Mar. 2, 2020 – From New Year’s Eve up through March 1st (this past Sunday), the Mariners played 31 games, representing nearly half the total number of games of their schedule. The grind ended with a 6-4 loss to the ECHL’s top team, the South Carolina Stingrays on Sunday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena, but an overall successful two month period has put the Mariners in a prime spot to clinch their first playoff appearance in franchise history. The magic number sits at 17 points (any combination of Mariners points gained and Adirondack Thunder points left on the table), with 13 games to go. After a lot of time in the bus, plane, and hotels, the Mariners now remain in New England until March 22nd, playing only at home or in Worcester for the next six games.
The week that was
Weds, Feb. 26th – MNE: 0, REA: 8
It was a scoreless game through one period, but things got ugly quickly in the 2nd period, with Reading scoring six goals in the first 12 minutes of the frame. Royals forward Max Willman, who had been reassigned from AHL Lehigh Valley the morning of the game, had five points to lead a relentless Royals attack. It was Maine’s fourth straight loss at Santander Arena with one trip remaining. FULL GAME RECAP
Fri, Feb. 28th – MNE: 3, WHE: 2
In a homecoming of sorts for Riley Armstrong (who worked for the Wheeling Nailers for two seasons as an assistant coach), the Mariners battled back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits in the latter stages of the 2nd period to win the franchise’s first ever trip to WesBanco Arena. Terrence Wallin scored twice, including a gift goal that was scored by the Nailers on their own net. Greg Chase netted the game-winner in the third and was recalled to Hartford the next day. FULL GAME RECAP & HIGHLIGHTS
Sun, Mar. 1st – SC: 6, MNE: 4
Most of the scoring came in the 2nd period, when each team scored three in what quickly became a see-saw affair. Steve Whitney, who had three points on the day, broke a 4-4 tie late in the 2nd for what would turn out to be the game-winner, when the Mariners were held off the board in the third. Jeff Taylor had three assists for Maine who got goals from Michael McNicholas, Terrence Wallin, Dillan Fox, and Andrew Sturtz. Each team went 2/3 on the power play. The Mariners fell to 2-4-0-0 against the South Division. FULL GAME RECAP & HIGHLIGHTS
Transactions (oldest to most recent)
MAR 1 – F GREG CHASE WAS RECALLED TO HARTFORD
MAR 1 – F JAKE ELMER WAS REASSIGNED TO MAINE FROM HARTFORD BY THE NY RANGERS
This week’s schedule (all times Eastern)
Fri, Mar. 6 vs. Reading Royals – 7:15 PM (HOME) – THROWBACK NIGHT/80S NIGHT PRESENTED BY PARTNERS BANK
Sun, Mar. 8 vs. Worcester Railers – 3:00 PM (HOME) – I LOVE THE 90S
The Mariners welcome in the Reading Royals on Friday for the third and final time and the 8th of nine overall meetings during the 2019-20 regular season. The Royals are now seven points ahead of Maine for 2nd place in the North, with three games in hand, and have points in six of the seven meetings between the two teams this season. The Mariners will honor the 1980s and the original AHL Mariners franchise by wearing white and orange vintage jerseys of the old Philadelphia Flyers affiliation, which are up for auction now through the Handbid App or at THIS LINK until the start of the third period on Friday. Several Mariners alumni are expected to attend including Wayne Schaab, Dan Lucas, Terry Murray, and Gary McAdam. Alumni will sign autographs on the concourse during the first intermission. It’s also a 1-2-3 Friday featuring $1 Aquafina, $2 Pepsi products, and $3 Bud Light Drafts through the start of the 2nd period.
On Sunday, the Worcester Railers visit the Cross Insurance Arena at 3 PM, with the teams still slated for eight meetings before the end of the season. The Railers sit last place in the North Division, and have an elimination number of just eight (points left on the table + points gained by the Brampton Beast). The Mariners have won all five games between the two teams at the Cross Insurance Arena so far this season and are 7-2-0-1 against the Railers overall. Sunday’s promotion is “I Love the 90s” and Family Four Packs are available when purchased in advance: four tickets, four food and drink vouchers, and four Mariners beverage koozies starting at $80.
Doors open one hour prior to all Mariners home games, one hour and fifteen minutes for season ticket holders.
Mariners Coach’s Show
The Mariners Coach’s Show returns this Thursday, March 5th, hosted by Mariners broadcaster Michael Keeley, featuring guests Riley Armstrong (Head Coach/Assistant General Manager) and forward #25 Andrew Sturtz. The show runs from 6-7 PM, broadcasting live at Three Dollar Deweys at 241 Commercial Street in Portland and airs online at MarinersOfMaine.com/listen. Four tickets to an upcoming Mariners game will also be given away at Three Dollar Deweys at the end of the show.
The Mariners “Magic Number” is calculated by the combination of points gained and points “not gained” by the first non-playoff team (Adirondack). For example, each Mariners win reduces the number by two, and each overtime or shootout loss reduces it by one. Conversely, each Adirondack regular loss reduces the number by two, and each Adirondack overtime or shootout loss reduces it by one. The top four teams in the division make the playoffs, with the top two getting “home ice advantage” in the first round. Adirondack travels to Newfoundland for the next three games, beginning Wednesday night.
The Mariners wrap up their homestand on Tuesday, March 10th as they welcome in the Norfolk Admirals at 7 PM in the final non-divisional game of the season. Next weekend features a home-and-home with Worcester: at the DCU Center on Friday, and back at the Cross Insurance Arena on Saturday at 6 PM. Promotions feature “Girls Night Out,” and Beacon’s Birthday Bash, with a travel toothbrush giveaway to the first 1,000 kids 12 and under. The full promotional schedule can be found here.
The Mariners and the Cross Insurance Arena are collecting books for the remainder of the regular season for Ronald McDonald Charities of Maine. Fans who donate three or more books will receive a ticket to a Mariners weekday game. Both children’s and adult’s book donations are welcomed. Items MUST be donated at the Promotions Port to the right of the main security gates. While donations will be accepted at the Mariners office and other Cross Insurance Arena events, fans are not eligible to receive tickets unless the items are donated at a Mariners game.