PORTLAND, ME – February 13, 2019 – On the day that Ty Ronning was recalled back to the AHL, the Mariners re-enacted a scene from his ECHL debut. Down 4-1 on home ice to the Worcester Railers with less than 13 minutes remaining in regulation, they stormed back to force OT and Brycen Martin played hero, scoring the game-winner on the team’s only shot of the extra session. It was the second three-goal third period comeback for the Mariners on home ice this season, following up on Ronning’s five point period November 24th against Manchester.
The Mariners grabbed a 1-0 lead at 7:25 of the first period when Jason Salvaggio and Johnny McInnis caused a turnover in the slot and Salvaggio powered a shot through Railers goaltender Mitch Gillum. The Railers answered quickly when Barry Almeida capitalized on a Connor LaCouvee turnover behind the Mariners goal and stuffed in a wraparound to tie the game at 8:07. The offense was free flowing throughout the first, with a combined 33 shots, 18-15 in favor of the Railers.
Worcester got the only two goals of the middle frame – a Ryan Hitchcock one-timer in the slot at 1:15 and a Dylan Willick deflection at the 15:00 mark. The Mariners killed a 5-on-3 in the period, but had trouble generating any momentum, getting outshot 14-7.
Just 1:03 into the third, Worcester capitalized on an instant power play and took a 4-1 lead as Tyler Barnes got alone to Connor LaCouvee’s left and beat him up top, scoring a goal for his eighth consecutive game. Looking dead in the water, the Mariners broke out with a 3-on-1 rush and defenseman Josh Couturier, making his Maine debut, beat Gillum with a wrist shot to cut into the deficit at 7:33. Wade Murphy brought the Mariners back to within one when his backhand at 12:17 finished off a relentless shift in the offensive zone. On the very next rush, Michael McNicholas narrowly missed tapping home Dillan Fox’s cross ice feed that would have tied the game. With two minutes remaining, Derek Pratt’s threw a puck from below the goal line that caromed perfectly off Gillum’s skate and in to make it 4-4.
The Railers controlled possession for roughly the first 90 seconds of overtime, but Brycen Martin marched down the left wing at 2:57 of the extra frame and beat Gillum short-side high for his sixth of the season and the game-winner. Jason Salvaggio finished the game with a goal and three assists. Terrence Wallin and Johnny McInnis each had two helpers. Connor LaCouvee made 43 saves on 47 shots to earn his 6th win.
The Mariners gained ground on all six other teams in the North with Reading and Manchester falling, and Newfoundland, Adirondack, and Brampton all idle. They’ve won back-to-back games for the first time in 2019 and five in a row against Worcester.
The Mariners will head on the road for five games starting Friday night against the Norfolk Admirals in Norfolk, VA at 7:00 PM. The next home game is Sunday, February 24th at 3:00 PM, when Worcester comes to town again. A full team autograph session will follow the game. Single game tickets can be purchased HERE or by visiting or calling the Trusted Choice Box Office: 207-775-3458.