The Worcester Railers returned to New England to finish off a road stretch with the first of two weekend games on Friday. Railers took on their North Division rivals, the Manchester Monarchs for the tenth time this season, in a very close and entertaining matchup.
Manchester the first and their only goal of the game early in the first period, with Spencer Watson slipping the puck past goalie Mitch Gillam from the right side just under six minutes into the game. Railers’ Barry Almeida tied it up later in the period with a set up pass from Kellen Jones, which found its way past Monarchs’ netminder Charles Williams and into the corner of the net. After the first period it was tied with one goal a piece and Worcester leading in shots 13-9.
For the second and third period, neither team could find the back of the net to take the lead or secure the win. Monarchs outshot the Railers at the end of the second period, 10-6, and again at the end of the third, 10-9. The game went into overtime thanks to several great saves from both Charles Williams and Mitch Gillam.
Both teams made just two shots on goal in the overtime period before Matt Lane put the game away at 3:44 into the period. On a rush from the left side, Lane scored the game-winning goal that was too quick for Charles Williams. Lane’s game-winning goal was the first overtime goal in Railers’ history.
Friday night’s overtime win leaves the Railers with a 3-2 record on the six game road stretch. Railers will wrap-up the stretch with a game against Monarchs again on Saturday, puck drops at 6 PM.
Scratches for the Railers were Brian Bowen, Connor Doherty, Sean Gammage, Matt Gaudreau (21-day IR/foot), Josh Monk (21-day IR/undisclosed), and Ashton Rome (undisclosed injury). Eamon McAdam was dressed as the backup goaltender for Worcester.
Ashton Rome was placed on reserve on Friday, which was later revealed to be due to an injury. Rome was not dressed on Friday and isn’t expected to dress for Saturday’s game either. The extent of his injuries aren’t known at this time, but given that Rome has been on the ice far longer than any other player, it was only a matter of time before he needed a few games off. Chris Langkow wore the Captain’s ‘C’ in his place for Friday’s game and will for Saturday’s game. Kellen Jones and Mike Cornell have and will wear the alternate ‘A’s.
Sean Gammage was placed on reserve Friday for undisclosed reasons. Gammage did not dress for the game on Friday, either.
Mike Cornell was reassigned to Worcester on Friday. Cornell racked up an assist and was on the ice for both of the Railers goals. Cornell is expected to play in Saturday’s game and will return to Bridgeport before they go on the road next week. Bridgeport is currently playing with 6 active defensemen, which is something to keep an eye on.
Railers announced the signing of forward Brain Bowen on Thursday. Bowen joins the Railers after spending the last three seasons at the University of Vermont. Bowen was a healthy scratch for the Railers for Friday’s game, but travelled with the team to Manchester.
With a goal in Friday’s game, Barry Almeida has scored his eighth goal in nine games. Almeida is currently tied with Patrick McNally for second place in points for the Railers this season with 24. Chris Langkow is the current leader with 25.
The ECHL announced on Friday that Woody Hudson will participate in the All-Star Game’s hardest shot competition during the festivities next week. In addition, former Railer Willie Raskob will participate in the competition.
Manchester’s Colton Saucerman was assessed a ‘Illegal Check to the Head’ penalty in the second period. Supplementary discipline can be applied by the League Office at its discretion, which is something to keep an eye on if it is reviewed before Saturday’s game.
The three stars of the game were
1) Matt Lane (Worcester #10) – 1 GWG
2) Spencer Watson (Manchester #21) – 1 Goal
3) Matt Schmalz (Manchester #19) – 2 Shots, -2 Rating
The TWIW Player of the Game was Barry Almeida, who scored the Railers’ first goal.
Worcester Railers 2 (OT) at Manchester Monarchs 1 – Status: Final OT
Friday, January 12, 2018 – SNHU Arena
Worcester 1 0 0 1 – 2
Manchester 1 0 0 0 – 1
1st Period-1, Manchester, Watson 4 (Buckles, Marcinew), 5:50. 2, Worcester, Almeida 10 (Jones), 17:04. Penalties-Doherty Man (tripping), 11:44; Langkow Wor (slashing), 12:15; Iverson Man (boarding), 18:02.
2nd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Saucerman Man (illegal check to head), 0:36; served by Nemcik Man (bench – too many men), 11:11; Turcotte Wor (boarding), 19:29.
3rd Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Lane Wor (tripping), 2:34.
OT Period-3, Worcester, Lane 3 (Cornell), 3:44. Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Worcester 13-6-9-3-31. Manchester 9-10-10-2-31.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 4; Manchester 0 / 3.
Goalies-Worcester, Gillam 7-7-0-0 (31 shots-30 saves). Manchester, Williams 13-6-3-0 (31 shots-29 saves).
Referees-Andrew Bruggeman (25).
Linesmen-Kyle Richtelle (73), AJ Potvin (78).