https://railershc.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/thumbnail_1EDIT_RL49728-RICH-LEBLANC.jpg 853 1280 admin /_media/2021-22/logo.png admin2023-03-18 23:26:142023-03-18 23:26:59Two Coughlin Goals Not Enough as Railers Lose 6-4
Two Coughlin Goals Not Enough as Railers Lose 6-4
By Bill Ballou
WORCESTER – The Railers were beaten by the Maine Mariners Saturday night, 6-4, and while it was disappointing loss the night was not a total loss as the Adirondack Thunder dropped a shootout game in Newfoundland.
That cut Worcester’s magic number for clinching a playoff berth by one but the way things started at the DCU Center, it could have been more.
The Railers came roaring out of the gate in the first period and took a 3-1 lead into the second. Then the Mariners took over, scoring four unanswered goals.
The basics were this:
Jacob Hayhurst, Andrei Bakanov and Liam Coughlin had first period goals for Worcester while Austin Albrecht scored for the Mariners. Worcester’s 17-10 edge in shots on goal reflected the tenor of the period.
Alex Kile, Chase Zieky and Carter Johnson scored for Maine in the second as the Mariners took a 4-3 lead into the final 20 minutes. Tyler Hinam made it 5-3 at 8:11 but the Railers got some life on Coughlin’s second goal of the night at 16:36.
Alas, Coughlin was called for elbowing Connor Doherty at 17:09 and Nick Master converted the power play chance for Maine.
After that 17-10 edge in shots in the first period, Worcester was outshot by 31-17 the rest of the way.
“We didn’t manage the puck,” coach Jordan Smotherman said. “We just decided we weren’t going to play the game….We did all the things we talked about not wanting to do before the game. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
Coughlin has scored five goals in these two games versus Maine but his elbowing penalty on Connor Doherty was untimely at the very least.
“I only saw it on the replay on the board,” Smotherman said. “A guy who’s known for embellishing a little bit takes a rub in the face and the penalties are like 9 to 2 in the game. There should be a little clock management involved.”
The Railers, the league’s least penalized time, have spent a lot of time in the penalty box the last two nights as the Mariners have had 11 power plays.
Zieky, who has been very hot against Worcester in recent games, was 1-2-3 for Maine. Nolan Vesey and Bobby Butler both had two assists for the Railers while Ken Appleby made 35 saves, Michael DiPietro 30 for the Mariners.
The teams play again Sunday afternoon in Maine and Worcester needs to play the way it did up there Friday night.
“Three in threes can go either way,” Smotherman said, “but if we go out and play the way we’re supposed to play we should, we can give ourselves a chance to win, but we can’t lay an egg like we did tonight.”
About the magic number to clinch a playoff spot.
The Railers have 65 points and 11 games left. The Thunder has 58 and 12 games left.
Adirondack can finish with 82 points at the most. The Railers have 65, so need 18 more to clinch. That can come in the way of points they achieve, or points the Thunder don’t get. The first tiebreaker is most wins and Worcester has seven more than Adirondack at this point
Since the teams play either other eight times in the season’s last 10 games, if the Thunder picks up seven wins most of them will be at the Railers’ expense. That would not bode well for Worcester’s post-season hopes.
MAKING TRACKS – Coughlin is just the second Railers player to have five goals in back to back games. Shane Walsh did it in December of 2019. … Smotherman went with the same lineup as Friday night. Again, it did not include Anthony Repaci who has gone home for a death in the family. … The Railers wore Boston basketball themed jerseys which seemed to please the crowd, which was a good one at 5,121. That was tied for the seventh best of the season along with the same number on Feb. 11. … Anthony Callin picked up his first pro point via an assist on Coughlin’s first goal. … Bakanov’s goal was his first since Feb. 17 and his first ever at the DCU Center. … The victory gave Maine the VIP Tires & Service Rivalry Cup. … The Mariners are 19-9-2 on the road this season.