DWYER TSCHANTZ RE-SIGNS WITH MARINERS

PORTLAND, ME – June 24, 2019 – The Mariners have re-signed forward Dwyer Tschantz to a standard player contract for the 2019-20 season, the team announced on Monday. The 6’6 forward had a strong finish to his rookie campaign in 2018-19, scoring seven of his nine goals from mid-February through the end of the season.

A native of Wilmington, DE, Tschantz was a 2014 NHL draft pick of the St. Louis Blues (Round 7, #202 overall). In his final season of junior hockey with the USHL’s Indiana Ice (2013-14), Tschantz helped his team capture a Clark Cup Championship, as he posted 44 points (24 goals, 20 assists) in 52 regular season games. He went on to play collegiately at Cornell University, before signing with the Worcester Railers at the end of the 2017-18 season. In four games for Worcester, Tschantz scored one goal – the first of his professional career on April 7th, 2018 at Manchester.

Tschantz has ties to the Mariners organization dating back to early days of juniors. From 2011-13, he was involved in the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers 16U and Team Comcast 18U programs. The Mariners are owned by Comcast Spectacor. During Tschantz’s time in Philadelphia, Mariners V.P. of Operations Danny Briere was playing for the Flyers, and became one of Dwyer’s idols.

In July of 2018, Tschantz signed with the Mariners. He would be one of four players – along with Brycen Martin, Garrett Cecere, and Ryan Ferrill to play the entire season with Maine. Tschantz got off to a slow start, scoring just two goals in his first 27 games, but caught fire in mid-February. A goal on February 15th at Norfolk, sparked a three game goal streak and seven goals in 13 games. On March 8th, 2019 against the South Carolina Stingrays, Tschantz scored twice for the first multi-goal game of his career. Tschantz totaled 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in his final 26 games.

“It was special to be a part of the Mariners first season back in Portland from start to finish,” said Tschantz. “Our fans were awesome night after night making every home game fun to look forward to. The support from ownership, management and staff far exceeded my expectations coming into my rookie season.”

Tschantz was named the team’s “Most Improved Player” for 2018-19. He says the coaching staff was a big reason why.

“Similar to the team, it took me time to find my groove in Maine but I credit the coaches for helping me find my game towards the end of the year, he said. “I am extremely happy to re-sign in Maine and build on what we started last season.”

Tschantz becomes the fourth forward signed to a SPC for 2019-20, joining Terrence Wallin, Michael McNicholas, and Dillan Fox.

The second season of Maine Mariners ECHL hockey kicks off October 11th at home when the Adirondack Thunder visit the Cross Insurance Arena for a 7:15 PM faceoff. Full and half season plans along with 12-game mini plans and group tickets are on sale now by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland. Single game tickets will go on sale September 16th.

WILD BLUEBERRIES NIGHT WINS ECHL THEME NIGHT OF THE YEAR

PORTLAND, ME – June 21, 2019 – At the annual ECHL Summer Meetings in Las Vegas, NV, the Maine Mariners were awarded “Theme Night of the Year” during Thursday’s awards ceremony. The winning theme night was “Wild Blueberries Night,” which was held on March 9th, 2019 when the Mariners hosted the South Carolina Stingrays. The theme paid tribute to “what could have been,” as the Wild Blueberries finished second to the Mariners in the Summer 2017 team naming contest.

The legend of the Maine Wild Blueberries began shortly after the announcement of Portland’s newest professional hockey franchise became public in the summer of 2017. Fans were asked to submit ideas for the team name at PortlandMaineHockey.com, with around 4,000 suggestions received. In August, five finalists were put up for vote: Mariners, Wild Blueberries, Puffins, Lumberjacks, and Watchmen. The Wild Blueberries quickly took on a cult-like following, gaining traction in the national spotlight, including Yahoo!’s Puck Daddy, Sports Illustrated, and Reddit. On September 29th, 2017, after over 18,000 votes were cast, the Mariners were announced as the winner, narrowly beating out the Wild Blueberries to become the franchise’s name.

Big Room Studios, Portland-based creative technology company that designed the Mariners logo and helped with the mascot, Beacon, designed an official Wild Blueberries logo, that would pave the way for the concept to eventually come to life. The Mariners began planning “What If Night,” which evolved into simply “Wild Blueberries Night,” where all references to the Mariners would be switched to the Wild Blueberries – for one night. From the jerseys on the ice, to the public address announcements, video board and broadcast overlay logos, the Maine Mariners brand took a night off on March 9th, 2019 in lieu of the Maine Wild Blueberries.

Wild Blueberries merchandise was in high demand before, during, and after the night itself. The first 2,000 fans went home with a commemorative Wild Blueberries cup sponsored by Northeast Charter & Tour Co. and FRANK-FM, and Oakhurst Dairy provided Wild Blueberry Milk to fans on their way out of the arena. The Maine Wild Blueberries jerseys were auctioned off to fans after the game. In front of a crowd of over 4,900, the Mariners (Wild Blueberries) fell 2-1 in overtime to the Stingrays.

According to wildblueberries.com, the state of Maine is the only place in the United States where wild blueberries are cultivated, and is the largest producer of the fruit in the World. The state is also responsible for 10% of all blueberry production in North America. More is written about the wild blueberries – on and off the ice in a post on the Official Mariners Blog: Sea For Yourself.

The four other finalists for the award of ECHL “Theme Night of the Year,” were the Florida Everblades’ “Blackout,” the South Carolina Stingrays’ “Capitals Stanley Cup Night,” the Brampton Beast’s “Star Wars Night,” and the Indy Fuel’s “Wizards Night.”

The second ECHL season of Maine Mariners hockey kicks off October 11th at home when the Adirondack Thunder visit the Cross Insurance Arena for a 7:15 PM faceoff. Full and half season plans along with 12-game mini plans and group tickets are on sale now by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland. Single game tickets will go on sale September 16th.

MARINERS RE-SIGN FIVE PLAYERS FOR 2019-20

PORTLAND, ME – June 17, 2019 – The Maine Mariners announced the re-signing of five players to standard players contracts (SPC) on Monday, officially marking the beginning of the 2019-20 roster. Forwards Terrence Wallin, Michael McNicholas, and Dillan Fox, along with defensemen Derek Pratt and Josh Couturier, have all agreed to deals for 2019-20.

Wallin, a 27-year-old forward, was an Alternate Captain in 2018-19 but found himself getting significant time in the AHL. The Yardley, PA native with Maine ties by way of Kennebunk, played 23 AHL games with the Hartford Wolf Pack in addition to his 41 with Maine. As a Mariner, Wallin put up 30 points (11 goals, 19 assists), finishing fourth on the team in scoring. The Mariners acquired Wallin in their first ever trade last September, when they sent defenseman Matias Cleland to the Adirondack Thunder. Wallin has been a pro since 2015-16 when he played for the SPHL’s Peoria Rivermen. He played his college hockey in New England at UMass-Lowell.

McNicholas is a 25-year-old forward from Reno, NV. After starting his 2018-19 season in Norway with Manglerud, he returned to the U.S. and signed with the Mariners on October 31st, 2018. The former University of New Hampshire Wildcat led the team in assists (40) and points in a Mariners uniform (53), finishing second only to Taylor Cammarata in overall point scoring. His 40 assists were also good for fourth among all ECHL rookies. McNicholas scored his first ECHL goal on November 10th, 2018, the game-winner in a 3-1 home victory over Worcester. He also finished tied for the team lead in shootout goals, with three. The Mariners coaching staff named McNicholas the team’s Rookie of the Year.

Dillan Fox was an unexpected key piece to the 2018-19 team. Signed to an SPC in January while playing for the SPHL’s Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs, Fox was out to prove he deserved to stick in the ECHL. In just 37 games, Fox scored 16 goals, good for the third most on the team. As the Mariners dealt with injuries and call ups through February and March in particular, Fox became one of the primary scoring options on the roster. He produced three multi-goal performances along the way, and was ultimately named “unsung hero” by the coaching staff. Fox played NCAA DIII hockey at SUNY Plattsburgh and had been almost exclusively in the SPHL since 2016, besides a 10-game stint with Reading in 2017-18, near his hometown of Hummelstown, PA. He just celebrated his 28th birthday last Thursday.

On the Mariners blue line, few defensemen provided a more steady presence than Derek Pratt. The rookie D-man suited up in 63 games, leading all Mariners D. The Mount Hermon, MA native is known much more for his stay-at-home play than point production, but he put up a respectable two goals and 16 assists from the Mariners blue line. Included, was a goal in his professional debut on October 19th, 2018 against Reading at the Cross Insurance Arena. A former Captain at the University of Connecticut, Pratt wore an “A” on his sweater amidst call ups to the original Mariners captains in 2018-19. He earned a look with both Hartford and the Utica Comets, with which he made his AHL debut in April.

Josh Couturier didn’t join the Mariners until mid-February, but he had a significant impact after the trade that saw him shipped over from Wheeling. Just two days after playing at the Cross Insurance Arena as a visitor with the Nailers on February 10th, he quickly turned around and headed back to Portland to join the Maine lineup. Couturier scored a goal in his team debut on February 13th and finished with 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in 19 games as a Mariner after posting just two points 32 contests with Wheeling. The 24-year-old blue-liner hails from Newbury, MA and played collegiately for both Boston College and UMass-Amherst.

ECHL teams can sign players on their season-ending roster to SPCs up through June 30th, after which eight players per team can be issued qualified offers to extend the retention of their rights. Free agency begins on July 1st.

Fans are invited to meet the players, plus coaches and staff at a meet and greet at Binga’s Stadium on Tuesday, June 18th from 7-8:30. Fans can also enter to win a Mariners prize pack at the event.

The second ECHL season of Maine Mariners hockey kicks off October 11th at home when the Adirondack Thunder visit the Cross Insurance Arena for a 7:15 PM faceoff. Full and half season plans along with 12-game mini plans and group tickets are on sale now by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland. Single game tickets will go on sale September 16th.

MARINERS ANNOUNCE SEASON-ENDING ROSTER

PORTLAND, ME – June 15, 2019 – The Maine Mariners released their season-ending roster for 2018-19 on Saturday, protecting the rights of 20 players between now and July 1st. The season-ending roster is the second phase in the three step process of protecting players’ rights, the first being the initial protected list, and the final being June 30th qualifying offers.

Here is the Mariners 2018-19 season-ending roster:

FORWARDS (10): Taylor Cammarata, Greg Chase, Ryan Ferrill, Dillan Fox, Corey Kalk, Alex Kile, Nick Master, Michael McNicholas, Dwyer Tschantz, Terrence Wallin

DEFENSEMEN (8): Rich Boyd, Johnny Coughlin, Josh Couturier, Garrett Cecere, Jon Jutzi, Derek Pratt, Scott Savage, Zach Tolkinen

GOALTENDERS (2): Francois Brassard, Connor LaCouvee

Each team is entitled to reserve rights to a maximum of eight players from the list of 20 by extending a qualifying offer no later than June 30. Of the eight qualified players, no more than four can be veterans (260 regular season professional hockey games played as of the start of the 2019-20 Season). Players on open qualifying offers cannot be traded. Teams are not required to extend a qualifying offer to players who sign a contract prior to June 30.

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 veteran or goaltender 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.

Starting on Sunday, June 16th, teams can sign players on their season-ending rosters to standard player contracts for 2019-20. The Mariners will announce their initial signings on Monday, June 17th. Up to eight players can receive qualifying offers by June 30th. Free agency begins on July 1st.

The second ECHL season of Maine Mariners hockey kicks off October 11th at home when the Adirondack Thunder visit the Cross Insurance Arena for a 7:15 PM faceoff. Full and half season plans along with 12-game mini plans and group tickets are on sale now by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland. Single game tickets will go on sale September 16th. The Mariners are also hosting a public “Meet and Greet” with players, coaches, and staff at Binga’s Stadium (77 Free St. in Portland) this coming Tuesday, June 18th from 7-8:30 PM.

MARINERS ANNOUNCE 12-GAME MINI PLAN

PORTLAND, ME – June 14, 2019 – The Maine Mariners have announced a new ticket plan for the 2019-20 season: the 12-game mini plan. The mini plan will allow fans to pre-select 12 games of their choice, while reserving the same seat for each game. Mini plan packages start as low as $180 per seat.

The 12-game mini plan, which accounts for one-third of the home schedule, is a happy medium between a 10-ticket flex plan and a half season ticket plan. Like a half season plan, fans can reserve their seat in the same spot for all 12 games within the mini plan. Additionally, each 12-game mini plan holder receives access to a dedicated account representative in the Mariners front office. These perks are not included in 10-ticket flex plans. Additional buddy passes and ticket exchanges, which are included in half and full season plans, are not included in the 12-game mini plan.

The Mariners’ second ECHL season will open on October 11th against the Adirondack Thunder at the Cross Insurance Arena. The full schedule for 2019-20 was released yesterday. There are a total of three home games in October, eight in November, four in December, and seven each in the months of January, February, and March. The Mariners have 11 home Saturdays, 11 Friday dates and six Sunday afternoon games to go along with eight weekday games (six Tuesdays, one Monday and Thursday).

There are two tiers of pricing for the 12-game mini plan. Plans for seats in the end zones are $180 for 12 games ($15 per seat), while plans for seats in the center sections are $216 ($18 per seat). There are no additional service or handling fees for full, half or 12-game mini plans.

In addition to the mini plan ticket plan, the Mariners have full and half season plans available now. Information on 10-ticket flex plans for 2019-20 as well as single game tickets will be released later in the summer. Fans can call 833-GO-MAINE or visit a sales representative at the Mariners offices located on 94 Free St. in Portland for more information or to purchase a ticket package. Additionally, information on all levels of season ticket memberships can be found here.

MARINERS ANNOUNCE FULL 2019-20 SCHEDULE

PORTLAND, ME – June 13, 2019 – The Maine Mariners, along with the ECHL released the full schedule for the 2019-20 season on Thursday. The Mariners will begin the season at home on Friday, October 11th against the Adirondack Thunder at the Cross Insurance Arena and will play 36 home games at the Cross Insurance Arena against nine different opponents, two of which they did not play in 2018-19. The Mariners posted a 22-12-1-1 record on home ice last season, the third best mark in the North Division, and the fifth best in the Eastern Conference. The regular season home finale is March 29th against the Worcester Railers and the final game of the regular season is Sunday, April 5th at Worcester.

The Mariners will once again compete in the ECHL’s North Division along with Adirondack, Worcester, the Reading Royals, the Newfoundland Growlers, and the Brampton Beast. The Manchester Monarchs announced a cease of operations on May 15th and had its membership terminated on May 20th, leaving six teams in the division instead of seven. The Mariners most common opponents will be the Worcester Railers and Adirondack Thunder, each of whom they play 18 times. The Mariners and Railers will split their season series with nine games in each city, while Maine will travel to Glens Falls ten times and host the Thunder for eight. The Mariners will play the defending Kelly Cup champion Newfoundland Growlers 11 times this coming season, seven of the games at home. Rounding out divisional play, the Mariners and Reading Royals meet nine times (six in Reading), and seven matchups are scheduled against Brampton (four home, three away).

Outside the North Division, the Mariners welcome in the South Carolina Stingrays (March 1) and Norfolk Admirals (March 10) of the South Division for the second consecutive season. They’ll also host the Indy Fuel (November 29) and Jacksonville IceMen (January 3-4), inaugural meetings with both organizations. On the road in interdivisional play, the Mariners travel to Norfolk once again, and will visit the Wheeling Nailers for the first time in history, a homecoming of sorts for Mariners Head Coach Riley Armstrong, who spent two seasons as an assistant coach there. The Nailers came to Portland last season.

January is Maine’s busiest month, with 15 games scheduled in the first month of 2020. By day of the week, the Mariners will play 11 home Saturdays, 11 Fridays, six Sundays, six Tuesdays, and one Monday and Thursday each. Start times will remain 7:00 PM on weekdays, 7:15 PM on Fridays, 6:00 PM on Saturdays, and 3:00 PM on Sundays. Doors will open one hour before start time, one hour and 15 minutes for season ticket holders. All game times are subject to change.

Full and half season ticket packages plus group ticket discounts are available now by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office located next to the Cross Insurance Arena at 94 Free Street. Single game tickets will go on sale September 16th. Registration for Beacon’s Kids Club and the Mariners inaugural summer reading program, “Read with ME” are also underway.

MARINERS SEND MURPHY’S RIGHTS TO WHEELING

PORTLAND, ME – June 12, 2019 – The Mariners completed a future considerations trade on Wednesday, sending the rights of forward Wade Murphy to the Wheeling Nailers. The move completes the February 12th deal in which the Mariners acquired defenseman Josh Couturier from the Nailers.

In an interesting turn of events, the Mariners acquired Couturier just two days after they hosted Wheeling at the Cross Insurance Arena. The Mariners defeated the Nailers, 4-1 on February 10th in what would be Couturier’s final game in a Wheeling uniform. On February 12th, the Mariners announced Couturier’s acquisition and he made his Maine debut the following night at home against Worcester, scoring a goal in a 5-4 overtime victory.

Couturier, 24, saw a major jump in offensive production after the trade. In 32 games with Wheeling, the rookie defenseman had only two points. He’d play 19 games with Maine, scoring two goals and adding eight assists. Couturier grew up in New England (Newbury, MA) and also played his college hockey in the area – at Boston College and UMass-Amherst.

If the Nailers sign Murphy, he’ll join his 6th ECHL team in four seasons. Murphy debuted with the Manchester Monarchs out of Arizona State in 2017, and then split the 17-18 season between the Worcester Railers and Greenville Swamp Rabbits. From there it was off to the Kalamazoo Wings to start 2018-19, before the Mariners acquired him in January, completing a separate future considerations deal. Murphy will be remembered in Maine for his legendary shootout performance on March 17th, when he ended a marathon with the Newfoundland Growlers, by scoring the game-winner in the 18th round. It was his second goal of the shootout. Exactly three weeks later, Murphy scored another shootout winner against the Growlers in the inaugural season finale. Murphy finished with three goals and eight assists in 31 games for the Mariners.

All future considerations trades from 2018-19 must be completed by 3:00 PM ET tomorrow afternoon (June 13th). ECHL teams can start signing players to standard player contracts this coming Sunday, June 16th. The Mariners will announce their initial signings next Monday, June 17th and hold a meet and greet event for fans at Binga’s Stadium (77 Free St., Portland) on Tuesday, June 18th from 7-8:30 PM. The 2019-20 season is set to open on Friday, October 11th when the Mariners will host the Adirondack Thunder at 7:15 PM. Full and half season tickets are available now by calling 833-GO-MAINE.

MARINERS TO HOLD SUMMER MEET & GREETS THIS MONTH

PORTLAND, ME – June 6, 2019 – With the Newfoundland Growlers winning the 2018-19 Kelly Cup on Tuesday, the ECHL calendar has officially flipped to 2019-20. The Mariners are holding two public meet and greet events in the month of June to give fans a first look at the early stages of the 2019-20 team as they prepare for their second ECHL season.

On Monday, the Mariners released their protected list, with the players whose rights are retained through the end of the month. Players are permitted to begin signing standard player contracts on June 16th and the Mariners will announce initial signings on June 17th.

On Tuesday, June 18th, fans will get their first chance to meet with Mariners players, coaches, and staff at a meet and greet event at Binga’s Stadium, located on Free Street in Portland, across from the Cross Insurance Arena. The event will run from 7:00-8:30 PM. Fans are encouraged to bring items to get autographed and will be able to enter a drawing to win a Mariners prize pack.

Finally, on Thursday, June 27th from 6:00-7:00 PM, Mariners broadcaster Michael Keeley will host a summer edition of the Mariners Coach’s Show at Aura Sports (121 Center St. in Portland), streaming live on the Mariners Radio Network. Riley Armstrong and players will be on hand to join the show and meet with fans.

The second season of Maine Mariners ECHL hockey will begin in October. Full and half season ticket packages are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office located next to the Cross Insurance Arena at 94 Free Street. Registration for Beacon’s Kids Club and the Mariners inaugural summer reading program, “Read with ME” are also underway.

MARINERS COMPLETE TWO FUTURE CONSIDERATIONS TRADES

Corey Kalk skated in 14 games for Wichita in 2018-19, putting up 13 points. Photo credit: Wichita Thunder.

PORTLAND, ME – June 4, 2019 – The Maine Mariners completed two future considerations trades on Tuesday, acquiring the ECHL rights of forward Corey Kalk from the Wichita Thunder, while sending forward Zeb Knutson’s rights to the Kansas City Mavericks.

The acquisition of Corey Kalk’s rights completes a deal from December 27th, 2018, when Mariners traded forward Luke Stork to Wichita. Kalk, a 24-year-old forward from Thornhill, Ontario, was a rookie in 2018-19, and split the season between Wichita and the Orlando Solar Bears. In 36 games for the Solar Bears to start the season, the 5’11, 181-pound center scored nine goals, adding nine assists. On March 3rd, Kalk was dealt to Wichita, completing a prior future considerations deal between the Thunder and Solar Bears. With Wichita, Kalk averaged nearly a point per game, with six goals and seven assists in 14 contests.

Kalk played his college hockey at Dartmouth from 2014-18, and was an Alternate Captain in his Senior season. He posted 70 points in 117 career NCAA games. While in the OJHL with the North York Rangers, Kalk put up big numbers, including a 76 point season in 2012-13, when he scored 31 goals and added 45 assists in just 53 games. That same season, he racked up 30 points in 18 playoff contests.

The Mariners have also sent the rights of forward Zeb Knutson to the Kansas City Mavericks. On November 12th, 2018, the Mariners acquired forward Justin Breton from the Mavericks for future considerations. In 24 games with Maine, Breton had four goals and four assists. The Mariners swapped Breton to Rapid City in exchange for forward Johnny McInnis on January 31st, 2019. Knutson joined the Mariners from the Indy Fuel on a waiver claim in late March. He had started the 2018-19 season with the Manchester Monarchs. In six games with the Mariners, Knutson scored two goals.

Yesterday, all 26 ECHL teams released their 2019-20 protected lists, containing players whose rights are retained by each club. The deadline for teams to complete future considerations deals is June 13th. Players can begin signing SPCs (standard player contracts) on June 16th.

The second season of Maine Mariners ECHL hockey will begin in October. Full and half season ticket packages are available by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office located next to the Cross Insurance Arena at 94 Free Street. Registration for Beacon’s Kids Club and the Mariners inaugural summer reading program, “Read with ME” are also underway.