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Railers Blow the Doors Off Royals 7-3 in Reading

Friday, March 22nd
Railers Blow the Doors Off Royals 7-3 in Reading

Worcester Railers HC vs. Reading Royals 

March 22nd, 2024 

Santander Arena 

Meeting 7 of 9 vs. Reading this season 

Railers are 3-2-1-1 vs. the Royals this season 

Railers Blow the Doors Off Royals 7-3 in Reading 

Pivonka, Howdeshell, and White each score twice

Reading, PA– The Worcester Railers HC (26-28-4-3, 59pts) beat the Reading Royals (25-30-5-2, 57pts) on Friday evening by the final score of 7-3 in front of a crowd of 3,231 at Santander Arena. The Railers play in Reading again on Saturday, March 23rd at 7:00pm. 

Worcester’s Jake Pivonka (2-0-2) tallied the first goal of the game to put Worcester ahead 1-0. Reading followed up with a goal from Devon Paliani (1-0-1) late in the first to tie things heading into the second. Worcester’s Andrei Bakanov (1-0-1) and Keeghan Howdeshell (2-0-2) each tallied goals 3:14 apart early in the second to give Worcester a 3-1 advantage heading into the third. Howdeshell followed up with another in the third, accompanied by Pivonka and two from Zach White (2-0-2) while Reading found goals from Tyler Gratton (1-1-2) and Jake Smith (1-1-2). Tikkanen made 25 saves and grabbed his fourth straight win for Worcester in his first game back since January as the Railers won 7-3 on Friday night.  

Jake Pivonka (18th) extended his team lead in goals midway through the first. Ashton Calder took a shot from the near side while Pivonka grabbed the rebound in front and shot it past Anson Thornton in net for Reading to make it 1-0 Railers. Henrik Tikkanen made several acrobatic saves to keep Reading off the board early in the game and allow the Railers to grab their early lead. Reading bit back before the end of the first with a tip in front from Devon Paliani (15th) with 42.1 seconds left. Worcester was tied 1-1, getting outshot 13-12 going into the second.  

There were two more goals in the second period, each scored by Worcester. Jack Quinlivan intercepted a puck in the attacking zone and dished it to Andrei Bakanov (11th) who sniped it top shelf to put Worcester ahead 2-1. Keeghan Howdeshell (7th) followed it up with his first of the night, burying a feed from Brendan Robbins past Thornton to make it 3-1 Worcester. The Railers dominated the game in the second, outshooting Reading 16-8.  

There were five goals scored between the two teams across the first 3:56 of the third period. First it was Howdeshell (8th) scoring his second of the evening off assists from Jack Quinlivan and Zsombor Garat. Tyler Gratton (1st) scored 17 seconds later in his professional debut on a one-timer to make it 4-2 Worcester. Pivonka (19th) then sent a shot past Thornton to push Worcester’s advantage back to three. Jake Smith (15th) followed up for Reading just 12 seconds after Pivonka’s second of the night to close the gap back to two. Zach White (9th) scored his first of the night 28 seconds after Smith to give the Railers back their three-goal lead. Worcester locked down across the rest of the third. Zach White (10th) scored a short-handed goal off a collision with a Royal at center ice to break him free with 4:13 left in regulation, as the Railers went on to win 7-3 to open the weekend in Reading.  

Notes: 

Three Stars: 3rd Star: Jake Pivonka (2-0-2, +1, 3 shots), 2nd Star: Tyson Fawcett (0-0-0, +0, 0 shots), 1st Star: Zach White (2-0-2, SHG, +2, 7 shots)… Final shots were 46-28 in favor of Worcester...  Anson Thornton (2-6-8-0) made 39 saves on 46 shots for Reading… Henrik Tikkanen (7-5-1-1) made 25 saves on 28 shots for Worcester, while John Muse served as the backup… Worcester went 0-for-2 on the power play while Reading went 0-for-2… Riley Piercey (DNP), Mason Klee (DNP), Joey Cipollone (DNP), Ryan Dickinson (IR), Anthony Repaci (IR), Ryan Verrier (IR), Tristan Lennox (IR), and John Copeland (IR) did not dress for Worcester… Seven goals is the most goals scored by the Railers in a game all season long... Howdeshell scored two goals in the same game for the first time since January 28th, 2023, with the Kansas City Mavericks against the Wheeling Nailers (6-2L)... White scored two goals in the same game for the first time since March 11th, 2023 with the Iowa Heartlanders against the Kalamazoo Wings (5-3W)... Pivonka has now scored two goals in a game three times this season... Michael Gildon and CJ Regula each made their professional debuts for the Railers in the win... Anthony Callin led the Railers in shots with 9. 

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