AUBURN, ME – October 13, 2023 – New Maine Mariner Ethan Keppen scored a pair of goals, while returner Reid Stefanson dished out three assists in a 4-2 victory over the Worcester Railers at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. The Mariners and Railers met Friday night in their first of two preseason games this weekend.
The Mariners connected on their first shot of the game to take a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Newcomers Ethan Keppen and Tyler Drevitch combined on a nifty give-and-go, with Keppen finishing on the doorstep at 1:46 to open the scoring. The Mariners would strike again just 80 seconds later, when Reid Stefanson spotted Wyllum Deveaux driving the net, who tipped one past Railers netminder Henrik Tikkanen to make it 2-0 at 3:06.
Trailing 2-0 and operating on the power play early in the middle frame, the Railers got on the board when defenseman John Copeland ripped a shot from the high slot past Shane Starrett and sliced the Mariners lead in half. At 11:59 of the period, Stefanson set up another one, sliding a pass across to Jimmy Lambert at the left faceoff circle for a one-timer that squeaked through Tikkanen and restored the Mariners two-goal advantage. On the ensuing shift, Worcester forward Jake Pivonka jumped on a loose puck in front of Starrett and wristed one home to bring it back to a one-goal margin.
The only goal of the third period came from Keppen, tipping in a power play tally at 16:07 to put the game away. Stefanson’s primary assist was his third helper of the game. The third period was also very physical, with Maine’s Cole Dubinsky fighting Worcester’s Mike Higgins, while Connor Doherty also tangled with Artyom Kulakov.
Starrett was also a star for the Mariners in between the pipes, stopped 34 of 36 to earn the win. Tikkanen made 24 saves on 28 Maine shots.
The Mariners and Railers will face off again on Saturday night in Massachusetts at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Center at 7:00 PM. A radio broadcast of the game can be heard at MarinersOfMaine.com/listen or on the Mixlr App.
The regular season home opener presented by Evergreen Credit Union is Saturday, October 21st at 6 PM, against the Trois-Rivieres Lions. Single game tickets for all 36 regular season home games are now on sale at MarinersOfMaine.com or at the Ware-Butler Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena. The full schedule for the 2023-24 season, presented by Hannaford to Go, can be viewed here. Full and half season packages, 12-game plans, 10-ticket flex plans, and group discounts are also available by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland.