WORCESTER, MA- Hockey will be returning to the city of Worcester for the 2017-18 season. The Worcester Railers will begin play at the DCU Center in the ECHL. Hockey has not been played at the DCU Center since the Worcester Sharks left town and relocated to San Jose as part of the American Hockey League West Coast Expansion after the 2014-15 campaign.
Railers President Michael Myers announced that the team was voted unanimously to full membership status. The ECHL Board Of Governors voted at the All-Star Game in Glen Falls, NY this past Wednesday.
Worcester will be the second team in New England to join the ECHL. The Manchester Monarchs in Manchester, NH began play in the ECHL during the 2015-16 season as their affiliate the Los Angeles Kings were part of the AHL West Coast Expansion after the 2014-15 year.
This will be the third pro hockey team in the city of Worcester. The Icecats began to play at the DCU Center which back then was the Centrum in 1994 until 2005 when the team was relocated to Peoria, IL. The city went on a one-year hiatus without a hockey team. The Cleveland Barons then relocated to Worcester after the 2005-06 campaign to become the Worcester Sharks. The Sharks played from 2006 until 2015.
The Railers have hired Jamie Russell as their GM and Head Coach.
Russell coached for two years with the Elmira Jackals from 2014-16. He was also the Assistant Coach for the Providence Friars in the NCAA Hockey East. During his tenure, the Friars made the NCAA Tournament back in 2014.
The 2017-18 ECHL schedule will be released in the coming months.
The Railers will play their first home game at the DCU Center on Saturday night October 14th, 2017.