PORTLAND, ME – November 26, 2019 – In a game that had a little bit of everything, Alex Kile’s goal at the 3:35 mark of overtime was his second this month, and the Mariners defeated the Worcester Railers, 5-4 on Tuesday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. The Mariners had multiple leads throughout the game, but were forced to rally in the 3rd to force overtime.
The opening period featured 33 combined shots, 17 by the Mariners. Just 2:26 into the game, Morgan Adams-Moisan trickled a rebound over a sprawling Railers goaltender, Jakub Skarek for a 1-0 Maine lead. Kyle Thomas answered for Worcester at 5:38 when he punched home a loose puck past Mariners netminder Tom McCollum. Fourteen seconds later, defenseman Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin joined a rush and finished a pass from Greg Chase to score his first goal as a Mariner and put Maine back ahead. The offensive onslaught finally settled down, but Worcester’s Matt Schmalz tied the game with 25 seconds remaining in the period, when his attempted pass deflected off Mariners defenseman Brandon Crawley and past McCollum.
It took only 49 seconds of the second period for the Mariners to regain the lead, when Ryan Gropp cut into the slot on his own and crossed over to beat Skarek’s glove for his first of the season, assisted by Ted Hart – Hart’s first ECHL assist. The 3-2 score remained until the 18:19 mark when Cody Payne batted a rebound past McCollum, moments after the Mariners had held the puck in the Worcester zone for a long stretch. With 58 seconds remaining in the period, a harmless looking shot off the right wing by Worcester’s Nic Pierog got through McCollum to give the Railers their first lead of the game heading into the locker room.
The third was filled with penalties, at one point producing 3-on-3 for over a minute and a half, but both special teams remained fruitless on the night. On a shorthanded breakaway, Kyle Thomas was awarded a penalty shot, but was unsuccessful. At the 13:59 mark, Gropp tied the game when his pass deflected off a diving Railers defender Ryan MacKinnon and into the top corner of the net. Although the Mariners were awarded a power play with less than two minutes to go in regulation, it was the Railers with two glorious chances to take the lead. Nic Pierog’s shot with 1:30 left, caromed out to Dante Salituro above the left circle, who was robbed by McCollum with a diving save and then a cover at the goal line. In the final minute, Jordan Samuels-Thomas skated in on a breakaway, but missed the net. Through regulation, Worcester outshot Maine, 34-31.
The Mariners had all four shots of overtime and Kile had more than one on the play that resulted in the game-winning goal. Michael McNicholas won a battle on the right wall and freed the puck up for Kile, who drove the net with a bad angle shot, but continued to jam away and finally poked home the golden goal. Kile also had the overtime winner on November 11th, in a 4-3 win over Reading at the Cross Insurance Arena.
McCollum’s win was his fifth, as he stopped 30 of 34. Skarek played will in the losing effort, stopping 30 of 35. Despite picking up a point, the Railers have lost six games in a row and 10 of 11. The Mariners are 5-1-0-0 on home ice in November.
After Thanksgiving, the Mariners are home on Friday and Saturday, hosting the Indy Fuel and Newfoundland Growlers. Friday features Black Friday discounts at the Mariners merchandise stand: 20% off all Mariners pucks during the first intermission and 15% off all Mariners hats during the second intermission. Both promotions are limited to five items per customer and must be purchased with a credit or debit card. It’s also a 1-2-3 Friday with $1 Aquafina water, $2 Pepsi products, and $3 Bud Light drafts through the start of the second peripd. The puck drops at 7:15 PM. Saturday night will feature specialty Aquaman jerseys as part of the league’s partnership with DC Comics. Jerseys will be up for auction through the ECHL. A balloon artist will also be on hand on the concourse. Groups of 10 or more can call 833-GO-MAINE to get tickets at a discounted price. Individual game tickets can be purchased at MarinersOfMaine.com, in person at the Trusted Choice Box Office at the Cross Insurance Arena, or by calling the box office at 207-775-3458.