ECHL Game Recap: Worcester Railers vs Maine Mariners | 04/06/2024

Rich LeBlanc/InsideTheRink

With the Worcester Railers dropping a tough one 6-2 on the road Friday night to these same Maine Mariners, they look to right the ship with the final two-game home set of the season this weekend. Luckily, the Railers control their own Kelly Cup Playoff birth destiny. The bottom line for the Railers is to figure out ways to win hockey games. This weekend at the DCU Center is fan appreciation weekend with the first 1,000 fans to show up to Saturday nights contest receiving a poster with the Railers players for them to sign postgame. The Railers would come out on top, winning 8-2, improving their playoff chances.

It was hot out of the gates, with the Worcester Railers winning the opening puck drop and finding the open teammates with very unselfish play. Forward for the Railers, Reece Newkirk was able to pin forward Owen Pederson for the Mariners up against the boards to steal possession. A one-timer for Mariners defenseman Andrew Peski was nicely stopped by Railers goaltender John Muse. The Railers could not make most of an open opportunity where forward Riley Piercey was all alone. After a beautiful check by Railers defenseman Ryan Verrier, the Mariners put one to the back of the net, scored by forward Christian Sarlo. Shortly after it looked liked the Mariners scored again, however there was still a puck in the net that fell down. The Railers could not capitalize on opportunities where Andrei Bakanov could not score on a breakaway. After the Railers tried to score a goal of their own a huge collision at the net knocked down goaltender Kyle Keyser resulting in a brawl. With a crafty juke move, Railers forward Ashton Calder connects for a goal of his own, evening the score entering the lockers.

Rich LeBlanc/InsideTheRink

You could feel the intensity entering period two. The Railers were persistent and were able to take an early 2-1 second-period lead off the stick of Anthony Callin with 17:18 remaining in the period. The gloves came off for Railers Riley Piercey and Mariners Cameron Askew, resulting in a loud crowd. The Railers built off that intensity while being able to chip one in three minutes later scored by Ryan Verrier. Halfway through the period, Tyler Drevitch of the Mariners was slashing the goalie, resulting in Connor Welsh of the Railers pinning him down, then, once again, resulting in another fight. Right after the Mariners found momentum and defensmen Ethan Ritchie netted one to cut the Railers lead in half. A fastbreak goal was in works headed by Railers defensemen Trevor Cosgrove to put the Railers up two goals. With three minutes left in the period, the Railers took a commanding 5-2 lead off the stick of Blade Jenkins, who led them to the lockers.

Rich LeBlanc/InsideTheRink

The Railers like where they are to start the third period. There was no sign of letup for the Railers as they played with just as much intensity as the previous two periods. The Mariners controlled the puck most of the period but could not find the net. The nail in the coffin came off the stick of Connor Welsh for a one-timer. One last goal for the Railers with a sloppy possession by the Mariners where the puck fell in Blade Jenkins lap and into the the net for his second goal of the night. The Railers were able to hold off the Mariners with a 8-2 victory to get back in the win column.

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