READING, PA – April 8, 2022 – A trio of first period goals by the Reading Royals put the Mariners into too deep of a hole to climb out of as Maine fell to Reading 4-1 on Friday night at Santander Arena.
Royals leading scorer Trevor Gooch scored a pair of breakaway goals at 2:35 and 9:51 of the first before Brayden Low’s wrister from the right wing gave Reading a three goal advantage at 11:11. Mariners starter Stefanos Lekkas gave way to Jeremy Brodeur following the third goal. Reading led 3-0 after one.
The Mariners only allowed three shots to the Royals in the middle frame, but were held off the board themselves until late in the period. With just under five to play, Pascal Laberge potted a rebound from an Andrew Peski point shot to make it a 3-1 game. Connor Doherty also collected an assist on the goal.
Maine outshot Reading again 9-6 in the third, but Frank DiChiara’s empty net goal with 32 seconds remaining brought the game to a 4-1 final. Royals netminder Dorian Hanson won his professional debut, stopping 22 of 23 shots. On the Mariners side, Brodeur stopped 12 of 12 in relief. The Mariners fell back to .500, and remain even with the Worcester Railers for the fourth and final playoff spot with five games to go.
The Mariners (30-30-4-3) have two more in Reading this weekend, taking on the Royals once again at 7 PM on Saturday. They return home to finish the regular season with a three-game homestand kicking off next Wednesday, April 13th, which is a sensory-reduced game for “Autism Acceptance Night” at 7 PM, also against Reading. Tickets for all home games can be purchased online at MarinersOfMaine.com/tickets or by visiting the Trusted Choice Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena.