Railers up Big Early But Fall Late in Newfoundland
Saint John's, NFLD - The Worcester Railers HC (6-13-1-0, 13pts) allowed six goals in the third period as they were defeated 7-5 by the Newfoundland Growlers (16-8-0-0, 32pts) on Friday evening in front of 2,849 fans at the Mile One Centre. The Railers will be back in action Saturday, Dec. 7 vs the Growlers in Newfoundland at 5:30pm eastern time.
Jordan Samuels Thomas (2-1-3) extended his point streak to four games as Bo Brauer, Nic Pierog, and Matt Schmalz scored for the Railers while Evan Buitenhuis made 33 saves in net recording the loss. The Growlers were led offensively by Giorgio Estephan (2-2-4), Mac Hollowell (1-2-3), and Aaron Luchuk (2-1-3) while Maksim Zhukov made 30 saves in net for his ninth win of the season. The game featured four short-handed goals, two power-play goals, an empty-net goal and a eight goal third period.
Worcester peppered Growlers netminder Maksim Zhukov in the first period but the six-foot three goaltender stood tall and stopped all 16 shots he faced. Drew Callin had multiple quality chances but could not find the back of the net while Evan Buitenhuis stopped all eight shots he faced.
The Railers broke through offensively in the second period for a three-goal stanza started off by Jordan Samuels-Thomas (8th) on a breakaway 2:44 into the frame sliding one through the wickets of netminder Maksim Zhukov to give the Railers a 1-0 lead. At 12:37 Bo Brauer (4th) all alone on the far side post banged it home giving Worcester a two-goal lead and then just 47 seconds Nic Pierog (6th) short-handed gave Worcester a 3-0 advantage. Newfoundland got on the board thanks to Brady Ferguson (13th) at 15:47 redirecting a shot from the left point. Worcester headed into the dressing room up 3-1 after two periods and had outshot the Growlers 27-23 through 40 minutes of play.
A total of eight goals were scored in the third period which featured six goals in a 5:12 span. First it was Giorgio Estephan (9th) at 6:57 decreasing the Growlers deficit to 3-2. Jordan Samuels-Thomas (9th) on yet another breakaway through the five hole of Maksim Zhukov at 9:05 giving the Railers a 4-2 advantage, their second short-handed goal of the game. Giorgio Estephan (10th) for the second time in the frame cut it down to a one goal game at 9:22 but it did not last long as Matt Schmalz (6th) off a beautiful feed from Drew Callin roofed a shot from below the left circle to give Worcester a 5-3 lead with 9:55 to play. In a 3:09 span the Growlers struck three times, two of which were short-handed, started off by Aaron Luchuk (10th) at 12:15 and then the two short-handed goals one from Aaron Luchuk (11th) at 14:09 then Joseph Duszak (5th) just 15 seconds later. Mac Hollowell (2nd) capped things off with an empty net goal with just 19.6 seconds remaining to give the Growlers a come from behind 7-5 victory.
Notes: Three Stars: 3rd star.... Jordan Samuels-Thomas (2-1-3, 5 shots) 2nd star: Giorgio Estephan (2-2-4) 1st star: Aaron Luchuk (2-1-3, 7 shots) ....final shots were 40-35 for Newfoundland.... Maksim Zhukov (9-7-1) made 30 saves on 35 shots for Newfoundland.... Evan Buitenhuis (3-6-0) made 33 saves on 40 shots for Worcester while Ian Milsoz served as the backup....Worcester went 0-for-3 on the power play while Newfoundland 2-for-6.... Anthony Florentino (inj), Barry Almeida (inj), Tanner Pond (inj), Shane Walsh (inj), and Ross Olsson did not dress for Worcester.... Mike Cornell, Jakub Skarek, and Linus Soderstrom are currently on recall with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.... Barry Almeida joined Coach Cunniff behind the bench.... Since David Cunniff took over as GM/HC the Railers have scored four short-handed goals.... Jordan Samuels-Thomas extended his point streak to four games with two goals and an assist and recorded his team leading seventh multi point game.... Kyle McKenzie finished plus five.... Nic Pierog has short-handed goals in back to back games.... Five of the 12 goals were unassisted.... Newfoundland has now won a franchise record seven straight games on home ice....The Railers did not have a player wear the "C" as Jordan Samuels-Thomas, Kyle Thomas, and Connor Doherty all wore "A's".... Worcester is now 4-8-0-0 all-time vs. the Growlers and 1-4-0-0 at the Mile One Centre.
What's on tap - First Trip to Newfoundland This Season!
Worcester will battle the Growlers in Newfoundland on Saturday with 5:30pm (ET) start times. Coverage for all three games begins 30 minutes before puck drop.
Still and Stir located behind the DCU Center provides hockey fans with a great pregame and postgame atmosphere all season long. Watch all road games broadcast live on ECHLTV.com for a small fee. Listen to all Railers games live on 98.9 Nash ICON with coverage beginning 30 minutes before puck drop with Eric Lindquist and Cam McGuire. 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 www.RailersHC.com.
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