The arrival of the Worcester Railers was celebrated at the DCU Center, which hosted a sellout crowd for the team’s first game.
As their first season in the ECHL begins, the Railers are seeing signs of strong community from the community. That was evident over the weekend, when an announced crowd of 12,135 fans saw the Railers defeat the Manchester Monarchs by a final of 4-3 on Saturday.
While their victory was a cause for celebration, the Railers’ debut in and of itself of a highlight of the evening. More from The Telegram:
Railers owners Cliff and Susan Rucker, Gov. Charlie Baker, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Mayor Joe Petty, City Manager Ed Augustus Jr., Worcester Chamber of Commerce President Tim Murray and DCU Center General Manager Sandy Dunn were among those who took part in the opening-puck ceremony.
“It was awe-inspiring,” Cliff Rucker said. “It’s been a long haul and it was just incredible to see that level of support. I’m just grateful that everybody showed up.
“I seem to be getting a lot of credit, but it’s really about the fans and the staff. The community is incredibly supportive of the team and I’m excited.”
“I’m really happy to be here,” Baker said while high-fiving young fans before the game. “I think this is great for the city of Worcester and it’s great for the commonwealth and the fact that you’ve got a sellout on your opening night is a great sign of great things to come.”
The Railers are filling the void of professional hockey in the city. Worcester’s last professional club—the AHL’s Sharks—relocated to San Jose after the 2014-15 season.