ECHL: Maine Mariners Weekend Recap | 01/05-07/2024

Photo Credit: Rich Leblanc - Inside The Rink

The Mariners had quite the busy weekend to start off the new year, playing three games in a row. Friday, the Mariners traveled to Glen Falls, NY, where they played the Adirondack Thunder. Saturday night, they also faced the Thunder, this time on home ice in Portland. Remaining home on Sunday, they finished out the weekend against the Worcester Railers.

Friday and Saturday vs Adirondack Thunder

Friday night, the Mariners fell short to Adirondack, currently #1 in the North Division, with a final score of 5-2. Francois Brassard was in net for Maine, his first game returning as a Mariner since he went to the Fort Wayne Komets. In net for Adirondack was Vinnie Purpura. Maine’s two goals were scored by star forward Alex Kile, one in the first and one in the third. Friday night’s game was one that was plagued with penalties. The third period was notable for having the majority of these penalties. Mariner’s Alex Kile and Adirondack’s Darian Skeoch were given matching 10-minute penalties for Inciting at 8:17 in the third. Only a little over a minute later, at 9:29 in the third, a total of six penalties were called. Two Mariners, Alex Sheehy and Gabe Guertler, were each called for two-minute roughing penalties. Darien Kielb was given a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct in addition to a 10-minute penalty for misconduct. Adirondack player Brendan Less was given a double minor for roughing, and his teammate Jace Isley received two minutes in the box for roughing. It seems that this mess of penalties did not impact the score of the game, as there were no goals scored after Kile’s second of the evening when he received his 10-minute penalty. 

Returning to Maine for a 6 pm puck-drop on Saturday, we saw different goalies in net for both teams, with the Mariners having Kyle Keyer in net against former Mariners goalie Jeremy Brodeur. Maine also lost their second-highest scorer, Reid Stefanson, as he chose to continue his hockey career in Europe. Mariners Cam Askew scored early in the first at 3:25, and Adirondack answered with two goals before the end of the first. Between these two goals for Adirondack, at 10:59, Mariners Adam Mechura and Adirondack Nico Blachman received matching major penalties for fighting. At the same time, the Mariner’s previous goal scorer, Cam Askew, found himself with a 10-minute misconduct for third man in. Heading into the third period, the Mariners found themselves at a promising 4-2 lead. However, 2:47 into the third, Adirondack made it 4-3. By the end of the third, the Thunder had tied up the game, and the teams headed to overtime. Only:36 into overtime, Adirondack’s Timur Ibragimov scored his third goal of the game to win it for the Thunder 5-4. 

Sunday Vs. Worcester Railers

Finishing out the weekend during a snowstorm in Portland, the Mariners finally caught a break. The Mariners ended the weekend on a high note after a rather disappointing turnout for both games against Adirondack. Playing the Worcester Railers, who are currently sitting at #5 in the North Division standings, the Mariners managed a 4-2 win. Brad Arvanitis was in net for the Mariners, while John Muse was in net for the Railers. Mariners forward Owen Pederson scored the first and only goal in the first period. Going into the second period with the lead, the Mariners were soon passed by Worcester after they scored twice. Starting the final period of the game now behind, the Mariners found themselves with three penalties within just over a minute. At 8:43 in the 3rd, Tyler Drevitch took a two-minute penalty for tripping. At 9:41, Cam Askew was sent to the box for the same offense. Only 12 seconds later, Mariners All-Star for the year, Gabriel Chicoine, was called for delay of game. Despite this, the Mariners had a successful penalty kill. In fact, Worcester didn’t score at all in the third period. Mariners top scorer Alex Kile scored twice in the third, tying things up at 17:09 and securing the win at 19:33. In all three games this weekend, Kile has scored two goals. He now has 35 points this season, hitting 20 goals so far this season. For the cherry on top, #8 Curtis Hall scored an empty-netter with one second left in the game.

An obvious stand-out for the Mariners is Alex Kile. He’s a crucial piece in the Mariners success, which is backed up by his numbers. Kile has played with Maine in some capacity since their inaugural season, with the exception of the 2020-2021 season in which he played for the Florida Everblades. #23 is currently signed to a one-year AHL contract with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. The Mariners still find themselves in last place in the North Division, but they are now only one point behind the #6 team, the Reading Royals. It’s been a rocky start to the season, to say the least, but it’s not over yet.

With the momentum of a win under their belt, the Mariners return to home ice for a mid-week game on Wednesday versus the Trois-Rivières Lions.

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