Mariners Comeback Attempt Falls Short in Home Opener
PORTLAND, ME - True to their comeback spirit from last season, the Maine Mariners attempted to erase a three goal deficit late in the third period, but ultimately fell short in their rally, dropping a 5-2 opening night decision to the Adirondack Thunder. Taylor Cammarata scored both Maine goals. Felix Girard and Robbie Payne each had three points for the victorious Thunder.
Just 47 seconds into the game, Adirondack got things started when Antoine Waked passed the puck to Charlie Curti who took a shot that was saved by Mariners netminder and former NHL first round pick, Tom McCollum, but Ara Nazarian was there to collect the rebound and put Adirondack on the board. McCollum made ten saves on eleven shots faced in the first period, and Nazarian's goal was the only one on the board.
The Mariners were unable to capitalize on an early second period power play and shortly after, found themselves shorthanded. Adirondack was able to pot a power play goal when Colby Sissons slid the puck over to Robbie Payne who took a hard shot off McCollum's pads that bounced right out to Shane Conacher, sitting right in the slot leading to him burying the puck at the 15:27 mark of the period. At the 9:03 mark of the second, Maine received a bench penalty for too many men on the ice and it only took 11 seconds for Adirondack's powerplay to take care of business once again, when Robbie Payne punched to puck out front to Antoine Waked who tossed it on net. Felix Girard crashed the net hard and hammered away until it popped in past McCollum.
With 8:13 left in the third, Adirondack's Tommy Parran was penalized for holding and that's when Maine showed life when Taylor Cammarata buried a power play goal that came from Michael McNicholas and Jonathan Racine with 7:42 left on the clock. Seconds after the goal was scored, a scrum ensued involving Maine's Morgan Adams-Moisan, who fought Robbie Payne helping bring the crowd alive. The Mariners continued their momentum with Cammarata scoring his second goal of the night less than two minutes later. Terrence Wallin drove the net, popping the puck into the air and Cammarata was able to bat it home, confirmed after video review. Zach Tolkinen received a secondary assist on the play.
Adirondack grabbed momentum back when Girard potted his second of the night with only 3:37 left on clock making it a 4-2 game. Maine pulled McCollum to add a sixth skater but Payne scored an empty net goal for his third point of the evening, making it a 5-2 final.
The final shot totals favored Adirondack, 43 to 33. McCollum made 38 stops, while Adirondack's Eamon McAdam stopped 31 for the win.
The Mariners embark on a four game road trip beginning Friday in Worcester. They'll return home to begin a seven game homestand with the Newfoundland Growlers on Friday, October 25th at 7:15 PM. It's another 1-2-3 Friday: $1 Aquafina, $2 Pepsi products, $3 Bud Light drafts through the start of the 2nd period. Current Boston sports personality and former AHL Mariners broadcaster, Dale Arnold will be making an appearance and signing autographs as part of "New England Sports Night." 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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