WORCESTER, Mass. – Class was in session Wednesday morning as the Worcester Railers were handed their seventh loss of the season by the hands of the Reading Royals.
Worcester was looking to find some momentum that hasn’t been there this season, and it wasn’t quite there with their third straight home loss of the season. Kyle McKenzie and Yanick Turcotte skated in their 100th games in a Railers uniform, for McKenzie it was also his 100th as a pro. Ryan MacKinnon made his season debut with a transaction coming in a little over an hour before puck drop, he played a significant role with a goal in two assists in his return to Worcester. Barry Almeida (3a), Ryan MacKinnon (1g, 2a), Jordan Samuels-Thomas (1g, 1a) each had multi-point days, as did Ralph Cuddemi (2g,1a), Frank DiChiara (1g, 1a), and Hayden Hodgson (2g) for Reading.
It was Reading scoring first with a deflection by Hayden Hodgson that went over the shoulder of Evan Buitenhuis at 6:35. Not much Buitenhuis could do to stop the puck as he lost sight of the puck to give the Royals the early lead. Railers would tie it up with the two-man advantage with a shot up high from the blue line, credited to Ryan MacKinnon with his first of the season at 16:06. Ralph Cuddemi re-gained the lead for Reading with a power-play goal late in the period late in the first period.
Railers alum Frank DiChiara extended the Royals lead to 3-1 with a wrist shot from the right circle at 1:22. Matt Schmalz tapped in a rebound from Ryan MacKinnon seconds shy of the five-minute mark in the third, but less than a minute later Hayden Hodgson would score his second of the game with the Railers turning over the puck in their zone to give Reading their second two-goal advantage of the morning. Kyle McKenzie scored off a face-off for his first goal in over 45 games to make it a 4-3 game after forty minutes.
Hayden Hodgson was stretchered off the ice after sustaining a leg injury halfway through the third period. He was injured in one of the corners and made matters worse in an attempt to skate back to the bench while play continued, but slipped in his attempt to get back to the bench, forcing a stoppage of play while he received medical attention and was promptly carted off the ice.
Reading’s Trevor Yates snuck one past Evan Buitenhuis for another two-goal advantage at 10:35. With Evan Buitenhuis pulled for the extra attacker, Jordan Samuels-Thomas converted between the circles at 16:57 in the third, but the Railers’ effort to tie the game would come up short with Ralph Cuddemi scoring on the empty net three and a half minutes later to seal the Royals’ win with under a minute left in the game.
Three Stars of the Game
- Hayden Hodgson (Reading) – 2 goals, +3
- Ryan MacKinnon (Worcester) – 1 goal, 2 assists
- Frank DiChiara (Reading) – 1 goal, 1 assist
Down the Track
With their school day game in the books, the train keeps rolling into Thursday as they host the Brampton Beast on Thursday night.
Follow Dylan Schofield on Twitter (@WooHockeyNews) for the latest on all things Worcester Railers hockey.