WORCESTER, MA – December 8, 2021 – Justin Brazeau scored twice, including a dramatic game-tying goal in the final minute, but the Mariners fell in overtime, 7-6 on the road to the Worcester Railers on Wednesday morning.
Six combined goals were scored in the opening period, as each team had the lead at one point. Worcester’s Drew Callin struck first at 3:31, beating Brodeur with a perfect shot from the right circle. Justin Brazeau evened up the score at 6:35 with an unassisted goal, making a power move across the goal mouth and slipping a backhand under Railers goaltender Colten Ellis. The Railers back ahead at 7:50 on a goal by captain Jordan Smotherman. The lead was also short-lived, as Patrick Shea tied it up at 2 just over two minutes later, driving the net and taking a pass off the wing from Michael Kim, who returned from an AHL loan to the Springfield Thunderbirds to play this morning for the Mariners. Kim then put the Mariners in the lead with a 5-on-3 goal at 13:54, a one-timer to the top corner, set up by Pascal Laberge and Mathew Santos. With just 12 seconds to play in the period, Railers defenseman Zach Malatesta rushed down the left wing and beat Jeremy Brodeur’s blocker to tie the game again.
It took until the 13:58 mark of the 2nd period for the 3-3 tie to be broken. A shot by former Mariners defenseman John Furgele caught Brodeur up high and dropped down behind him for an easy tap-in goal by Jacob Hayhurst to make it 4-3 Railers. Moments later, Mathew Santos was assessed a hooking penalty, but it was the Mariners special teams that capitalized with their first shorthanded goal of the season. Keltie-Jeri Leon broke up a puck at the point and split the Railers defense, putting a backhand deke on Ellis to tie the game at four.
The Railers scored two goals in a 24 second span early in the 3rd to take the game’s first multi-goal lead. Brodeur, trying to clear the puck up the middle, played it right into the body of Callin and back across the goal line to gave Worcester a 5-4 lead at 4:32. On the ensuing rush, Liam Coughlin tipped a Jordan Smotherman pass home on a 2-on-1 to put the Railers up two. Callum Booth then replaced Brodeur in the Mariners net. Mathew Santos had a quick response for Maine, finishing a Pascal Laberge feed from below the goal line at 5:39, bringing the deficit back to one. With their goaltender pulled and an extra attacker out, the Mariners got even in the final minute. Laberge fed Nick Master at the right circle, whose one-time shot left a rebound for Brazeau to bury his second goal of the game and make it 6-6.
Anthony Repaci found the game-winner at 5:46 of overtime, following his own initial shot which had hit the post. In addition to Brazeau’s two goals, Laberge and Connor Doherty had three assists for the Mariners. Booth stopped 16 of 17 in relief of Brodeur.
The Mariners (6-8-3-1) continue their series with the Railers at home on Friday at 7:15 PM. It will be Marvel Super Hero Night, featuring Black Panther specialty jerseys, which will be auctioned off via Meigray on the Handbid App. The first 1,000 fans will also receive a Marvel Super Hero poster and it’s a 1-2-3 Friday: $1 popcorn, $2 hot dogs, and $3 Bud Light drafts through the start of the 2nd period. Individual tickets for all games can be purchased online at MarinersOfMaine.com/tickets or by visiting the Trusted Choice Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena.