PORTLAND, ME – October 18, 2019 – Dillan Fox scored both Mariners goals, but the Railers tied the game late and prevailed in a shootout on Friday night at the DCU Center in Worcester. The Mariners got a point but fell to 0-1-0-1 on the early season.
The Mariners made a statement with a goal in the first minute to set the tone. Dillan Fox retrieved an errant point shot from Zach Tolkinen and banked it from behind the goal line off Railers netminder Jakub Skarek just 56 seconds into the game. At 12:44, Fox scored again, rushing down to the right wing circle and beating Skarek’s blocker to double the lead. Tolkinen and Scott Savage picked up assists. Off the ensuing faceoff, Mariners netminder Connor LaCouvee turned over the puck behind his net, leading to Tanner Pond’s quick answering goal for the Railers. The Mariners penalty kill went 3-for-3 in the opening period as they held a 2-1 lead. It remained 2-1 through 40 minutes.
The Railers were nearing goalie pull territory when Ryan Hitchcock entered the zone with just over 2 minutes to play in regulation. He slipped a pass to J.D. Dudek who found Kyle Thomas right in front of LaCouvee. Thomas slid the puck between LaCouvee’s pads to tie the game. After seven minutes of scoreless 3-on-3 overtime, the game advanced to a shootout.
The first four shooters were all denied – Kyle Thomas and Jordan Samuels-Thomas for Worcester and Ryan Culkin and Michael McNicholas for Maine. Nic Pierog beat LaCouvee in the third round and Skarek denied Alex Kile to end the game. Skarek stopped 24 of 26 to earn the win while LaCouvee stopped 33 in his first start of the season.