Goldberg Scores Twice in 7-2 Loss to Shenzhen

The Vanke Rays downed the Blades by a score of 7-2 in game two of the three game set in Worcester. Chelsey Goldberg scored twice on the powerplay in the third period to give the Blades some life, but could not overcome the Rays offense. 

Pregame

Jetta Rackleff made her second straight start after saving 42 shots in game one. She is the Blades’ leading goaltender with a .913 save percentage in 287 minutes of play. 

Noora Raty also made her second straight start after shutting out the Blades in game one, stopping all 15 shots she faced.

First Period

The Rays started hot as just 38 seconds in, Rackleff saved a strong shot from Jessica Wong.

The Blades countered a minute later as Natalie Anderson went in on a 2-on-1, but the shot was saved by Raty.

Three minutes in, Rackleff made another solid save off a slapshot from the dot by Qinan Zhao.

The first penalty of the game was called at 5:48 on Vanke, as they had too many players on the ice. Zhao served the penalty.

Just after the powerplay expired, Alexis Miller put a quick shot on net, but was stopped by Raty.

At 8:13, Rackleff saved a close up shot from Madison Woo. She then prevented a score a minute later after Wong deked a Blades defender.

At the midway mark, Demi Crossman had a chance to score on a cross-crease pass, but couldn’t find the puck to put on net.

At 10:32 the Rays made it 1-0. Rackleff came out to make a play on the loose puck but, Cayley Mercer was able to find it and send it in to the exposed net. Hanna Bunton assisted on the goal.

Morgan Turner generated an excellent scoring chance with a partial breakaway at 12:30. She came wide and passed to Megan Turner in the crease but the shot was saved by Raty.

Vanke had a chance to go up by two at 16:50 as a shot rebounded right in front of the crease. While already down, Rackleff prevented the second chance opportunity making a huge save with her right pad.

The Rays generated extended zone time in the final minute of play, but Rackleff held strong to keep it a one-goal game.

At the end of the first period, Vanke led 1-0. Shots on goal were 18 for the Rays and 10 for Worcester.

Second Period

The second period started slow as teams traded rushes. The first chance for either came two minutes in as Anderson and Turner jabbed at the loose puck in the crease, but Raty prevented a score.

Alex Carpenter had her first scoring opportunity five minutes in, but was stopped by Rackleff.

The next few minutes saw zone time for the Rays, but had no serious scoring chances.

However, at 7:36 Vanke broke through and made it 2-0. Bunton’s quick wrist shot from the dot beat Rackleff. Zhixin Liu and Carpenter earned assists on the goal.

Looking to score in quick succession, the Rays generated a close up chance a minute later. Rackleff was there to make the save as well as block the slap shot off the rebound.

At the midway mark, the Blades managed a scoring opportunity of their own, but Miller’s slapshot went wide.

Another strong chance for Worcester came 11 minutes in as Myers and Crossman went in on a 2-on-1. A very strong shot was sent by Myers but the save was made by Raty.

Another blue line slapshot for the Blades came a minute later, but the puck couldn’t get through the traffic to the net.

Despite the Blades pressure, it became 3-0 at 13:53 as Mercer came in close and knocked in her own rebound. There was some discussion regarding interference but the call on the ice stood. Mercer’s second of the game was unassisted.

Less than two minutes later, Vanke made it 4-0 at 15:39. Stephanie Anderson found the turnover and sped in on a breakaway, beating Rackleff stick side.

The Rays continued to pile on the pressure, making it 5-0 at 18:45. Bunton sent the shot in through traffic and found the back of the net. Wong and Mercer earned assists on Bunton’s second goal.

A late chance for Chelsey Goldberg from the backdoor came in the last minute of the period, but she couldn’t find the puck to drive it home.

At the end of two periods, Vanke led 5-0. Shots on goal for the Rays during the period were 22, totaling 40 and 5 for Worcester, totaling 15.

Third Period

Mariah Fujimagari came in to relieve Rackleff to start the 3rd period. She last played on December 15 against Markham.

An early chance for the Blades came just 40 seconds in. Erin Kickham put a strong slapshot on net, but Raty made the stop.

Twenty seconds later, Bunton came in on breakaway looking for the hat-trick, but Fujimagari made the stop.

Bunton caused a delay of game penalty at 1:21, giving the Blades their second powerplay of the game.

Just nine seconds into the 5-on-4 advantage, Goldberg gave the Blades their first goal of the game. Quick, close up chances created a rebound which let her drive the puck home. Miller and Morgan Turner assisted on the goal, making the score 5-1.

However, the Rays quickly regained their five-goal lead just 22 seconds later. Mercer’s pass to Carpenter on a 2-on-1 beat Fujimagari to make it 6-1. Rui Zhu also earned an assist on the play.

The Blades generated some pressure three minutes in, putting some shots on net, but Raty made the saves.

At 3:17, the Blades went on their third powerplay of the game as Anderson took a roughing penalty.

It was deja-vu as just 17 seconds into the advantage, it became 6-2 as Goldberg found twine again. Another close chance created a rebound which she was able to send passed Raty for her second score. Carrie Atkinson earned an assist on the Blades’ first multi-goal game at home this season.

Worcester took a penalty at 5:16 as Taryn Harris entered the box for body checking. The first powerplay of the game for the Rays saw a shorthanded slapshot by Rebecca Fleming and a chance for Vanke, but both were prevented by the two goaltenders.

A 3-on-2 opportunity for the Rays came at 8:30. Both Mercer and Carpenter had chances, but Fujimagari’s saves got in the way. Harris blocked the rebound shot while Fujimagari was out of the net, preventing another score.

At the midway mark of the third, Anderson generated a scoring chance as she brought the puck to the net, but Raty made the save.

At 11 minutes in, the Rays came in on another 2-on-1. Mercer was looking for a third tally to complete the hat-trick, but Fujimagari held on.

Casey Stathopolous had a chance as she came in on a breakaway at the 12 minute mark. Raty made the save, but the Blades kept it in the zone, generating more chances although unable to score.

The Rays made it 7-2 at 15:54 as Carpenter came in off the wing and ripped a clean shot past Fujimagari.

Leah Lum took a tripping penalty at 17:08, giving Worcester their fourth powerplay opportunity. Unlike the previous two however, the Blades had little chances to score.

The final score: 7-2 Shenzhen. Shots on goal for the period were 19 for the Rays, totaling 59, and 15 for the Blades, totaling 30.

Three Stars

First star – Chelsey Goldberg, Blades forward 

Second star – Cayley Mercer, Rays forward

Third star – Carrie Atkinson, Blades forward

Post Game

After the game, Chelsey Goldberg spoke about her two goals in the third period.

“Coach said before the game, keep firing shots on the net. Have one person in front, screening the goalie and getting rebounds,” she explained. “Both goals of mine, they came out right to my stick, just because I was in front of the net. Obviously, great shots from the point, so I have to give credit to my defensemen back there. But yeah, my stick was on the ice, I was in front and just popped them in, both goals were pretty similar.”

She also spoke about the relief of finally scoring at home after experiencing multiple shutouts by their opponents.

“It was nice. It’s been a while since we scored. It was great getting the monkey off my back and getting two of them.”

Lastly, Chelsey talked about the positives they will be able to take away from their strong third period.

“I think overall, we played so well. We started doing the little things right. We had a few shifts where we got scattered, but if we keep doing the little things, its going to come,” she expressed. “If we do that we’re going to keep scoring, and hopefully get the win next Wednesday.”

Next Game

The Blades and Rays will play the final game of their three-game series on Wednesday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m.  at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center. Tickets are available here as well as at the door.

Be sure to follow the Blades on Twitter to follow the games and stay up to date with the CWHL season.

Zach Bamberger is a Communications Intern for the Worcester Blades. All media requests and inquiries should be sent to Merisa Boyd, Director of Communications, at [email protected].