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Mariners Rally Late to Beat Railers 4-2

Sunday, January 7th
Mariners Rally Late to Beat Railers 4-2

By Bill Ballou

PORTLAND, Maine – The skate was on the other foot here Sunday afternoon, much to the Railers’ dismay.

After spending a lot of the first part of this season crafting miraculous comebacks, Worcester had it happen in reverse, losing to the Maine Mariners, 4-2.

The Railers squandered a 2-1 lead as they allowed two goals by Alex Kile in the game’s closing minutes, then an empty-netter by Curtis Hall at 19:59.

Kile’s goals were his 19th and 20th of the season. The tying goal came with Maine on a power play at 17:09 of the third period. The winner was a 5 on 5 shot through a screen from about 55 feet at 19:33. It came after a Railers’ mistake, an errant pass that led to an icing call and a faceoff in their own end.

Joey Cipollone and Anthony Callin scored the Worcester goals. Owen Pederson had the first Maine goal.

John Muse stopped 25 of 28 Maine shots. Brad Arvanitis was excellent for the Mariners with 34 saves.

Worcester had a chance to put things out of reach earlier in the third period but could not capitalize on more than three straight minutes of power play time, much of it skating 5 on 3.

The first period was a real trip for the Railers, but in the worst way.

Referee Michael Zyla did not call a penalty and missed a blatant trip that took down a Worcester player and it cost the Railers a goal. It happened at 11:12, or just before that, as Riley Piercey controlled the puck along the right wing boards in the Worcester zone.

As Piercey began to move out he was tripped. The puck wound up on Pederson’s stick. He carried it into the slot and popped a high backhander past Muse.

Otherwise, Muse and Arvanitis were equal to the task to make 18 combined saves.

It took Worcester a while to tie the game but Cipollone finally did at 5:02 of the second period. He entered the Maine zone with Piercey on his right and one Maine defender between them. Cipollone took the puck in deep and his wrist shot broke through Arvanitis to make it 1-1.

Worcester made it 2-1 about seven minutes later on Callin’s power play goal. He was set up by Blade Jenkins and zipped a 40-foot wrist shot just under the crossbar for the go ahead goal. The goal snapped an 11-game drought without one for Callin, although he had seven assists in that time.

Jenkins continued a very productive run of games with the assist. He is 2-9-11 in the last eight.

The Railers’ next game is Friday night at the DCU Center, the first in a three-in-three versus the Norfolk Admirals. Worcester and Norfolk are likely to jockey for playoff position for the rest of the season and the Admirals have been leading the series to date, winning four of the five meetings.

MAKING TRACKS – Defenseman Artyom Kulakov did not make the trip. The Railers used 11 forwards and five defensemen, Brendan Robbins being one of the defensemen, Nick Pennucci being one of the forwards. … Worcester does not play the Mariners again until Feb. 9 and does not return to Maine until March 5. … Kaden Fulcher dressed as Muse’s backup … Anthony Repaci’s quest to pass Barry Almeida as the Railers’ all-time leading goal scorer needs at least one more game. He nicked a crossbar Sunday but did not score so still has 60. Overall, Repaci is (5-5-10) in the last eight games. … Through the years, Worcester is 15-27-3 in the third game of 3 in 3s.

#RailersHC

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