( Photo Credit: ECHL / Maine Mariners )

By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The ECHL Maine Mariners appeared in one game over the weekend when the Florida Everblades traveled north to the Cross Insurance Arena in downtown Portland, Maine. The visiting Everblades currently sit in the second position in the South Division with a 4-2-0-1 record in seven games this season. The host Mariners, on the other hand, and the first year as a Boston Bruins ECHL affiliate sit in the fourth spot in the six-team North Division with a 2-3-0-0 record and four points. Regardless of the 2021/22 regular season standing, you can see this Mariners team getting better game-by-game. More than half of this Mariners roster consists of players who’ve never played in the Portland area, so the first month or two of the year is a huge chemistry builder.

On Friday night, Mariners goaltender Jeremy Brodeur got his third start of the season where he had a previous 2021/22 regular-season record of 2-0 and a 2.01 goals-against-average and .935 save percentage. The new Maine netminder who’s been a great story thus far for this Mariners team, unfortunately, took a 4-1 loss but the blame for not winning goes beyond crease on this night.

The Everblades broke the ice in the game on a first-period goal at the 3:25 mark and was the only goal for the remainder of the opening frame and the entire second period. Brodeur and the Mariners club did the very best holding back the Everblades pressure in an effort to tie the game, but they sand deeper in their mission as Florida once again capitalized early in a period going up 2-0 at the 4:25 mark of the third frame. Florida would strike again at the 7:32 mark of the third, creating a bigger hole for the host Maine team to climb out of.

The Mariners would get a goal from Lewis Zerter-Gossage, who scored his second of the season and gave a little sign of life concerning the scoresheet and effort to get back in this game. Well, time would run out on any courageous effort from the Mariners as desperate times led to desperate for Maine Head Coach Ben Guite when in the latter part of the final period pulled starting netminder Brodeur, but the experiment would end with an empty-net goal and a 4-1 victory for the visiting Everblades.

Even though the home team lost in front of 2,658 faithful fans at the Cross Insurance Arena, goaltender Brodeur was outstanding, stopping 29 of 32 Everblades shots in his first loss of the season. While Zerter-Gossage played well and broke the Everblades Cam Johnson shutout scoring his second of the season, earning this game third star, I believe Broduer’s effort should’ve been noticed as the third-best player of the game.

The next game action for the Mariners club comes this weekend when the Trios-Riveries Lions come back to the Portland area on Friday night at 7:15 and Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. The last time the Lions came to Portland, they handed the host Mariners a 2-0 shutout loss as the Trios-Riveries club earned their first ECHL franchise win. If you live around the coastal Maine area or traveling to Portland, hotels and game tickets are readily available. Please go to marinersofmaine.com for affordable tickets and also visit the Holiday Inn by the Bay for close to the Cross Insurance Arena lodging.