Railers Take Down Lions 3-1 on Frontline Heroes Night
Railers scored three times in a two minute span in the second period
By Bill Ballou
Worcester finished out a six game and nine day stretch with a positively delightful 3-1 victory over the Trois-Rivieres Lions Saturday night.
All three Railers goals came within a span of two minutes late in the second period. They were scored by Ross Olsson, Collin Adams — his first as a pro — and Blake Christensen starting at 16:47.
Oliver Archambault was the only Lions scorer as Ken Appleby made 35 saves. Appleby is 3-1-0 in his last four starts and stopped 82 of 84 shots in his last two games, both victories over Trois-Rivieres.
“I tell our guys,” coach David Cunniff said, “that if you get in front of a shot, make sure you block it, because that’s the only way they can beat our goalies. I think we have the best goalie tandem in the league and if they see the puck, they’re gonna stop it.”
The Lions are a ferocious offensive team. With a two-goal deficit to make up starting the third period, they forced the play for 20 minutes and outshot Worcester, 14-5. To make matters worse, the Railers had to go with just five defensemen due to callups.
“I was proud of our guys,” Cunniff said. “They made the right decisions. (Trois-Rivieres) was right on us and some times the right play was to punt and live for another day.”
The Railers had one of their strongest periods of the home season in the first 20 minutes but could not beat Lions’ goalie Philippe Desrosiers. Neither could Trois-Rivieres solve Appleby, so the game was scoreless heading into the second period.
Jacob Hayhurst came the closest to scoring of any Worcester player when he zipped a wrist shot off the crossbar at 7:10. A bit later the Railers had a great chance to get on the scoreboard when they fashioned a 2 on 1 break while shorthanded.
Desrosiers turned aside Paul Thompson, however, at 11:40. This is not an exaggeration — Thompson could have just as well had five goals in the game considering the quality of his scoring chances.
Worcester had an effective power play starting at 14:04 and tested Desrosiers but could not beat him.
“We were getting a little frustrated and I felt it a little after the first period,” Cunniff said. “Guys were gripping the stick a little tight and I had to remind them that, it’s gonna come, and fortunately for us, it did come.”
Just when it looked like the game might go into the third period scoreless, or even beyond that, the puck started going into the net faster than the PA system could keep up.
Archambault’s blast gave the Lions a 1-0 lead at 15:38 but Worcester responded with three goals in a span of precisely two minutes.
Olsson was set up by Coughlin between the circles at 16:47, Adams converted Thompson’s pass from behind the net at 17:07 and Christensen scored one of the season’s nicest goals at 18:47. Jacob Hayhurst created a turnover just inside the Trois-Rivieres blue line and Christensen sliced in on Desrosiers, beating him short side from about 15 feet.
Trois-Rivieres dominated the final 20 minutes but once again, could not beat Appleby. Thus, Worcester had its second home triumph of the season.
MAKING TRACKS_Defenseman Connor McCarthy and forward Felix Bibeau were recalled by Bridgeport before the game, joining Mike Cornell. That left the Railers with just five defensemen, so Cunniff dressed 11 forwards. Brent Beaudoin and Anthony Repaci were not in the lineup. … Pascal Rheaume is with the Lions as an assistant coach. He had a great year with the IceCats in 2000-01, going 23-36-59 in 53 games. Rheaume spent the next four seasons in the NHL. He remarked that Worcester seems to have really energized since he was here 20 years ago. … The Railers play at Maine Wednesday night, at Adirondack Friday night. Their next home game is against Newfoundland on Nov. 28. … Attendance was 5,622.