PORTLAND, ME – January 20, 2024 – The Maine Mariners fell to the Reading Royals by a 5-1 final score on Saturday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. Cam Askew netted a second period power play goal for the only offense the Mariners could muster, despite 32 shots on goal.
Just 33 seconds into the game, the Royals took a 1-0 lead when Tag Bertuzzi led a 2-on-1 and trickled a shot through Mariners goaltender Shane Starrett. The Mariners picked up their offense as the period moved along, but the Royals doubled their lead at 15:31 when Yvan Mongo skated away on a breakaway and beat Starrett with a wrister. Despite a 12-8 shot advantage, the Mariners trailed by two after 20 minutes.
The teams traded power play goals early in the 2nd period. Devon Paliani continued to torture the Mariners with his fourth goal of the series at 1:38 to make it a 3-0 Reading lead, but Cam Askew answered at 3:29 to get Maine on the board. The Mariners came hard toward the end of the period, including a crossbar as the buzzer from Adam Mechura, but Reading maintained their two-goal lead into the final frame.
Ryan Chyzowski made it a 4-1 Royals lead when he finished off a Joseph Nardi pass at the 4:00 mark of the third. The goal seemed to deflate the Mariners, who couldn’t muster anything else. Reading’s Shane Seller tossed in a shorthanded empty net goal at 17:17.
Parker Gahagen turned aside 31 of 32 Mariners shots to earn the victory. Starrett stopped 19 of 23 in his first action since December 30th.
The $3 Deweys “Threekend” concludes on Sunday afternoon as the Mariners (14-16-5-0) take on Reading again at 3 PM. It’s “Comedy Day,” featuring intermission performances by local comedians. A postgame full team autograph session also follows the game. 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.