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Railers Storm Back to Complete Comeback Win Over Maine

Thursday, April 7th
Railers Storm Back to Complete Comeback Win Over Maine

Railers Storm Back to Complete Comeback Win Over Maine

Worcester caps off season series with Maine to capture VIP Tires & Service Rivalry Cup

By Bill Ballou

WORCESTER, MASS. – Talk about climate change. Ice cold for the first half of Wednesday night’s game against the Maine Mariners, the Railers turned red hot and posted a crucial 4-3 victory, twice coming back from two-goal deficits.

The triumph snapped a four-game losing streak and moved Worcester back into the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division but by the narrowest of margins. The Railers have a winning percentage of .5076. The Mariners are at .5075. Trois Rivieres is in third place at .5158.

Guess what? The Lions are at the DCU Center Friday and Saturday. They and the Railers play each other five more times before the season ends in what amounts to a pre-playoff series.

Wednesday night, Worcester trailed 2-0 early and 3-1 midway through the second period. The Mariners led, 3-2, heading into the third and for the first time this year the Railers won a game they trailed going into the final 20 minutes.

They got third period goals from Jacob Hayhurst and Brent Beaudoin to complete the comeback. Reece Newkirk and Austin Osmanski had the other Worcester goals.

“You have to give credit to our guys on the bench,” coach David Cunniff said. “We had some guys make a couple of mistakes early that cost us goals, but nobody got down. Everybody stayed positive and it carried us through the rest of the game.”

While Worcester trailed heading into the third period, the game had one of those next-goal-wins feelings to it. Hayhurst got the next goal and it was a beauty as he stole the puck outside the Maine blue line, skated it into the right circle and sizzled a high snap shot past Collum Booth at 1:39.

Beaudoin got the game-winner at 6:08, set up in front by a great pass from Anthony Repaci from behind the net. That goal sent Booth to the bench in favor of Stefanos Lekkas, but the damage had been done.

Reid Stefanson, Cameron Askew and Connor Bleakney had the Maine goals.

Askew was involved in both Maine goals in the first period to help give the Mariners a head start.

He put a shot on Appleby from the right circle that the goaltender stopped, but the rebound went almost directly to Stefanson. He was covered by Connor McCarthy but managed to bang home the rebound at 3:42. Askew then scored unassisted at 12:11 as he put a wrist shot on net that slipped between Appleby and the near post.

The goal, Askew’s 20 of the season, was unassisted.

The Railers bounced back quickly, though, as Newkirk notched his 11th of the season at 12:52. Jared Brandt blasted a slap shot from about 30 feet that Booth stopped, but the rebound took a couple of bounces before Newkirk was able to slide it home from outside the left post.

The goal was the first by a Railers forward in a span of 252:52. The assist was Brandt’s first point as a Railer.

What had been a quiet DCU Center crowd got a jolt of energy early in the second period when rookie Steve Jandric took on former Railers defenseman Zach Malatesta, whom Worcester has sorely missed.

Malatesta knocked over Newkirk with a shoulder hit at 3:43 and within a couple of seconds Jandric went after Malatesta for what turned into a lively little bout.

Maine then regained its two-goal lead at 7:11 of period with Bleackley scoring his 11th of the season. He carried the puck into the Railers zone down the left side and had some room between McCarthy and himself. Bleackley beat Appleby with a wrist shot from the bottom of the circle.

Worcester cut its deficit to one goal again, and once again it did not take long as Osmanski got his fourth of the year. It was a pretty play that saw Myles McGurty send a pass from the right point to Beaudoin in the left circle. He got the puck to Osmanski, whose high 45-foot slap shot went past Booth’s glove.

Appleby was not sharp early but, as has been the case with he and Colten Ellis this season, he held it together especially late in third when he made a great glove save on a breakaway by Gabriel Chicoine. That kept it a 4-3 game, which is how it finished.

MAKING TRACKS_Beaudoin played in his 54th straight game, making him the Railers’ ranking ironman. He has not missed a game since Nov. 20. He was 1-1-2 Wednesday and got the nod as No. 1 star. … The teams each had one power play and neither scored. Worcester is 0-for-22 on the power play in its last eight games. … Booth’s career record vs. the Railers fell to 1-6-0. … Attendance was 2,508.

Upcoming Home Games

Full Schedule
Reading Royals @ Worcester Railers
Saturday, October 19th
Reading Royals @ Worcester Railers
Puck Drops:
6:05 PM EDT
DCU Center
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at
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Reading Royals @ Worcester Railers
Sunday, October 20th
Reading Royals @ Worcester Railers
Puck Drops:
3:05 PM EDT
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REA Reading Royals
at
Worcester Railers
WOR Worcester Railers
DCU Center
Maine Mariners
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Friday, November 8th
Maine Mariners @ Worcester Railers
Puck Drops:
7:05 PM EST
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Maine Mariners
MNE Maine Mariners
at
Worcester Railers
WOR Worcester Railers
DCU Center

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