WORCESTER, Mass. – The Brampton Beast arrived in Worcester on a two-game winning streak. The Railers went into the night needing every win they can get to get into the playoffs.
A win tonight would be the sixth home game win in a row for the Railers. The Beast are intent on playing the spoiler to teams trying for the playoffs. Tonight was no different as they came out with the intent to win. They got the first three shots on net before T.J. Syner scored on Chris Driedger with the Railers’ first shot of the night. The shot was nothing to write home about, but bounced over Driedger’s shoulder to open the scoring.
While the Beast would push hard the entire period, the Railers blocked a lot of their shots. Also, Mitch Gillam, in his tenth start in a row, played a fantastic period to stop all the shots that did make it past his teammates. Gillam was vital when the Railers got in penalty trouble getting three penalties in a row half way through the period. The Beast got off some shots, had many others blocked, but could not solve the Railers in the first.
The second period started, and Jackson Leef got called for slashing. Part way through the Railers’ first power play and Mike Cornell made it a 2-0 game off a one-timer from Ben Masella. That would be Masella’s second assist on as many goals. Cornell’s marker would also be the only goal of the second period. Like the Railers in the first period, the Beast would get three penalties in the second period. All three Beast penalties were called for slashing infractions. As a result, they got behind on shots on goal, giving that lead to the Railers for the first time in the game.
The key to the second period was that Gillam was doing exceptionally well on managing his rebounds. The Beast got very few second chances on the shots they did get. Even when Alex Foster went in for some quick jabs at the puck, Gillam managed to keep the pucks out. About halfway through the period, the Beast got their legs under them and managed to control the play for the most part. They had control for almost the full final two minutes, but that ended when Cody Donaghey was nabbed for slashing.
The third period started with the Beast period with about a minute and a half left on the Donaghey penalty. The Beast killed that penalty, but then a fat rebound was buried a short time later. They were now reeling early in the third, down 3-0.
A short time later, the Beast caught some fire and pressured the Railers, leading to a power play for Brampton which was quickly negated by an interference call on Foster. However, the Beast kept the puck in the Railers end and eventually scored with two seconds left on the 4-on-4. Jordan Henry brought the puck in front of Gillam and buried it hard to break the shutout. Four minutes later, with the Railers only getting one shot on net, Foster made it a one-goal game. Jeff Murray got his first professional point with his primary assist on Foster’s goal.
With just under two minutes left in the game, Worcester’s Barry Almeida was stick-handling the puck when he hit the defender in the face with his stick, taking his team from a scoring chance to a penalty kill in seconds. With the Beast on the power play, Colin Chaulk pulled Driedger for the extra attacker. The Beast pressed hard getting four shots on net and easily as many blocked, but Gillam was the difference in the game. Surprisingly, Gillam was not one of the three stars even though he was the one that won it for the Railers.
In the end, the Railers won their sixth straight home game. They are now one point out of the playoffs after Wheeling lost in Toledo, with the Railers having two games in hand.
Score: Beast 2 – Railers 3
Shots: Beast 32 – Railers 28
Penalties: Beast 5 – Railers 5
Beast goals scored by Foster and Henry. Assists from Luc-Olivier Blain, Willie Corrin, Scott Jacklin, and Murray.
Railers goals scored by Cornell, Frankie DiChiara, and Syner. Assists from Almeida, Masella (2), Nick Saracino, and Dylan Willick.
The Beast play again on Saturday in Worcester for the second of their back-to-back games.
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