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 Worcester Railers HC

Worcester Falls in Weekend Opener to Maine

April 5, 2024 - ECHL (ECHL)
Worcester Railers HC News Release

Worcester Railers' Christian Krygier in action
Worcester Railers' Christian Krygier in action
(Worcester Railers HC)

PORTLAND, Maine - The Railers are at a point in the season, and a place in the standings, where they have no margin of error.

They made too many errors in the first period here Friday night and lost to the Maine Mariners, 6-2. The loss dropped Worcester into fifth place in what is now the six-team North Division with the Newfoundland Growers out of the league.

With Newfoundland gone and teams playing an uneven number of games, the North Division standings will be determined by winning percentage.

After Friday night's games, Maine is in third place with 69 points in 66 games (.523), Trois-Rivieres has 66 points in 66 games and is in the final playoff spot at .500. The Lions are idle this weekend as they were scheduled to play Newfoundland.

The Railers' 66 points in 67 games puts them in fifth at .493. Reading is in sixth and essentially out of the playoff picture. Worcester has five games left. It plays two with Maine on Saturday and Sunday at the DCU Center, then three at Trois-Rivieres to close out the regular season on April 12-14.

Friday night, Maine scored 75 seconds after the opening faceoff and led the rest of the way. It was 4-1 after one period.

Worcester got goals from Trevor Cosgrove and Reece Newkirk. Maine scorers were Xander Lamppa, Gabriel Chicoine, Sebastian Vidmar, Brooklyn Kalmikov, Adam Mechura and old friend Connor Doherty into an empty net.

It was Doherty's first game against the Railers this season. He has missed much of the year with injuries.

Henrik Tikkanen stopped 22 of 27 shots in the Worcester net. The loss snapped his six-game winning streak, a career best. Brad Arvanitis, who usually plays well versus the Railers, played well again. He made 28 saves.

Lamppa put Maine ahead early as he backhanded a rebound home at 1:15 from the top of the crease. Chicoine scored his 15th of the season at 6:52 to make it 2-0. He beat Tikkanen with a wrist shot from the left circle.

Cosgrove struck at 10:45. He snapped a 55-wrist shot past Arvanitis from the right point. The goal snapped a streak of seven unanswered goals against Worcester going back to the second period of Saturday's Newfoundland game.

It was Cosgrove's 10th goal of the season. He is the second Railers defensemann ever with that many in a season. Patrick McNally scored 12 goals in 2017-18.

The Mariners continued to press, though, and made it 4-1 before the period was over. Vidmar scored from the top of the crease at 13:09 and Kalmikov connected from in close at 16:58.

Newkirk snapped a 35-footer home at 3:29 of the second period to make it a 4-2 game with lots of time left. Neither team used that time to score but Blade Jenkins hit the far post with a wrist shot from the left circle with about 90 seconds left in the period.

Instead, the Mariners went on a power play late in period and Mechura converted on a rebound 30 seconds into the third to make it 5-2.

MAKING TRACKS - Defenseman Christian Krygier returned from injured reserve and was the lineup. Rookie Michael Gildon was released. Defenseman Mason Klee has been loaned to San Jose of the AHL where he will be coached by former Sharks standout John McCarthy. ... Catching up with Joe Spagnoli's ECHL debut Saturday night - at 40 he is the second oldest player to wear a Worcester uniform. Claude Lemieux was 43 when he skated for the Sharks in 2008. ... One-time Sharks captain Ben Guite, now coaching at Bowdoin and a former Mariners coach, was a face in the crowd. ... Growlers players on ECHL contracts can be signed by other teams but the market has been a quiet one throughout the league. ... Attendance was a lively 4,863.

Images from this story

Worcester Railers' Christian Krygier in action
Worcester Railers' Christian Krygier in action


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