Playoff Primer – March 21, 2022
Playoff Primer – March 21, 2022
Railers are currently in third place with 15 games remaining
WORCESTER, Mass. – The Worcester Railers Hockey Club (@RailersHC ), proud ECHL (@ECHL) affiliate of the New York Islanders (@NYIslanders), currently have 15 games remaining on the 2021-22 regular season schedule and hold the third spot in the North Division with the top four teams advancing to the playoff. The Railers will play 12 of their final 15 games on the road including a five in six stretch on the road beginning Tuesday night in Reading.
NORTH DIVISION STANDINGS
GR vs. OPP
- Reading Royals (15 GR, 34-14-6-2, 0.679) 3X (3 away)
- Newfoundland Growlers (13 GR, 34-17-3-0, 0.657) 3X (3 away)
- Worcester Railers (15 GR, 27-23-4-2, 0.536)
- Trois-Rivières Lions (16 GR, 25-24-3-1, 0.509) 5X (3 away / 2 home)
- Maine Mariners (14 GR, 26-26-4-2, 0.500) 1X (1 home)
- Adirondack Thunder (13 GR, 25-31-2-0, 0.448) 3X (3 away)
LAST WEEK’S GAMES (3-1-0-0)
Wednesday, Mar. 16 Worcester (4) at Trois-Rivières Lions (3) Box Score Highlights
Friday, Mar. 18 Worcester (3) vs. South Carolina (0) Box Score Highlights
Saturday, Mar. 19 Worcester (4) vs. Newfoundland (3) Box Score Highlights
Sunday, Mar. 20 Worcester (2) vs. Newfoundland (3) Box Score Highlights
THIS WEEK’S GAMES
Tuesday, Mar. 22 at Reading 7pm
Wednesday, Mar. 23 at Reading 7pm
Friday, Mar. 25 at Adirondack 7pm
Saturday, Mar. 26 at Adirondack 7pm
Sunday, Mar. 27 at Reading 3pm
5X – Trois-Rivières (3 away / 2 home)
3X – Newfoundland Growlers (3 away)
3X – Reading Royals (3 away)
3X – Adirondack Thunder (3 away)
1X – Maine Mariners (1 home)
#8 Bobby Butler has (2-7-9) in nine games this season.
#10 Blake Christensen has a four-game point streak (5-3-8) and points in seven of his last 11 games (9-4-13).
#14 Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman recorded his second hat trick of the season on Saturday night coming in the second period and now ranks second in the ECHL with 28 goals and leads the Railers with 47 points. The 16th year pro played in his 900th professional game last Wednesday.
#16 Jacob Hayhurst has points in five of his last seven games (3-3-6).
#18 Reece Newkirk has points in nine of his last 12 games (6-8-14).
#86 Mitchell Balmas has a three-game point streak (2-2-4) and recorded a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” on Saturday night celebrating his 24th birthday.
#35 Ken Appleby has won his last three starts in net.
MILITARY APPRECIATION NIGHT
On Saturday night the Railers hosted Military Appreciation Night presented by Berkshire Bank in front of a crowd of 8,774, the third largest in franchise history. The Railers trailed 2-0 heading into the third period but Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman scored a natural hat trick in a 8:26 stretch to put Worcester ahead 3-2. Mitchell Balmas completed the “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” with the eventual game winner 2:08 into the third period for a 4-3 win.
DID SOMEONE SAY SHUTOUT!?
On Friday night in his 31st professional games, 24th ECHL game, rookie goaltender Colten Ellis recorded his first professional shutout making 23 saves in a 3-0 win over South Carolina Stingrays. The shutout was the first in Railers shutout in 94 games when Evan Buitenhuis made 28 saves in a 2-0 win at Brampton on Dec. 4, 2019. It was also the first shutout on home ice for Worcester since Mitch Gillam shutout Adirondack on March 28, 2018 2-0 making 27 saves.
GOAL SCORING AT A PREMIUM
The Railers currently rank 6th in goals for this year averaging (3.50) per game. Worcester has scored 4 or more goals in four of their last six games and in 12 of their last 18 games outscoring their opponents 69-53 during that span with a record of (10-4-3-1) dating back to Feb. 12. There are currently eight different players who have recorded double digits in goals this season; Lavallee-Smotherman (28), Olsson (19), Repaci (18), Christensen (17), Beaudoin/Hayhurst (13), Vesey (12), and Coskey (10). The Railers had 10 different players hit double digit goals back during the 2017-18 season. Three players have at least 40 points; Lavallee-Smotherman (47), Repaci (43), and Hayhurst (42), which is the first time in franchise history the Railers have had at least three players hit the 40-point plateau.
Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman’s hat trick on Saturday night was his second of the season, the fourth of the year. Ross Olsson has the other two this season for Worcester (11/26 + 2/26). Heading into the 2021-22 regular season the Railers had just three hat tricks in franchise history over the first three seasons. Mitchell Balmas recorded the club’s third “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” of the season joining Ross Olsson (11/26) and Chris Ordoobadi (12/29) in that category.
Worcester collected their second straight road victory on Wednesday night and are currently (6-1-1-1) on the road dating back to Feb. 18. The Railers currently have 12 games left on the road which will come in their final 15 games including a five game six-day road stretch beginning next Tuesday night in Reading.
100 FOR COACH CUNNIFF
On Saturday night Railers General Manager/Head Coach David Cunniff coached in his 100th Railers game. Cunniff was named GM/HC on November 27, 2019 after serving as an assistant coach with the Hartford Wolfpack (AHL). Cunniff spent eight seasons with the Worcester Sharks as an assistant from 2006-14.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
On Sunday the Railers announced the addition of Max Newton (ECHL Contract) and Steve Jandric (ATO) out of Merrimack College. Newton wore number 21 on Sunday while Jandric wore 44 as both players made their pro debuts vs. the Growlers and finished the game tallying an assist each. Newton led Merrimack in scoring this season (35GP, 14-24-38) and finished second in Hockey East in points. Jandric finished second for the Warriors (34GP, 8-20-28). The two British Columbia natives played three seasons together at the University of Alaska Fairbanks from 2017-20.
Goals: Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman (28)
Assists: Jacob Hayhurst (29)
Points: Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman (47)
Plus/Minus: Nolan Vesey (+15)
PIMs: Ross Olsson (100)
PPGs: Ross Olsson (10)
SHGs: Jacob Hayhurst (2)
GWGs: Anthony Repaci (5)
Shots: Jordan Lavallee-Smotherman (179)
Wins: Colten Ellis (14)
GAA: Colten Ellis (2.91)
SV%: Colten Ellis / Ken Appleby (.914)
Full season memberships, mini-plans, and group tickets are on sale now by calling the Railers front office at 508-365-1750 or by visiting railershc.com. Listen to all Railers games live on 98.9 Nash ICON with coverage beginning 30 minutes before puck drop with Cam McGuire. Watch all games online for a small fee at FloHockey.tv.