PORTLAND, ME – January 13, 2024 – The Maine Mariners rallied back from a three-goal deficit to defeat the Reading Royals 6-4 on Saturday night at Santander Arena. Six different goal scorers contributed in the comeback, including the first Mariners goals for William Provost and Darien Kielb, and Alex Kile’s league-leading 22nd of the season.
Reading’s offense started out hot with a trio of first period goals. The first came off the stick of Shane Sellar at 6:27, when he crossed into the slot and ripped one off the glove of Francois Brassard, deflecting up over him and landing across the goal line. A pair of former Mariners would then score three minutes apart to stretch Reading’s lead to 3-0. Jake Bricknell deflected a Kenny Johnson right point shot home at 9:33 for the second goal, and at 12:33, Paliani banked one in off Brassard’s pads as he faked a move around the back of the net. Brassard was relieved by Brad Arvanitis following Paliani’s goal. Before the period ended, the Mariners got on the board for the first time on the weekend when Curtis Hall banged home a power play goal at 14:48, cutting the Reading lead to 3-1.
The Mariners carried the momentum of Hall’s goal into the 2nd period and closed the gap to one on William Provost’s first Maine goal. At 7:54, Gabriel Chicoine impressively held the puck in at the blue line and moved it down to Cam Askew, who fed one across the slot to Provost for a shot past a diving Parker Gahagen. The Mariners were all over Reading in the middle frame with 15 shots on goal, but still trailed by one entering the third.
Chase Zieky was a major catalyst for the Mariners in the third, and his wrister from the top of the right wing circle at 2:21 tied the game at three. With the Mariners on the power play two minutes later, Zieky shot the puck in, got a fortunate carom off the glass, and Darien Kielb backhanded one into an open net to give Maine its first lead of the night. At 6:12 of the period, Tyler Drevitch scooped up his own rebound after an impressive pad save by Gahagen on the back door, and scored the Mariners’ fifth unanswered goal. Reading’s Brayden Guy closed the gap back to one when he dangled in and threw one off a skate to beat Arvanitis at 8:32, setting up a frantic finish. Arvanitis was key, keeping the Mariners ahead with big saves, before Alex Kile hit the empty netter with 53 seconds left. Kile moved into a tie with Idaho’s Mark Rassell for the ECHL lead, with his 22nd of the season.
Arvanitis stopped 25 of 26 through 47:27 of play to earn his 7th win. Gahagen stopped 32 of 37 for Reading.
After an off day tomorrow, the Mariners (13-14-5-0) have one more game in Reading – Monday afternoon at 1 PM. They return home for a $3 Deweys “Threekend” starting on Friday, January 19th with “Country Night” presented by UNUM, featuring Canadian Tuxedo specialty uniforms and a denim can koozie giveaway to the first 1,000 fans. Game time is 7:15 PM. 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.