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Worcester Falls 4-0 to Solar Bears on Thursday Night

Thursday, February 15th
Worcester Falls 4-0 to Solar Bears on Thursday Night

Worcester Railers HC vs. Orlando Solar Bears

February 15th, 2024

Kia Center

Meeting 2 of 3 vs. Orlando this season

Railers are 0-2-0-0 vs. the Solar Bears this season

Worcester Falls 4-0 to Solar Bears on Thursday Night

Zsombor Garat returns from injured reserve

Orlando, FL – The Worcester Railers HC (21-20-4-2, 48pts) got shutout by the Orlando Solar Bears (24-16-6-2, 56pts), on Thursday night by the final score of 4-0 in front of 5,684 fans at the Kia Center. The Railers will be back in action at the Kia Center for the final time against the Solar Bears on Monday, February 19th, at 12:00pm.

Orlando struck first with two quick goals late in the first period from Mitchell Hoelscher (1-1-2) and Alex Frye (1-0-1). Tanner Schachle (1-0-1) added one more in the second to push Orlando ahead 3-0 going into the third. Jimmy Mazza (1-0-1) ripped a shot down-ice off of the draw in the third period into an empty net to give Orlando the final goal of the game and a 4-0 victory over Worcester.

The Railers started off the first period strong. During the first ten minutes, the Railers utilized a two-man forecheck which led to some great chances down low and keeping both the puck in their offensive zone and the tired Solar Bear players on the ice. Despite their efforts early, the Solar Bears would light the lamp first. A shot from the point by defenseman Zachary Massicotte was initially blocked out in front but found its way to an open Mitchell Hoelscher (22nd) who was sitting on the doorstep. The Solar Bears piled on the goal scoring just two minutes later with a 2-on-1 rush. Hoelscher would drag Railers Defenseman Ryan Dickinson to the far side boards to allow Forward Alex Frye (10th) to capitalize on the doorstep with a backhand shot to beat the outstretched John Muse. The Solar Bears outshot the Railers, 12-6.

The second period was a quiet one for the Railers. They would lead the period with shots on goal but none would result in a goal. The Railers had some great opportunities on their first power play of the game late in the period and built some strong momentum for them to carry into the third. However, the Solar Bears would continue to deal damage to the Railers with another late-period goal. Solar Bear forward Tyler Bird would enter the Railers defensive zone from the far side and send a quick pass to the high slot. The puck bounced to forward Tanner Schachle (2nd) who picked up the loose puck and backhanded a shot through Muse. The Railers led the period and game with shots on goal 14-5 and 20-17.

The third period provided a mix of chances and physicality from both sides. John Muse did a great job shutting down an odd-man rush and breakaway opportunity just a few minutes into the period. Shortly after, the Railers would get their chances on net during their powerplay chance. Tension throughout the game built up to the point where Railers Forward Jack Quinlivan dropped the gloves against Solar Bear Defenseman Jérémie Biakabutuka. The game was capped off with an empty net goal scored by Solar Bear Defenseman Jimmy Mazza with a final score of 4-0 in favor of Orlando. The Railers outshot the Solar Bears in the third and in the game, 16-8 and 36-25.

Notes:

Three Stars: 3rd Star: Darik Angeli (0-2-2, +2, 2 shots) 2nd Star: Mitchell Hoelscher (1-1-2, +2, 2 shots) 1st Star: Brandon Halverson (36 saves, 0GA, 1.000 SV%)... Final shots were 36-25 in favor of Worcester... Brandon Halverson (12-8-3-1) made 36 saves on 36 shots for Orlando… John Muse (9-4-1) made 21 saves on 24 shots for Worcester, while Cole Ceci served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-2 on the power play while Orlando went 0-for-1… Andrei Bakanov (DNP), Todd Goehring (DNP), Tristan Lennox (IR), Zsombor Garat (IR), and John Copeland (IR) did not dress for Worcester… Anthony Repaci led the Railers in shots with 8. 

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