The Newfoundland Growlers open the holiday season at home against a fellow North Division powerhouse, the Worcester Railers, with a three-game set beginning on Friday night at the Mary Brown’s Centre.
Newfoundland come into the series a stellar 8-1-0-0 at home so far this season, their only defeat as hosts coming back on November 19 in a 2-0 loss to the Maine Mariners.
Despite a recent road trip where the Growlers dropped two out of their three contests, Zach O’Brien and Orrin Centazzo still own the 1st and 2nd spots in the ECHL point race respectively, O’Brien on top with 31 points (5G, 26A) while Centazzo sits in second on 26 points (12G, 14A).
Worcester is off to a slightly surprising hot start to the season, atop not only the North Division but the entire league standings thanks to a sterling 14-2-1-0 record.
Meeting just once so far in the 2022-23 season – a 4-3 overtime win for the Railers back on November 2 at DCU Center – the Growlers and Railers are set to get quite comfy with one another in the coming weeks as they’ll face one another nine times in the next two months.
In a head-to-head battle that could decide who captures the division title, both sides will look to this weekend as an opportunity to grab some early momentum.
Puck drops is set for 7:00 pm on Friday and Saturday night, while Sunday gets underway at 4:00 pm. Growlers fans can watch all three games live on FloSports (subscription required), listen to the call on Mixlr, or follow along on Twitter (@NLGrowlers) for game updates and highlights. Tickets for all three games can be purchased at nlgrowlers.com/tickets.
WHO TO WATCH:
NFL – Pavel Gogolev (F): After dazzling Growlers fans with his slick hands and offensive prowess last season, Gogolev is back with Newfoundland this year and has already picked up three points (2G, 1A) on this most recent road trip. His presence in an already potent forward group won’t go unnoticed by the home crowd.
WOR – Henrik Tikkanen(G): A big part of the early success of the Railers campaign has been the 22-year-old Finland native’s play in goal. Drafted by the New York Islanders in 2020, Tikkanen is 7-1-0-0 with a 9.32 SV% and a 2.02 GAA.