PORTLAND, ME – February 10, 2023 – Chase Zieky wasted no time adoring himself to the fans of Portland, registering a pair of assists in his home debut as the Mariners defeated the Trois-Rivieres Lions 4-2 on Friday night in the first of a home-and-home series. Alex Kile, Reid Stefanson, Connor Doherty, and Tim Doherty all scored goals in the victory.
The Mariners were all over the Lions in the first five minutes, and their strong forecheck paid dividends with the game’s opening goal at 5:15. Zieky, playing in his first home game as a Mariner, fed a puck from below the goal line to Gabriel Chicoine at the top of the left circle. Chicoine’s shot was tipped by Alex Kile just before it crossed the goal line and the Mariners led 1-0. The Lions used their power play to tie the game at 11:11. Colin Bilek one-timed a blast off a feed from Brett Stapley past the glove of Michael DiPietro at the right faceoff dot to even up the score. It was a 1-1 game through 20 minutes.
Early in the 2nd, the Mariners jumped back in front when Mathew Santos sprung Reid Stefanson on a breakaway. As Stefanson was being hooked, he backhanded the puck into the pads of Joe Vrbetic, and then crashed into him, pushing it across the goal line. The goal went under review but was upheld, giving the Mariners a 2-1 lead, which they held after two periods.
The Mariners got a key insurance tally at 2:54 of the third, with Zieky making the play again, this time setting up the captain Connor Doherty for a one-timer in the slot. The Lions made things interesting on Thomas Caron’s 3-on-1 finish at 13:42 but Tim Doherty raced down the ice to find an empty netter at 19:02 to the seal the victory.
Michael DiPietro stopped 22 of 24 to earn his 10th win. The Mariners pulled to within one point of second place Reading, which lost in overtime to Worcester.