PORTLAND, ME – April 28, 2022 – Mathew Santos scored his second goal of the game with 2:26 left in regulation to break a 4-4 tie and lift the Maine Mariners to their first playoff victory in team history. The win came in the team’s first ever home postseason game on Thursday night at the Cross Insurance Arena: Game Three of the North Division Semifinals against the top seeded Reading Royals.
The Mariners entered the third period down 4-3 after a back-and-forth second which saw the lead change hands multiple times. Rookie forward Reid Stefanson tied the game at four when his wrister off the rush got by Royals netminder Logan Flodell at 1:14 of the 3rd. The Mariners carried the play in the third and jumped into the lead late when Santos crashed the net to pick up Connor Doherty’s rebound at 17:34. Doherty, the Mariners captain, had three assists in the game.
Conner Bleackley’s power play goal opened the scoring at 9:29 of the first, and was the only goal of the opening frame – a physical stanza that the Mariners dominated, as they outshot Reading 12-4. A four-goal second period turned the game in the Royals favor. The goal by Garrett McFadden that made it 4-3 came with just 1:41 to play in the 2nd, and spelled the end of the night for Mariners netminder Stefanos Lekkas, who was replaced by Jeremy Brodeur for the third. Kenny Hausinger, Jacob Pritchard, and Brad Morrison also scored for Reading.
Brodeur faced only six shots in the 3rd period to earn the win while Flodell went 30/35 and has played every minute of the series in the net for the Royals. The Mariners now trail the best-of-seven series, two games to one. Dating back to the end of the regular season, the Mariners have won their last seven games on home ice.
Game Four of the series is tomorrow night at 7:15 PM at the Cross Insurance Arena as the Mariners look to even up the series. It’s a 1-2-3 Friday: $1 popcorn, $2 hot dogs, and $3 Bud Light Drafts through the start of the 2nd period. Game Five will be Saturday night at 6 PM. Tickets can be purchased at MarinersOfMaine.com/playoffs, by calling the Trusted Choice Box Office at 207-775-3458, or by visiting the box office inside the Cross Insurance Arena.