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Ashton Calder's Five Goals Lifts Railers to 9-5 Win

Sunday, April 7th
Ashton Calder's Five Goals Lifts Railers to 9-5 Win

By Bill Ballou

WORCESTER – It is hard to separate the various histories that were made in the Railers’ 9-5 victory over Maine at the DCU Center Sunday afternoon but let’s give it a try.

The triumph came after Worcester had fallen behind, 4-1, early in the second period. No Railers team in a history that dates back to 2017-18 had ever even earned a point, let alone won a game, after trailing by three goals.

Five Worcester goals were scored by Ashton Calder. That set a Railers record, established an individual league high for the season and was the first five-goal performance by a Worcester player of any uniform since the IceCats’ John Carter scored five versus Cape Breton here on Jan. 4, 1995.

Do the math. It last happened 29 years ago.

Calder also had two assists for a seven-point day. That set a team record and tied the Worcester pro mark set by Jim Campbell of the IceCats on Dec. 28, 1999 in a 9-4 victory over Saint John. He had three goals and four assists.

Finally, the nine goals were the most ever in Railers history. They had scored eight four times before including Saturday night.

After taking two of three from the Mariners this weekend, Worcester is in position to win itself into the playoffs. The Railers play three games at Trois-Rivieres next weekend. Two victories and they are in. Worcester still has a chance to finish third, as well.

Maine has four games left, all versus first-place Adirondack.

Calder was plus-5, tying a Railers record. He has a four-game points streak during which he is 6-5-11. He has six goals in the last two games after enduring a stretch where he had six goals in 33 games.

“Basically,” Calder said, “I just play the game the right way whether that means I score or make plays. Lately my linemate (Jake Pivonka) has been hot shooting the puck so I try to find him a lot, and when I have a pass I’m a passer, when I have a shot I’m a shooter.

“I don’t try to think about it too much. I just play my game and go from there.”

As has happened throughout the season the Railers started slowly. That translated into a big early deficit and with the talented Brad Arvanitis in goal foe Maine, that deficit looked like Mt. Katahdin.

“I wasn’t thinking good thoughts,” coach Jordan Smotherman said of that bad beginning, “but we have a resilient group and they did not let down.”

The Railers argued that the Mariners’ fourth goal by Sebastian Vidmar was directed in off his skate. That was at 3:24. They lost the debate but Calder scored his second of the game at 5:10 and the mood changed.

“As soon as we scored the second goal everything on the bench shifted,” Smotherman said. “It got everybody’s attention. The shoulders all came back from a slouch.”

Calder made it 4-3 at 6:50 on what might have been the pass of the year from Joey Cipollone. Reece Newkirk tied it at 10:42 and Christian Krygier put Worcester ahead for good at 11:11. It was Krygier’s second goal of the season, first since opening night.

Calder got his fourth at 18:14 with the Railers on a power play.

Tyler Drevitch got Maine back on the board at 1:43 of the third period making it a one-goal with lots of time left. Calder got his fifth at 4:48, though, to restore some scoreboard space.

Brendan Robbins hit an empty net at 18:17 and Ryan Verrier got his fourth of the season at 18:37 to set the franchise record.

Henrik Tikkanen got the win with 22 saves on 27 shots. Arvanitis was replaced by Shane Starrett for the third period and he made two saves.

MAKING TRACKS – Calder’s five goals came on six shots. … Thirteen different Railers recorded points including Tikkanen, who assisted on Robbins’ goal. … Verrier was plus-4 and has scored in consecutive games for the first time this season. … Trevor Cosgrove is 4-3-7 in his last seven games, Anthony Callin is 3-5-8 and plus-7 in the last eight games, Newkirk is 6-5-11 in nine games since March 1. … Attendance was 4,867. … Worcester is 76-15-9 all-time when one of its players has a multi-goal game. … The Railers and their opponents have combined to score 44 goals in the last four games, 22 for each side.


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