PORTLAND, ME – March 1, 2020 – The Mariners battled back from four one-goal deficits but never led, and ultimately fell 6-4 to the South Carolina Stingrays on Sunday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena. Steve Whitney scored two goals plus an assist for South Carolina while Jeff Taylor facilitated the Mariners offense with three assists.
The first three goals of the game came in the final five minutes of the first period. Whitney ripped a wrister past the glove of Connor LaCouvee at 15:04 to make it 1-0 Stingrays. Michael McNicholas tied the game at 17:24 with a nice shot inside the post, but the Stingrays took momentum back quickly with a Tim Harrison shorthanded goal at 19:14, finishing a net drive from Andrew Cherniwchan. It was 2-1 ‘Rays after one period.
The second period was rather chaotic, as each team scored three times. Terrence Wallin tipped a power play shot from Alex Kile past Parker Milner just 21 seconds into the frame to tie the game at two. Alec Marsh put the Stingrays back ahead at 3:05, only to be answered by a Dillan Fox power play tally at 8:32. Kile’s drive once again made the play, with Jeff Taylor picking up an assist on each of Maine’s first three goals. The Stingrays got a power play goal of their own at 10:52 from Matthew Weis, which was answered 21 seconds later when Andrew Sturtz backhanded a rebound from a McNicholas shot under Milner’s stick. Whitney would score his second goal of the game off a broken zone entry at 16:21 to restore the South Carolina lead heading to the third.
The lone goal of the third came from Cherniwchan on the power play at 8:54 to bring the game to a 6-4 final. Milner earned his 20th win with 26 stops. LaCouvee stopped 25 in the loss. Due to the Reading Royals’ win at Worcester, the Mariners fell seven points out of 2nd place, but remain four ahead of the idle Brampton Beast for third and still ten up on Adirondack for a playoff spot, with a “magic number” of 17 points.
The winner of the Captain Joel Barnes Community Service Award, announced during the second intermission, was Matthew St. Pierre of the Hampden Fire Department. Today marks the one year anniversary of the tragic passing of the Berwick fire captain.
The Mariners host Reading on Friday, March 6th for “80s Night/Throwback Night,” presented by Partner’s Bank. The Mariners will wear vintage AHL Mariners jerseys with the orange, white, and black color scheme, which will go on auction via Handbid, starting March 2nd and running until the end of the 3rd period on Friday. It’s also a 1-2-3 Friday: $1 Aquafina, $2 Pepsi products, and $3 Bud Lights through the start of the 2nd period. Throwback Weekend continues on Sunday, March 8th with “I Love the 90s” against Worcester at 3 PM, also featuring a postgame full team autograph session.
Groups of 10 or more can get discounted tickets to all games by calling 833-GO-MAINE. Individual tickets can be purchased at MarinersOfMaine.com, at the Trusted Choice Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena, or by calling 207-775-3458. All Saturday and Sunday home games feature the Family Four Pack – four tickets, four food and drink vouchers, and four Mariners beverage koozies, starting at $80, and must be purchased in advance of game day.