PORTLAND, ME – December 11, 2018 – The Mariners were playing a solid road game through the first period and the start of the second, but things quickly unraveled in the middle frame and Maine fell 6-3 to the Growlers on Tuesday night at the Mile One Centre in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Sean Day and Justin Breton had helped the Mariners build a 2-0 lead, but the Growlers got five in the second period to take control of the game.
Day would score the only goal of the first period with an impressive drive to the net after collecting a pass from Luke Stork. AT 17:02, Stork worked the puck from the Mariners side of the neutral zone to Day, who cut in on a backhand and quickly slipped the puck back to his forehand for a top shelf shot over Growler goalie Michael Garteig.
Breton doubled the lead at 3:15 of the second when he flew down the center lane and cleaned up a Ryan Culkin point shot. Breton extended his goal streak to three games. At 5:41, the tide began to turn when Griffen Molino got behind the Maine defense and slipped a shot between the pads of Connor LaCouvee. Under three minutes later, Darien Plouffe tied the game, and Scott Pooley’s long blue line offering got through LaCouvee just 34 seconds after Plouffe’s goal to give Newfoundland its first lead. The Mariners tied the game up at 10:25 of the second when defenseman John Furgele joined a rush and finished a Michael McNicholas setup for his second professional goal. It looked as if the Mariners were gaining momentum back, but Matt Bradley finished a two-on-one at 15:07 to put the Growlers back ahead. With 27.8 seconds remaining, Marcus Power jammed a puck under LaCouvee’s pads that came under controversy, as the referee didn’t appear to have a look at the puck crossing the line. After conferencing with the goal judge, the goal stood, and the Growlers took a 5-3 lead into the second intermission.
The Mariners replaced LaCouvee with Brandon Halverson to begin the third period, but were outshot 10-7 in the period and never seriously threatened to get on the board again. Giorgio Estephan got his 13th goal of the season at 15:13 to put a cherry on top for the Growlers.
LaCouvee stopped 22 of 27 shots, Halverson stopped 9 of 10, and Garteig got his league leading 13th win by making 18 of 21. The Mariners will go for the split of their trip to St. John’s on Wednesday night at 5:30 PM ET. Coverage on the Maine Mariners broadcast network will begin at 5:15 PM. Maine returns home Friday to host Adirondack at 7:15 PM. It’s another 1-2-3 Friday: $1 hot dogs, $2 popcorn, and $3 Bud Light Drafts through the start of the second period. It’s also the final day for non-perishable food donations for Preble Street. Tickets can be purchased at MarinersOfMaine.com or by calling 207-775-3458.