PORTLAND, ME – October 25, 2019 – After allowing two goals in the first 1:12 of the game, the Mariners stormed back with five unanswered while Connor LaCouvee shut the door in long-relief, and Maine defeated the Newfoundland Growlers 5-2 on Friday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. Dillan Fox scored his team leading 5th and 6th goals to lead the offense.
Newfoundland was buzzing early, scoring the first goal 29 seconds into the game when Scott Pooley drove down the right wing and beat Mariners starting goaltender Tom McCollum. The Growlers followed quickly with a second strike from Riley Woods when the puck popped out to him after Joseph Duszak’s initial attempt on net, and McCollum had lost his goal stick. LaCouvee was called up to replace McCollum just 1:12 into the game. After several key saves by LaCouvee, the Mariners struck to cut the deficit in half. With 5:47 to go in the first, Dillan Fox capitalized on a turnover, and took a wrist shot from the slot to beat Newfoundland netminder, Maksim Zhukov over the shoulder to bring the game within one. LaCouvee stopped all 12 of the Growlers shots that he faced in the first to keep the score 2-1.
After an even game for nearly the entire second period, the Mariners used a relentless power play to even the score. With just 12 seconds left, Lewis Zerter-Gossage fed the puck to Ryan Culkin at the point. Culkin tossed a shot on net that snuck by Zhukov to make it 2-2 after two periods. It was the last of several attempts by Culkin after the Mariners continued to retrieve pucks with the man advantage. Maine outshot the Growlers 11-8 durin the second period
Just 1:23 into the third period, Maine took the lead when Terrence Wallin flipped the puck over the pad of Growlers’ Zhukov after hammering away near the short post. At the 10:51 mark, the Mariners were on the power play when Scott Savage fed the puck to Dillan Fox with a delayed penalty coming up. From center ice, Fox launched the puck into the Newfoundland zone, and it slid right past Zhukov with 9:49 to make it a 4-2 game. Taylor Cammarata wanted to add his name to the goal column as well when he stole the puck at the blue line and took off on a breakaway to make it 5-2 at 14:06.
Maine was able to cap their second win of the season and first on home ice, despite losing the shot battle, 29-27. Connor LaCouvee stood strong not allowing a goal on the 26 shots faced in just under 59 minutes played. Zhukov stopped 22 of 27 to take the loss. The Mariners improved to 2-3-0-1 on the young season, with Newfoundland falling to 3-3-0-0.
The Mariners and Growlers play again on Saturday night at the Cross Insurance Arena with a 6:00 PM faceoff. It’s “Monsters and Mariners” featuring a costume contest and Halloween themed activities. It’s also the first “Family Four Pack” game of the season: families of four can get four tickets, four food and drink vouchers, and four Mariners can koozies for as low as $80. 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.