PORTLAND, ME – March 1, 2023 – Reid Stefanson recorded three points and Cam Askew scored a clutch shorthanded goal as the Mariners defeated the Newfoundland Growlers 5-3 on Wednesday morning and afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena. Over 1,700 students from across the state of Maine attended the Mariners’ first ever “Education Day” game.
The Growlers got a pair of power play opportunities in the opening period, and cashed in on their second one. At 14:23, Brandon Kruse found Keenan Suthers camped in the Mariners goal crease, who tipped home his 11th goal of the season for a 1-0 Newfoundland lead. Later in the frame, Mariners forward Alex-Oliver Voyer fought Growlers defenseman Simon Kubicek, turning the game’s momentum.
The Mariners used their power play to get even early in the 2nd period. At 1:44, Reid Stefanson pulled a rebound off the pad of Dryden McKay and tucked in a backhand to tie the game at one. Maine took its first lead at 8:09 of the middle frame when Fedor Gordeev threw a puck off two Growlers players and into the net for his 8th goal of the season. It was a strong period for the Mariners, who outshot Newfoundland, 14-5.
Newfoundland leading scorer Zach O’Brien tied the game again when he stickhandled his way across the Mariners blue line and beat Michael DiPietro at 7:14 of the third. With under seven minutes to play and the Growlers on the power play, Alex-Olivier Voyer and Cam Askew skated away 2-on-1. Voyer fed Askew, who ripped a wrist shot past McKay to put Maine back ahead, 3-2. Chase Zieky scored an empty net goal at 18:10 to apparently seal the game, but O’Brien stuck again just 20 seconds later to bring the deficit back to one. Finally, with 18 seconds to go, and McKay again pulled, Shea found his own empty netter to bring the game to a 5-3 final.
The win was the Mariners’ 30th of the season, as they moved with 12 points of the first place Growlers and snapped a four-game skid. DiPietro made 24 saves to earn his 12th victory, while McKay stopped 26 in the loss. The regular season series between Maine and Newfoundland is now over.