The Worcester Railers took on the Wheeling Nailers for the second time this weekend, in a disappointing 4-2 loss at home.
Railers had the best chance of the game to score early on a breakaway drive that was broken up by netminder Adam Morrison, Matthew Gaudreau set up a deflected shot for Barry Almeida but was hooked on the play with what would have been a perfect chance to score on an open net.
Wheeling scored the first goal of the game on the power play in the first period. A bounced puck from the right of goalie Eamon McAdam found the back of the net midway through the first.
Railers bounced back with what is believed to be the fastest goal in Worcester hockey history in the second period. With a setup off a rebound shot from Nick Saracino, Woody Hudson sent the puck from the left side of the net behind Morrison, just nine seconds into the period.
Wheeling would regain the lead with two more power play goals in the second period, giving them a 3-1 lead heading into the third period.
Rookie Brian Bowen would score his second goal in three games with a tip-in on the power play, which brought the Railers within a goal with less than eight minutes left in the third period. Worcester would empty their net for an extra attacker with just over a minute left in the third period, and an empty net goal by Wheeling put the game away with seconds to spare.
Worcester Railers continue their homestretch on Friday night against the Quad City Mallards, with a puck drop at 7:05.
Scratches for the Railers were Sean Gammage, Tommy Kelley, Kyle McKenzie, Josh Monk (21-day IR/upper body), Ashton Rome (upper body), and Alex Sakellaropoulos. Mitch Gillam was dressed as the backup goaltender for Worcester.
Mike Cornell, Jeff Kubiak, and Eamon McAdam were reassigned to Worcester on Sunday Morning. All three were healthy scratches for Bridgeport’s game on Saturday. Kubiak and Cornell were called back up after the Railers’ Sunday game.
With Kyle McKenzie being scratched, that means no Railers player will play in every game this season. McKenzie holds the current “Iron Man” streak at 38 straight games.
Barry Almeida, Mike Cornell, and Justin Hamonic wore the alternate captain ‘A’s.
During the second period, it was announced through the ECHL’s transaction list that the Railers had released Tommy Kelley. Additionally, Alex Sakellaropoulos was placed on reserve. These transactions were done in order to align within roster rules set by the league.
Per T&G’s Bill Ballou, the previous fastest goal to begin a period was 10 seconds into the period and was scored by John McCarthy against the Providence Bruins on March 20, 2010.
Railers had an attendance of 2552 on Sunday, which was expected to be low due to the Patriots AFC Championship game happening on the same day. Surprisingly, this was not the lowest attended game this season, with that crown being given to October 31st’s game against Toledo.
Railers have not led in the last 328:06 of play time (pending TWIW’s Darryl Hunt’s Math). They also have six consecutive home losses, with their last home win on December 20 against Reading.
Chris Langkow is currently on PTO with the Hartford Wolf Pack and Kellen Jones is on recall with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. Both the Tigers and Pack had separate overtime games that went into overtime with no score, neither scored the game winning goals for their teams.
Former Worcester Sharks forward Michael Swift joins Ladislav Nagy (Slovakia), John McCarthy (USA), and Karl Stollery (Canada) in the list of Worcester hockey alum who will participate in the Winter Olympics. Swift will skate for South Korea’s national team.
The three stars of the game were
1) Jeff Taylor (Wheeling #25) – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
2) Troy Josephs (Wheeling #10) – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
3) Matt Lane (Railers #10) – 1 Assist
The TWIW Player of the Game was Brian Bowen.
Even Strength Lines
Wheeling Nailers 4 at Worcester Railers 2 – Status: Final
Sunday, January 21, 2018 – DCU Center
Wheeling 1 2 1 – 4
Worcester 0 1 1 – 2
1st Period-1, Wheeling, Josephs 6 (Zink, Taylor), 12:59 (PP). Penalties-Taylor Whl (hooking), 1:34; Josephs Whl (high-sticking), 6:55; Cornell Wor (cross-checking), 11:08; Kubiak Wor (delay of game), 14:25; Hamonic Wor (holding), 17:45.
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Hudson 14 (Saracino, Beukeboom), 0:09. 3, Wheeling, Gardiner 21 (Schulze, Wydo), 13:14 (PP). 4, Wheeling, Taylor 4 (Josephs, Tiffels), 15:03 (PP). Penalties-Josephs Whl (interference on the goalkeeper), 2:43; Beirnes Whl (fighting – major), 5:13; Turcotte Wor (fighting – major), 5:13; Masella Wor (slashing), 11:10; Doherty Wor (slashing), 12:25; Hudson Wor (high-sticking), 14:54; Bourbonnais Whl (high-sticking), 16:14.
3rd Period-5, Worcester, Bowen 2 (Lane, Cornell), 12:44 (PP). 6, Wheeling, Wydo 15 (Sorkin), 19:43 (EN). Penalties-Josephs Whl (hooking), 12:34.
Shots on Goal-Wheeling 13-9-10-32. Worcester 11-6-13-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Wheeling 3 / 6; Worcester 1 / 5.
Goalies-Wheeling, Morrison 7-7-0-0 (30 shots-28 saves). Worcester, McAdam 8-9-3-2 (31 shots-28 saves).
Referees-Sean MacFarlane (4).
Linesmen-Brent Colby (38), AJ Potvin (78).