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MARINERS SWEEP READING, MOVE INTO PLAYOFF SPOT

Sunday, March 17th
MARINERS SWEEP READING, MOVE INTO PLAYOFF SPOT

PORTLAND, ME – March 17, 2024 – The Maine Mariners finished a “Threekend” sweep with a 6-3 victory over the Reading Royals on Sunday afternoon at the Cross Insurance Arena, achieving their first three game win streak of the season, while claiming their fourth consecutive game on home ice. They also moved into sole possession of the fourth and final North Division playoff spot. Fedor Gordeev was the offensive star for the Mariners, with a goal and two assists.

Reading took a penalty within the first minute of the game, leading to an instant power play goal by Maine’s Owen Pederson, who grabbed a loose puck in the goal crease and tucked home his sixth goal of the season. The Royals responded with a pair of goals from Tag Bertuzzi and Tyson Fawcett to gain a 2-1 lead, but the Mariners answered back with the power play once again. At 16:17 of the period, Adam Mechura shoveled a backhand rebound home to take the game at two.

A double-minor penalty to Mechura for high sticking gave Reading a four minute man advantage as the second period began, but the Mariners killed it off and used the momentum to regain the lead. At 4:46, Ryan Mast threaded the needle to Alex Kile, who moved in on a breakaway and put Maine back up 3-2. Mechura’s second goal of the day at 13:05 stretched the lead to two, set up by Tyler Drevitch from below the goal line. A late power play goal from Reading’s Jake Smith cut the lead back to one just before the second period ended.

The Mariners went back up by two at 8:09 of the third on a breakaway goal from defenseman Fedor Gordeev. Exiting the penalty box, Gordeev took a feed from Jimmy Lambert and skated in from the Royals blue line, finishing with a backhander past Nolan Maier. Zach Malatesta’s empty net goal with 2:45 to play sealed the 6-3 final score.

Brad Arvanitis won his 15th game, turning aside 31 Royals shots. Maier stopped 32 in the loss. The Mariners broke a four-way tie between themselves, Reading, Worcester, and Trois-Rivieres to take sole possession of the fourth and final North Division playoff spot, with 13 games remaining in the regular season.

The Mariners (26-26-7-0) remain at home all next weekend, hosting another “Three Dollar Deweys Threekend,” this time against the Newfoundland Growlers, whom they now trail by just three points for third place. The series begins with “Wands and Wizards Night” on Friday, March 22nd at 7:15 PM. Single game tickets for all regular season home games are on sale at MarinersOfMaine.com or at the Hammond Lumber Company Box Office inside the Cross Insurance Arena. More information on ticket packages and group discounts can be found by calling 833-GO-MAINE or by visiting the Mariners front office at 94 Free St. in Portland.

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