Everblades Spoil Worcester IceCats night as Railers fall 4-2John Furgele and Blake Christensen score their first Railers goals By Bill BallouWORCESTER – Mass., Railers fans have learned to curb their enthusiasm in recent seasons, but they had to figure that a roster that featured three former National Hockey League players including their first-ever ex-NHL goalie might provide them with a reason to be optimistic on IceCats Night here Saturday.It didn’t happen. The Railers were beaten by the Florida Everblades, 4-2, to fall to 1-3-0. It is the worst start in franchise history. However, if it is any consolation, the 2019-20 team had the best start ever at 3-1-0 but finished with the worst record.Once again, Worcester outshot the opposition but was outscored. Florida got a pair of goals from Blake Winiecki and the Railers could use a guy like that. Winiecki has played 181 games for the Everblades and scored 62 goals.Maybe it’s the weather.Blake Christensen and John Furgele scored for the home team. Chris McKay and Bobo Carpenter had the other Everblades goals, Carpenter’s coming into an empty net.The Railers had the early lead and in hockey, the first goal usually signals a victory. Not this time. Worcester was outscored in the second period, 3-1, and never recovered.“We have to manage the game. Every game is a tight game. Any team can beat any other eam in this league,” Railers coach David Cunniff said. “It’s so close. The margin of error is very, very tight and for us to win hockey games we have to manage the game. “In the second period you can’t turn the number of pucks over that we did. You’ve got to manage your shift length, because if you don’t you become fatigued and you make bad decisions.”Worcester scored the game’s first goal, converting a power play chance at 7:33 of the first period with Christensen getting his first goal as a Railer. He was set up by Nolan Vesey and Jacob Hayhurst and finished the play with a 35-foot wrist shot off the near post.The Railers maintained that lead until the game was almost half over, at which point things went in the wrong direction. The Everblades scored three times in the next seven minutes, that streak interrupted by Furgele’s goal.McKay tied it at 9:51 of the second period as Florida outnumbered the Railers on the attack. The Everblades had a 3 on 2 with McKay trailing. He made it 1-1 with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle. Winiecki scored his first of the game at 13:10, sliding a shot home from a scramble right in front of Worcester goaltender Ken Appleby.Furgele got that one back at 14:41, beating Tomas Vomacka with a high blast from the left circle. It was a one-timer, set up nicely by a pass from defense partner Connor McCarthy. However, the Railers were not able to maintain their momentum as Winiecki scored again from in close, this one a rebound at 16:32.Florida held the Railers at bay throughout the third period, then Carpenter sealed the deal with 40 seconds to go.Appleby, whose contract is with the Islanders, stopped 30 of 33 shots in becoming the first Railers goalie with NHL experience. He played in three games for the Devils in 2017-18. Appleby has plenty of ECHL experience, too, and had a career record of 56-25-10 heading into the night.Cunniff is convinced Worcester’s early problems are a matter of execution, game management, not talent.“That’s what’s exciting,” he said. “Yes — I think we can teach it.”Early in the season, it looks like the Railers have some homework to do.MAKING TRACKS_ The teams play again here at 3 Sunday afternoon. … Charlie Spetz, Liam Coughlin, Furgele and Ross Olsson made their 2021-22 debuts. Olsson switched from Number 9 to 23, his old college number and formerly worn by Woody Hudson. It was Spetz’ professional debut. … Colten Ellis, Nic Pierog and Nick Albano are up in the AHL with Springfield. … Attendance was 4,994. … Collin Adams, Tyler Poulsen, J.D. Dudek, Grant Jozefek, Brent Beaudoin and Karl Boudrias all did not dress for the Railers. … Ex-Railer Ben Masella was not in the lineup for Florida.
Everblades Spoil Worcester IceCats night as Railers fall 4-2
Sunday, November 7th
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