ECHL: Maine Mariners vs. Worcester Railers Weekend Recap | 04/05-07/2024

Photo: Rich Leblanc | Inside The Rink

The Mariners and the Railers faced each other three times this weekend, once in Portland on Friday night and twice in Worcester on Saturday and Sunday. Along with trying to clinch a playoff spot, these are also the last regular season meetings between the teams. On Sunday, the winner of the VIP Rivalry Cup will be announced. This takes place between the Mariners and Railers every season, and the winner is calculated based on who has won more games against the other throughout the season.

Friday night in Portland was a good one for the Mariners. In net for the Mariners was Brad Arvantitis, and in net for the Railers was Henrik Tikkanen. Starting off strong, Mariners’ Xander Lamppa scored only 1:15 into the first. The only penalty of this period was against Mariners’ Brooklyn Kalmikov for hooking. Four more goals were scored just within the first period. Mariners’ Gabriel Chicoine scored at 6:52 in the first. The Railers responded at 10:45 with a goal from Trevor Cosgrove. The Mariners scored again at 13:09 from Sebastian Vidmar and at 16:58 with a goal from Brooklyn Kalmikov. Going into it with a 4-1 lead, there wasn’t a lot of action in the second period. The only goal of the period was from Railers’ Reece Newkirk only 3:29 into the second. The only penalty of the period was also against the Railers, Zach White receiving two minutes for hooking at 19:55. Starting the third on a power-play because of this penalty, Mariners’ Adam Mechura capitalized and scored only 30 seconds into the period. Four penalties were called at 5:02 in the third period. Mariners’ Ethan Ritchie and Railers’ Brendan Robbins both received a minor for slashing and a minor for roughing. The other two penalties in the third were against the Mariners. Goalie Brad Arvanitis received a penalty at 6:45 for tripping, and Gabriel Chicoine received two minutes for high-sticking at 8:52. The last goal of the game, making it 6-2, was an empty netter from captain Connor Doherty at 17:35, with an assist from Brad Arvanitis. 

The Mariners headed down to Worcester for game two of the weekend. Both teams have different goalies in net for this game: Kyle Keyser in net for Maine and John Muse in net for Worcester. Maine had the night’s first goal in the first period with a shot from Christian Sarlo. Before the end of the period, the Railers tied things up with an unassisted goal from Ashton Calder. The only penalties in the first were dealt to the Railers. The first came early on in the period at 3:57 for Riley Piercey, who received 2 minutes for hooking. Anthony Callin was called for slashing at 14:08 in the first. The second period didn’t start out quite as good for the Mariners. The Railers scored early on at 2:42 with a goal from Anthony Callin. Soon after, at 4:19, Mariners’ Cameron Askew and Railers’ Riley Piercey both received matching 5-minute penalties for fighting. A little over a minute later, at 5:56, the Railers scored again with a goal from Ryan Verrier. Mariners’ Ethan Ritchie was able to score at 10:50, making the score 3-2, the Railers still ahead. The Railers extended their lead by two, starting with an unassisted goal at 14:26 from Trevor Cosgrove, then a goal from Blade Jenkins at 17:07 in the second. The third period was not any better for the Mariners. The Railers had two more goals within two minutes. Connor Welsh scored at 12:04, and #19 Blade Jenkins got his second of the night at 13:38 in the third. Five penalties were called at 16:24. Mariners’ Alex Kile received two minutes for roughing and two minutes for boarding. Railers’ Ryan Verrier received two minutes for roughing. Mariners’ Connor Doherty and Railers’ Christian Krygier received matching double minors for roughing. The last goal of the game was scored at 18:22 by Railers’ Jake Pivonta, making the final score of this game 8-2 in favor of the Railers.

The final match-up between the two teams took place on Sunday afternoon in Worcester. The goalies were the same as Friday night: Brad Arvantitis in net for Maine and Henrik Tikkanen for Worcester. Maine received a bench minor at 7:03 in the first, served by Bennett Stockdale. A few minutes after this, at 9:32, Stockdale had his first professional goal. The Railers responded just over a minute later with a goal from Ashton Calder at 10:43. The Mariners scored twice more in the first period. The first of these was from Brooklyn Kalmikov at 11:39, and the other was from Ethan Ritchie at 13:07. The Mariners went into the third with a 3-1 lead, but this did not last for long. Mariners’ Sebastian Vidmar scored at 3:24 while on a power-play, as Railers’ Jake Pivonka was serving a penalty for roughing called at 3:12. The Railers then scored five more times in the second period. Railers’ Ashton Calder scored at 5:10 and again at 6:50, earning him a hat-trick. The Mariners and the Railers both received matching penalties at 10:05 in the second for roughing, Adam Mechura for Maine and Artyom Kulakov for Worcester. The Railers then had two more goals in quick succession. Reece Newkirk scored at 10:432, and Christian Krygier scored at 11:11. Ashton Calder then scored his 4th goal of the night on a power-play at 18:14, as Mariners’ Owen Pederson was serving a penalty for holding, called at 18:05. Maine is now down 6-4 heading into the third, and a goaltender change did occur for Maine. Arvanitis was pulled, and Shane Starrett was put in net. Early in the third, at 1:43, Tyler Drevitch scored for the Mariners. The Railers once again responded this time at 4:48 with an unassisted goal from Ashton Calder, his 5th of the night. At 7:19, Mariners’ captain Connor Doherty was called for delay of game. Railers’ Artyom Kulakov was called for tripping at 11:06. Starrett was pulled in favor of an extra skater on the ice, but this allowed for Railers’ Brendan Robbins to score on the empty net at 18:17, Railers’ goalie Tikkanen getting an assist. Starrett retreated to the net, but the Railers wasted no time scoring another goal at 18:37, this one from Ryan Verrier. This was all for the game, the Mariners losing 9-5. 

These two losses to Worcester earned the Railers the VIP Rivalry Cup. Going into the weekend, Maine had gone 3-4 against the Railers, one being an overtime loss. The win in Portland on Friday made it an even number of wins for each team, but the two losses to Worcester would be what it took for the Railers to earn the cup.

The Mariners have four more games left in the regular season, all of which will be against the Adirondack Thunder. Maine plays again on Wednesday night in a makeup game, which was previously scheduled for October 27th, 2023. This game had to be postponed due to a shooting in Lewiston, Maine, a town about 45 minutes north of Portland. The Mariners last regular season home season will be on Friday the 12th.

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