By Bill Ballou
WORCESTER – The Railers fell to the Trois-Rivieres Lions by a 5-1 final on Saturday night at the DCU Center.
Saturday’s loss snapped the Railers’ seven game points streak. They were 6-0-1, earning 13 of a possible 14 points during that span. Any chance Worcester had of extending the streak disappeared during the last 91 seconds of the second period.
Trois-Rivieres turned a competitive 2-1 game into a 5-1 rout by scoring at 18:29, 19:17 and 19:54.
Miguel Tourigny had two goals to pace the Lions. Matthew Boucher, Charles-Antoine Paiement and John Parker-Jones had the other goals for the winners.
Blade Jenkins scored for Worcester. His goal 34 seconds into the second period tied the game at 1-1. Tourigny made it 2-1 at 7:12, then the Lions erupted at the end of it.
Josh Boyko made his Railers debut in net. With Worcester playing in Maine on Sunday afternoon, coach Jordan Smotherman was not about to have John Muse in goal for three games in less than 72 hours. That was also the case last weekend in Reading.
Boyko made it four different starting goalies in a span of six games and six different goaltenders for the season. He joined the team after beginning the season with the Macon Mayhem of the SPHL. Boyko was 3-11-3 there with a 3.47 goals-against average and .909 saves percentage.
He stopped 28 of 33 shots Saturday night. Boyko’s counterpart, Zachary Bouthillier, had a strong night with 33 saves. Bouthillier is 5-1-0 for the season and is 2-0-0 versus Worcester, allowing only two goals in the two games.
The game marked the return of Ross Olsson to the Worcester lineup after an absence of about 21 months. It was his 100th game as a Railer. His last game with Worcester before Saturday night was on March 20, 2022 at the DCU Center. Olsson wore Number 4 in this game as opposed to his more traditional Number 9.
That is currently assigned to Quinn Ryan.
Olsson said he felt fine after the game, comfortable on the ice, and will be available to play if and when the Railers need some help up front.
With Saturday behind them, the Railers headed north to take on the Maine Mariners in Portland Sunday. The Mariners are also playing their third game in less than 72 hours. Maine has been having a tough go of things for much of the season and lost to Adirondack at home Saturday night, 5-4, in overtime. That dropped the Mariners’ record to 10-13-5 including 3-6-3 in Portland.
Maine has been making roster moves to snap out of its funk and recently re-signed goalie Francois Brassard, who has a 4-2-0 lifetime record versus Worcester. Railers teams have a losing record in Portland at 7-13-4 overall but are 5-2-0 in their seven games at Cross Insurance Arena.
MAKING TRACKS – The goal originally credited to Brendan Robbins Friday night was changed to Daylan Kuefler. The puck hit off Kuefler and deflected into the net. Robbins has been thriving since his move to defense. The Railers almost have 3 1/2 forwards when he is on the ice. … Nick Pennucci, Christian Krygier, Ryan, Todd Goehring and Jack Quinlivan were the Railers’ inactive skaters. … Worcester’s power play streak ended at six games in a row. The Railers were 0 for 4 Saturday. … Attendance was 3,901.