Trois-Riviéres Scores Late Goal to Take 4-3 Victory
Bobby Butler returns to lineup and notches two assists
By Bill Ballou
WORCESTER, MASS. – Worcester was beaten by Trois-Rivieres, 4-3, in what was one of those you-can’t-leave-your-seat games that was compelling from start to finish.
The Railers fell behind early, mounted a comeback and finally succumbed on Cedric Montminy’s second goal of the game with 3:28 left in the third period, a rebound just after Worcester had a killed a penalty.
“We did some good things,” Railers coach Dave Cunniff said. “We played faster, we moved the puck up quicker, but I don’t think we had everybody going and at this level you can’t have that and win.”
Bobby Butler, back in uniform for what everybody hopes is long term, had limited ice time and registered two assists in those cameos. He is 1-4-5 in two games since coming out of retirement.
“Everything will be day to day with him,” Cunniff said. “His body’s going to determine what he wants to do. I want to have Bobby for the long run, not the short run, so we’re going to try to be smart with him but they he’s playing it’s not going to be easy.”
Ross Olsson, Nolan Vesey and John Furgele had the Railers goals. Two were on the power play, a unit that has been working well for Worcester lately. The Railers were 2 for 5 in this game and are 4 for 9 in their last two.
Shawn St. Amant and Justin Ducharme had the other goals for the Lions.
This was their first victory of 2022 but that comes with an asterisk. It was their first game of the calendar year thanks to Covid issues. Overall, the Lions are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games and are 9-4-0 on the road.
“They’re big, they’re fast and they’re skilled,” Cunniff said of the opposition. “If you don’t bump them on the forecheck, their defense jumps into the play and it’s a long night because then it’s a track meet and that’s their game.”
St. Amant gave the visitors an early lead when he sniped a wrist shot past Ken Appleby from the left circle at 4:21 of the first period. Olsson responded with a power play goal at 13:05, redirecting a terrific pass from Will Cullen from just outside the crease. The Lions came back less than three minutes later, though, as Montminy knocked home a rebound from in close.
Trois-Rivieres made it 3-1 when Ducharme put home a rebound and the Railers were reeling. They came back nicely, however, with Vesey scoring from the left side at 7:38 and Furgele blasting a slap shot past Tristan Berube at 9:58, a shot that changed direction along the way for another power play goal.
Both teams went up and down the ice after that, the game occasionally resembling a long overtime period. There were great saves by the goalies — Appleby finished with 39, Berube with 34 — some missed chances and a few pucks that hit metal.
The Railers and their parent teams are beginning to get healthier and this Worcester roster — if it can stay healthy and get even a little more help from above — looks like it can compete.
MAKING TRACKS_ Worcester added a pair of rookies in the last few days, forwards Ethan Price and Danny Katic, both out of the Canadian college ranks. Neither played Friday night. … The Railers’ first 3-in-3 home weekend continues with a game here Saturday night versus Adirondack. … Lavallee-Smotherman’s stay on the Commissioner’s Exempt List ended and he was back in action and had an assist. He is 3-3-6 in his last four games. Jacob Hayhurst had an assist and is 1-6-7 in his last four games. … Chris Ordoobadi, Connor McCarthy and Karl Boudrias are all on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. That makes it 16 different Worcester players who have been on the list so far this season. … Gotta like those Trois-Rivieres road uniforms. … This is what it was like back in the 1950s and ‘60s — every player on the Lions’ roster was from Canada, all but one from the province of Quebec. Forward Cameron Hillis is from Oshawa, Ontario. … Not a coincidence, no doubt, but there was a lot of Meat Loaf on the sound system even though baseball was his prefered sport. … Olsson battled Danick Malouin in the second period and knocked Malouin’s helmet off. Malouin, 30, has spent the last seven seasons in the scrappy LNAH in Quebec.