Worcester Railers vs. Fort Wayne Komets
January 21st, 2024
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum
Meeting 3 of 3 vs. Fort Wayne this season
Railers are 1-2-0-0 vs. the Komets this season
Worcester Comeback Falls Short in Fort Wayne
Railers score two unanswered in the third
Fort Wayne, IN – The Worcester Railers HC (17-16-3-2, 39pts) fall short despite late-game efforts to the Fort Wayne Komets (20-16-1-3, 44pts), on Sunday afternoon by the final score of 5-3 in front of 7,521 fans at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. The Railers will be back home at the DCU Center for Women in Hockey Night on Friday, January 26th, against the Norfolk Admirals.
The Railers started off the game great by applying pressure on the forecheck and kept the puck in the offensive zone which led to a Railers power play and some good chances out in front. After Worcester failed to convert on the man-advantage, the Komets got a fortunate bounce going the other way. Cormier quickly jumped on an odd-man rush with Forward Ethan Keppen (9th). Cormier connected cross-ice with Keppen who then slammed it home for his first of the period. Late in the first, the Railers failed to enter the zone when Komets Defenseman Carl Berglund picked up the loose puck on the right side as it turned into another rush for the Komets. Keppen ripped it along the right-wing side and beat Boyko over his shoulder to make it a 2-0 Komets lead going into the second. The period ended with 29 total shots with Fort Wayne owning the advantage 15-14.
The Railers would answer quickly after the intermission with a great breakout from their zone. Railers Defenseman Brendan Robbins fired a pass to the right side to Jack Quinlivan and slid a backdoor pass to an open Keegan Howdeshell who tapped it in for the goal to cut the deficit in half. The Komets responded with a goal of their own with a heavy forecheck. Forward Nolan Volcan grabbed the puck at the top of the circle and found Xavier Cormier (7th) open in the high slot. Cormier fired a shot, collected his own rebound, then finished past Boyko to put Fort Wayne up 3-1. The Komets ended the period with two more, as Alexis D'Aoust (14th) and Carl Berglund (7th) both would score to make it 5-1 Komets going into the third.
The Railers had a resurgence in the third period. Ryan Verrier sent a blast toward Parks from the top of the point after receiving a low-to-high pass from Anthony Callin (7th). From when Callin passed the puck to Verrier winding up on a slap shot, he perfectly timed a screen out in front of Parks and deflected it past Parks on his high glove side. Railers kept the ball rolling with more net-front presence and low-to-high play. This time Connor Welsh snapped a shot on net that Anthony Repaci (12th) redirected past Parks’ high glove side again. The Railers were unable to capitalize on any other opportunities as the game ended with a final score of 5-3 Komets. The Railers outshot the Komets in the third 16-9. The Komets led the game with shots on goal, 41-39.
Third Star: Xavier Cormier (1-1-2, +2, 2 shots), Second Star: Carl Berglund (1-1-2, +2, 5 shots), First Star: Ethan Keppen (2-0-2, +2, 5 shots)… Tyler Parks (13-7-0-2) made 36 saves on 39 shots for Fort Wayne… Josh Boyko (0-3-0) made 36 saves on 41 shots for Worcester, while John Muse served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-4 on the power play while Fort Wayne went 0-for-2… Artyom Kulakov (SUS), Jake Pivonka (DNP), Todd Goehring (IR) and Christian Krygier (IR) did not dress for Worcester… Keeghan Howdeshell led the Railers in shots with 7.