PORTLAND, ME – April 9, 2023 – Mitch Fossier registered two goals and assist, including the fastest goal in franchise history, as the Mariners defeated the Adirondack Thunder 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena. It was the Mariners’ 40th win of the season, as they pulled back within one point of second place in the hunt for playoff home ice advantage.
The top line found the net on the first shot of the game, marking the fastest goal ever scored in Mariners history. Shortly off the opening faceoff, Fossier deflected a shot from Alex-Olivier Voyer just nine seconds into the game to get the Mariners the early lead. Adirondack used their power play to tie it up late in the frame, as Grant Jozefek found Travis Broughman out in front at 17:50. Maine outshot Adirondack 12-9 in the opening period, which ended tied 1-1.
A power play goal by Nick Master put the Mariners back in the lead at 3:39 of the second period, when he swatted home a backhand rebound in the low slot. Exactly six minutes later, Cam Askew took the puck to the net from below the goal line and Austin Albrecht crashed in to extend the lead to 3-1. The goal was reviewed and upheld. Adirondack’s Brady Fleurent – a Biddeford native, cut the Thunder deficit back to one when he capitalized on Michael DiPietro’s mistake at 12:35. The Mariners goaltender tried to shoot the puck around the glass, but couldn’t get it past Fleurent, who banked it in off of him in retreat. The Mariners brought the 3-2 lead into the third.
Using a power play that carried over from the end of the 2nd, Fossier got his second of the game at 1:10 of the third, when he swung one from the right wall that found its way through the pads of Mike Robinson. The Mariners opened the lead to 5-2 at 9:49 when Tyler Hinam finished a nifty slot setup from Master just inside the far post. Adirondack’s Shane Harper deflected a puck behind DiPietro with less than a second to go during 6-on-5 play to bring the game to its 5-3 final.
DiPietro stopped 29 of 32 to earn his 18th win. Robinson faced 41 Mariners shots and turned aside 36. The Mariners hit 40 wins, becoming the 7th team in the ECHL to get there. They are one point behind the Reading Royals for the #2 seed in the North Division, which will determine home ice advantage in the first round series between the two teams.
The Mariners (40-26-2-1) play three home games in the next seven days to finish the regular season. First up, the Trois-Rivieres Lions come to Portland on Wednesday for a 7 PM faceoff. It’s “Ghostbusters Night,” with Maine Comic & Toy Con featuring costumed characters and the Ghostbusters car. The Mariners conclude the regular season with “Fan Appreciation Weekend” on Saturday, April 15th and Sunday, April 16th against the Norfolk Admirals.