PORTLAND, ME – December 28, 2022 – On the back of two hat tricks, the Maine Mariners blew out the Worcester Railers on Wednesday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena. In front of a crowd of over 4,200 fans, the Mariners rode a wave of five second period goals to a 9-3 rout of the Railers in the first game of the 2022-23 VIP Rivalry Cup, presented by VIP Tires & Service.
Each team scored early in the opening period, and the game was 1-1 before the six minute mark. Worcester forward Reece Newkirk took a pinballing shot in the slot and beat Francois Brassard at 2:25 to open the scoring. The Mariners had a strong response, tying the game at 5:30. Falmouth native Alden Weller ripped a shot from the right circle off the pad of Henrik Tikkanen, that laid to his right and was cleaned up by Cam Askew for his fourth goal of the season.
Tied at one early in the second, the teams traded power play goals. A one-timer by Anthony Repaci at the top of the right circle put Worcester back on top at 3:24 of the middle frame. It was Askew striking again on the Mariners man-advantage at 7:07 when he tipped a blue line drive between Tikkanen’s pads. From there, the Mariners began piling on. Alex-Olivier Voyer scooped up a rebound at 10:44 to give Maine its first lead of the day. After Brassard shut down Railers captain Bobby Butler on a breakway, Voyer cashed in again off the ensuing rush for his second goal in 39 seconds to make it 4-2. The Mariners continued riding the momentum, when Tim Doherty finished a 3-on-2 rush with linemates Tyler Hinam and Mitch Fossier at 13:14. Doherty scored again at 16:51, completing a span of four goals in 6:07. The Mariners led 6-2 through two after their most prosperous period of the season.
The onslaught continued early in the third when Voyer and Doherty each finished their hat tricks. Voyer took a drop pass from Pat Shea in the opening minute of the frame, beating Brent Moran, who relieved Tikkanen after the six Maine goal. Moran gifted Doherty his third goal at 2:27, when he turned over the puck behind the net and Doherty wrapped it in on his backhand. Worcester got a 5-on-3 goal from Quin Ryan at 5:43 to finally stop the Mariners goal streak, but Fossier finished a stickhandling play by Doherty at 14:23 to make it 9-3. Voyer and Doherty each finished with four points while Fossier, Askew, Shea, Weller, and Nick Master all enjoyed multi-point games.
The nine goals tied a Mariners franchise record for most goals in a game, set almost exactly one year ago on December 29th, 2021, also against Worcester: a 9-7 victory at the Cross Insurance Arena. Brassard made 33 stops to earn his fifth win of the season.
The Mariners (13-11-1-0) continue a busy final week of 2022, hosting the Trois-Rivieres Lions on Friday at 7:15 PM with a Concourse Carnival and a winter beanie giveaway to the first 1,000 fans presented by Martin’s Point Health Care. It’s also “Mainah’s Day.” They reunite with Worcester over the weekend for a home-and-home that finishes on New Year’s Day at 3 PM at the Cross Insurance Arena.