PORTLAND, ME – Apr 3, 2019 – The Reading Royals responded to a 1-0 deficit with four goals in a row on their way to a 4-1 win on Wednesday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. With their win, the Royals staved off elimination and jumped the Mariners for fifth place in the North Division standings. The Mariners remain in contention for the postseason, with three games remaining.
After most of the first period was scoreless, the Mariners drew first blood when Greg Chase scored a nifty wraparound goal at 14:32. Wade Murphy was called for boarding and Reading capitalized on a bit of a controversial goal at 16:46. Mariners goaltender Francois Brassard claimed he had the puck covered to his left but it eventually popped back out for Nick Luukko to blast home from the point to tie the game at one. The score was tied up at one at the end of 20 minutes.
Reading had the better chances and zone time in the 2nd and broke the tie on a two-on-one rush at 15:58. Kevin Goumas fed Josh MacDonald who one-timed it past Brassard giving Reading its first lead, which they took into the 2nd intermission.
In the third, the Royals added on with their second power play goal at 4:05 of the period, MacDonald once again the recipient. Brassard couldn’t squeeze his pads and MacDonald jumped on a loose puck to make it 3-1. The Mariners pulled Brassard with just under five minutes to go and after a big stop by netminder Jamie Phillips, Chris McCarthy tipped one past Zach Tolkinen and found the empty net to seal the game.
Each team finished with 40 shots on goal, Phillips making 39 saves and Brassard, 36.
The Mariners remain three points behind Brampton, but also fell behind Reading with the loss. The Beast have to finish their season with three games against Central Division leaders Cincinnati and Toledo. Reading travels to Adirondack to start a season-ending home-and-home.
Maine will host the Worcester Railers on Friday and the Newfoundland Growlers next Sunday. In between, they finish their road schedule on Saturday in Manchester. NESN Bruins TV host and former AHL Mariners broadcaster Dale Arnold will make an appearance on Friday. Tickets to all home games are available HERE or at the Trusted Choice Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena. The Trusted Choice Box Office can be reached at 207-775-3468.