PORTLAND, ME – February 3, 2024 – Despite leading 4-3 after 40 minutes, the Maine Mariners fell to the Rapid City Rush by a score of 6-4 on Saturday night at the Cross Insurance Arena. The Rush have now claimed the first two of three games this weekend in the first ever series between the two clubs.
The first period saw five combined goals, and the Mariners opened the scoring at 9:12 as Wyllum Deveaux got a stick on a point shot from Ethan Ritchie and redirected it past Rush goaltender Matt Radomsky. The Rush responded with the next three goals to take a 3-1 lead, on a pair of goals by Brett Gravelle around one from Alex Aleardi. In the final minute of the frame, Cam Askew’s unassisted backhander closed the deficit back to one, with Rapid City leading 3-2 after 20 minutes.
The Mariners tied it up early in the second period, when William Provost shoveled home a backhand after Gabe Guertler’s long shot produced a rebound. For the second period in a row, the Mariners scored at 19:10 to get their lead back. Working a 3-on-2 rush, Curtis Hall and Cam Askew set up Brooklyn Kalmikov with a one-timer to make it 4-3 Maine after two.
Dueling 5-on-3 opportunities early in the third period proved to be a key momentum swing. The Mariners came up empty on 1:54 of two-man advantage time and then gave the Rush a golden chance when Austin Albrecht and Zach Malatesta took back-to-back penalties. Aleardi wired home his second goal of the game at 4:14 to tie it at four. The Mariners killed the second penalty but at 6:44, Simon Boyko notched his second goal of the weekend, scooping up a rebound of Kyle Keyser’s pad to put Rapid City back in the lead. An empty net goal by James Hardie at 18:27 would put the game away.
Radomsky collected his second consecutive win with 32 saves. Keyser faced 46 shots, stopping 41 in the losing effort.
The Mariners (17-19-5-0) and Rush finish their series on Sunday afternoon at 3 PM. It’s “Wrestling Night,” featuring a postgame professional wrestling show 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.