Mariners Drop Third Straight One Goal Game
PORTLAND, ME - It was a tale of two halves on Friday night between the Mariners and Newfoundland Growlers at the Cross Insurance Arena. A wide open first 30 minutes gave way to a much tighter second portion of the game, and in the end Newfoundland escaped with a 3-2 win. The deciding goal was scored by Justin Brazeau late in the second period, breaking a 2-2 tie.
The Mariners jumped on a fatigued Newfoundland team early, grabbing a 1-0 lead just 1:01 into the game. Ty Ronning and Greg Chase worked off a turnover below the hash marks, before the puck popped out to Dillan Fox, coming down the slot with a backhand past the blocker of Growlers goaltender Parker Gahagen. Newfoundland tied it up late in the frame with a power play goal at 17:23, when Giorgio Estephan's shot caromed off the skate of Ryan Culkin and behind Connor LaCouvee. Each team hit multiple goal posts in the period, but despite heavy offensive chances on both sides, the score remained 1-1 through one.
Alex Kile gave the Mariners the lead back at 3:16 of the second period when he led a 2-on-1 rush up the left side and dragged into the slot, beating Gahagen's stick side. Assists went to Terrence Wallin and Connor LaCouvee. As chances continued to come for both teams, Trey Bradley drove the net and beat LaCouvee with a backhand at 11:33 off a nifty feed from linemate Riley Woods. Rookie phenom Justin Brazeau broke the 2-2 tie late, when Woods found him in the slot from below the goal line at 18:31. Shot totals were heavy in the 2nd, favoring Newfoundland 13-12, and the Growlers skated into the third with a 3-2 lead.
The Mariners peppered Gahagen with 13 third period shots, but the Growlers goalie made several key saves including a pair of big performances on penalty kills. In total, Gahagen stopped 31 of 33 Mariners shots to earn his sixth win. LaCouvee stopped 21 in the loss. It's the first three game losing streak of the season for the Mariners, all by one goal margins. Newfoundland has won seven in a row.
The Mariners continue the home weekend tomorrow, hosting the Adirondack Thunder at 6 PM. The first 2,000 fans will get a Mariners tumbler courtesy of the Holy Donut and it's also "Beacon's Buddies" presented by Evergreen Credit Union - with a pet item drive for the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. Fans who bring two or more items will receive a weekday ticket voucher. The Mariners are home again on Sunday against Newfoundland for "Kids Run the Show," when kids who won an online sweepstakes will get the chance help with game presentation.
Family Four packs are available for Saturday and Sunday, starting at $80, but must be purchased in advance of game day. 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.
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