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Railers Win A Classic On St. Patrick’s Day

Saturday, March 18th
Railers Win A Classic On St. Patrick’s Day

By Bill BallouPORTLAND, Maine – In a year that has had a lot of great games, the Railers played their game of the year here Friday night.Down by 2-0 halfway through the match, knowing that the Adirondack Thunder had won their game in Newfoundland earlier, Worcester came back with four straight goals and beat the Maine Mariners, 4-3.It was a remarkable performance with multiple Railers standouts. That list begins with Liam Coughlin, who registered his first career hat trick by scoring on the power play, shorthanded and into an empty net.Two of his goals were assisted by rookie Adam Goodsir, making his professional debut. Once again, also, Ken Appleby turned in a tremendous effort in net as he made 32 saves.Jacob Hayhurst had the other Railers goal as he scored shorthanded at 16:50 of the third period. It was just the sixth time in franchise history Worcester had two shorthanded goals in the same game, the first time since Dec. 16, 2019.The result was not only emotionally satisfying for Worcester, it was mathematically satisfying as well. The victory allowed the Railers to cut their magic number for clinching a playoff spot to 18.Worcester played an uninspired first period and it showed on the scoreboard as Maine jumped out to a 2-0 lead. The shots on goal totals were a good indication of how things went as the Mariners had a 14-5 edge.It was, however, a 0-0 game for more than 16 minutes. Maine finally made it 1-0 at 16:35 on Alex-Olivier Voyer’s goal as he popped in a rebound from outside the right post. It was a 2-0 game 61 seconds later as Cam Askew snapped a 25-footer over Appleby’s blocker and under the crossbar.The Railers only tested Brassard once, at 10:09 of the period. He made a diving stop of Goodsir’s rebound shot from close range with Worcester on a power play.Worcester kept the game within reach in the early part of the second period. After that, the Railers dominated play and tied the game at 2-2.The turnaround came with Worcester killing a penalty. At 10:25 Andrei Bakanov got loose for a long breakway that Francois Brassard stopped in close. Shortly thereafter the Railers got a power play of their own and made it a 2-1 game with Coughlin converting a pass from Goodsir right in front.Worcester had more penalty killing time after that including 41 seconds of two-men down. The Railers were still a man down when Coughlin was set up by Goodsir again, this time firing a 15-foot wrist shot home from between the circles.Hayhurst finally put the Railers ahead with his shorthanded goal, then Coughlin hit the empty net at 17:26. Brassard was out of the net when Chase Zieky made it a 4-3 game for Portland at 18:28, but the Railers kept the puck out of the net the rest of the way.The game marked the beginning of the annual roster reboot the Railers adding a pair of players from college hockey, Goodsir and Anthony Callin. Both made their professional debuts Friday night.Callin is a look-alike for his brother Drew, who also began his pro career with the Railers as a late-season college signing in 2019. Anthony, also a forward, arrives in Worcester after a five-year career at Clarkson where he was 34-36-70 with 67 PIM.Goodsir is a forward from Long Island University where he was 15-19-34 with 64 PIM this season.The Callins are the third brother combination in Railers history, sixth in city history. The Railers also had the three Harts — Kevin, Brian and Ted and the Saracino brothers, Nick and Chris.The other brothers are Jim and Ed Campell of the IceCats; Matt and Michael Pelech of the Sharks and Joe and Mike Pereira, also of the Sharks.MAKING TRACKS – The win was Appleby’s 26th for Worcester, moving him past Evan Buitenhuis into second place on the team’s all-time list behind Mitch Gillam. … Worcester was 6 for 6 killing penalties and is 31 for 34 in the last 13 games. …. The Railers are 5-2-0 in their last seven games and have won three in a row for the first time since late January. … Anthony Repaci has a death in the family and returned to Canada for the services. … Hayhurst was back in action after missing three games with an injury … Quin Ryan, Nick Fea, Philip Beaulieu and Zach Bross were not in the lineup. … The weekend tripleheader versus Maine continues with a 7:05 game Saturday night at the DCU Center. … Noah Delmas was back on defense after a stint as a forward. … Appleby’s stop of Gabriel Chicoine’s shot at 3:03 of the third period was 10,000th save in Railers history. … The crowd was a good one at 4,022.#AllAboutTheW

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