https://railershc.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/03.05.2023CB-35-scaled.jpg 1707 2560 admin /_media/2021-22/logo.png admin2023-03-05 18:11:182023-03-05 18:11:28Railers Blanked by Mariners 1-0 to Wrap Up Three-in-Three
By Bill Ballou
PORTLAND, Maine – In close hockey games it is all about the bounces.
In this one, it was all about The Bounce.
It was off Maine Mariners defenseman Fedor Gordeev at 14:39 of the second period and was the only goal of the afternoon as Maine beat Worcester, 1-0.
It was the first 1-0 defeat in Railers history.
Goalie Ken Appleby had made the initial save on Grant Gabriele’s shot from the point. The puck went directly to Gordeev and then back past Appleby, one way or another.
Worcester thought the puck was kicked in and asked referee Dominic Cadieux to review it but he declined. At game’s end, Railers coach Jordan Smotherman communicated his thoughts to Cadieux as he walked off the ice, though at a distance.
“I struggle with the fact that we have the ability to review goals in this league and we won’t do it,” Smotherman said. “Our goalie and our defenseman in front say it’s a kicked-in goal, and (Cadieux) comes over and says that he’s 100 percent certain it wasn’t.
“I struggle with the concept if we have the ability to use it, why don’t we and make sure we get it 100 percent right.”
It was a shame that the Maine goal was flukey because Appleby played as well as he has ever played in a Railers uniform. He would stopped 37 of 38 Maine shots and the Mariners are a team that can pile up goals in Cross Arena as Worcester teams have seen in the past.
The first period was pretty evenly played and the 0-0 score reflected that. The Railers had a 13-11 edge in shots on goal and came the closest to scoring when Max Johnson hit the far post with a shot from down low on the left wing.
That happened at 17:50 with Worcester on a power play.
The Mariners did not hit any posts but had good chances that Appleby rejected. Maine created a lot of offense around the 7:45 mark, and Appleby made a splendid standup save with his glove on Patrick Shea’s breakaway at 9:32.
Maine had much the better of things in the second period when it finally broke through Appleby, and it was on that bad-bounce goal, which came on a power play. It snapped Worcester’s mini-streak of five games without allowing a power play goal. The Railers killed eight penalties in that span.
Worcester had chances to tie it late in third period but Maine goaltender Francois Brassard, who improved to 4-0-0 lifetime versus the Railers, made two fabulous saves. One was on Nick Fea coming in alone down the slot at 14:00. The other was at 18:47 when Myles McGurty had a half-open net from in close and Brassard dove across to make the stop.
Playing their third game of the weekend, the Railers never let the explosive Mariners dominate things offensively.
“They didn’t give them a lot of room to breathe,” Smotherman said of his team, “and I’m really proud of the way they were able to do that.”
MAKING TRACKS – Bobby Butler, Jacob Hayhurst and Jared Brandt were not in the Railers lineup. Conor Breen, Chris Ordoobadi and Zach Bross were. It was Bross’ first game since Feb. 7. … Hayhurst needed a day off after his record-setting performance Saturday night. He was credited with 12 shots on goal. That set a Railers record and tied a Worcester pro record. Nic Pierog had 11 shots for the Railers on Feb. 23, 2020. The pro record of 12 was set 23 years ago by Jim Campbell, who had 12 for the IceCats on Feb. 5, 2000. … For the fifth straight game Worcester had Cadieux as referee. … Maine captain Connor Doherty, an Original Railer, has already set a career high for goals with three this season. He had two in three years with Worcester. … The Railers play two games next weekend at the DCU Center, Friday against Adirondack and Sunday versus Maine. … Worcester was shut out for the second time this season. The Railers lost at Adirondack, 7-0, last Dec. 23.