PORTLAND, ME – March 27, 2022 – A strong first 40 minutes allowed the Mariners to build a 6-0 lead on the Newfoundland Growlers on Sunday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena. The Growlers roared back for four goals in the third but ran out of time and the Mariners claimed a 6-4 win and their second straight victory over Newfoundland this weekend.
For the third straight game against the Growlers, the Mariners opened the scoring with a goal in the first three minutes of the game. On Sunday it was Mathew Santos, building off a five point game on Saturday, as he cleaned up a rebound off the pad of Growlers goaltender Hayden Lavigne at 2:38 of the first. The Mariners held their 1-0 lead into the final minute of the frame when they added two more. At 19:13, Pat Shea caught Lavigne off guard with a shot from the boards that slid underneath him. Just 39 seconds later, Santos won a puck battle inside the Growler blue line and beat Lavigne to the far side with wrister to make it 3-1.
Although Newfoundland began to control the play in the 2nd period, the Mariners continued to add on. Keltie Jeri-Leon scored his second shorthanded goal in as many games, getting a fortunate bounce off a Growler skater at 4:30 of the 2nd to make it 4-0. Three minutes later, the other side of the special teams came through as Alex Kile ripped home a shot from the right circle through a Cam Askew screen, for his fourth goal of the weekend. At 17:01 of the period, Shea made it a half-dozen when he scooped up a rebound produced by a Connor Doherty point shot – one of three assists in the game for Doherty. On the goal, Gabriel Chicoine picked up his first professional point with the secondary assist.
It was all Growlers in the third, as they outshot the Mariners 14-2, and found the net four times. Pavel Gogolev broke up the shutout bid with a one-timer on the power play at 4:51. Gordie Green and Ben Finkelstein followed with goals at 6:02 and 8:41, and then Isaac Johnson netted another power play goal at 14:18 to make things interesting. The Growlers couldn’t get any closer however, and suffered their second straight loss to the Mariners.
Stefanos Lekkas stopped 31 of 35 to earn his 16th win of the season and third as a Mariner. For the second game in a row, the Growlers used both Lavigne and Angus Redmond – the latter who faced just three shots. With the Trois-Rivieres Lions losing in overtime to South Carolina, the Mariners pull .008 percentage points ahead of them for sole possession of the fourth and final North Division playoff spot.