Worcester Railers HC vs. Fort Wayne Komets
January 20th, 2024
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Meeting 2 of 3 vs. Fort Wayne this season
Railers are 1-1-0-0 vs. the Komets this season
Railers Stun Komets 4-3 in a Shootout
John Muse makes seven out of seven saves in the shootout
Fort Wayne, IN – The Worcester Railers HC (17-15-3-2, 39pts) took down the Fort Wayne Komets (19-16-1-3, 42pts) on Saturday night in a shootout by the final score of 4-3 in front of a crowd of 9,747 at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Railers wrap up their three-in-three on the road against the Komets this Sunday, January 21st at 5:00pm.
Blade Jenkins (2-0-2) opened scoring for Worcester to give the Railers the early lead in the first before Nolan Volcan (1-0-1) scored a short-handed goal to tie things going into the second. The second period looked as though it was going to be a scoreless frame before Ture Linden (1-0-1) scored with just over three remaining in the period to put the Komets up 2-1 going into the third. Jack Dugan (1-1-2) extended Fort Wayne’s lead before Joey Cipollone () and Blade Jenkins tied things up for Worcester to force overtime. As neither team scored in the extra frame, a shootout was required. It took seven rounds until Jack Quinlivan scored in the bottom of the round to give Worcester the 4-3 shootout win on Saturday night.
Worcester came out firing in the first period, playing what would end up being one of their best first periods of play this season. Blade Jenkins (10th) worked a tip on a Ryan Verrier shot to put Worcester ahead 1-0 at the 5:58 mark of the frame. The Railers would slip on the power play, allowing Nolan Volcan (11th) to slip past the defense and throw a puck of the backside of John Muse into the net to tie the game shorthanded at 1-1 going into the second. Physicality was high in the first period, with multiple scrums playing out in front of both nets and in the end-boards after whistles. Shots in the first heavily favored Worcester, 14-6.
The physical play continued in the second, as was the theme for most of the period. The Komets began to get more shots on Muse in the second, finishing with 15 total in the frame. Late in the period, Ture Linden (17th) grabbed a rebound from the scrum in front which Muse dove for and patted it home around him to make it a 2-1 lead for Fort Wayne with 3:02 left in the second. Shots in the middle period favored Fort Wayne 15-7, and were tied across the game after two, 21-21.
Fort Wayne extended their lead in the third period thanks to Jack Dugan’s (10th) goal off a wrister from the slot to make it 3-1 Komets. The third period was Worcester’s from there. Joey Cipollone found the puck loose in the slot and skated it to the far side where he ripped it clean past Fanti to make it a 3-2 game. With John Muse pulled and the Komets ahead by one late in the game, the Railers worked their way into the attacking zone. Anthony Callin cut to the right wing through the defense and delivered a perfect cross-ice feed to Blade Jenkins (11th) who finished past Fanti to tie the game for the Railers and give them new life. Neither team scored across the remaining 1:41, as the game was headed into overtime.
Both teams exchanged a flurry of opportunities in the extra frame, as Fanti made four saves for the Komets while Muse made three for Worcester. Neither team broke through in overtime, meaning the game would be settled in a shootout.
The Komets shot first in the shootout. Shawn Szydlowski, Jack Dugan, Ethan De Jong, Matt Wedman, Carl Berglund, Xavier Cormier, and Ture Linden were all turned aside by John Muse. For Worcester, Keeghan Howdeshell, Blade Jenkins, Anthony Repaci, Connor Welsh, Anthony Callin, and Andrei Bakanov were all denied by Ryan Fanti. In the bottom of the seventh round, Jack Quinlivan had his turn in the shootout. He came in wide along the right-wing side, cut back across to the left, and skated in slowly as he then finished past Fanti to deliver Worcester their second shootout win of the season, and the extra point on the evening.
Three Stars: 3rd Star: Blade Jenkins (2-0-2, +2, 4 shots) 2nd Star: Jack Dugan (1-1-2, 3 shots), 1st Star: Jack Quinlivan (Shootout-winning-goal, 2 shots)… Final shots were 38-32 in favor of Worcester... Ryan Fanti (0-0-0-1) made 34 saves on 36 shots for Fort Wayne… John Muse (6-2-0) made 29 saves on 32 shots for Worcester, while Josh Boyko served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-4 on the power play while Fort Wayne went 0-for-1… Brian Bowen (DNP), Todd Goehring (IR) and Christian Krygier (IR) did not dress for Worcester… Joey Cipollone led the Railers in shots with 7.