PORTLAND, ME – January 27, 2024 – A three point night for Zach O’Brien fueled the Newfoundland Growlers offense as they downed the Maine Mariners 5-1 on Saturday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. The Growlers built a 3-0 lead in the second period, and got a bit of puck luck in the third to put the game away.
Mariners netminder Kyle Keyser stepped up big in the opening period, particularly on an early Newfoundland power play in which he was peppered with shots. Keyser turned aside 14 in the opening period to keep the game scoreless. About midway though the period, the Mariners appeared to get on the board when Chase Zieky ripped one home off the rush, but the goal was disallowed for an offside ruling.
Newfoundland got the scoring started at 6:05 of the 2nd period when Jackson Berezowski ripped a high backhander behind Keyser from the low slot. Under three minutes later, Zach O’Brien, who set up the first goal, scored one of his own, ripping a one-timer off a feed from Brennan Kapcheck. Joe Gatenby’s blue line shot that caromed in off a Mariners defender made it 3-0 at the 12:00 mark. The Mariners answered back following the third Growlers goal when Ethan Ritchie followed his own wraparound attempt and put one over a sprawling Vyacheslav Peksa 43 seconds after. Newfoundland led 3-1 after two.
Early in the third, a delayed penalty against the Growlers set up the Mariners with six skaters as they pulled Keyser. An arrant Adam Mechura pass angled off the boards and all the way down into the vacated cage. Johnson was credited with the goal at 4:04. O’Brien added his second of the game at 15:14 to bring the game to its 5-1 final.
The Mariners (16-17-5-0) host the Growlers again on Sunday afternoon with a 3 PM puck drop. Sunday is Women in Sports Day, presented by Nissan. A pregame panel discussion (1:30 in the CN Brown Landing) and a postgame open skate are included in the price of admission. Single game tickets for all regular season home games are on sale at MarinersOfMaine.com or at the Ware-Butler Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena. More information on ticket packages and group discounts can be found by calling 833-GO-MAINE or visiting the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland. The 2023-2024 season is presented by Hannaford to Go.