MARINERS HOLD VIRTUAL “WATCH PARTY” FOR THE RETURN OF HOCKEY

PORTLAND, ME – July 31, 2020 – As the NHL makes its triumphant return on Saturday, the Mariners are hosting a “virtual watch party” for the first period of game one the New York Rangers vs. Carolina Hurricanes series via Zoom. From 12-12:40 PM ET, fans can join Mariners Head Coach and Assistant General Manager Riley Armstrong while watching the game on NBCSN. The discussion will be moderated by Mariners Play-By-Play Broadcaster Michael Keeley and will also feature special appearances from Vice President of Operations Danny Briere and third year Mariners forward Dillan Fox.

The Rangers, who are the NHL affiliate of the Mariners, are one of 24 teams vying for the 2020 Stanley Cup, separated into two “bubbles.” The Eastern Conference, which includes the Rangers, are playing in Toronto, ON, while the Western Conference hub is located in Edmonton, AB. The top four teams in each Conference (based on the 2019-20 standings prior to the season’s COVID-19 related cancellation), are playing round-robin style for seeding, while the remaining eight battle in four best-of-five qualifying series.

The Rangers (37-28-5) have drawn the Carolina Hurricanes (38-25-5) for their qualifying series. Game one’s 12 PM start on Saturday marks the very first game of the entire tournament. Teams have been playing exhibition games in the bubbles since Tuesday. Defenseman Brandon Crawley, who played the majority of the 2019-20 season with the Mariners, is on the Rangers roster, but has not yet made his NHL debut. Another representative of the 2019-20 Mariners, goaltender Adam Huska, was also on the Rangers Phase Three training camp roster, but did not travel with the team to Toronto.

A link and password for the Zoom meeting will be posted on Mariners social media channels around 11:50 AM ET on Saturday, August 1st. No purchase is necessary and all fans are welcome. Fans must have access to either NBCSN, NHL.tv or another outlet broadcasting the game in order to follow the action. The meeting will end at approximately 12:40 PM ET, likely during the first intermission of the game.

Full and half season ticket packages as well as mini plans and flex packs for the 2020-21 Mariners season, sponsored by Hannaford To Go, are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE. The Mariners have introduced a new “Birthday Box” for $25 to help celebrate your child’s birthday this summer! The Birthday Box and the latest Mariners merchandise are available at our online store: MarinersOfMaine.com/shop.

NICK MASTER RE-SIGNS WITH MAINE MARINERS

PORTLAND, ME – July 27, 2020 – The Mariners added another forward to the mix for 2020-21, announcing the re-signing of Nick Master on Monday. Master originally became a Mariner at the end of the 2018-19 season, but missed the majority of 2019-20 with a wrist injury.

“I’m really excited to get back on the ice with the guys considering last year was cut short for me,” said Master. “Seeing both sides of the game from being on the ice and watching last year really made me appreciate not only the game, but the city of Portland and their fan base.”

Out of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Master joined the Mariners in late March of 2019, after finishing his collegiate career. He found immediate success, registering seven points (three goals, four assists) in eight games with the Mariners down the stretch. The native of Broomall, PA then re-signed in the summer of 2019. On October 26th, 2019, while playing in his sixth game of 2019-20, Master suffered a wrist injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the season. He had scored one goal in six games.

“Being injured last season gave me the opportunity to see what it takes at the pro level and what things I need to be prepared for this upcoming season, said Master. “I can’t stress enough how excited I am to play again and put on that Maine sweater.”

Master, 25 years old, has crossed paths with numerous other Mariners names throughout his career including playing with Andrew Romano (who signed last week), for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers and LaSalle College High programs from 2010-2012. Prior to college, Master also played for the Tri City Storm and Cedar Rapids Roughriders in the United States Hockey League (Tier I Junior).

Mariners Head Coach and Assistant General Manager Riley Armstrong credits Master’s perseverance through his injury riddled season as he looks ahead to 2020-21.

“Nick had an unfortunate [2019-20] season for us,” said Armstrong. “But his attitude and dedication during his injury holds a lot value to us. It might take Nick some time to get going and get confidence back in his game but once that comes he will be a very big part of the Mariners and their future.”

The Mariners have now announced five players signed for 2020-21, all forwards: Dillan Fox, Ted Hart, Michael McNicholas, Andrew Romano, and Master.

Full and half season ticket packages as well as mini plans and flex packs for the 2020-21 season, sponsored by Hannaford To Go, are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE. The Mariners have introduced a new “Birthday Box” for $25 to help celebrate your child’s birthday this summer! The Birthday Box and the latest Mariners merchandise are available at our online store: MarinersOfMaine.com/shop.

BRANDON CRAWLEY MAKES NEW YORK RANGERS PHASE FOUR ROSTER

PORTLAND, ME – July 27, 2020 – The National Hockey League released its “Phase Four” rosters on Sunday, with defenseman Brandon Crawley making the cut for the New York Rangers, as they travel to Toronto to open up the Stanley Cup Qualifiers on Saturday. Crawley spent the majority of the past season playing for the Mariners and along with goaltender Adam Huska, represented the 2019-20 Mariners in Rangers Phase Three Training Camp. Huska will not join the team in Toronto.

Crawley, 23, was drafted by the Rangers in 2017, selected in the fourth round, 123rd overall. After three seasons of junior hockey for the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League, he began his professional career with the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL for the 2017-18 season. After another full season in Hartford in 2018-19, Crawley was assigned to the Mariners to begin 2019-20, and ended up playing in 38 games for Maine. He registered two goals and 10 assists, and was recalled to the Wolf Pack in mid-February, where he spent the remainder of the shortened season.

“I felt during the course of his time [in Maine] he did a lot of growing up, a lot of maturing­,” said Riley Armstrong, Mariners Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. “I think once he got called back up he kind of took his second chance at the American League with a different view and I think it’s paying off for him.”

Crawley is one of nine defenseman on the Rangers Phase Four roster, which contains 30 players in total. If he appears in a game, it would be his NHL debut. The Rangers will take on the Carolina Hurricanes in a best of five series, beginning on Saturday at noon in Toronto.

The Mariners are hosting a virtual watch party on Zoom for the game, which will feature a discussion with Head Coach & Assistant General Manager Riley Armstrong and guest appearances by V.P. of Operations Danny Briere and Mariners forward Dillan Fox. Mariners broadcaster Michael Keeley will moderate. The watch party is scheduled from 12-12:40 PM on Saturday (August 1st), with a Zoom link and password to be provided on Mariners social media channels at the time of the event. No cost or registration is required. The game will air on NBCSN.

Full and half season ticket packages as well as mini plans and flex packs for the 2020-21 season, sponsored by Hannaford To Go, are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE. The Mariners have introduced a new “Birthday Box” for $25 to help celebrate your child’s birthday this summer! The Birthday Box and the latest Mariners merchandise, including masks are available at our online store: MarinersOfMaine.com/shop.

MARINERS INK ROOKIE FORWARD ANDREW ROMANO

Photo credit: SUNY Geneseo Athletic Communications

PORTLAND, ME – July 20, 2020 – The Mariners announced the signing of rookie forward Andrew Romano on Monday. Romano will join the Mariners from SUNY-Geneseo, where he led all of NCAA Division III hockey in scoring as both a junior and a senior, and was a two-time All-American.

“I am thrilled to start my pro career with the Mariners,” said Romano. “They have been sincere with me from our first conversation and that is something I really appreciate. I chose the Mariners because they have shown an undeniable respect for their players. I have heard great things about the team’s culture and I am excited to be a part of that.”

From Drexel Hill, PA, Romano spent six seasons playing in the Philadelphia area, primarily with the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers program and La Salle College High. He stayed in Pennsylvania for his junior hockey, playing two seasons with the Johnstown Tomahawks of the North American Hockey League. In his final season in Johnstown, he posted 56 points in 60 games, including a team-leading 39 assists. From there it was off to the college ranks, and SUNY-Geneseo.

Romano (5’8, 170 lbs) was immediately productive for the Ice Knights, averaging nearly a point-per-game as a freshman in 2016-17. He increased his offensive production each season, breaking out in a big way in his junior season of 2018-19. Romano posted 52 points (10 goals, 42 assists) in 29 games, leading all of Division III hockey. Amazingly, he outdid himself as a senior, registering 56 points (14 goals, 42 assists) in 27 games, and repeating as the nation’s top scorer. He was also the top assist producer both years.

Photo credit: SUNY Geneseo Athletic Communications

In total, Romano registered 171 points in 112 career games at Geneseo, averaging more than 1.5 points per game. He racked up the accolades in his time there, highlighted by his two-time All American status, making AHCA (American Hockey Coaches Association) second team as a junior and first team as a senior. Geneseo captured the SUNYAC Championship the past three seasons. The March 7th 2020 victory over Oswego to complete the “three-peat” turned out to be Romano’s final collegiate game. The Ice Knights had an 84-18-10 record in Romano’s four seasons, as he suited up in every single game. He is the 2nd all-time leading scorer in program history.

“He will fit in just perfect – he brings speed, skill and also plays on the edge,” said Riley Armstrong, Mariners Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. “I feel that will separate him from other smaller players in the league. He is not afraid of the middle of the rink where the goals and chances come from.”

The Mariners have now announced four players signed for 2020-21, all forwards: Dillan Fox, Ted Hart, Michael McNicholas, and Romano.

Full and half season ticket packages as well as mini plans and flex packs for the 2020-21 season, sponsored by Hannaford To Go, are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE. The Mariners have introduced a new “Birthday Box” for $25 to help celebrate your child’s birthday this summer! The Birthday Box and the latest Mariners merchandise, including masks are available at our online store: MarinersOfMaine.com/shop.

MICHAEL MCNICHOLAS RE-SIGNS IN MAINE

PORTLAND, ME – July 6, 2020 – The Maine Mariners announced their third re-signing for the 2020-21 season on Monday, bringing back forward Michael McNicholas. Through the first two seasons of the Mariners existence, McNicholas is the franchise leader in points, assists, and games played

“Playing in Portland has been really fun for me,” said McNicholas. “It’s been a good experience both years that I’ve played there we’ve had a really good group of guys. We all get along off the ice and we all play well together on the ice so I’m excited for the third year.”

The 26 year old forward from Rendondo Beach CA, originally joined the Mariners in November of 2018. McNicholas began the season in Norway, playing 15 games for Manglerud. His signing in Maine marked his second ECHL team, following a brief stint with the Indy Fuel at the end of the 2017-18 season.

Joining the Mariners was a return to the New England hockey scene for McNicholas, who had spent the prior four seasons playing collegiately for the University of New Hampshire. His best college season came as a junior when he racked up 43 points in 37 games, good for second on the team in 2016-17.

McNicholas scored his first professional goal in a 3-1 home win against the Worcester Railers on November 10th, 2018. He’d total 53 points in 63 games for the Mariners, which was tops for any player in a Mariners uniform during the inaugural season. Taylor Cammarata was the team’s official points leader – but racked up stats with three different ECHL teams in 2018-19. McNicholas’ 40 assists led the team outright and was fourth among all ECHL rookies. He was named Mariners’ Rookie of the Year for 2018-19 by the coaching staff.

“[Michael] had a slow start last season but after having a good chat with him heading into this off-season, we both feel this upcoming season is going to really show the hockey world what type of player he is,” said Riley Armstrong, Mariners Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. “He is part of the core of the team and a big piece to our top six.”

Despite the slow start, McNicholas still finished second on the team in assists (27), and fourth in points (38). He heated up after the calendar turned to 2020, posting 22 points (7 goals, 15 assists) from January 3rd until the shortened-season’s final game on March 10th. He appeared in a team-leading 60 games in 2019-20, and through two seasons has played in a franchise-high 125 contests. His 91 points as a Mariner is also the top franchise mark, 18 more than Terrence Wallin, in second place.

McNicholas is the third announced signing for 2020-21, joining fellow returning forwards Dillan Fox and Ted Hart.

Full and half season ticket packages as well as mini plans and flex packs for the 2020-21 season, sponsored by Hannaford To Go, are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE. The Mariners have introduced a new “Birthday Box” for $25 to help celebrate your child’s birthday this summer! The Birthday Box and the latest Mariners merchandise are available at our online store: MarinersOfMaine.com/shop.

MARINERS ISSUE QUALIFYING OFFERS TO SEVEN PLAYERS

PORTLAND, ME – July 1, 2020 – The Mariners issued qualifying offers to seven players for the June 30th deadline, completing the ECHL rights protection process for 2020-21. The unrestricted free agency period begins today. The six players issued qualifying offers by the Mariners are: ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Forward (1): Ryan Ferrill
Defensemen (5): Jonathan Racine, Gabriel Sylvestre, Josh Couturier, Austin McEneny, and Dallas Rossiter
Goaltenders (1): Francois Brassard

Although a qualifying offer is not equal to a signing, it ensures that each player cannot play for another ECHL team in 2020-21, unless their rights are traded. Players who had already signed a contract by June 30 did not need to receive a qualifying offer.

Each team was entitled to reserve the rights to a maximum of eight qualified players. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four could be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the upcoming 2020-21 season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded.

The qualifying offer must remain open for acceptance until July 16 at which time the qualifying offer becomes null and void and the team may sign the qualified player to any salary or may elect to take no further action. Teams that extend a valid qualifying offer to a non-veteran player shall retain the rights to that qualified player for one playing season.

A team that extends a valid qualifying offer to a veteran player, or to a goaltender who has played more than 180 regular-season games, will retain the rights to that player until July 16. After July 16, if the veteran player or goaltender is not signed to a contract by the team, the player shall be deemed a restricted free agent and shall be entitled to seek and secure offers of employment from other ECHL teams. Restricted free agents may not be traded. When a restricted free agent receives a contract offer from a team other than the team with the player’s rights and the restricted free agent wishes to accept the contract offer, the restricted free agent and the offering member must, within 24 hours, notify the ECHL, the team with the player’s rights and the Professional Hockey Players’ Association. The member with the player’s rights shall have seven days after the date it is notified to exercise its right to match the contract offer.

If a restricted free agent is not signed to either an offer sheet or a contract by an ECHL team by Aug. 1, the player shall be deemed an unrestricted free agent.

Full and half season ticket packages as well as mini plans and flex packs for the 2020-21 season, sponsored by Hannaford To Go, are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE. The Mariners have introduced a new “Birthday Box” for $25 to help celebrate your child’s birthday this summer! The Birthday Box and the latest Mariners merchandise are available at our online store: MarinersOfMaine.com/shop.