PORTLAND, ME – November 10, 2018 – With over 5,000 people in attendance and sporting Captain America jerseys for Marvel Super Hero™ Night, the Maine Mariners defeated the Worcester Railers, 3-1 on Saturday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. They improved to 5-5-0-1 with their third win of the week, and jumped over Manchester to move up to fifth place in the ECHL’s North Division. Former UNH forward Michael McNicholas scored his first professional goal to break a 1-1 tie in the third which served as the game-winning goal. The Mariners also honored men and women of the armed forces throughout the evening for “military appreciation” presented by Martin’s Point Health Care.
The teams traded goals within the final 2:10 of the opening period, with Worcester striking first for the second night in a row. Like Friday, it was Barry Almeida with the first goal of the game. Tyler Barnes worked down the boards and moved behind the Mariners net, spotting Almeida at the post to Brandon Halverson’s left. Almeida found room to tuck it in for a 1-0 Railers lead. In the final minute of the period, after Woody Hudson was called for Tripping, Sean Day fed a pass across to Scott Savage at the right faceoff circle, and Savage one-timed in his second goal of the week to tie the game at one.
Neither team scored in the second period, despite a combined 30 shots on goal, 18 by Worcester. Halverson and Railers netminder Evan Buitenhuis dueled again, as they did on Friday, keeping the score 1-1 through forty minutes.
Less than seven minutes into the third, the Mariners began to threaten to take the lead, but Buitenhuis stopped Morgan Adams-Moisan’s chance with his pad and the Railers cleared the zone. The very next rush up ice, Sean Day took the puck to the net, and after Moisan touched it, Michael McNicholas slid a backhand through Buitenhuis to give the Mariners their first lead. The goal marked the first of McNicholas’ professional career, as well as the first point of Moisan’s.
The game got chippy late in the period while the Mariners worked on a power play with under six minutes remaining in regulation. Dawson Leedahl was assessed six minutes in penalties for cross-checking and roughing but Worcester’s Mike Cornell and Kyle McKenzie were called for infractions, keeping the advantage for the Mariners. Worcester then got a power play chance with 2:30 remaining, but Ryan Culkin launched an empty net goal from the Mariners defensive zone to seal the game. McNicholas would gain his second point of the night on the assist along with Terrence Wallin.
Brandon Halverson stopped 32 of 33 for his second win in as many nights, while Buitenhuis turned aside 31 of 33. The loss for the Railers was their seventh in a row. The Mariners are home again on Wednesday night, for their first non-divisional game of the season against the Orlando Solar Bears. The puck drops at 7:00 PM.