Railers Late Comeback Falls Short, Lose in Overtime to Lions 5-4
By Bill BallouWORCESTER – All things considered, and there was a lot to consider, this turned out to be a point well taken by the Railers.They lost to the Trois-Rivieres Lions, 5-4, in overtime Wednesday night at the DCU Center and Worcester really needed the two points seeing as Adirondack won again.However, it looked like no points at all until Bobby Butler scored with five seconds left in the third period and Henrik Tikkanen on the bench in favor of an extra skater.The playoff race looks like this:The Railers have 68 points, the Thunder 66. Adirondack has two games in hand, though. Do all the math you want; Worcester still has a magic number and it is six.The Railers have six games left in the regular season, five of them against Adirondack. If Worcester wins all six of those games it makes the playoffs, simple as that, at least numerically. It will take a big turnaround, though. Adirondack has won four games in a row and has at least one point in nine straight.Worcester has lost four in a row, earning just one point in that span, the one it got Wednesday night. The Railers next four games are all at the DCU Center, three of them against the Thunder. That includes both Friday and Saturday nights.Wednesday night the Railers survived a flat first period in which they trailed by just 2-1. They scored twice in the second period and were up by 3-2 with a little more than five minutes to go in the third period then surrendered two goals in less than two minutes to fall behind.Butler rescued the point, then the Railers had a two-minute power play early in OT but could not convert. Ryan Francis got the winner for the Lions at 4:49 with a wrist shot from the right wing that broke through Tikkanen and went in.The Railers got goals from rookie defenseman Artem Kulakov, Steve Jandric, Anthony Repaci and Butler. Jandric also had an assist.Nicolas Guay scored twice for Trois-Rivieres. Matthew Barron, Anthony Beauregard and Francis had the others.The Lions victory was backstopped by goaltender Etienne Montpetit making his first professional appearance. Montpetit was so far off the pro radar screen that on the ECHL official game scoresheet, his first name was listed as “?”Montpetit played well especially early in the third period when the Railers really pressed to take a two-goal lead.Guay and Barron scored in the first period as Worcester was outshot, 21-12. Kulakov’s goal was sandwiched in at 8:52. He became merely the fifth Railer ever to score in his debut game, the first since Nick Albano in the first game of last season. It was also the first even-strength goal by a Railers defenseman since Trevor Cosgrove on Feb. 24.Anthony Callin got an assist on Kulakov’s goal. His brother, Drew, is one of the other Railers with a debut game goal.Jandric made it 2-2 at 3:42 of the second period on the power play. Repaci gave the Railers their first lead in almost 11 periods at 16:58. The lead lasted for a while but not for long enough.Butler’s game tying goal came on a snap shot from the left circle. He tied Tyler Barnes for the latest tying goal. He also scored at 19:55 on Dec. 5, 2018 versus Brampton.Worcester lost that one in overtime, too.MAKING TRACKS – Brent Beaudoin had an assist to hit the 50-point plateau. He has not gone more than two games in a row this season without getting at least one point. … Attendance was 2,501. … The Lions are a big numbers team. Five of their starters were above 50. The average number for their 18 players was 32. … Worcester’s four goals were one more than it had in the three previous games combined.#AllAboutTheW
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