No. 88 of The Worcester Railers
To officially commence the 2021-2022 hockey season, the College of the Holy Cross Athletics hosted the annual Ice Breaker Tournament at the start of November. Worcester’s DCU Center filled with fans who were eager to catch the four-team season-opening tournament after a year without it—featuring players from Holy Cross, Quinnipiac University, Northeastern University and Boston College. Although local favorite Holy Cross didn’t snag the W, the energy in the arena was enough to excite fans about a strong season ahead.
The Worcester Railers came in hot with their home opener on Oct. 23 against the Maine Mariners, pulling off a 4-3 victory and witnessing a record number of spectators in attendance. A reported 10,508 fans showed up in full force to the DCU Center, the highest number since the Railers’ opening night back in 2017.
In addition to winning, the team is focused on bolstering the Central Mass. community, which Owner Cliff Rucker reiterated in an article by Telegram & Gazette. “People want to have some sense of normalcy and the ability to get together in a safe way is a wonderful thing for a lot of people, the team, the community, the staff, the players — everybody,” said Cliff.
The Railers will host several promotional nights this season, including Star Wars Night, Pink in the Rink, Frontline Heroes Night and a Teddy Bear Toss, all to honor special causes and groups of people in the community. Check out the full list here and grab your tickets soon.
A list of the season’s regularly scheduled games can be found here.
Massachusetts Pirates win the IFL championship
Photo by Stan Grossfeld/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
The Massachusetts Pirates, local Indoor Football Leaguers, scored a huge win at the United Bowl IFL championship in September. Previously members of the National Arena League, the Pirates’ first official season in the IFL coalesced in pure joy and excitement, as the championship reached overtime and, ultimately, the big win. The Worcester Historical Museum helped the team celebrate by putting the United Bowl 2021 Trophy on display in the Fletcher Auditorium for a few hours on Nov. 11, featuring a photo opportunity with the Pirates’ mascot, Arthur.
Missed the game? You can catch every play and relive the excitement in its entirety via YouTube.
Holy Cross Football
A football game at a baseball stadium may sound like madness, but the Holy Cross Football team pulled off the big switch with the EBW Classic at Worcester’s Polar Park. The Woo Sox shared their home field on Oct. 23 for a game between the Holy Cross Crusaders and the Colgate University Raiders. Hosted by Christie Campus Health, the special game honored the late Holy Cross alum Edward Bennett Williams, a notable trial lawyer, avid sportsman, mentor and former owner of the Baltimore Orioles.
In November, the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) recognized the Worcester Bravehearts and the Nashua Silver Knights president and owner John Creedon, Jr. with the Commissioner's Special Contributor’s Award for the way his passion has led both teams to great success and aided in the growth of the FCBL. Not only did he help his teams navigate the COVID-19 pandemic over the past year and a half, but he also took the lead in attracting the Vermont Lake Monsters and the Norwich Sea Unicorns to the summer collegiate model in the FCBL. Creedon is the first ever to receive this award, which speaks to what an honor it truly is.
In speaking about Creedon’s contributions to the league, FCBL commissioner Joe Paolucci says, “John's leadership skills and passion for the Futures League are unmatched, and what he did behind the scenes to help the league bring in two great franchises this offseason needed to be acknowledged. The league is thriving right now and John's role as Chairman of the Board is a big reason why.”
Cheer, Dance & Gymnastics
National Cheerleading Championships Worcester
If the Olympics got you hooked on the powerful sport that is gymnastics, the DCU Center is your hub for competition this winter. Dancers, gymnasts and cheerleading pros alike will grace the arena all winter long. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:
- Nov. 19 to Nov 21: Pilgrim Invitational Gymnastics Meet
- Dec. 10 to Dec. 12: Spirit Sports Cheer & Dance Northeast Knockout Worcester Regionals
- Jan 15: Aloha Worcester Cheerleading Showdown
- Jan. 30: Maximum Cheer & Dance Mashup
- Feb. 12 to Feb. 13: A.S.C. Queen of the Nile Worcester Cheerleading Showdown
- Feb. 18 to Feb. 20: Beyond the Stars Dance Competition
- Feb. 25 to Feb. 27: Hall of Fame Dance Challenge
The fall and winter sports seasons here in Central Mass. are brimming with energy and talent, keeping the local stamina strong during these colder months and getting you psyched for more competition this spring.