Charlie Spetz Records First Professional Goal in 4-1 Loss to Florida Railers play their next four games North of the borderBy Bill BallouWORCESTER, MASS – It is hard to believe this is the same Railers team that put 26 shots on goal in in the first 20 minutes of their first game in Portland on Oct. 22.They had 12 — a franchise record worst — shots in 60 minutes Sunday afternoon in one of the dreariest performances any Worcester pro team has ever had on home ice in the city’s hockey history. The Railers lost to Florida, 4-1, as the Everblades swept the little two-game weekend series here.Worcester has lost three straight games by combined scores of 14-5.The facts:Charlie Spetz scored the only Worcester goal. It was his first as a pro. It cut the Florida lead to 2-1 at 7:04 of the third period. The Railers were 0 for 5 on power plays, one of them a major. They did not score a goal in 11 minutes with the man advantage. The Everblades had one power play and scored seven seconds after it started.Blake Winiecki had two more goals for Florida, the last into an empty net. He personally outscored Worcester, 4-3, for the weekend. Kyle Neuber and John McCarron had the other Everblades goals.Nothing illustrates how bad things were for the Railers more than Winiecki’s first goal and Neuber’s goal.Winiecki made it 1-0 at 12:59 of the first period. He had the puck above the left circle, guarded closely by Tyler Poulsen. Suddenly, as if he had been lassoed by an invisible cowboy, Poulsen spun down to the ice and Winiecki snapped a shot through the vacancy and past goalie Ken Appleby.It was still just 1-0, discouraging but manageable for the Railers, heading into the third period.Less than a minute after the opening faceoff, Florida had the puck in the Worcester zone, out near the left point — a Bermuda Triangle of woe not far from where Poulsen was poofed — and a shot went through some traffic and towards the net.Appleby, out to cut down some angle, appeared to get a piece of it, enough to prevent the puck from going into the net, but not enough to stop it entirely. The puck came to rest behind the goalie, about three inches from the goal line, and just one of the 12 players out there on the ice saw it — Neuber.He looked at it, frozen in place for a couple of seconds like someone who spied $10,000 in cash lying on a sidewalk, figuring it had to be some sort of police sting or something.Finally, Neuber took a chance on getting arrested and tapped it in to make it 2-0. The Railers could not recover.It was the last Railers home game for almost two weeks. Maybe the time away from the DCU Center will do them good, but the road ahead is literally long and rocky as they play two Canadian teams, the Newfoundland Growlers and new Trois-Rivieres Lions.Worcester will play three games in Newfoundland next weekend against the currently homeless Growlers. They have been evicted from the Mile One Arena in St. John’s for what has been termed as disrespectful workplace conduct towards arena employees.That’s a pretty broad definition and could be something minor, or something serious like Growlers personnel hoarding the Canadian Maple doughnuts. The weekend’s games were originally transferred to Toronto but have since been moved back to a smaller rink in Newfoundland.More significantly, the Growlers once again appear to be an AHL team playing an ECHL schedule. They are in first place, per usual, even though they opened the season with a long road trip.Worcester is 4-12-1 versus Newfoundland all-time, just 1-6-1 up there, and has been outscored by 71-47.The Railers finish their Canadian jaunt in Trois-Rivieres, then are back home again on Nov. 17 versus the Lions.MAKING TRACKS – Poulsen made his 2021-22 debut while Drew Callin did not dress for the first time this season. … Florida goaltender Cam Johnson improved to 2-0-1 lifetime versus Worcester. He has allowed two goals on 53 shots in those games. … Attendance was 2,537.
Charlie Spetz Records First Professional Goal in 4-1 Loss to Florida
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