READING, PA – October 20, 2019 – The Mariners made a furious rally late in the second period to erase a three goal deficit, but lost a 5-4 back-and-forth affair to the Reading Royals on Sunday afternoon at Santander Arena. One stop remains on their long early season road trip.
For the third time in four games, an early goal was scored – this one by the Royals. Matty Gaudreau raced down to the corner and found Trevor Yates in front, who buried his own rebound just 1:23 into the game. After a Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin hooking penalty, Ralph Cuddemi cashed in with a power play goal to give Reading a quick 2-0 lead. The Royals held a 10-5 shot advantage through 20 minutes and took the two goal lead into the locker room.
The Royals built their lead to 3-0 when Eric Knodel scored on a two-man advantage at the 6:16 mark of the second. The Mariners then mounted their comeback. Nick Master got it started at 12:21 when he drove down the left wing, took a pass from Dillan Fox and beat Reading netminder Kirill Ustimenko to make it 3-1. On a power play at 15:54, Terrence Wallin spotted Ty Ronning in the slot, and on his 22nd birthday, Ronning powered home his third goal of the weekend to make it a one goal game. Wallin drew another penalty in the closing moments of the period, allowing Michael McNicholas to tie the game at 19:12. Ronning fed McNicholas down the left wing for a wrister from a similar spot as Master’s goal that started the comeback. The game entered the third tied at three.
Cuddemi and Fox traded goals in a 15 second span at 4:31 and 4:46 to kick off the third period. The Mariners got caught in their zone around the seven minute mark and Frank DiChiara beat LaCouvee’s glove to make it 5-4. The Mariners had trouble sustaining offense from that point forward, taking two penalties to stall any possible momentum. Reading finished the game 2/7 on the power play.
Ustimenko made 18 saves to improve to 1-0-1-0 while LaCouvee stopped 30 of 35, suffering his second loss of the road trip.
The Mariners travel to Glens Falls, NY to conclude the trip on Wednesday with a 7:00 puck drop against the Adirondack Thunder. They’ll return home to begin a seven game home stand with the Newfoundland Growlers on Friday, October 25th at 7:15 PM. It’s another 1-2-3 Friday: $1 Aquafina, $2 Pepsi products, $3 Bud Light drafts through the start of the 2nd period. Current Boston sports personality and former AHL Mariners broadcaster, Dale Arnold will be making an appearance and signing autographs as part of “New England Sports Night.” Saturday night, October 26th is “Monsters and Mariners” with a costume contest and Halloween themed activities. It’s also the first “Family Four Pack” game of the season. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to MarinersOfMaine.com, call 833-GO-MAINE, or visit the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland.