1. Home
  2. News
  3. Railers Sink Mariners 6-3 on Christmas Eve Eve

Railers Sink Mariners 6-3 on Christmas Eve Eve

Saturday, December 23rd
Railers Sink Mariners 6-3 on Christmas Eve Eve

By Bill Ballou

WORCESTER – It is generally not a good omen when, less than four minutes into a game, your team has fewer shots on goal than the opposition has shots in goal.

Saturday night was different in a lot of ways for the Railers as they bounced back from that early 2-0 deficit to beat the Maine Mariners, 6-3.

Worcester had not scored six goals in a game this season before Saturday night. It was the Railers’ first such explosion since they beat Adirondack, 6-2, last April 8.

Eleven different Railers were named on the scoresheet. That group was led by Ashton Calder with three assists, rookie Daylan Kuefler with two goals, Jake Pivonka and Anthony Repaci with one of each and Joey Cipollone with two assists.

Keeghan Howdeshell and Trevor Cosgrove each had a goal. Ryan Verrier, Blade Jenkins, Riley Piercey and Anthony Callin all had assists. Defenseman Connor Welsh didn’t get a point but was plus-3.

Verrier has three assists in the last four games after no points in the first 19. Cipollone was 0-1-1 in his first 15 games and is 2-3-5 in the last six and Repaci has a goal in five of the last six games.

Henrik Tikkanen stopped 21 shots to improve his career record versus Maine to 4-2-0.

The Railers scored four of their goals in the third period, two of them by Kuefler playing in his fourth professional game. He made the score 3-3 at 4:44 with a quick 15-footer from between the circles. Kuefler made it a 5-3 game at 12:44, beating Maine goalie Shane Starrett from the bottom of the left circle after taking a pass from Calder.

Kuefler is a highly regarded prospect who missed the start of this season with an injury.

“It was a long break between games,” he said,  “a lot of rehab in the gym and getting back into game shape. It’s the competiveness that you sart to miss a little bit when you’re not playing, but every game it’s gotten a little closer and I just have to keep building off it.”

For the record, Kuefler got the keep the puck from his first pro goal. The second one? That’s just another piece of vulcanized rubber.

One thing coach Jordan Smotherman notices about Kuefler is that he is coachable.

“He’s a really smart hockey player,” Smotherman said. “He’s clearly had some really good coaching in his past. He came in and he was able to fit into the way we want to play right away.  You can see him making adjustments out there with his direction on the ice. 

“He knew where he was supposed to go and when he was supposed to go there. He’s a really bright hockey player.”

Maine got goals from Brooklyn Kalminov and Alex Kile in the game’s first 3:23 but the Railers seemed unfazed. Pivonka made it 2-1 at 16:52 as he dove after a loose puck that got behind Starrett after a shot by Calder.

Kalmikov got the Mariners’ two-goal lead back at 4:32 of the second period, then Howdeshell cut the gap to 3-2 at 16:56. He tipped Piercey’s shot up and over Starrett’s glove.

In the third period it was Kuefler, Repaci, Kuefler and Cosgrove in that order. Cosgrove’s was into an empty net.

The result produced back to back victories for Worcester. It is just the second time this season it has done that and the first time on home ice. So, as they head into Christmas break, it’s a wonderful life for the Railers.

MAKING TRACKS – Before the game the Railers released defenseman Jake Schultz, who had been an alternate captain. He became eligible for waivers. “Just not a good fit,” Smotherman said of the move. Schultz played in 15 games for Worcester and went 0-1-1 with 25 PIM. He was a minus-1. ... Attendance was 3,233. That pushed the team’s all-time total at the DCU Center to over 750,000 — 750,103 to be exact. … It was Tikkanen’s 50th game in a Railers uniform. He is the fourth goalie to play that many, joining Mitch Gillam, Evan Buitenhuis and Ken Appleby. … Worcester’s next game is Wednesday. It is also versus Maine, also at the DCU Center, and also a 5:05 p.m. faceoff. … There were two ex-Railers in the Maine lineup. They were Jimmy Lambert and Jeff Solow. Connor Doherty had the day off. … Conor Breen from last year’s Railers was at the game. So was New England goaltending legend Cap Raeder, who worked with Worcester goalies when the Sharks were in town.

#RailersHC

Upcoming Home Games

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

Latest News

More News
Railers Announce Protected List for 2024-25 Season
Railers Announce Protected List for 2024-25 Season
Worcester Railers Named Community Service Team of the Year Award Finalist for Sixth Straight Season
Worcester Railers Named Community Service Team of the Year Award Finalist for Sixth Straight Season
SAVE THE DATE: Railers Opening Night Announced for October 19th
SAVE THE DATE: Railers Opening Night Announced for October 19th

Get Hockey Updates

Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about news and upcoming games!