The Worcester Railers played the middle game of their seven game road trip Wednesday night in Glens Falls, New York as they took on the Adirondack Thunder at the Cool Insuring Arena.
Worcester came out of the gate flat, something that has plagued the team all season. Goaltender Mitch Gillam made a nice save early, but at 3:11 the Thunder would take the lead when Nolan Kaiser fired a 60 foot blast that broke through Gillam and lit the lamp. Brain Ward had the helper on the goal.
For the rest of the opening period the Thunder controlled the play, with Adirondack goaltender Thomas Sholl hardly being tested. Shots were 16-4 for Adirondack in the period, and that stat makes the stanza sound a lot closer than it really was.
The second period opened exactly mirror opposite to the first as Worcester came out of intermission like a team with something to prove. It was an unlikely goal scorer that tied the game for the Railers when Chris Langkow threw a nice feed to Yanick Turcotte, who fired a low wrist shot past Sholl at 2:55 for his first professional goal. Kyle McKenzie picked up the secondary assist on the play for his first helper as a pro.
Unfortunately for Worcester the Thunder were able to recover, and after Gillam made multiple saves during a goalmouth scramble Andrew Radjenovic was able to squeeze the puck through the pile and into the net at 18:29 to give Adirondack the 2-1 lead.
Like the second period the Railers came out strong to start the third period, and got the game tying goal at 3:02 when T.J. Syner outworked the Thunder defense behind the Adirondack net, and his feed found Ben Masella at the right circle. Masella’s shot went top shelf over Sholl to make it 2-2.
The Railers would grab their first lead of the game at 4:22 when Woody Hudson broke into the Thunder zone. With the defense focusing on Turcotte heading toward the net Hudson found Jeff Kubiak trailing the play, and Kubiak’s shot beat Sholl to make it 3-2 Worcester.
Adirondack answered right back after Connor Doherty took a delay of game penalty for flipping the puck out of play, and Matthew Spencer beat Gillam on the blocker side from 50 feet out at 9:04 to make it 3-3.
It would stay tied through regulation and overtime, where Barry Almeida and Tommy Kelley would score for the Railers in the shootout to give Worcester the 4-3 win.
The Railers road trip continues Thursday night in Reading.
Scratches for the Railers were Brian Bowen, Josh Monk (21-day IR/upper body), Aston Rome (21-day IR/upper body). On Sunday former WorSharks and current New York Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss “tweaked something”, so on Monday Eamon McAdam took the Magic Bus from Worcester to Bridgeport after the Islanders reassigned him to the Sound Tigers and recalled Bridgeport netminder Christopher Gibson from the Sound Tigers. For the fifth time this season Joe Spagnoli was summoned to be the emergency back-up goaltender. After Sunday’s game in Orlando Worcester released defenseman Chris Saracino.
After the game the Railers began their “mad dash” to Reading, Pennsylvania to take on the Royals at Santander Arena tomorrow night. The five hour bus ride is the longest Worcester will make between games this season, and it’s the second time they’ve made this same “mad dash”. The first time the Railers made the trip they swept both games, beating the Thunder 4-3 in a shootout on January 5th and then besting the Royals 3-2 the next night.
Entering Wednesday night’s game Worcester pro hockey teams have had decent luck in Glens Falls, going 17-11-6 since the IceCats’ days when they would take on the Adirondack Red Wings. In the WorSharks time the team in Glens Falls was the Phantoms, the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers, except for the 2014-15 season when the Adirondack Flames played in Glens Falls. AHL geography had the Flames in the Western Conference, so the WorSharks did not play them.
Wednesday night was almost the first time this season Railers broadcaster Eric Lindquist worked alone as Tom “Tuesday” Matthews didn’t make the trip with the team Tuesday due to an illness. That also meant the “Two Things With Tom” video segment that the Railers release before every game was, while comical, not the usual high quality entertainment we’re used to. But all was saved when Worcester Telegram reporter Bill Ballou headed to Glens Falls Wednesday and brought Matthews with him.
The three stars of the game were
1) Tommy Kelley (Railers #37), shootout game winner
2) Matthew Spencer (Adirondack #3), goal
3) Andrew Radjenovic (Adirondack #27), goal
The TWIW Player of the Game was Yanick Turcotte
Even Strength Lines
Saracino / Langkow / Almeida
Syner / Kubiak / Hudson
DiChiara / Lane / Kelley
Masella / McKenzie
Hamonic / Doherty
Muto / Beukeboom
Worcester 0 1 2 0 – 4
Adirondack 1 1 1 0 – 3
1st Period-1, Adirondack, Kaiser 1 (Ward), 3:14. Penalties-Doherty Wor (slashing), 19:49.
2nd Period-2, Worcester, Turcotte 1 (Langkow, McKenzie), 2:55. 3, Adirondack, Radjenovic 6 18:29. Penalties-Bergin Adk (tripping), 6:36.
3rd Period-4, Worcester, Masella 2 (Syner), 3:02. 5, Worcester, Kubiak 9 (Hudson), 4:22. 6, Adirondack, Spencer 1 (Henry, Rodrigues), 9:04 (PP). Penalties-Doherty Wor (delay of game), 7:21; Conacher Adk (delay of game), 15:49.
OT Period- No Scoring.Penalties-Spencer Adk (interference), 3:45.
Shootout – Worcester 2 (Almeida G, Lane NG, DiChiara NG, Kelley G), Adirondack 1 (Conacher NG, Henry NG, Wallin G, Ward NG).
Shots on Goal-Worcester 4-14-8-4-1-31. Adirondack 16-11-11-2-0-40.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Adirondack 1 / 2.
Goalies-Worcester, Gillam 10-10-0-1 (40 shots-37 saves). Adirondack, Sholl 4-0-0-1 (30 shots-27 saves).
Referees-Alex Garon (9).
Linesmen-Chris Provost (50), Matt Brady (42).