Elmer's Hat Trick Lifts Mariners over Thunder
PORTLAND, ME - For the second straight season, a Mariners forward registered a hat trick on the night of the winter hat giveaway, as Jake Elmer scored three goals to pace a 5-1 Maine win over Adirondack on Saturday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. The Mariners celebrated Military Appreciation night, bringing out the largest crowd of the season, with 4,588 witnessing the Mariners' second straight Saturday night home win.
The Mariners came out ready to go and it showed when Alex Kile tossed the puck to Greg Chase from the left wing to the front of the night at the 16:10 mark of the first. Chase took a wrist shot from the slot to beat Adirondack's goaltender, Eamon McAdam blocker side to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead - just the third time all season they registered the first goal. Michael McNicholas also recorded an assist on the play. The Mariners took the 1-0 lead into the first intermission. After period one, Adirondack's McAdam allowed one goal on nine shots, while Mariners' Tom McCollum left the Thunder scoreless after facing seven shots.
The Mariners followed up the late first period goal with one early in the 2nd, making it 2-0 just 3:42 into the middle frame. Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin collected the puck at the blueline with a pass from Dillan Fox. From the bottom of the left offensive circle, Crevier-Morin slid the puck over to Jake Elmer who was crashing from the middle of the zone and beat McAdam glove side to extend the Mariners lead. Just 2:36 after the second goal, Zach Tolkinen took a slap shot off a pass from Ryan Culkin, that also beat McAdam's glove and prompted an Adirondack timeout. With 12:37 left in the period, Adirondack found themselves on board when Robbie Payne set up James Henry from the behind the net. Henry pulled the puck around McCollum to make it a 3-1 game. The Mariners capitalized on two of their four shots in the second period. Adirondack doubled the Mariners second period shot total with eight but was only able to sneak one past McCollum.
5:35 into the final period of the game, Ryan Gropp fed the puck to Dillan Fox whose shot was saved. It was then picked up by Jake Elmer who finished off his second attempt for his second goal of the game. Elmer wasn't done. With just 6:44 left in the game Jonathan Racine fed off a turnover in the Mariners zone, creating a two-on-one with Gropp. Elmer took a snap shot from the top of the left circle to beat McAdam, recording the first hat trick of his professional career. That goal gave the Mariners a 5-1 lead that held up as the final score.
Adirondack outshot the Mariners 23-21, but Maine had more scoring chances in the game, dominating the majority of play. McCollum earned his third win with 22 stops, and had a much easier night than a week ago thanks to a strong defensive performance.
The Mariners have three home games next week, beginning with, Gritty Does Portland on Monday at 7:00 PM. The famous Philadelphia Flyers mascot will make an appearance and the Military Appreciation theme will continue for Veteran's Day, sponsored by Martin's Point in partnership with Bath Iron Works. On Friday, November 15th, it's Wes McCauley Appreciation Night, as the Mariners honor the South Portland NHL referee, who will sign autographs during the first intermission. Game time is 7:15 PM against the Brampton Beast. It's also a 1-2-3 Friday with $1 Aquafina, $2 Pepsi products, and $3 Bud Lights through the start of the 2nd period. Saturday, November 16th is Hockey Fights Cancer against the Adirondack Thunder at 6:00 PM. It's a Family Four Pack night as well. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to MarinersOfMaine.com, call 833-GO-MAINE, or visit the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland.
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