By Bill BallouWORCESTER – As it should be this time of the season, everything remains on the table for the Railers after their heart-stopping 4-3 victory over the Maine Mariners Sunday afternoon.Worcester picked up two more magic number points in its quest for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division, cutting that number to 22 as Adirondack also won. For practical purposes, the magic number is 21. The tie-breaker is regulation victories and the Railers have seven-game advantage in that department.Sunday’s triumph also kept second and third place in play for Worcester as well, especially third.The Railers picked up two pure points on the third-place Mariners, who lead Worcester by four points and have three games in hand. However, the teams play three times next weekend. The Railers need to sweep that series, a formidable task, but if they do they will be in third place.Sunday’s victory was keyed by two players — Brent Beaudoin and Anthony Repaci — who have kept Worcester’s season alive as it watched standout after standout depart for the American Hockey League.Beaudoin had two goals, Repaci one. Chris Ordoobadi scored the first Railers goal. Repaci’s goal was his 20th while Beaudoin has 18 and leads the team in points with 46.Coach Jordan Smotherman does not want to lose either of them, but thinks they could play at a higher level.“The reason they’re successful,” he said, “is because they play the game the right way. They play hard with the puck. They work without the puck…they put pucks to space and then just outskate and out work guys.”It was a comeback victory. There were times when the Mariners took control and looked like they were headed for the two points. That changed at 15:14 of the second period when Beaudoin snapped a 25-foot wrist shot past Maine goaltender Michael DiPietro to make it 3-3.The thing is — the shot didn’t look like a big deal when it left Beaudoin’s stick.“It was the end of a shift,” Beaudoin said, “and I was just coming in to try to get the puck on net and make a change. The (defenseman) went down for a screen and I just tried to shoot it around him. I don’t think the goalie even saw it.“I was surprised it went in and I was surprised he didn’t even move. I think we were both caught off guard.”It took a long time, though, for Beaudoin to get the winner. It came on a power play with 3:45 left in the third period. He took a shot from between the circles, then the puck bounced right back to him and he scored from in close.Ordoobadi put Worcester up at 9:12 with his fourth goal of the season, first for the Railers. Josh Victor got the assist. It was his first Railers point in nine games with the team. Victor rapped a shot on DiPietro from the left circle and Ordoobadi popped the rebound over the goalie’s glove from in close.The goal was Ordoobadi’s first for Worcester this season but second overall. He had one during his stint here last year and it was also against the Mariners.Marc-Olivier Duquette scored less than a minute later to blunt any Railers momentum. He snapped a 30-footer from the middle through Henrick Tikkanen and it was 1-1 just 47 seconds later.Repaci scored at 15:31 as he deflected Jared Brandt’s slap shot past DiPietro but once again Worcester gave up a late goal. Chase Zieky beat Tikkanen with a one-timer from the left side at 19:34.Maine got a bounce at 5:09 of the second period and Zieky took advantage to make it 3-2. Tikkanen stopped the Mariners the rest of the way and Beaudoin outscored them, 2-0, to create the final outcome.With his goal, Repaci capped a good weekend where he had three goals to get to 20. He’s the seventh 20-goal man in Railers history and just the second to have more than one such season. Barry Almeida did it in 2017-18 and 2018-19. And one more thing — Friday night Repaci became the first player in team history to score in the first minute of a game and also the last minute.MAKING TRACKS – Jacob Hayhurst missed his third straight game and Quin Ryan was not in the lineup. That’s a fair amount of offense. Ryan is working on a four-game points streak during which is is 2-3-5. Zack Bross was also in street clothes. … Maine had a goal called back — well, it really wasn’t a goal after all — when Mitchell Fossier hit the crossbar on a breakaway at 1:32 of the second period. … Myles McGurty assisted on Repaci’s goal as well as Brandt. It was McGurty’s first point in 11 games. … Attendance was 4,107. … Worcester killed two penalties Sunday, including one in the final minutes, and is 25 for 28 in the last 11 games. … Philip Beaulieu had a pair of assists for the third time this season.#AllAboutTheW
Beaudoin, Ordoobadi lift Railers past Mariners 4-3
Sunday, March 12th
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