Mariners Can't Stop Growlers Win Streak in Newfoundland
ST. JOHN'S, NL - The Growlers got goals from five different players, plus a solid performance from Parker Gagahen in a 5-1 win over the Maine Mariners on Friday night at the Mile One Centre. It was Newfoundland's 19th consecutive home victory, breaking an ECHL record previously held by the 1994-95 South Carolina Stingrays. The Mariners and Growlers still have three games in St. John's on the series.
At the 5:13 mark of the opening period, Growlers Captain James Melindy and Mariners rookie forward Mikael Robidoux dropped the gloves, the first fight of Robidoux's professional career. Newfoundland took the lead at 10:30 of the first when Riley Woods, despite being draped on by Ryan Culkin, worked all the way in on Connor LaCouvee and slipped a backhand past his pad to make it 1-0. Just over three minutes later, the Growlers retrieved a puck quickly off a Mariners shot block and found Tommy Panico up top for a shot that went off the post and just across the goal line to double Newfoundland's lead. The Growlers got 13 shots on LaCouvee in the first, while Maine only mustered three on Parker Gahagen.
Gahagen kept Newfoundland's momentum with numerous key saves early in the 2nd period, the biggest on Conner Bleackley, who was robbed trying to finish a two-on-one. The Growlers brought the puck back down and immediately extended their lead when Todd Skirving beat LaCouvee from the right wing, making it 3-0 at 7:43. Bleackley got his revenge, scoring at 12:02 as he dragged the puck through the legs of a Growlers defender and beat Gahagen under the cross bar. That would turn out to be the only Maine goal of the evening. Evan Neugold put the Growlers back up three when he beat LaCouvee from the point with 1:22 to go in the 2nd.
Each team had a 5 on 3 in the third, and the Growlers cashed in on theirs, Zach O'Brien squeezing one through Connor LaCouvee's right side at 13:34 to build the Newfoundland lead to 5-1. Robidoux was charged with an abuse of officials misconduct late in the game as a part of 29 total Mariners penalty minutes.
Gahagen made 25 saves to earn his 10th win while LaCouvee stopped 32.
The Mariners and Growlers continue their series tomorrow night in Newfoundland at 5:30 PM, the second of four games. After the road trips wraps up at Adirondack next Saturday, the Mariners will be back home on Sunday, February 23rd for "Miracle Night," celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice. The Mariners will be wearing Team USA inspired jerseys, which will go up for auction starting January 12th on the Handbid App. There will also be a postgame screening of the Disney movie on the video board. Groups of 10 or more can get discounted tickets to all games by calling 833-GO-MAINE. Individual tickets can be purchased at MarinersOfMaine.com, at the Trusted Choice Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena, or by calling 207-775-3458. All Saturday and Sunday home games feature the Family Four Pack - four tickets, four food and drink vouchers, and four Mariners beverage koozies, starting at $80, and must be purchased in advance.
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