First period in the books
The first period was off to a slow start until Evan Barrat got under the skin of Connor Doherty, resulting in the Royals going on the powerplay. During this powerplay, Barratt did what he does best, scoring goals.
The spark for the Mariners to come back in the game came from the stick of Fedor Gordeev, assisted by Jacob Wilson. Following a big save from Pat Nagle, the goalie held Maine’s player Carter Johnson down, which caused the Mariners to lose focus and gave Reading a two-on-one, saved brilliantly by François Brassard.
At 12:36, Evan Barrat took a bad penalty that gave the Mariners time to attack Nagle’s net and create a lot of scoring chances. Not long after the penalty came to an end, Nick Master used his awesome hand-eye coordination at Reading’s blue line before skating to the net, forcing Nagle to make the first move, and tucking the puck behind him to give Maine’s first lead in this series.
The rest of the period was the story of the Mariners. A lot of scoring chances against a shaky Pat Nagle. The shots after the first were 19-14, with Mariners taking the most.
The calm before the story
The Mariners start where they left off in the first period. A red hot start for the local team, giving Nagle his money’s worth. As for Brassard, he kept his team in the game by being square in the net and making big saves.
The second period is probably the quietest of the series, as both teams didn’t get too many scoring chances, and both masked men kept the score at 2-1 in favor of the Maine Mariners, who are hoping to come back in this playoff matchup.
Almost too little, too late
The Royals came out strong to start the third period. They didn’t take too much time to come back in the game and took advantage of a delayed penalty to even the score 2-2 from the stick of Zayde Wisdom.
The Royals continued their third-period domination with the second goal of the playoffs from Max Newton after a couple of spectacular saves from Brassard. That goal caused the play to heat up as both teams started to play more physically.
With almost two minutes left, Tim Doherty brought back hope in the arena when he scored his first of the playoffs to bring the teams back to even and send the game to overtime.
Time to work in overtime
In overtime, we saw the case of two teams that didn’t want to make any errors. In fact, this period is probably the most crucial one of the series. Either Reading takes a 3-0 lead, or Maine gets back into it.
A bad clearance from Reading’s Newton gave a golden opportunity to the Mariners in a power play. That’s all it took for the Sherbrooke native Alex-Olivier Voyer to score in an empty net after a perfect tic-tac-toe play between him, Tim Doherty, and Mitchell Fossier to give Maine their first win of the playoffs.