A New Day: Mariners Get First Road Win in Reading
READING, PA - Rookie defenseman Sean Day is one of only five players to have played Canadian Junior hockey before the age of 16. Three of the others? Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, and John Tavares. In Day's Mariners debut on Wednesday night at Santander Arena in Reading, he showed why he keeps that company, scoring twice to help the Mariners earn their first road win, by a 4-2 final score over the Royals.
Day scored the first goal of the game at 5:06 of the first period when his shot from the left point found its way past Royals goaltender Angus Redmond. Jason Salvaggio and Hayden Verbeek assisted - the second assist in as many ECHL games for Verbeek. At 15:20 of the opening frame, the Mariners doubled their lead when Scott Savage took a Verbeek feed and beat Redmond from the left-wing circle for his first goal of the season. The goal by Savage gave all seven Mariners defenseman (Day, Savage, Tolkinen, Furgele, Pratt, Culkin, Cecere) at least one goal on the season. It was officially a shorthanded goal, as 4-on-4 play had just expired. As Dawson Leedahl stepped out of the box, he played the puck with one foot still in, drawing another penalty and leading to a Reading power play goal from Alex Krushelnyski at 16:35. A key moment in the game came on the ensuing shift when Mariners goaltender Chris Nell robbed Jack Riley with a sprawling stick save to cover an open net. Nell made 16 first period saves to keep Maine ahead, 2-1.
The lone goal of the second frame came at 6:49 when Ryan Ferrill converted an odd-man zone entry at the tail end of a power play. Ferrill looked off Shawn St-Amant and powered a shot through Redmond for the first goal of Ferrill's pro career, an assist going to Drew Melanson. Things got choppy at 11:55 when Melanson laid a questionable hit that caused a scrum in the corner of the Reading zone. Morgan Adams-Moisan fought Dan Milan and Melanson was assessed four minutes in penalties, giving Reading the man advantage. The Mariners killed it off and took a 3-1 lead into the dressing room.
Reading looked as if they were going to make a serious push in the third when Charlie Vasaturo's long shot got past Nell at 2:10, but less than a minute later, Day struck again. On a delayed penalty against Reading, the Mariners worked 6-on-5 and Day's blast tricked through Redmond to push the lead back to 4-2. Redmond was pulled after the goal in favor of Brandon Komm. On Day's second goal, Salvaggio and Zach Tolkinen picked up assists.
Nell made a number of key saves and racked up 34 stops on 36 Royals shots for his first win of the season. Redmond went 18 for 22 in the Reading net while Komm stopped all 10 in relief. The Mariners leapfrogged Worcester in the standings, who lost to Newfoundland tonight. Maine is now 3-5-0-1, with seven points, two behind Brampton for fifth place. They'll begin a home and home with Worcester on Friday night in Massachusetts at 7:05 PM.
The Mariners return home to host the Railers on Saturday night for a 6:00 PM faceoff. It's Marvel Super HeroTM night and Military Appreciation presented by Martin's Point Health Care. Martin's Point is also sponsoring a camo drawstring bag giveaway to the first 2,000 fans through the gate. Single game tickets are on sale now at www.MarinersOfMaine.com or by calling the Trusted Choice Box office at 207-775-3458.
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