Railers Increase Win Streak to Three Games With 6-3 Win Over Maine
Worcester gets goals from six different players
By Bill Ballou
PORTLAND, Maine – Among David Cunniff’s talents, it seems, is the ability to see into the future.
As his Railers team was ready to board the bus north to take on the Maine Mariners, their coach said, “This is a different team today. This is not the same team that hasn’t won a game up there all year.”
The final score — Worcester 6, Maine 3.
It was, indeed, the Railers’ first victory of the season at Cross Arena after four defeats, each of which featured a Mariners hat trick. Speaking of hat tricks, the victory was Worcester’s third in a row. The Railers had not won three straight games in more than two years, or since taking four straight from Jan. 3 to Jan. 10, 2020.
Worcester got goals from six different players. In order the scorers were Cole Coskey, Brent Beaudoin, Reece Newkirk, Nolan Vesey, Anthony Repaci and Ross Olsson.
Olsson’s at 17:34 of the third period extended his goal-scoring streak to five games, second-longest in franchise history.
“Right now, we’ve got a great group of guys,” Cunniff said. “With everything that’s gone on this year, it’s been hard to get to this point. We’ve got a great staff here — Jason Franzone, Bob Deraney — getting these players in here, and right now the players are making the staff look good.”
Jacob Hayhurst chipped in with two more assists, Coskey also had an assist and Repaci was the game’s No. 1 star with two assists to go along with his goal.
Defensemen John Furgele and Myles McGurty were both plus-5. That ties a franchise record in that department.
Pascal LaBerge, Matthew Santos and Nick Jermain scored for Maine. The Mariners have the league’s best power play and that’s how they scored two of their goals.
Coskey gave the Railers an early lead as he scored unassisted at 2:42 of the first period. The rookie turned a turnover into a goal as he snared an errant puck between the circles and snapped a shot over Mariners goalie Jeremy Brodeur’s glove.
Brodeur was at least partially responsible for the goal as he kept the puck in play rather than smothering it for a faceoff right at the post.
The Railers scored three more times in the second period wrapped around LaBerge’s power play goal at 9:14
Beaudoin banged in a rebound of a shot by Repaci at 1:57, then Newkirk gave Worcester a 3-1 lead at 4:16 with a wrist shot from the left circle. It was his third goal in the last two games.
Vesey responded to LaBerge’s goal at 13:03 as he took a pass from Hayhurst and snapped the puck past Brodeur from about 35 feet.
The third period started ominously for Worcester as Jermain scored from in close just 49 seconds after the opening faceoff. The Mariners then cut the Railers’ lead to one less than two minutes later with Santos converting on another power play at 2:27.
Repaci created some breathing room not long after that, though, when he sent a 20-footer through Brodeur from the bottom of the right circle.
Olsson finished off the scoring from down low at 17:34, the Railers having a man advantage.
MAKING TRACKS_The Fort Wayne Komets, one of the two best minor league hockey franchises in existence along with the Hershey Bears, are at the DCU Center Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. It will be Fort Wayne’s second visit to Worcester. The Railers beat them, 3-2, on March 17, 2018 with Matt Lane scoring twice. … Bobby Butler is on the Commissioner’s Exempt List so did not make the trip. … Worcester traded goalie Luke Peressini to Allen for future considerations. Rookie forward Ethan Price made his professional debut for the Railers and nearly scored early in the second period on a pass from Blake Christensen. Hard to believe but true — Price is the 645th player in Worcester pro hockey history and the first named Ethan. … Referee Jack Young worked a Railers game for the first time ever… The triumph was just the third here all-time for the Railers.