergency back-up goaltender this season.

On Wednesday the Railers released veteran defenseman Ryan Lannon from his contract. Lannon, who hadn’t played since Worcester’s game on Halloween due to personal reasons, was the odd man out as the Railers needed to be down to 20 active players on the roster. Despite not registering a point in his four games Lannon played well, so it’s not impossible he could be brought back at some point later in the season.

Also on Wednesday, Manchester goalie Charles Williams had a very busy day. After backing up Evan Cowley in the Monarchs school day game against Reading he signed a PTO with the Wolf Pack and drove to Hartford to back up Alexandar Georgiev that evening. Bridgeport, the Railers AHL affiliate, beat Hartford in the game 2-1 in overtime. Williams was released from that PTO after the game and returned to Manchester.

The two teams meet up again on Sunday, this time at the DCU Center in Worcester. As has happened a couple times already this season the Railers have the day off before the tilt as they’re off on Saturday while the Monarchs are playing. They host Adirondack at the SNHU Center.

The three stars of the game were

1) Matt Gaudreau (Railers #8), game winning shorthanded goal

2) Ashton Rome (Railers #88), game tying goal

3) Matt Leitner (Manchester #17), goal

The TWIW Player of the Game was Eamon McAdam

Even strength lines

Syner/Almeida/Rome

Jones/Langkow/Murphy

DiChiara/Kubiak/Gaudreau

Hudson

McNally/Hamonic

McKenzie/Cornell

Masella/Monk

BOX SCORE

Worcester 0 2 0 – 2

Manchester 1 0 0 – 1

1st Period-1, Manchester, Leitner 1 (Lowry, Saucerman), 0:45. Penalties-Murphy Wor (slashing), 6:14; Kurker Man (tripping), 10:01; Lowry Man (delay of game), 10:05; Monk Wor (high-sticking), 15:44; Doherty Man (slashing), 18:12.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Rome 4 (Jones, Langkow), 13:54. 3, Worcester, Gaudreau 3   18:52 (SH). Penalties-McNally Wor (slashing), 17:16.

3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Almeida Wor (hooking), 4:01; Schmalz Man (interference), 4:01; Lynch Man (unsportsmanlike conduct), 5:33; Rome Wor (tripping), 5:59; Nemcik Man (boarding), 10:53.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 12-20-5-37. Manchester 9-11-10-30.

Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 5; Manchester 0 / 4.

Goalies-Worcester, McAdam 3-3-1-0 (30 shots-29 saves). Manchester, Williams 5-2-1-0 (37 shots-35 saves).

A-2,054

Referees-Tyler Puddifant (28).

Linesmen-Kyle Richtelle (73), Kevin Kelly (75).

The Worcester Railers and Manchester Monarchs began a home-and-home series Saturday night at the DCU Center, with Worcester hoping to end their five game home stand on an up note.

Like last Sunday afternoon against Reading where an early major penalty caused the Railers some problems, Worcester ran into the same issue in the first period Saturday night against Manchester when Woody Hudson was given a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct. But unlike last game it was a terrible call that sent Hudson to the showers, and the Railers found themselves down a couple goals because of it.

Manchester would get on the board at 9:29 of the opening period when Tony Cameranesi fired a shot from the top of the right circle that hit Kevin Morris in front of the net and past Railers goaltender Mitch Gillam. Less than two minutes later Manchester would grab their second when Cameranesi skated in and flipped a shot over Gillam’s right shoulder.

It didn’t get much better for Worcester early in the second period when the Railers gave up a two on zero break. After a Railers turnover Morris and Matt Schmalz skated into the zone passing the puck between each other, with Morris finally putting the puck in the net at 4:25.

At 6:31 the deficit became 4-0 when Rob Hamilton flipped the puck toward the Railers net, where it was knocked in by Michael Doherty with what looked to be a distinct kicking motion. The officials disagreed, and counted the goal.

Worcester finally solved Manchester goalie Charles Williams at 16:23 when Barry Almeida grabbed a loose puck in front after a wild scramble and fired it into a yawning net, with assists going to Ashton Rome and Patrick McNally.

Under a minute later the Railers got within two on the franchise’s first ever shorthanded goal. Kellen Jones broke into the Monarchs zone and was stoned in his breakaway bid. Jones never gave up on the play and fired the rebound in for the unassisted tally at 17:12.

Manchester would grab the momentum back with a late goal in the period by Morris to get their lead back to three. The goal gave Morris a hat trick for the game.

Early in the third period Worcester seized back the momentum when Kyle McKenzie’s shot through traffic hit a stick and bounded into the Monarchs net at 2:07. The assists are listed as Jeff Kubiak and Almeida, but this writer thinks the stick the puck hit was Kubiak’s, so that scoring may change.

Unfortunately for the Railers that was as close as they’d get, and an empty net goal by Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman gave the Monarchs a 6-3 victory.

RAILERS NOTES

Scratches for the Railers were Matt Lane, Ryan Lannon, T.J. Syner, Yanick Turcotte, and Connor Doherty. Of the scratches only Doherty is listed as injured, and he’s on the 21-day injured reserve list. Eamon McAdam was the back-up goaltender.

On Monday the Railers released defenseman Chris Saracino, the older brother of forward Nick Saracino, from his contract. The move was expected as the elder Saracino was brought in due to a shortage of healthy defensemen. He played very well considering he hadn’t played in a pro game since the 2013-14 season.

Saturday saw two Boston Bruins legends dropping the ceremonial first puck, as Bobby Orr and Derek Sanderson had the honors. Orr is the president of Orr Hockey Group, which represents several of the top NHL players. Sanderson has recently worked as a financial adviser to pro athletes, helping them avoid the financial troubles he had after he retired.

The ECHL did not discipline Worcester defenseman Mike Cornell for his actions Sunday against Reading that resulted in his game misconduct. Most thought a suspension would be unlikely. In the ECHL any player receiving a game misconduct penalty is automatically fined $40 in addition to any other penalty assessed by the league.

In a scheduling oddity Saturday saw the third time Worcester and Manchester played each other, and it was the second time the Railers had the previous night off while the Monarchs had to play a game. It happens again next weekend when the two clubs square off on Sunday and Worcester has Saturday night open while Manchester hosts Adirondack, and two more times later this season. Only once does Manchester gain the advantage of a night off before a Worcester game when the Railers have to play.

Hockey is one of those games that even when you’re on the bench you have to pay attention. Early in the first period while both teams were fighting for the puck at the blue line Ashton Rome’s stick got raised by a Manchester player and struck Monarchs forward Kevin Morris in the face. The bad thing for Morris was he was on the bench and wasn’t paying attention. The next stoppage of play he went off to the dressing room for repairs.

The three stars of the game were:

1) Kevin Morris (Manchester #9), hat trick

2) Tony Cameranesi (Manchester #12), goal, 2 assists

3) Barry Almeida (Railers #19) Goal, assist

The TWIW Player of the Game was Kellen Jones.

Even strength lines

Murphy/Langkow/Jones

Saracino/Almeida/Rome

DiChiara/Kubiak/Gaudreau

Hudson

 

McNally/Hamonic

McKenzie/Cornell

Masella/Monk

 

BOX SCORE

Manchester 2 3 1 – 6

Worcester 0 2 1 – 3

 

1st Period-1, Manchester, Morris 4 (Cameranesi, Racine), 9:59 (PP). 2, Manchester, Cameranesi 4 (Marcinew, Saucerman), 11:47 (PP). Penalties-served by LaVallee-Smotherman Man (bench – too many men), 3:31; Hamilton Man (slashing), 6:38; Hudson Wor (boarding – major, game misconduct – boarding), 6:57; Racine Man (roughing), 10:08; served by Saracino Wor (bench – too many men), 11:12; Almeida Wor (tripping), 13:38.

 

2nd Period-3, Manchester, Morris 5 (Schmalz), 4:25. 4, Manchester, Doherty 3 (Hamilton, Schmalz), 6:31. 5, Worcester, Almeida 3 (Rome, McNally), 16:23 (PP). 6, Worcester, Jones 3   17:12 (SH). 7, Manchester, Morris 6 (Cameranesi, Marcinew), 18:54 (PP). Penalties-Rome Wor (roughing), 10:25; Nemcik Man (hooking), 15:43; Cornell Wor (tripping), 17:03.

3rd Period-8, Worcester, McKenzie 1 (Kubiak, Almeida), 2:07. 9, Manchester, LaVallee-Smotherman 6 (Saucerman), 19:09 (EN). Penalties-Saucerman Man (cross-checking), 10:01; Rome Wor (roughing), 10:01; Ward Man (slashing), 12:08.

Shots on Goal-Manchester 10-10-7-27. Worcester 15-13-12-40.

Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 3 / 5; Worcester 1 / 5.

Goalies-Manchester, Williams 5-1-1-0 (40 shots-37 saves). Worcester, Gillam 3-3-0-0 (26 shots-21 saves).

A-4,704

Referees-Andrea Barone (15).

Linesmen-Kyle Richtelle (73), William Kingdon (58).

WORCESTER – Sunday afternoon at the DCU Center the Worcester Railers and Reading Royals played the final game in their three game weekend series. With Worcester winning the first two on Friday and Saturday the pressure was on Reading to win Sunday to avoid the sweep.

From the opening puck drop it was obvious that both squads were slowed a bit by playing their third game in 45 hours. Each teams had decent scoring chances early, and unfortunately for Worcester it was a bad bounce that put them down a goal.

With Reading controlling play around the perimeter former Worcester Sharks forward Matt Willows fired the puck diagonally across the slot from high in the left circle trying to hit a wide open teammate. T.J. Syner attempted to intercept the pass, but unfortunately couldn’t control the puck and deflected it past goaltender Eamon McAdam for the 1-0 Royals lead.

Worcester was lucky that was all the damage done against them in the opening 20 minutes as less than a half minute after the Willows talley they had to kill off a seven minute penalty.

With the chippy play from Saturday continuing into Sunday Reading forward Ryan Penny took exception to an earlier Mike Cornell hit. As Penny skated toward Cornell the Railers defenseman cross checked Penny and then dropped the gloves, throwing several punches. The problem for the Railers was Penny didn’t drop his gloves. Cornell was assessed a minor for cross checking, a major for fighting, and a game misconduct. Penny was correctly unpenalized.

McAdam stood tall through those seven minutes and held Reading scoreless.

The second period was sloppier than the first, and much to the chagrin of the Worcester faithful tilted toward the Railers end. Worcester did have one great opportunity, but Ashton Rome’s blast from the right circle rang off the iron to the right of Reading netminder Mark Dekanich and bounded away harmlessly.

Worcester opened up their play to start the third period, but again a bad bounce ended up in the back of their net. Royals forward Steven Swavely fired a hard, but essentially harmless shot at McAdam. The Railers netminder made the easy save but couldn’t control the rebound. The puck ended up on the stick of Nick Luukko, who stick handled around McAdam and hit the yawning net for a two goal Reading lead.

The Railers would cut the deficit in half at 13:46 of the third period when a bouncing puck found its way into the Reading net. Matthew Gaudreau was credited with last touching it, with assists going to Yanick Turcotte and Matt Lane.

Reading would put the game away with just over a minute to go when the Railers failed to control the puck in their own end with an extra attacker, and Mark Naclerio hit the empty net from a bad angle for the 3-1 Royals victory.

Worcester ends their five game home stand Saturday on Veteran’s Day Appreciation Night against the Manchester Monarchs.

RAILERS NOTES

Scratches for the Railers were Frankie DiChiara, Connor Doherty (injured), Ryan Lannon, Josh Monk (injured), Wade Murphy, and Nick Saracino. Mitch Gillam was the back-up goaltender.

This weekend marked the ninth time in Worcester pro hockey history that a team from the city played the same opponent three games in a row, and it was the first time all three games were held at the DCU Center. Worcester’s four points ties their second best effort, behind a five point effort in St John’s during the WorSharks era. While never having swept a three game mini-series a Worcester team has never gone pointless in one either.

Upon further review…Saturday night the Railers were assessed an odd penalty when two Worcester players were guilty of infractions on the same face-off, resulting in a delay of game penalty. Face-off violations are a point of emphasis in the NHL this season, and it’s obviously trickled down to the ECHL. The big problem many fans expressed was that there didn’t appear to be any violation the first time.

With his third period goal last night Woody Hudson became the first Railers player with a goal in all three regulation periods this season.

The three stars of the game were:

1) Alex Krushelnyski (Reading #19): assist

2) Mark Dekanich (Reading #31): win, 25 saves

3) Eamon McAdam (Railers #39); 33 saves

The TWIW Player of the Game was Matthew Gaudreau.

Even strength lines

Gaudreau/Kubiak/Hudson

Jones/Langkow/Lane

Almeida/Syner/Rome

Turcotte

McNally/Hamonic

McKenzie/Cornell

C.Saracino/Masella

BOX SCORE

Reading 1 0 2 – 3

Worcester 0 0 1 – 1

1st Period-1, Reading, Krushelnyski 4 (Golightly), 11:49. Penalties-Gaudreau Wor (tripping), 2:50; Cornell Wor (cross-checking, fighting – major, game misconduct – aggressor), 12:10; Wilkins Rea (slashing), 19:23.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Penny Rea (tripping), 12:02.

3rd Period-2, Reading, Luukko 1 (Swavely), 4:39. 3, Worcester, Gaudreau 2 (Turcotte, Lane), 13:46. 4, Reading, Naclerio 3   18:41 (EN). Penalties-Hora Rea (holding), 7:06.

Shots on Goal-Reading 14-7-15-36. Worcester 5-11-10-26.

Power Play Opportunities-Reading 0 / 3; Worcester 0 / 3.

Goalies-Reading, Dekanich 3-1-0-0 (26 shots-25 saves). Worcester, McAdam 2-1-1-0 (35 shots-33 saves).

A-3,502

Referees-Alex Garon (9).

Linesmen-Kyle Richtelle (73), William Kingdon (58).

The Worcester Railers started their five game home stand off on the wrong foot Tuesday with a loss to Toledo, and were looking for better things in their first of three consecutive match-ups with the Reading Royals Friday night at the DCU Center.

Unlike Tuesday against the Walleye when the Railers had a hard time getting anything going, Worcester came out with all cylinders firing to start their tilt against Reading. Early on both squads had some great scoring chances, and while the ice was tilted toward the Railers end with the Royals having an edge in shots both goaltenders had to make key saves early to keep the game scoreless.

It was a Reading turnover that got the Railers on the board when Woody Hudson intercepted a clearing pass and beat Royals netminder Mark Dekanich clean at 17:07 for the 1-0 lead. Yanick Turcotte was credited with an assist on the goal.

Unfortunately for Worcester Reading would get the equalizer with just 30 seconds remaining in the opening period when Ryan Penny fired a wrist shot through traffic that deflected a couple times and then went past a screened Eamon McAdam.

In the second period the Railers really put the pedal to the floor, out shooting Reading 11-5 and controlling the play for most of the period. Their hard effort would pay off twice in the middle stanza.

With Worcester really pressing in the Royals zone Matt Lane found himself right in front all by his lonesome with a yawning net in front of him. Lane slightly misfired, ringing the puck hard off the near post. As Lane stood there in disbelief the puck bounced across the crease and out to Patrick McNally, who blasted one home for the 2-1 lead. Matthew Gaudreau had the second assists.

A little later Frankie DiChiara and Jeff Kubiak broke into the Reading zone on an odd man rush. DiChiara got a step on the defense, and deflected Kubiak’s pass out of the air and into the net at 7:05 for the two goal lead.

In the third period Worcester continued to press, and Gaudreau would give the Railers a three goal lead at 4:08 when he took a Chris Langkow feed and streaked down the left wing side. Gaudreau cut toward the net by the face-off circle, and fired a short side shot that found an opening between the post and Dekanich that wasn’t much bigger than the puck.

Reading would make it interesting with a goal at 7:52 to get back within two, but McAdam slammed the door shut the rest of the way for a Railers 4-2 victory.

These same two teams play again at the DCU Center Saturday at 7:05pm.

RAILERS NOTES

Scratches for the Railers were Barry Almeida, Connor Doherty (21-day injured reserve), Ryan Lannon, Josh Monk (undisclosed injury), Chris Saracino, and T.J. Syner. Mitch Gillam was the back-up goaltender. Head coach Jamie Russell went with a line-up of 11 forwards and five defensemen.

The Railers had a handful of transactions over the past week, starting with Matthew Gaudreau arriving on the Magic Bus from Bridgeport. Gaudreau, the brother of Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau, had an assist in five games with the Sound Tigers to start the season.

On Thursday the Railers activated Nick Saracino from reserve and placed Connor Doherty on the 21-day injured reserve list retroactive to 10/29. The Railers also added Barry Almeida to the reserve list. On Friday the Railers signed defenseman Chris Saracino, Nick’s brother, to a contract. Chris Saracino had been retired for several seasons prior to signing the deal.

As expected, the ice issues of Tuesday were fixed by Friday night. Last weekend while the Railers were on the road “Disney on Ice” was held at the DCU Center, and the switch over back to hockey didn’t go exactly to plan. Almost every stoppage in play Tuesday against Toledo saw the linesmen making repairs to the ice. That was not the case on Friday as all appeared to be fine.

Defenseman Patrick McNally continues to show he’s likely too good to be sticking around the ECHL for much longer. He currently leads the Railers in goals (5), points (9), and power play goals (2). His +11 rating leads the entire ECHL. At some point one of the closer AHL franchises will need a defenseman, and odds are they’ll be calling on McNally.

The three stars of the game were

1) Matthew Gaudreau (Railers #8): goal, assist

2) Patrick McNally (Railers #4): goal, assist

3) Eamon McAdam (Railers #39): 33 saves

The TWIW Player of the Game was Woody Hudson.

Even Strength Lines:

Saracino/Rome/Gaudreau

Jones/Lankow/Murphy

DiChiara/Lane/Kubiak

Hudson rotated through the lines

Turcotte played sparingly

McKenzie/McNally

Hamonic/Cornell

Masella

All defensemen rotated pairings

BOX SCORE

Reading 1 0 1 – 2

Worcester 1 2 1 – 4

1st Period-1, Worcester, Hudson 2 (Turcotte), 17:07. 2, Reading, Penny 4 (Swavely), 19:30 (PP). Penalties-Saracino Wor (slashing), 7:21; Hudson Wor (hooking), 18:15.

2nd Period-3, Worcester, McNally 5 (Lane, Gaudreau), 5:08. 4, Worcester, DiChiara 2 (Kubiak, McNally), 7:05. Penalties-Hora Rea (interference), 2:43; Penny Rea (slashing), 9:06.

3rd Period-5, Worcester, Gaudreau 1 (Langkow), 4:08. 6, Reading, Naclerio 2 (Krushelnyski, Schmidt), 7:52 (PP). Penalties-Langkow Wor (slashing), 5:53; McNally Wor (hooking), 8:40.

Shots on Goal-Reading 15-5-15-35. Worcester 8-11-9-28.

Power Play Opportunities-Reading 2 / 4; Worcester 0 / 2.

Goalies-Reading, Dekanich 2-1-0-0 (28 shots-24 saves). Worcester, McAdam 2-0-1-0 (35 shots-33 saves).

A-3,411

Referees-Alex Normandin (26).

Linesmen-Kyle Richtelle (73), Brent Colby (38).

The Worcester Railers closed out their four game road trip with their second game in a row in Utah, and after last night’s disappointing overtime loss Worcester was looking for a little revenge.

It took exactly one minute for the Railers to get on the board when Chris Langkow fired one from between the circles past Utah goaltender Angus Redmond. Kellen Jones’ pass from the right corner to the wide open Langkow set up the goal. Mike Cornell had the second assist on the play.

Grizzlies tough guy Travis Howe then decided to take on Yanick Turcotte, only the Railers forward really didn’t show much interest in fighting. Howe then decided to give Worcester defenseman Patrick McNally the business, forcing Turcotte to come to his teammate’s defense. Although Howe was acting like he won, Turcotte had the best of the fight and sent Howe to the ice to end the battle.

Worcester built on the momentum gained and made it 2-0 at the 16:34 mark when captain Ashton Rome won a face-off clean to Ben Masella. The defenseman blasted one from the right point that Redmond had no chance on.

There was no scoring in the middle period, but there was a scary moment when Wade Murphy was hit with a vicious elbow by Utah forward Zach Saar, Despite the hit happening right in the field of view of referee Liam Sewell no penalty was called until Railers defenseman Justin Hamonic jumped to Murphy’s defense.

In the third period McNally added an insurance tally at 3:24 with a blast from the blueline. Kellen Jones and Langkow had the helpers on the goal. That goal would be big when Saar scored to cut the Railers lead to 3-1 at 10:12, but that’s as close as Utah would get as Barry Almeida added an empty net goal for the 4-1 final.

RAILERS NOTES

Scratches for the Railers were Eamon McAdam, Nick Saracino (injured), Woody Hudson, Josh Monk (injured), and Connor Doherty. Alex Vazzano, who is on an “EBUG” (Emergency back-up goaltender) contract, was the back-up goaltender.

During an interview with Worcester play by play man Eric Lindquist broadcasted during the pregame show Railers head coach Jamie Russell talked about how tough it sometimes is to crack the line-up as teams usually dress ten forwards in the ECHL. He specifically mentioned Hudson, who he said had a good game Friday but was the odd man out Saturday.

Saturday was the last regular season game outside of the eastern time zone for the Railers. Additionally, they only have one game that’s scheduled to start later than 7:05pm, and that’s the 7:15pm start in Toledo on November 24th. As someone that usually isn’t up very late, that’s a good thing.

The game was a “Marvel Super Hero Night”, a league wide event where teams wear Marvel-themed jerseys. Utah’s jerseys were based on Thor, while the Railers wore jerseys representing The Hulk. The Railers will wear those jerseys again on March 2nd and 3rd when they host the Wheeling Nailers. With the Railers wearing the specialty jerseys Vazzano was wearing McAdam’s usual #39.

Being an outpost franchise like Utah is often causes issues not in just scheduling games but also with the ECHL hiring on-ice officials. Going back to last season the Grizzlies have had just three different linesmen work their games. Kollin Kleinendorst and James McKenna worked both of the Railers games, and Andrew Collins is the third linesman who works games at the Maverik Center. You have to go back to the last weekend of the 2015-16 season to find a fourth linesman listed.

Through five games the Railers have had three goals waved off by referees for various reasons. Their opponents have had none. They say those things eventually balance out, but in a league that does not utilize replay it might be something that bears watching.

The three stars of the game were:

1) Chris Langkow (Railers): goal, assist

2) Mitch Gillam (Railers): 27 saves, win

3) Patrick McNally (Railers): goal, assist

The TWIW Player of the Game was Kellen Jones.

Even Strength Lines

Almeida/Syner/Rome

Jones/Langkow/Murphy

DiChiara/Lane/Kubiak

Turcotte

McNally/Hamonic

McKenzie/Cornell

Lannon/Masella

BOX SCORE

Worcester 2 0 2 – 4

Utah 0 0 1 – 1

1st Period-1, Worcester, Langkow 2 (Jones, Cornell), 1:00. 2, Worcester, Masella 1 (Rome), 16:34. Penalties-McNally Wor (slashing), 10:32; Turcotte Wor (fighting – major), 10:32; Howe Uta (fighting – major), 10:32; Navin Uta (slashing), 12:55; Jones Uta (interference), 18:09; Langkow Wor (tripping), 19:34.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Hamonic Wor (double – roughing), 2:21; Saar Uta (double – roughing), 2:21; Jones Wor (tripping), 9:30; Eick Uta (slashing), 12:14.

3rd Period-3, Worcester, McNally 4 (Jones, Langkow), 3:24. 4, Utah, Saar 1 (Navin, Olsen), 10:12. 5, Worcester, Almeida 1 (Syner, McNally), 18:25. Penalties-served by Turcotte Wor (bench – too many men), 12:15; Syner Wor (hooking), 15:43.

Shots on Goal-Worcester 11-11-9-31. Utah 7-9-12-28.

Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Utah 0 / 5.

Goalies-Worcester, Gillam 2-1-0-0 (28 shots-27 saves). Utah, Redmond 1-3-0-0 (31 shots-27 saves).

A-6,829

Referees-Liam Sewell (7).

Linesmen-James McKenna (96), Kollin Kleinendorst (35).

The Worcester Railers continued their trip out to the mountain time zone Friday night with a game against the Utah Grizzlies. In the opening period the Railers came out hot, controlling the play and forcing Utah goaltender Kevin Carr to make several tough saves.

Worcester’s best chance came about halfway through the stanza when Chris Lankow had well over half the net available but somehow Carr was able to get his left pad on the shot. A few moments later Ben Masella threw a highlight quality hip check against Utah winger Ryan Olsen as the Railers continued to control the momentum.

Despite playing most of the period on their heels it was Utah that would get the only goal in the opening 20 minutes when Michael Pelech took a feed from Greger Hanson at the top of the left circle and beat Worcester netminder Eamon McAdam at 14:04.

It took just 48 seconds after intermission for the Railers to get back to even when Lankow fired a laser over the right shoulder of Carr from almost the exact spot Pelech scored from to tie the game, with assists going to Wade Murphy and Mike Cornell. The Railers thought they’d taken the lead later in the period, but for the second time in three games Murphy had a goal called back due to a high stick.

Just when it looked like the middle period would end with the score tied Utah’s Cliff Watson scored with .2 seconds left in the frame to give the Grizzlies a 2-1 lead. To say the Railers disagreed that the puck crossed the line before the horn sounded would be an understatement as head coach Jamie Russell vented on referee Liam Sewell for over a minute.

Once again it took less than a minute into the next period for the Railers to get back to even as Ashton Rome scored from the top of the crease after taking a feed from Barry Almeida 28 seconds into the third stanza. Worcester grabbed its first lead of the game at 2:08 of the period when Patrick McNally fired one through traffic on the power play to light the lamp. TJ Syner and Almeida had the assists.

Charley Graaskamp would knot the game again 3-3 with a power play goal at 4:45, but the Railers would retake the lead 35 seconds later when Murphy would beat Carr to make it 4-3. Syner picked up his third point of the game on the play, and Yanick Turcotte earned his first point of the season with the secondary assist.

Utah would tie it again at 15:55 when Olsen grabbed a loose puck and beat McAdam, and the two teams would then head to overtime where Grizzlies defenseman Taylor Richart would score to give Utah a 5-4 win.

RAILERS NOTES

Scratches for the Railers were Frankie DiChiara, Ryan Lannon, Josh Monk (injured), Nick Saracino (injured), and Alex Vazzano. Mitch Gillam was the back-up goaltender. Eamon McAdam returned to action after missing two games with a lower body injury suffered at the tail end of Worcester’s opening night win against Manchester.

It was the first time the Railers faced an opponent that contained former Worcester AHLers as Greger Hanson, Michael Pelech, and Peter Sivak all had brief stints with the WorSharks over the years. Also, Grizzlies Head Coach Tim Branham played 1 game on defense for the WorSharks in 2008-09.

After further review: The goal originally credited to Mike Cornell last Saturday in Manchester has been changed to Kellen Jones. Worcester fans at that end of the building were saying all along the puck hit at least one player on its way into the net, but from this writer’s vantage point at the SNHU Arena some 200 feet away it was impossible to tell whom it had hit.

And while we’re looking back, Yanick Turcotte’s 34 penalty minutes Wednesday at Colorado is the most by a Worcester player since Frazer McLaren was called for 37 in December 21, 2012 against the Providence Bruins. That box score is one this writer has always doubted was correct as McLaren was given a double game misconduct where one looked to be the actual call. There is no doubt the 36 McLaren was assessed on November 1, 2009 against Springfield are all accurate, so the point might be moot anyway.

Turcotte received two game misconducts Wednesday. If he receives one more he will be automatically suspended one game by the ECHL. Each subsequent game misconduct results in an additional game being suspended, so his fourth would be two games, a fifth would be three games, and so on.

It’s been almost 14 full years since a team from Worcester traveled to Utah. The IceCats visited the then “E Center” in West Valley City for a pair of games against the AHL version of the Grizzlies in late November of 2003. Worcester won both of those games, 4-1 on November 20th and 5-2 on the 22nd.

In other Worcester-Utah hockey connections, the IceCats played one neutral site home game in their 11 seasons, playing the same Grizzlies at the Savvis Center in St Louis, Missouri on November 23rd after their two-game set in Utah. That game didn’t go so well for the IceCats, losing 1-0. Jason Bacashihua, who would go on to play for the IceCats in the 2004-05 season, got the shutout for the Grizzlies.

The three stars of the game were:

1) Kyle Thomas (Utah), 2 assists

2) Charley Graaskamp (Utah), goal

3) Ryan Olsen (Utah), goal, assist

The TWIW Player of the Game was TJ Syner.

Even Strength Lines

Almeida/Syner/Rome

Jones/Lankow/Murphy

Hudson/Lane/Kubiak

Turcotte

McNally/Hamonic

McKenzie/Cornell

Doherty/Masella

BOX SCORE

Worcester 0 1 3 0 – 4

Utah 1 1 2 1 – 5

1st Period-1, Utah, Pelech 4 (Hanson, Thomas), 14:04. Penalties-No Penalties

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Langkow 1 (Murphy, Cornell), 0:48. 3, Utah, Watson 2 (Pelech, Thomas), 19:59. Penalties-Lane Wor (interference), 4:42; Pelech Uta (charging), 6:57; Murphy Wor (slashing), 10:49.

3rd Period-4, Worcester, Rome 3 (Syner, Almeida), 0:28. 5, Worcester, McNally 3 (Syner, Almeida), 2:08 (PP). 6, Utah, Graaskamp 2 (Olsen, Misiak), 4:45 (PP). 7, Worcester, Murphy 2 (Syner, Turcotte), 5:20. 8, Utah, Olsen 1 (Harms, Richart), 15:55. Penalties-Pelech Uta (holding), 1:08; Hudson Wor (tripping), 2:46; Hudson Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct – disputing decision), 16:50; Thomas Uta (unsportsmanlike conduct – disputing decision), 16:50.

OT Period-9, Utah, Richart 4 (Sivak, Pelech), 1:08. Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Worcester 12-5-8-1-26. Utah 9-13-9-1-32.

Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 2; Utah 1 / 3.

Goalies-Worcester, McAdam 1-0-1-0 (32 shots-27 saves). Utah, Carr 2-2-0-0 (26 shots-22 saves).

A-3,115

Referees-Liam Sewell (7).

Linesmen-James McKenna (96), Kollin Kleinendorst (35).

MANCHESTER – The Worcester Railers headed an hour north to the Granite State to take on the Manchester Monarchs, and behind a 28 save performance by rookie goaltender Mitch Gillam the Railers won their first ever road game 2-0 in front of an announced crowd of 3,019 at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.

After a fairly uneventful first period where the Monarchs out shot the Railers 9-6, Worcester found themselves in the unenviable position of having to kill a full two minute five on three penalty when captain Ashton Rome was penalized for holding and while play was going on during the delayed call Barry Almeida got caught slashing at 7:54 of period number two.

Luckily for Worcester, Manchester couldn’t get anything going during the two minute, two man advantage, and amazingly enough while two men down it was the Railers who had the best chance during the penalty kills when Chris Lankow went in to the offensive zone all alone, but he was forced in too deep by the Monarchs defense and couldn’t get a quality attempt off.

Later in the period the Railers would have a two man advantage of their own for almost 90 seconds, but they also couldn’t generate any significant chances.

To the third period the squads went in a scoreless tie, where veteran defenseman Mike Cornell got Worcester on the board with a 60 foot wrist shot through traffic to give the Railers a 1-0 lead 5:27 into the third period. Fans on the far end of the building said it hit at least one player on the way through to the net, so we’ll see if a scoring change is eventually made.

Manchester continued its attack against Gillam and the Railers, but with Monarchs goaltender Charles Williams pulled for an extra attacker Rome found the yawning net from well beyond the center ice line with 59 seconds to go in regulation to give the Railers the eventual 2-0 lead.

RAILERS NOTES

Scratches for the Railers were Connor Doherty, Matt Lane, Ben Masella, Eamon McAdam (lower body), and Nick Saracino (undisclosed injury). Joe Spagnoli, who was signed as an emergency back-up goaltender and wore jersey #1, looked spectacular opening and closing the bench door.

On Tuesday, the Railers traded defenseman Willie Raskob to the Quad City Mallards for cash considerations. With an assist in a single game played for Worcester Raskob joins Danny Eberly (goal), Chris Blight (2 assists), and Marc-Edouard Vlasic (2 assists) as the only players in Worcester pro hockey history to record a point in one regular season game played.

With the shutout, Mitch Gillam joins Daren Machesney as the only goaltenders to record a shutout in their first game with Worcester. Machesney had an interesting tenure with the WorSharks, recording two shutouts while compiling a 2-2-1-1 record in six games.

Defenseman Ryan Lannon made his debut with the Railers, becoming the fourth Worcester pro to play for two different franchises in the city. He joins teammate Ashton Rome (WorSharks and Railers), and defensemen Patrick Traverse and Brendan Buckley, who both played for the Worcester IceCats and WorSharks.

About a minute into the third period it appeared the Railers had taken the lead when Wade Murphy lit the lamp, but after a brief conversation with his linesmen referee Matt Menniti ruled “no goal”. There was no announcement as to why the goal was waved off, which is technically a violation of ECHL rules. From this writer’s vantage point there did not appear to be any reason why the goal shouldn’t have counted.

The Monarchs seemed to have the edge in play most of the way until the 12;23 mark of the middle stanza when Worcester’s Yanick Turcotte dropped the gloves with the Monarchs Colton Saucerman. From that point on the Railers out shot Manchester 12-9, and easily out-chanced the home town team. It wouldn’t be hard to call it the turning point of the game.

There’s a long history between Worcester and Manchester, going back to the 2001-02 season when the Monarchs made their American Hockey League debut. Teams from Worcester have often struggled against Manchester, with the IceCats going 14-18-4 against the Monarchs in the pre-shootout era and the WorSharks going 41-45-4-6 . Worcester has also never beaten Manchester in a playoff series.

The three stars of the game were

1) Mitch Gillam (Railers #35), 28 save shutout

2) Mike Cornell (Railers #6), game winning goal

3) Charles Williams (Manchester #1), 19 saves

The TWIW Player of the Game is Wade Murphy.

BOXSCORE

Worcester 0 0 2 – 2

Manchester 0 0 0 – 0

1st Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Cornell Wor (slashing), 8:55.

2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Almeida Wor (slashing), 7:54; Rome Wor (holding), 7:54; Turcotte Wor (fighting – major), 12:23; Saucerman Man (fighting – major), 12:23; Racine Man (tripping), 12:39; Ward Man (slashing), 13:16.

3rd Period-1, Worcester, Cornell 1 (Murphy), 5:27. 2, Worcester, Rome 2   19:01 (EN). Penalties-No Penalties

Shots on Goal-Worcester 6-8-7-21. Manchester 9-10-9-28.

Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 2; Manchester 0 / 3.

Goalies-Worcester, Gillam 1-0-0-0 (28 shots-28 saves). Manchester, Williams 2-1-0-0 (20 shots-19 saves).

A-3,019

Referees-Matt Menniti (10).

Linesmen-Dan Panciocco (59), Kyle Richtelle (73).

WORCESTER – It was a packed house at the DCU Center as 12,135 fans saw the return of professional hockey to Worcester as the Railers took on the Manchester Monarchs to kick off the Railers inaugural season.

Things began great for Worcester as they controlled the play early thanks to multiple penalties on the Monarchs, and at the 10:13 mark of the opening period Wade Murphy scored the first goal in Railers history. Both teams took turns turning the puck over, and Murphy was able to pick up the loose puck at center ice and break in all alone to light the lamp for Worcester.

In the second period the Railers made it a two goal lead when Barry Almeida’s initial shot went wide but landed right on the stick of teammate Ashton Rome. From about 30 feet out Rome fired a laser to the glove side that beat Manchester goaltender Evan Cowley clean at 5:43.

Unfortunately for Worcester the wheels suddenly came off as the Monarchs showed why they made it to the ECHL’s Eastern Conference Final last season. Five seconds after Rome’s goal Michael Doherty cut the Railers lead to one, and near the mid-point of the middle period Manchester scored twice in 35 seconds to take a 3-2 lead.

A great individual effort by defenseman Patrick McNally on the power play got the Railers back to even with just under four minutes remaining in the period. After Manchester had chipped the puck out of their zone T.J. Syner pushed the puck over to McNally. Seeing an opening in front of him McNally started from center ice and skated through all four Manchester penalty killers. and flipped the puck over Cowley.

In the third period both teams threw everything they had at each other, and it was a lucky bounce that gave the Railers the lead. Worcester had a couple nice chances but couldn’t capitalize, and as the Monarchs attempted to clear the puck defenseman McNally kept it in the offensive zone. He was able to work the puck toward the net, where Frankie DiChiara gathered the lose puck and banged it home for the eventual 4-3 Worcester win.

RAILERS NOTES

The Railers scratches were Ryan Lannon, Nick Saracino (undisclosed injury), Justin Hamonic (travel), Woody Hudson and Connor Doherty. Mitch Gillam was the back-up goaltender.

Railers General Manager and Head Coach Jamie Russell has said in numerous interviews that while developing players for the next level is important that real goal in the ECHL is to win, and based on the roster he’s put together you can tell he knows winning begets winning as 18 of the current 23 members of the team have won championships at the Junior, IIHF, NCAA, or professional levels.

With the first game played Railers Captain Ashton Rome became the third Worcester player to play for two different franchises in the city. Rome previously played 128 games over three seasons with the Worcester Sharks. The first two to play for two franchises, defensemen Patrick Traverse and Brendan Buckley, both played for the IceCats and WorSharks.

In other news on Rome, his uniform #88 is the highest worn in Worcester pro hockey history. That honor used to belong to former IceCats defenseman Jan Horacek, who wore #57. Brandon Mashinter wore the highest number of all the WorSharks with #53. In wearing the captain’s “C” Rome became the first player to wear a letter for two different franchises. He wore the alternate captain’s “A” for the WorSharks for a game during his rookie season.

With all the North American pro hockey seasons started a look at some of the rosters has 23 former Worcester professional players currently on NHL rosters, 12 on AHL rosters, and 18 in the ECHL. With the exception of former IceCats forward Trevor Gillies playing for South Carolina (ECHL), all the rest are former Worcester Sharks players.

The announced attendance of 12,135 is the most people to attend a Worcester pro hockey game since the days of the Worcester IceCats. Telegram & Gazette reporter Bill Ballou says it’s the fourth largest hockey crowd ever in Worcester, a fact he probably knew off the top of his head.

 

The three stars of the game were

1) Patrick McNally (Railers), goal, assist

2) Frankie DiChiara (Railers), gwg

3) Michael Doherty (Manchester) 2 goals

The TWIW player of the game was goaltender Eamon McAdam

Even strength lines

Jones/Langkow/Murphy

Almeida/Syner/Rome

DiChiara/Kubiak/Lane

Turcotte

 

McNally/Monk

McKenzie/Cornell

Raskob/Masella

BOX SCORE

Manchester 0 3 0 – 3

Worcester 1 2 1 – 4

1st Period-1, Worcester, Murphy 1 (Jones, Cornell), 10:13 (PP). Penalties-Saucerman Man (slashing), 0:54; Agosta Man (slashing), 2:19; Raskob Wor (slashing), 4:55; Hamilton Man (interference), 5:55; served by LaVallee-Smotherman Man (bench – too many men), 8:20; Murphy Wor (slashing), 11:49; Turcotte Wor (charging), 16:55.

2nd Period-2, Worcester, Rome 1 (Almeida, Raskob), 5:43. 3, Manchester, Doherty 1 (Kurker), 5:48. 4, Manchester, Cameranesi 1 (Morris, LaVallee-Smotherman), 10:57. 5, Manchester, Doherty 2 (Ward), 11:32. 6, Worcester, McNally 1 (Syner), 16:06 (PP). Penalties-Turgeon Man (fighting – major), 3:27; Turcotte Wor (fighting – major), 3:27; Racine Man (tripping), 14:18; Wyszomirski Man (tripping), 17:32; Monk Wor (interference), 18:29.

3rd Period-7, Worcester, DiChiara 1 (McNally), 12:12. Penalties-Wyszomirski Man (fighting – major), 6:42; Turcotte Wor (illegal check to head, fighting – major), 6:42; Raskob Wor (cross-checking), 9:34; Syner Wor (tripping), 17:18.

Shots on Goal-Manchester 9-19-8-36. Worcester 11-6-14-31.

Power Play Opportunities-Manchester 0 / 7; Worcester 2 / 6.

Goalies-Manchester, Cowley 0-1-0-0 (31 shots-27 saves). Worcester, McAdam 1-0-0-0 (36 shots-33 saves).

A-12,135

Referees-Jesse Gour (24).

Linesmen-Kyle Richtelle (73), Dan Panciocco (59).