Trax’s Seventh Birthday!!

The Worcester Railers celebrate their mascot’s birthday and suffer their third loss against the South Carolina Stingrays this weekend


(via Mia Levine)

Morgan Martin, Contributing Writer

The Worcester Railers celebrated everyone’s favorite mascot Trax the Railyard Dog’s seventh birthday at the DCU Center on Sunday, Feb. 5. The festivities took place before the Railers’ game against the South Carolina Stingrays. The arena was crowded with Railers fans full of excitement to commemorate Trax on his big day. All of Trax’s friends made an appearance for the special occasion as well, including the Red Sox’s Wally the Green Monster, Arthur the Pirate of the Massachusett Pirates, the Worcester Bravehearts’ Jake the Lion, as well as the Woosox’s Smiley Ball and Woofster among many other local mascots of the area. 

Upon entering the arena I was presented with a free poster of Trax and a toy hand clapper to use during the game. It was not hard to find the parade of mascots that roamed the DCU center as one lingered at every corner. I had the pleasure of meeting many of the mascots, most notably Wally the Green Monster. Wally seemed to have the most fun among the mascots throughout the day. Wally was seen following Smiley the Ball around the entrance of the DCU center for the majority of the pregame birthday party. Then, during the game while many of the mascots were spending their time dancing around the audience or tormenting the opposing team’s penalty box, Wally was seen simply sitting and enjoying the game as a member of the audience. 

Enough on Wally though, the spotlight was obviously on Trax throughout the evening. Despite the crowds of people surrounding the beloved railyard dog, I had the opportunity to meet Trax before the game began. I watched as he was granted his very special birthday hat, which he wore for the rest of the evening. While Trax is a dog of little words (or I guess in his case little bark), he treated me with the utmost respect and was a delight to converse with. My dear friend, and co-editor in chief of the Scarlet, Mia Levine accompanied me to the game, and expressed to Trax that they shared a birthday. He responded with an immense amount of excitement that was very heartwarming to see.

 After meeting the mascots, we went to see what other attractions were set up to celebrate Trax’s seventh birthday in the DCU Center. While purchasing our “chuck-a-puck” bags, we received free balloons in the shape of birthday hats to help us join the fun of Trax’s birthday celebration. Many booths were set up around the arena with raffle tickets to win various Railer/Trax items such as a Trax jersey or a box of Mike and Ike’s which players had signed the night before. There were also the regular concession booths set around the arena and a 50/50 raffle.

I  assumed the mascots were going to leave the DCU Center when the game began, but I was wrong by a long shot. The mascots roamed the audience and made their presence very known as they banged on drums and ran through the arena. Jake the Lion even made a point to join Trax in his traditional tormenting of the opponent’s penalty box, dancing around it and banging on the glass. During the intermission between periods two and three, all of the mascots were invited down to play a miniature hockey game with shortened sticks and a ball. Smiley Ball tried his best to play the role of goaltender during the game, but was unable to block any of the shots Wally the Green Monster made against him. Wally scored two points for his team while Pierre the Hound from Assumption College, who was on the opposing team, struggled to even stay standing on the ice for longer than 5 seconds at a time. The birthday boy made the last goal of their game! Smiley Ball was unable to block Trax’s shot and the final score of their mini game was 3-0. Great job Trax! 

As for the actual game, the Railers fell short against the Stingrays for the third time this weekend with a final score of 4-2. The Railers now fall to 22-20-3 for the season, placing them sixteenth in the league. The Railers lost 3-2 on Friday night against the Stingrays (now ranked fifth in the league), and again Saturday 3-1. Worcester started off the game choppy, with many missed passes resulting in the opponent’s possession of the puck. There were a couple of good shot attempts in the first period from forwards Andrei Bakanov and Bobby Butler, but their attempts with the puck just simply could not get through the Stingrays’ goalie Clay Stevenson. Stevenson performed strongly with 27-saves by the end of the game. South Carolina’s first goal was delivered by Bear Hughes and assisted by Brent Moran within the first five minutes of the opening period. The first period ended with 1-0 on the scoreboard, South Carolina leading.

The second period started off with a power play for the Railers two minutes and 34 seconds in as South Carolina’s Evan Wardley found himself in the box for an elbowing violation. Tension was high in the second period as the Railer’s began playing an arguably more aggressive game. Several fights broke out following Wardley’s penalization, which seemed to only motivate the Stingray’s more as they scored their first power play goal of the game at the 8:45 mark. The goal was executed by South Carolina’s Andrew Cherniwchan, assisted by Ryan Scarfo and Kevin O’Neil. Railer’s fans were granted a miniscule amount of hope as Worcester’s Anthony Repaci was finally able to put the Railer’s on the scoreboard 16 minutes and 42 seconds into the second period.

The third period was an eventful one as Jimmy Lambert executed a perfect unassisted goal 32 seconds into the period for Worcester. The crowd went wild, hyping up the Railer’s as they hoped to finish the game strongly. However, the hype did not last long as South Carolina gained their third point of the game nine minutes and 38 seconds in with a clean shot from Kevin O’Neil. A penalty for high sticking on the Stingray’s Evan Wardley placed the Railers on a powerplay that they failed to capitalize on within the most critical minutes of the game. The final goal of the game was delivered by South Carolina’s Tarek Baker on an empty net 19 minutes and 10 seconds into the period, making the final score 4-2.

Despite the Railer’s loss Trax had a successful birthday at the DCU center. He was celebrated throughout the entire evening and was surrounded by all of his closest friends. I would like to thank Tim Foley the broadcasting & media relations coordinator for the Worcester Railers HC for giving me the opportunity to attend and report on Trax’s seventh birthday celebration. The Railer’s are scheduled to play the Pennsylvania Reading Royals at the Santander Arena on Feb. 7, and again at the DCU center on Feb. 10 and 11. Feb. 11 will be “Pink in the Rink” at the DCU center, an evening advertised to recognize those battling with breast cancer as the game will be played on pink ice.