ST. JOHN’S, NL – February 4, 2023 – On the back of three special teams goals, the Maine Mariners rallied back from an early deficit to defeat the Newfoundland Growlers 5-2 on Saturday night at Mary Brown’s Centre. Mathew Santos scored a pair of goals, and was one of four Mariners with multiple points. Reid Stefanson’s shorthanded goal late in the 2nd period was the game-winner.
The Mariners peppered Growler goaltender Luke Cavallin with 18 first period shots, doubling up the Growler total. Despite the shot discrepancy, Newfoundland led 2-1 after one. The opening goal came on the power play at 3:54 when Pavel Gogolev steered home a rebound to the left of Francois Brassard. Alex-Olivier Voyer found the equalizer at 7:53, finishing a pass from Tim Doherty. The Growlers regained the lead at 16:10. After Brassard stopped Gogolev on a partial breakaway, Gogolev retrieved the puck behind the net and found Isaac Johnson coming down the slot for a one-timer. With just over a minute left in the period, Newfoundland had a third goal reversed after it was determined to have hit the crossbar.
A barrage of penalties came early in the second period, eventually resulting in a lengthy Mariners 5-on-3. With James Melindy assessed a 5-minute major, the Mariners power play continued, and newcomer Chase Zieky was able to redirect a shot-fake and a pass from the blue line by Grant Gabriele, tying the game 2-2 at 9:01. The Mariners special teams struck again late in the period to give them their first lead of the night, this time capitalizing shorthanded. With Connor Doherty in the box for interference, Alex Kile and Reid Stefanson skated away on a 2-on-1, and Kile fed Stefanson for the go-ahead goal at 17:18. With under a minute to go, Cavallin made an ill-advised pass up the middle that was knocked down by Mathew Santos, who stepped in and wristed home his 14th of the season, putting Maine up 4-2 after 40 minutes.
The only goal of the third period came on the power play from Santos at 16:49, when he was left alone to the right of Cavallin, and was fed by Gabriele, putting it five-hole to increase the Maine lead to three. A late penalty to Conner Bleackley gave Newfoundland a 6-on-4 with their net empty, but Francois Brassard made 23 stops including all nine in the third, to earn his 10th win.