Playing in their fourth road game out of their last six, the Worcester Railers were thirsty for a win. Wednesday’s game was even through the first two periods, but Railers were unable to regain a lead in the third period.
It’s reached the point in the season where every every point earned from a win, overtime loss, or shootout can go a long way, especially against division rivals. With Wednesday’s 4-2 loss, the Railers are now ranked 5th in the North Division with 33 points (14-15-3-2), trailing behind the Wheeling Nailers in the division’s last playoff spot with 41 points (19-15-3-0).
Kellen Jones put the Railers on the board in the first after a deflected shot from Chris Langkow, Jones was able to tap it into the net behind netminder John Muse. Reading tied it up with a pass setup behind goalie Eamon McAdam. After the opening 20 minutes, the game was tied at one a piece. Royals outshot the Railers 13 to eight.
Barry Almeida put the Railers up in the second, scoring his ninth of the season on a breakaway from center ice. Royals bounced back with a second one-timed setup from behind the Railers net. At the end of the second, the game was tied at 2. Royals led in shots at the end of the period with 11 to 5.
Royals’ Alex Krushelnyski gave the Royals’ their first lead of the night with 9:19 remaining in the game. With what initially looked like an off-sides play, Royals’ Brian Morgan snuck the puck into the Railers’ zone off a pass from Vinny Muto’s skate and back to Krushelnyski, where the puck reached the net with a shot just under the crossbar. Royals extended their lead with an empty net goal from former Worcester Shark Matt Willows with seven seconds remaining in the game. Railers made just 21 shots on goal, compared to Reading’s 33 shots.
With the road trip more than halfway done, the Railers will return to Worcester overnight. Railers will play again on Friday on the road against the Manchester Monarchs, with a puck drop at 7 PM.
Scratches for the Railers were Sean Gammage, Matt Gaudreau (21-day IR/foot), Josh Monk (21-day IR/undisclosed), and TJ Syner. Mitch Gillam was dressed as the backup goaltender for Worcester.
Chris Langkow was released from his PTO with the Hartford Wolf Pack and returned to the Worcester Railers this week. Playing in five games with the Pack, Langkow scored 1 goal and was credited with an assist. Langkow played in Wednesday’s game and picked up an assist on Kellen Jones’ goal.
Mike Cornell was a healthy scratch for Bridgeport’s game on Wednesday. Cornell has played in just one game since his recall on New Years day, and has been scratched for three of Bridgeport’s four games since being recalled. His lack of play time on his recall could indicate that he will be reassigned to Worcester in the coming days.
The three stars of the game were
1) Alex Krushelnyski (Reading #13) – 1 Goal
2) Chris McCarthy (Reading #3) – 1 Goal
3) Barry Almeida (Worcester #19) – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
The TWIW Player of the Game was Kellen Jones.
Worcester Railers 2 at Reading Royals 4 – Status: Final
Wednesday, January 10, 2018 – Santander Arena
Worcester 1 1 0 – 2
Reading 1 1 2 – 4
1st Period-1, Worcester, Jones 8 (Langkow, Almeida), 7:11. 2, Reading, Zajac 8 (Willows), 16:49. Penalties-No Penalties
2nd Period-3, Worcester, Almeida 9 7:02. 4, Reading, McCarthy 12 (Wilkins), 15:38. Penalties-Muto Wor (slashing), 1:33; served by McCarthy Rea (bench – too many men), 9:02.
3rd Period-5, Reading, Krushelnyski 11 (Morgan, Hora), 10:41. 6, Reading, Willows 13 (Huntebrinker), 19:53 (EN). Penalties-No Penalties
Shots on Goal-Worcester 8-5-8-21. Reading 13-11-9-33.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 1; Reading 0 / 0.
Goalies-Worcester, McAdam 8-8-3-2 (32 shots-29 saves). Reading, Muse 12-3-1-0 (21 shots-19 saves).
Referees-Andrew Bruggeman (25).
Linesmen-Judson Ritter (70), JP Waleski (51).