Repaci Hat Trick Powers Railers to Overtime Victory
By Bill BallouWORCESTER – If there was ever one time the Railers needed one of Anthony Repaci’s one-timers it was Friday night.They got two of them, the last one in overtime, as Worcester beat the Adirondack Thunder 5-4 to snap a four-game losing streak and tighten the race for the final playoff spot in the North Division.Repaci recorded his second hat trick of the season, two of the goals coming on one-timers. The winner hit the back of the net 19 seconds into OT.“I practice it every day,” Repaci said of his money-in-the-bank shot. “Bobby Butler has been a good mentor for me and we do it before every practice and after every practice. We try to get a better one and it’s paying off, obviously.”Butler had an assist on the overtime goal as the Railers worked a set play designed by assistant coach Bob Deraney.“We actually drew that play up,” Repaci said. “Bob Deraney did. It was funny because for the number of times coaches draw up good plays, they work about one time out of 100.”About 13 minutes after the puck was dropped to start the game the Railers’ backs were so far against the wall that the neighbors could see bumps in their plaster.After Jacob Hayhurst gave Worcester an early lead in the first period the Thunder got three goals in about 2 1/2 minutes to go ahead by 3-1. Shawn Weller, Ryan Smith and Colin Long were the scorers; the Railers were down by two goals just 13:07 into the game.At that point, coach Jordan Smotherman called time out and the Railers regrouped. The message was to stay calm, stick to the game and take it shift by shift.“It wasn’t easy,” Repaci said. “That was a playoff game for us.”The comeback started quickly as Repaci scored at 15:07 and 16:22. All of a sudden it was a new game, then things changed dramatically.At about 17:50, Andrei Bakanov took a shortcut through the Thunder crease headed to the corner. He collided with goaltender Vinnie Purpura, who went down immediately and did not get back up.The game was stopped as Purpura was tended to. He eventually left the ice on a stretcher. While he was on a backboard waiting for the stretcher, Purpura could be seen moving his arms and legs and speaking with the medical personnel.That happened at 17:53, so referee John Lindner ended the period there and tacked on the extra time to the second period after new ice was made. It took the Thunder just 17 seconds to retake the lead as Shane Harper scored from the left dot.It went down as a first period goal, leaving the score 4-3 after one. It was also 4-3 after two as the Thunder used Mike Robinson in net with Purpura disabled.Worcester finally tied it on a messy goal at 10:17 of the third period, although it looked beautiful on the scoreboard. Reece Newkirk forced the puck over the goal line from the crease, where he had been pushed in by a pair of Thunder defensemen.The Railers went on the power play late in the third period and could not score in 1:19 with the man advantage. That carried over into OT and Repaci finished off the comeback.The result leaves the North Division playoff race in an ongoing WWE brawl. The Railers lead Adirondack by three points but the Thunder have two games in hand. The teams play each other four more times, the next time Saturday night at the DCU Center.Repaci was not the only multi-point man for Worcester. Brent Beaudoin, Anthony Callin and Myles McGurty all had a pair of assists as well.MAKING TRACKS – Jared Brandt was plus-3 for Worcester. … Ken Appleby picked up the win in net. The Thunder scored three times on their five shots, once on their next 24. … Adirondack has picked up at least one point in 10 straight games. … Attendance was 2,873. … The Shrewsbury High women’s hockey team was recognized for winning a state title in that sport.
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