For the first time this season, the Worcester Railers took the seven hour bus trip to Reading, Pennsylvania to take on the Reading Royals. Coming off the Christmas Break and five straight losses, the Reading Royals brought their A game and were ready to avenge their 1-0 shutout loss from last Thursday.
Reading got on the board early which set the tone for the rest of the game. Michael Huntebrinker scored a power play goal at 4:28 and Jimmy DeVito scored the Royals’ second goal at 4:35. The two goals in seven seconds are the fastest that two goals have ever been scored against the Railers. The Royals continued their lead with a third goal from Chris McCarthy at 11:06. Woody Hudson scored his eighth goal of the season with a shot going five-hole past netminder John Muse. Railers trailed 3-1 at the end of the first and were outshot 14-12.
Former Worcester Shark and Holy Cross Graduate Adam Schmidt extended the Royals’ lead with a short-handed goal on a breakaway, scoring top-shelf past goaltender Eamon McAdam at 2:07. Worcester showed some promise with a goal from Jeff Kubiak at 13:25, however the Royals’ Nolan Zajac made a quick retaliation thirty seconds later to give the Royals a 5-2 lead.
Mitch Gillam came into the game to start the third period. It is the first time in the Railers’ season (and franchise) history that a goaltender has been replaced mid-game. Gillam’s relief came too late in the game to change the momentum for the Railers. Another Former Shark, Matt Willows, scored the game’s final goal mid-way through the third period.
The Railers’ 6-2 loss is their 11th regulation loss of the season. Their point percentage is now 0.519, the lowest in the North Division and 17th overall in the league. The six goals allowed in Thursday’s game is the most the Railers have allowed in a single game.
Railers will return to Worcester early on Friday morning and will take on the Manchester Monarchs on Saturday, puck drops at 7 PM.
Scratches for Thursday’s game were: Matt Gaudreau (injury), Josh Monk (injury), and TJ Syner.
Railers forward Chris Langkow signed a PTO with the Hartford Wolf Pack on Thursday morning. Langkow traveled with the Railers to Reading and will meet with his new team on the road in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
With Chris Langkow off the roster for the foreseeable future, Kellen Jones will continue to wear the second “A” as he has for a majority of the season when one of the alternate captains is unavailable.
Reading’s Adam Comrie, who is a former Worcester Shark, signed a PTO with the Utica Comets on Wednesday and was not in the lineup for the Royals.
Railers wore their home white jerseys on the road for the second time this season. Reading wore a specialty jersey inspired with Philadelphia Flyers colors. Railers will begin wearing their white jerseys on the road for the rest of the season beginning on January 19.
Even Strength Lines
The three stars of the game were:
Matt Willows (Reading #90) – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Chris McCarthy (Reading #3) – 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Jimmy DeVito (Reading #23) – 1 Goal
The TWIW Player of the Game is Kellen Jones.
Worcester Railers 2 at Reading Royals 6 – Status: Unofficial Final
Thursday, December 28, 2017 – Santander Arena
Worcester 1 1 0 – 2
Reading 3 2 1 – 6
1st Period-1, Reading, Huntebrinker 8 (Willows, McCarthy), 4:28 (PP). 2, Reading, DeVito 7 (Penny, Hora), 4:35. 3, Reading, McCarthy 8 (Willows, Hora), 11:06. 4, Worcester, Hudson 8 (Rome, Almeida), 17:03. Penalties-Murphy Wor (interference), 3:10; Cornell Wor (tripping), 14:34; Hora Rea (hooking), 17:47.
2nd Period-5, Reading, Schmidt 6 (Luukko), 2:07 (SH). 6, Worcester, Kubiak 3 (Murphy, Jones), 13:25. 7, Reading, Zajac 7 (Naclerio, Penny), 13:55. Penalties-Tanski Rea (holding), 1:50; Almeida Wor (hooking), 2:42.
3rd Period-8, Reading, Willows 11 (Schmidt), 8:03. Penalties-McCarthy Rea (hooking), 1:05; Zajac Rea (tripping), 18:54.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 12-13-14-39. Reading 14-9-7-30.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 0 / 3; Reading 1 / 3.
Goalies-Worcester, McAdam 7-6-2-2 (23 shots-18 saves); Gillam 5-5-0-0 (7 shots-6 saves). Reading, Muse 7-3-1-0 (39 shots-37 saves).
Referees-Peter Schlittenhardt (23).
Linesmen-Judson Ritter (70), JP Waleski (51).