BOBBY DORR WINS 2021 CAPTAIN JOEL BARNES COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD

PORTLAND, ME – April 2nd, 2021 – Ellsworth Fire Captain Robert (Bobby) Dorr has been named the winner of the 2021 Captain Joel Barnes Community Service Award. Dorr becomes the second recipient of the award, which was created in honor of heroic Berwick Fire Captain Joel Barnes, who lost his life in the line of duty in March of 2019.

The Mariners began accepting nominations last fall for the second annual award winner, seeking active or recently retired Fire and EMS responders in the state of Maine with three or more years of service, who “demonstrate outstanding professionalism and service to their community, and a commitment to promoting life safety education.”

A committee made up of Mariners employees, Teamsters Local 340, and last year’s award winner, Matt St. Pierre of the Hampden Fire Department, narrowed it down to three finalists: Bobby Dorr, Mike Norton (South Portland Professional Firefighters), and Troy Cailler (Sabattus Fire Department).

Dorr is a member of the Ellsworth Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 3402, where he is the lead instructor for the Hancock County Fire Academy. In January of 2020, Dorr was diagnosed with cancer, but continues to serve as interim assistant chief. His diagnosis inspired the creation of the “FireFIGHTer 204” fundraiser, which intends to purchase particulate flash hoods for firefighters in Hancock County and beyond. Dorr has also been named Ellsworth Fire Department’s “Firefighter of the Year” three times.

“I am honored to have been nominated and selected to receive the 2021 Captain Joel Barnes award,” said Dorr. “To be held in the same category as such a great man is very humbling for me. I will do my very best to continue to earn this award throughout my career.”

The Mariners plan to formally present Dorr with the award at a home game in the fall, recognizing all three finalists.

“It is important for our organization to continue recognizing local first responders and keeping the memory of Captain Barnes alive,” said Adam Goldberg, Mariners Vice President of Business Operations. “All of the award submissions highlighted amazing people that deserve recognition. Mr. Dorr is someone that makes the community proud and safe. I look forward to giving him proper recognition at an upcoming Mariners game as the 2nd winner of this community service award.”

Captain Joel Barnes was just 32 years old when he succumbed to his injuries on March 1st, 2019 after fighting a fire in Berwick, and saving the life of a fellow firefighter. A public memorial service was held one week later at the Cross Insurance Arena, with over 7,000 attendees present. Barnes had served with the Berwick Fire Department for two years and was the Training Safety Officer for the Department. The Captain Joel Barnes Community Service award was created in his memory the following fall, and was first awarded to Hampden firefighter Matt St. Pierre at a Mariners game on the one year anniversary of Barnes’ death.

The 2021-22 Mariners season is presented by Hannaford To Go, and will begin on October 22nd, with the home opener against the Worcester Railers, presented by Skowhegan Savings. Fans can put down a deposit of $50 on full season tickets for the 2021-22 season here. Half season, 12-game mini plans, and 10-ticket flex plans are also available for purchase, starting at $170. Single game and group ticket information will be available in the coming months, as well as a full schedule. More information on ticketing options is available by calling 833-GO-MAINE, emailing mariners-sales@comcastspectacor.com, or by visiting MarinersOfMaine.com.

‘TOMATO TOSS’ GOES VIRTUAL, WITH DROP FROM RAFTERS

PORTLAND, ME – March 17th, 2021 – “Toss a Tomato, Win Some Dough,” has been a popular staple at Maine Mariners home games through the first two seasons of operation. Despite not playing a 2020-21 season, the Mariners have revived the game in a virtual way, with a “tomato drop” from the rafters of the Cross Insurance Arena.

Evergreen Credit Union is sponsoring the “virtual tomato drop,” which will take place on a date to be determined in early April. As is the case at Mariners home games, fans can purchase one tomato [stress ball] for $1 or six for $5. Sales are taking place at MarinersOfMaine.com/shop. Tomatoes “ID numbers” will then be assigned based on the amount of tomatoes purchased by a given individual.

The tomatoes will be dumped, all at once, from the rafters of the Cross Insurance Arena, directly above “center ice,” where the target will be placed, as usual. The grand prize will be 50% of the money collected, along with a 7 day luxury hotel stay from Steele Hill Vacation Club to Orlando, FL or Las Vegas, NV, not including travel costs. Additional prizes from the Mariners, Jersey Mike’s Subs, Three Dollar Deweys, and R.E.D.D. Protein Bars will also be given away.

Net proceeds from the virtual tomato drop will be donated to Good Shepherd Food Bank.

PURCHASE TOMATOES HERE

The 2021-22 Mariners season is presented by Hannaford To Go, and will begin with the home opener on October 22nd at the Cross Insurance Arena against the Worcester Railers. Fans can put down a deposit of $50 on full season tickets for the 2021-22 season here. Half season, 12-game mini plans, and 10-ticket flex plans are also available for purchase, starting at $170. Single game and group ticket information will be available in the coming months, as well as a full 2021-22 schedule. More information on ticketing options is available by calling 833-GO-MAINE, emailing mariners-sales@comcastspectacor.com, or by visiting MarinersOfMaine.com.

A BUSY WEEKEND OF COMMUNITY EVENTS

The Mariners are involved in three big community events this weekend! Here is all you need to know about what’s going on:

Armstrong Skills Competition
When: Friday, March 12th
Where: The Rink At Thompson’s Point
What time: 11 AM – 7:30 PM

Mariners Head Coach & Assistant General Manager Riley Armstrong and wife, Amber, have organized an outdoor skills competition for local hockey players of all ages. Two divisions (17 and under, 18 and older) will compete in fastest skater, puck relay, and hardest shot, with valuable prizes on the line. They’re also raffling off some big ticket items including signed jerseys from NHL players Charlie McAvoy and Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins. Proceeds are going to local businesses and non-profits. The Mariners will be on hand selling merchandise and tickets, as well as giving away mini-sticks to kids. Beacon The Puffin will make an appearance from 3-5 PM.

Pro Shop Saturdays – Last one!
When: Saturday, March 13th
Where: Cross Insurance Arena (Spring St. parking lane)
What time: 10 AM – 2 PM

Mariners equipment manager Jake Rogers has raised over $1800 through the first four “Pro Shop Saturdays and this week is his final event! He’s offering skate sharpening for $6 and other equipment repairs at a quoted cost, with all proceeds benefiting local restaurants struggling through COVID-19. Jake also has a raffle going with prizes from the Mariners, Hartford Wolf Pack, and the University of Maine hockey team. Donations are also being accepted through a GoFundMe campaign. You find Jake at the Armstrong Skills Competition too!

Checking For Charity
When: Sunday, March 14th
Where: Streaming online
What time: 11:30 AM – 4:00 PM

The fourth annual Checking For Charity takes on a different look this year without spectators permitted to attend at Troubh Ice Arena. However, all three games (Red Riot Challenge, Firefighter Classic, Former Pro Showdown) will be broadcast online at the Checking For Charity Facebook Page with Mariners broadcaster Michael Keeley on the play-by-play. This year’s event is dedicated to the life of Travis Roy, and the Travis Roy foundation. The Mariners will have several personnel playing in the event including Riley Armstrong, Terrence Wallin, Ted and Brian Hart, and Ben Freeman. Donations can be made and merchandise or raffle tickets purchased at CFCMaine.org. A Dillan Fox autographed jersey is among the items in the raffle.

FOURTH ANNUAL CHECKING FOR CHARITY FEATURES MARINERS PRESENCE

PORTLAND, ME – March 2nd, 2021 – The fourth annual “Checking For Charity” will take place on Sunday, March 14th at Troubh Ice Arena, and the Maine Mariners will be strongly represented. Riley Armstrong, Terrence Wallin, and Ted and Brian Hart are all playing in the tournament, while Michael Keeley will be broadcasting the event online.

The first of three games is the Red Riot Challenge at 11:30 AM, featuring South Portland High School hockey alumni players and coaches. Next up at 1:00 PM is the South Portland Firefighter Classic with firefighters from South Portland and the surrounding communities. Finally, the Former Pro Showdown at 2:30 will feature former professional and high level college players, including all four Mariners participants. Armstrong and former Assistant Coach Anthony Bohn participated in the 2019 event, with players Louie Rowe, Dwyer Tschantz, and Derek Pratt serving as “celebrity coaches.” The 2020 event was cancelled because of COVID-19.

“It always feels great for myself to get back in a locker room setting where you’re just telling stories, being with the firefighters, they’re pretty much a hockey team,” said Armstrong. “They’re all tight-knit and they have some good stories of their own.”

In addition to the four current Mariners representatives, Ben Freeman and Trevor Fleurent will also be playing in the Former Pro Showdown. Freeman, a 6’5 forward and native of Falmouth, signed with the Mariners out of the University of Connecticut this past summer. After the Mariners season was cancelled, he joined the Wheeling Nailers and played in seven games before being released. Fleurent is from Biddeford and made local headlines by trying out for the Mariners in their inaugural season of 2018-19. While he never played a regular season game for Maine, he has played professional hockey in the Southern Professional Hockey League as well as in Norway.

Due to the pandemic, this year’s “Checking For Charity” will run a little bit different than past events. Without spectators permitted, this year’s charity hockey event will be streamed online. Mariners play-by-play announcer Michael Keeley will broadcast all three games, with University of Maine hockey voice Jeff Mannix serving as color analyst.

“With nearly a year between hockey broadcasts, I’m really looking forward to calling these games,” said Keeley. “I’m also excited to work alongside Jeff Mannix who has as much knowledge as anyone about hockey in Maine.”

The game will be streamed on SeasonCast, with a link available on the Checking For Charity website and social media, as well as the Mariners pages.

This year’s Checking For Charity is dedicated to Travis Roy with a “generous” portion of proceeds raised going to his foundation. Travis, who tragically suffered a life changing injury in his first college hockey shift in 1995, while playing for Boston University, passed away on October 29th, 2020. He was born in Yarmouth, Maine, and became an inspirational speaker after he was left paralyzed from the neck down. He started the Travis Roy Foundation in 1996 with the goal of funding research for spinal cord injuries.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to what this event is about, and that’s raising money for those in need,” said Mike Norton, South Portland Firefighter and Checking For Charity committee member. “This year’s event is going to be a special one aimed at celebrating the life and work of Travis Roy, and we have some great tributes planned to honor him.”

The primary way that the public can support this year’s event is through their online raffle, merchandise store, or with monetary donations. A pair of Mariners jerseys will be included in the raffle. More information can be found on the Checking for Charity website.

About Checking For Charity

Checking For Charity was born out of a love for hockey and a desire to give back to the community. In 2017, two South Portland firefighters hatched up an idea: A charity hockey event with a couple of games and a focus on South Portland. Through the support and hard-work of many firefighters and community members the event has grown and raised over $40,000 in its first three years. The event is the largest fundraiser the South Portland Professional Firefighters conduct each year. All of the money raised is donated to a variety of non-profit organizations and charities. Although some money is donated to larger organizations, the vast majority of the money is donated to local groups.

Mariners season ticket packages (full, half, and 12-game mini plans), along with 10-ticket flex plans for the 2021-22 season are now on sale, starting at $170. Fans can call 833-GO-MAINE or email mariners-sales@comcastspectacor.com to contact a sales representative. The Mariners hockey operations staff are raising money for local businesses affected by COVID-19 through “Pro Shop Saturdays” and the “Armstrong Skills Competition.” Click here to read more. As always, shop the latest in Mariners merchandise at MarinersOfMaine.com/shop. In-office pickup is now available.

HEROES WALL COLLECTS NEARLY 200 SIGNATURES

PORTLAND, ME – February 23rd, 2021 – After collecting 198 signatures in four “Heroes Wall” events throughout the month of February, the Maine Mariners will be donating over 200 tickets to local healthcare workers for the 2021-22 season.

The Heroes Wall, presented by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, is a banner that the Mariners set up at sponsor locations over the past two weekends for individuals to sign their name or a message, thanking healthcare workers for their dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic. Between stops at Jersey Mike’s Subs, The Rink at Thompson’s Point, Nonesuch River Brewing, and Portland Pie Company, 198 people signed the wall, supporting local “healthcare heroes.” For each signature, a ticket (or group of tickets) to a 2021-22 Mariners game will be donated to healthcare employees. Anyone working in the healthcare field locally, can apply for tickets (up to four per request) on the Mariners website.

“The Heroes Wall promotion was a great reminder of how appreciative and thankful the people of Maine are for our tireless hospital workers,” said Adam Goldberg, Mariners Vice President of Business Operations. “Harvard Pilgrim and the Maine Mariners hope that this small gesture helps shine a continuous light on the people keeping our community safe and healthy. I know we are looking forward to thanking them personally at a game full of fans, which wouldn’t be possible without their hard work.”

About Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Harvard Pilgrim and its family of companies provide health benefit plans, programs and services to more than 3 million customers in New England and beyond. A leading not-for-profit health services company, we guide our members – and the communities we serve – to better health. Founded by doctors over 50 years ago, we’re building on our legacy. In partnership with our expansive network of doctors and hospitals, we’re improving health outcomes and lowering costs through clinical quality and innovative care management. Our commitment to the communities we serve is driven by the passion of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. Through its work, low- and moderate-income families are gaining greater access to fresh, affordable food — a cornerstone to better health and well-being.

“Harvard Pilgrim is honored to partner with the Maine Mariners on this project to show our appreciation for Maine’s frontline healthcare workers,” said Bill Whitmore, Vice President, Maine Market at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “Throughout the pandemic, these men and women have been the true heroes, putting their lives on the line to help those in need and combat this deadly virus.”

The Heroes Wall events also collected can food donations for Good Shepherd Food Bank and St. Luke’s Food Pantry in Portland. All fans which donated a canned good received a ticket voucher to a 2021-22 game.

The Mariners are one of 12 ECHL teams which are currently not participating in the 2020-21 season. Season ticket packages (full, half, and 12-game mini plans), along with 10-ticket flex plans for the 2021-22 season are now on sale, starting at $170. Fans can call 833-GO-MAINE or email mariners-sales@comcastspectacor.com to contact a sales representative. The Mariners hockey operations staff are raising money for local businesses affected by COVID-19 through “Pro Shop Saturdays” and the “Armstrong Skills Competition.” Click here to read more. As always, shop the latest in Mariners merchandise at MarinersOfMaine.com/shop. In-office pickup is now available.

MARINERS TO RETAIN RIGHTS TO SIGNED PLAYERS FOR 2021-22

PORTLAND, ME – February 18th, 2021 – The ECHL held its Midseason Meeting of the Board of Governors this week and announced on Thursday key updates pertaining to the 2021-22 season. Among the updates, the news that any player that had signed with a non-participating team for the 2020-21 season and went on to sign with a participating club, shall have their rights for 2021-22 reverted to their original team.

The official language from the ECHL’s release is as follows:

Any Player who had originally signed with one of the 12 Teams not participating in the 2020-21 Season, and went on to sign with one of the 2020-21 Active Teams, shall have his Player Rights revert back to the original Member Team’s Protected List. Any Player who was issued a Qualifying Offer by a Member that elected Pandemic Voluntary Suspension, but never signed the Qualifying Offer, shall be declared a Free Agent for the 2021-22 Season.

Players who were signed with the Mariners and went on to play with other ECHL teams this season include: forwards Alex Kile (Florida), Michael McNicholas (Rapid City/Indy), Conner Bleackley (Allen), Ben Freeman (Wheeling), and defensemen Scott Savage (Indy) and Michael Kim (Jacksonville). Goaltender Francois Brassard, who was issued a qualifying offer, is playing for the Wheeling Nailers. Additionally, forwards Nick Master and Andrew Romano, who signed in Maine, are playing in the Southern Professional Hockey League this season, as is rookie defenseman Ryan Jackson. Defenseman Marc-Olivier-Crevier-Morin is currently playing in Slovakia.

“We, as an organization, are extremely fortunate to be able to keep the rights to our players for the upcoming season,” said Riley Armstrong, Mariners Head Coach and Assistant General Manager. “Starting in 2018 and trying to build a core group of players that are now becoming the face of the Mariners and fan favorites in town is the biggest thing in minor league sports. We feel Portland is the best place to play in the ECHL and has the best fans as well. We look forward to putting a team on the ice that will compete for a Kelly Cup in the 2021-22 season.”

The Mariners opted out of the 2020-21 season on November 18th, 2020, along with the entire North Division. Also announced on Thursday was the withdrawal of membership by the Brampton Beast, ceasing operations at the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. ECHL expansion franchises in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec and Coralville, Iowa were announced on January 12th. A franchise in Savannah, Georgia will also join the league in 2022-23.

Finally, the ECHL announced that the start date for the 2021-22 season will be October 22nd, 2021, with the regular season ending on April 17th, 2022.  The full ECHL release can be read here.

Season ticket packages (full, half, and 12-game mini plans), along with 10-ticket flex plans for the 2021-22 season are now on sale, starting at $170. Fans can call 833-GO-MAINE or email mariners-sales@comcastspectacor.com to contact a sales representative. The Mariners hockey operations staff are raising money for local businesses affected by COVID-19 through “Pro Shop Saturdays” and the “Armstrong Skills Competition.” Click here to read more. As always, shop the latest in Mariners merchandise at MarinersOfMaine.com/shop. In-office pickup is now available.

MARINERS HOCKEY OPERATIONS TO RAISE MONEY FOR LOCAL BUSINESSES

PORTLAND, ME – February 10th, 2021 – Despite the absence of a 2020-21 season, Mariners Head Coach & Assistant General Manager Riley Armstrong and Equipment Manager Jake Rogers are putting their talents to use to help local small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Armstrong Skills Competition and “Pro Shop Saturdays,” the Mariners hockey operations department will be raising money for businesses in need and community outreach programs while also growing the game of hockey.

For five Saturdays beginning February 13th, Mariners Equipment Manager Jake Rogers will be offering his services to the public, with proceeds specifically focused on assisting local restaurants. From 10 AM – 2 PM each Saturday between February 13th and March 13th, hockey players of all ages can gets skates sharpened and equipment repaired by Rogers at the Cross Insurance Arena, with all proceeds benefiting local restaurants. Fans are encouraged to send suggestions for local restaurants in need of assistance through social media.

“When you’re spending seven days a week in town, you spend a lot of time having lunch at all the great local spots,” said Rogers. “Over the last year I’ve missed a lot of my local spots we’d go to, so where I haven’t been personally affected by COVID, I feel this is a great way to give back to those local restaurants that may be in need of a hand.”

Those interested in taking advantage of Rogers’ services can drive up to temporary parking lane on the Spring Street side of the Cross Insurance Arena on Saturdays between 10 AM and 2 PM and call the equipment office at 207-761-4361, or contact Rogers on social media (@jrogers92 on Twitter, @j.rogers92 on Instagram), who will consult with the client outside the arena. Standard skate sharpening will cost $6 per pair of skates, with all other repairs and requests on a quoted basis. Only cash payments will be accepted. Raffle tickets can also be purchased for the chance to win one of two Mariners authentic jerseys as well as Boston Bruins autographed Warrior items. Raffle tickets will cost $10 each, or three for $20.

The Armstrong Skills Competition is an event being organized by Mariners Head Coach & Assistant General Manager Riley Armstrong, and his wife Amber, through their business, “Armstrong Hockey Skills.” The event, which will take place on March 12th at the Rink at Thompson’s Point, is a three-event skills competition with age brackets of 16 and under and 17 and older. Hockey players of all ages can show off their skills in a puck relay, hardest shot, and fastest skater contests. Registration is $15 per event, and prize raffles will be held, including the items provided by Rogers. The Mariners will also be on hand at the skills competition, including an appearance by Beacon The Puffin.

“We want this event to be about community, about bring people together (safely), and enjoying the beautiful city of Portland,” Armstrong said. “We also know that times are hard and we want to give back to the small businesses and local organizations. It’s going to be a great day with some awesome raffles benefitting the community.”

Proceeds from the Armstrong Skills Competition will support a variety of local small businesses and community outreach programs, including the Locker Project, a child hunger organization based in Scarborough. More details about the Armstrong Skills Competition can be found on their Facebook page and on Instagram @armstronghockeyskills.

The Mariners have also partnered with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care on the “Heroes Wall,” a banner for fans to sign and write messages of appreciation to local healthcare workers. Each signature on the wall donates a ticket to a 2021-22 Mariners game for a “healthcare hero.” The first two signing events are taking place this week – Thursday, February 11th at Jersey Mike’s in Scarborough from 11 AM – 1 PM, and Saturday, February 13th at the Rink at Thompson’s Point from 1-3 PM.

MARINERS, PARTNERS TEAM UP TO THANK HEALTHCARE WORKERS

PORTLAND, ME – February 2nd, 2021 – The Maine Mariners have teamed up with local businesses to show their appreciation for Maine healthcare workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For four days in February, fans will have the opportunity to visit Mariners partner locations and sign the “Heroes Wall,” sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. A large banner (the “Heroes Wall”) will be present at Mariners partner locations for fans to sign and write messages of gratitude to doctors, nurses, and other frontline healthcare workers in local hospitals. The Mariners will donate one 2021-22 game ticket per signature to a local “healthcare heroes.”

“There are so many people that have made the selfless act of caring for others first during this pandemic,” said Adam Goldberg, Mariners Vice President of Business Operations. “Front-line medical workers are an amazing example of humanity helping each other. We want to honor their commitment to the well-being of our community and this ‘Heroes Wall’ is a small gesture to let them know we appreciate them.”

There will be a total of four Heroes Wall events at the following Mariners partner locations: Jersey Mike’s in Scarborough, The Rink at Thompson’s Point in Portland, Nonesuch River Brewing in Scarborough, and Portland Pie Company in Scarborough. The Mariners will be on hand at each location for two hours. The first 100 participants (all locations included) will receive a Harvard Pilgrim water bottle, while supplies last. Fans are also encouraged to bring donations in the form of canned goods for the Good Shepherd Food bank that will be distributed to St. Luke’s Food Pantry in Portland. In addition, Jersey Mike’s is donating 10% of all sales during their event to Good Shepherd. All supporters who bring a canned goods donation will receive a ticket voucher to a 2021-22 Mariners game.

The complete schedule of Heroes Wall events is below:

Heroes Wall sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care:

Thursday, February 11th: Jersey Mike’s in Scarborough (11 AM – 1 PM) featuring Head Coach Riley Armstrong

Saturday, February 13th: The Rink at Thompson’s Point (1 PM – 3 PM) featuring Beacon the Puffin

Saturday, February 20th: Nonesuch River Brewing (12 PM – 2 PM) featuring Head Coach Riley Armstrong

Sunday, February 21st: Portland Pie Company in Scarborough (11 AM – 1 PM) featuring Mariners forward Ted Hart

“Harvard Pilgrim is honored to partner with the Maine Mariners on this project to show our appreciation for Maine’s frontline healthcare workers,” said Bill Whitmore, Vice President, Maine Market at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. “Throughout the pandemic, these men and women have been the true heroes, putting their lives on the line to help those in need and combat this deadly virus.”

About Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Harvard Pilgrim and its family of companies provide health benefit plans, programs and services to more than 3 million customers in New England and beyond. A leading not-for-profit health services company, we guide our members – and the communities we serve – to better health. Founded by doctors over 50 years ago, we’re building on our legacy. In partnership with our expansive network of doctors and hospitals, we’re improving health outcomes and lowering costs through clinical quality and innovative care management.  Our commitment to the communities we serve is driven by the passion of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. Through its work, low- and moderate-income families are gaining greater access to fresh, affordable food — a cornerstone to better health and well-being.

The Mariners are one of 12 ECHL teams not participating in the 2020-21 season, and will return to play for the 2021-22 season. Season ticket packages (full, half, and 12-game mini plans), along with 10-ticket flex plans, are now on sale, starting at $170. Fans can call 833-GO-MAINE or email mariners-sales@comcastspectacor.com to contact a sales representative. The Mariners online merchandise store has also re-opened, with the latest in Mariners merchandise, at MarinersOfMaine.com/shop.