Utah Grizzlies at Worcester Railers HC
March 18, 2018
Meeting 3 of 3 vs. Utah this season
Worcester went 2-0-1-0 vs. the Grizzlies this season
Railers go perfect on four game homestand after 4-2 win over Grizzlies
Worcester is now three points out of a playoff spot in the North Division with 10 games left
Worcester, MA – Jeff Kubiak broke a 2-2 midway through the third period as the Worcester Railers HC (30-25-4-3, 67pts) defeated the visiting Utah Grizzlies (25-25-8-6, 64pts) by the score of 4-2 in front of 3,854 fans at the DCU Center on Sunday afternoon. The Railers hit the road for three games beginning with a BIG GAME on Wednesday, March 21 at the Wheeling Nailers.
Ryan MacKinnon, Ben Masella, Jeff Kubiak, and Woody Hudson all found the back of the net for Worcester while Mitch Gillam made 19 saves as the Railers are now three points behind the Nailers for the final playoff spot in the North Division – the Railers have two games in hand with 10 games left. Jake Randolph picked up an assist in his first professional game and Yanick Turcotte picked up his 19th fighting major for the Railers in their fourth straight home win.
Yanick Turcotte (19th FM) and Travis Howe (13th FM) had an entertaining fight at center ice to set the tone early in the first period as each team found the back of the net once. Utah went ahead 1-0 at 4:17 as Ryan Misiak (15th) sniped a shot top shelf from 30 feet top past Mitch Gillam to put the Railers down early. Worcester would tie the score at 18:19 as Jake Randolph picked up his first pro point as he found Ryan MacKinnon (2nd) streaking down the middle of the ice and MacKinnon ripped a shot off the post and past goaltender Joel Rumpel. The Railers held a 11-5 shot advantage after 20 minutes of play as the two teams headed to the first intermission tied 1-1.
The Grizzlies went ahead 2-1 at 11:32 of the second period as Jake Marchment (15th) finished off a nice 2-on-1 rush with a backhander past Mitch Gillam. Ben Masella (3rd) tied the score at 2-2 just 80 seconds later with a laser from the center point through a screen and into the net at 12:52 with Matt Lane and Mike Cornell picking up the assists. Each team had eight shots in the second period with the score tied 2-2 through 40 minutes.
A scary moment happened 2:16 into the third period as Tommy Kelley collided with James Melindy behind the Utah net and crashed into the end wall. Tommy laid motionless on the ice for several minutes before he left on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. After 15 minutes, play continued in front of a rather quiet DCU Center crowd. Jeff Kubiak (14th) broke a 2-2 tie after he stole the puck at the offensive blue line and broke in alone on Joel Rumpel before ripping the puck top shelf at 9:12 to give the Railers a 3-2 lead. Woody Hudson (19th) added insurance at 16:48 with the Railers 11 shorthanded goal of the season at 16:48 as Worcester held on for the six point weekend and a 4-2 home win.
Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star: Ryan MacKinnon (Goal) 2nd star: Ben Masella (Goal) 1st star: Jeff Kubiak (GWG and Assist) …Final shots were 24-21 in favor of Worcester…Joel Rumpel (18-11-4) made 20 saves on 24 shots for Utah… Stephen Klein was the backup for Utah…. Mitch Gillam (17-13-1) made 19 saves on 21 shots in his 13th start in the last 14 games for Worcester… Will King was the backup goaltender for the Railers…. Worcester went 0-for-2 on the power play while Utah went 0-for-4…Josh Monk (inj), Justin Agosta (susp), Chris Langkow (inj), TJ Syner (inj), and Josh McArdle did not dress for Worcester…. Kellen Jones, Eamon McAdam, and Kyle Schempp are currently on recall with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Tommy Panico was recalled by the Iowa Wild….the Railers are now 12-2-1 in their last 15 games at the DCU Center… the last time the Utah Grizzlies were in town they defeated the Worcester IceCats 4-3 in overtime on Feb 29, 2004….Matt Lane (2-1-3), Ben Masella (1-1-2), and Mike Cornell (0-3-3) all two game point streaks….Ben Masella’s goal was his first at the DCU Center this season….Connor Doherty also picked up an assist.
What’s on tap? – Railers continue to battle for a playoff spot!
On Wednesday, March 21 the Railers head to Wheeling, WV to kick off a three-game road trip vs. the Nailers at 7:05pm. Worcester then heads to Reading, PA for two games vs. the Royals on Friday and Saturday at 7pm. Coverage begins 30 minutes before puck drop on 98.9 Nash Icon. Worcester returns home on March 28 vs. the Thunder at 7pm.
The Railers Tavern, located behind the DCU Center provides hockey fans with a great pregame and postgame atmosphere all season long. Watch all road games broadcast live at Railers Tavern or watch on ECHLTV.com for a small fee. Listen to all Railers games live on 98.9 Nash ICON with coverage beginning 30 minutes before puck drop with Eric Lindquist and Tom Matthews. Full season memberships, mini plans, and group tickets are on sale now by calling the Railers front office at 508-365-1750 or by visiting www.RailersHC.com.