Gabriele's Late Goal Lifts Mariners over Stingrays
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - In a much different game than the one less than 24 hours earlier, the Maine Mariners squeaked out a 2-1 victory over the South Carolina Stingrays on Sunday afternoon at North Charleston Coliseum. Grant Gabriele broke a 1-1 tie late in the third to give the Mariners their first and only lead of the weekend, and the only one they needed to claim the win.
The Stingrays got on the board first at 6:12 of the opening period when former Mariner Michael Kim crashed in and tipped a fluttering puck past a sprawling Michael DiPietro. At 10:37, the Mariners answered back as Mitch Fossier threw it from behind the net, off the top of the goal, off the back of South Carolina netminder Clay Stevenson, and across the goal line. The Mariners also killed off two penalties in the first period, which ended tied at one.
The Mariners played a strong second period and outshot the Stingrays 14-8, but the score remained 1-1 after 40 minutes.
With just under eight minutes remaining in regulation, seconds after the Mariners finished up a power play, Carter Johnson slipped a backhand pass from the side of the net to Grant Gabriele on the back door to break the tie. That was all Michael DiPietro needed, stopping 32 of 33 in the game to earn his 16th victory.
The Mariners completed their southern road trip with a 3-1-0 record, picking up wins in Orlando and Atlanta, and splitting the weekend in South Carolina. Their magic number for clinching a playoff spot fell to seven - a combination of points gained and those not gained by Worcester.
The Mariners (36-24-2-1) will play 7 of the final 9 regular season home games on home ice, starting with a $3 Dewey's "Threekend" next weekend against the Tulsa Oilers at the Cross Insurance Arena. It begins Friday, March 31st at 7:15 PM with Mental Health Awareness Night ("Let's Talk About It," presented by News Center Maine), followed by Racing Night on Saturday, April 1st at 6 PM and Dinosaur Day on Sunday, April 2nd at 3 PM. More information on all upcoming promotions can be found at MarinersOfMaine.com/promotions.
Individual game tickets can be purchased online, at the Ware-Butler Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena, or by calling 207-775-3458. Family Four Packs are available for all Saturday and Sunday games and can be purchased here. Information on ticketing options is available by calling 833-GO-MAINE, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting MarinersOfMaine.com.
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