1. Home
  2. News
  3. Railers Take Weekend Opener 5-2 Over Newfoundland

Railers Take Weekend Opener 5-2 Over Newfoundland

Wednesday, March 27th
Railers Take Weekend Opener 5-2 Over Newfoundland

By Bill Ballou

WORCESTER – They have skated and sweated like everyone wearing a Railers jersey but the rewards have been hard to come by for Keeghan Howdeshell, Joey Cipollone and Zach White this season.

It turns out they were buried treasure.

The trio had a game for the ages here Wednesday night as Worcester came from behind to beat the Newfoundland Growlers, 5-2. The victory, along with Trois-Rivieres’ triumph over Reading, created a three-way tie for third place in the North Division.

Worcester, Newfoundland and Trois Rivieres all have 64 points. Maine has 63 points, but two games in hand on everyone else.

All the Railers can control is how many points they accumulate. They have been accumulating a lot lately. Worcester has earned seven points in its last four games via three victories and an overtime loss.

Howdeshell, White and Cipollone combined for three goals and five assists. White was 2-1-3, Cipollone 0-3-3 and Howdeshell 1-1-2. White’s assist was a pass to Blade Jenkins — back from Hartford to help out during the homestand — for an empty net goal at 17:56.

No one would have blamed White for going for the hat trick with a two-goal lead.

“We’ve really had a good jump in our secondary scoring over the last three or four games,” coach Jordan Smotherman said. “They’ve stepped up and played really good hockey. Keeghan Howdeshell, when he plays heavy like that, he’s so strong on the puck and he can really fire it.”

Howdeshell’s timing was key in this game.

Worcester trailed after two periods, 2-1, and were denied on some great chances by rookie goaltender Vyacheslav Peksa. One of those chances was a 2-on-0 by Jenkins and Howdeshell in the first period, Peksa stopping Howdeshell in close.

Rookie C.J. Regula tied the game at 4:52 of the third period with his first pro goal. Howdeshell set him up with some hard work and a nice pass out of the left corner.

Howdeshell then broke the tie at 13:49 with one of those round-the-world plays that usually look good but produce nothing. This time, Howdeshell caught Peska cheating and put a 25-footer over his right shoulder.

“Either when I run out of room or have a wide-open shot like that one,” Howdeshell said of his decision making process on a play like that. “At first I saw (Ashton Calder) back door and as soon as I saw (Peksa) move over, I told myself — you’ve got to take this shot.”

White scored on a breakaway a 16:01, set up by Cipollone’s flip from his own zone. White’s first goal tied the game at 1-1 at 10:34 of the second period. He was in the clear after a pass from Brendan Robbins and beat Peksa from the bottom of the left circle.

White has scored six goals in his last 10 games. He scored six in his first 42.

Henrik Tikkanen got the victory in net with a strong outing. He made 33 saves to post his sixth straight victory, a new Railers record in that department for the same season. Tikkanen had a five-game streak in the fall of 2022. Mitch Gillam finished the 2017-18 season with five in a row, then won two straight to open 2018-19.

The two teams meet again here Friday night in a game that looks like it will have playoff implications for one of them.

MAKING TRACKS – Anthony Callin played in his 72nd career ECHL game, the equivalent of a full season. He was (14-37-51 with 32 PIM and minus-1) in those games. … Newly signed rookies Mason Klee, Austin Heidemann and Regula made their DCU Center debuts. … The Railers killed their only penalty and are 27 for 29 in their last 11 games. … Worcester improved to 73-15-9 all-time when it has a multi-goal scorer. … Attendance was 1,617.


Latest News

More News
Railers Fall to Lions 4-0, Miss Playoffs
Railers Fall to Lions 4-0, Miss Playoffs
Railers Fall to Lions 2-0 On Saturday
Railers Fall to Lions 2-0 On Saturday
Railers Come From Behind Twice in 3-2 Win Over Lions
Railers Come From Behind Twice in 3-2 Win Over Lions

Get Hockey Updates

Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about news and upcoming games!