PORTLAND, ME – December 28, 2018 – Michael McNicholas scored the game-tying goal with six minutes remaining in the third and then got the game winner in the third round of the shootout as the Maine Mariners came from behind to defeat the Worcester Railers by a final score of 3-2 on Friday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. A crowd of 4,305 watched as the Mariners sported specialty Double Dare jerseys for “Nickelodeon Takeover” night.
Worcester grabbed a 2-0 lead in the opening period on goals from Matty Gaudreau and Woody Hudson. Gaudreau walked in on a breakaway and deked Halverson at 6:13 and Hudson buried a rebound on a power play at 17:26 of the frame. The Mariners trailed 2-0 through 20 minutes, but played a dominant second period, with 20 shots on Railers goaltender Mitch Gillum. At 9:37 of the middle frame, Ryan Culkin spotted Greg Chase behind Gillum and put a pass right on his tape for a tap in to make it 2-1. The Mariners came close with a late power play, but trailed 2-1 heading to the third.
Despite some close calls around Gillum, he held strong until the 14:00 mark, when McNicholas stuffed home a backhand on a wraparound to draw the Mariners even. Culkin picked up the primary assist again. The game proceeded to overtime for the third time in the Maine/Worcester head-to-head series. A thrilling three-on-three passed by without a goal despite each time having a breakaway chance and fittingly on Double Dare night, a mini-game would decide the match.
Ivan Kosorenkov opened with a goal making a slow maneuver and a deke to beat Halverson. After Ty Ronning and Tommy Kelley were stopped, Alex Kile tied it up, dropping a backhand past Gillum. Halverson stretched out to stop Gaudreau and McNicholas was able to slide the game winner just under Gillum’s pad. It was McNicholas’ third shootout goal of the season.
Halverson got his 12th win with 30 saves while Gillum was the tough luck loser with 39 stops. The Mariners have won a season high five games in a row and will look to sweep the weekend home and home as they travel to Worcester tomorrow night for a 7:05 faceoff at the DCU Center.
The Mariners are back home next weekend to welcome in the Brampton Beast on January 4th and 5th. Friday, January 4th is another 1-2-3 Friday, while Saturday night is “Throwback Night” featuring original Maine Mariners jerseys and alumni appearances. Tickets can be purchased at MarinersOfMaine.com or by calling 207-775-3458.