PORTLAND, ME – April 1, 2022 – Fourteen Mariners registered points, led by another two goal performance from Mathew Santos, in a 7-0 rout of the Adirondack Thunder on Friday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. With some help out of town, the Mariners crept closer to a playoff spot in an intense battle for the North Division postseason.
The Mariners were all over the Thunder in the opening period, outshooting them 16-8. A pair of goals just 18 seconds apart gave them a 2-0 lead. At 8:13, Michael Kim caused a turnover at the top of the Thunder zone and moved it down to Tyler Hinam whose shot produced a rebound off the pad of Alex Sakellaropoulos for Mathew Santos to backhand home – his team-leading 21st goal of the season. Off the ensuing possession, Liam Folks fed Marc-Olivier Duquette on the right wing for a one-timer that beat Sakellaropoulos’ glove to double the Maine lead.
It was more of the same in the 2nd period, as the Mariners added two more. At 2:22, Andrew Peski spotted Nick Master with a pass from the right point to the bottom of the left circle and Master scored short-side high to make it 3-0. Late in the frame, at 15:27, Santos struck again. Kim and Peski found Santos streaking into the zone on the right side, who outmuscled Blake Thompson and beat the glove of Sakellaropoulos. For Santos, it was his third two-goal performance in four games since returning from injury last Saturday. The goal also marked Santos’ 50th point of the season. Maine led 4-0 after two.
It remained 4-0 for a large portion of the third until the Mariners added a fifth goal at the 14:28 mark. Defenseman Gabriel Chicoine scored his first professional goal, driving the net and tipping a Nick Jermain shot on goal, that rolled off the equipment of Sakellaropoulos and in. A little over a minute later, Pascal Laberge picked off a pass and scored an unassisted goal to make it 6-0. Pat Shea added a seventh at 18:03 – Shea’s fifth goal in three games.
Stefanos Lekkas stopped all 22 Thunder shots for his second shutout of the season, and first as a Mariner. A total of five Mariners had multi-point games. With losses by both Worcester and Trois-Rivieres, the Mariners are now even with the Lions at a .508 PT% and just .008 behind the Railers for third.