The Newfoundland Growlers haven’t had great starts to their games recently at Mile One Centre, and such was the case Tuesday night.
But this time, it didn’t cost the Growlers, who scored five second-period goals including three in 199 seconds, as they doubled up the Maine Mariners 6-3 at Mile One.
The Mariners, who like the Growlers, joined the ECHL as an expansion team this season, held a 2-0 lead five minutes into the second period. However, Newfoundland (17-8-1) rattled off three quick goals, starting with Griffen Molino’s tally at 5:41 and followed by Derian Plouffe at 8:26, then Scott Pooley just 34 seconds after that.
The Mariners managed to draw even, but before the period was out the Growlers’ Matt Bradley delivered what proved to be the game-winner and Marcus Power got his sixth of the season in the last minute of the frame.
Giorgio Estephan, with his team-leading 13th goal of the season, had the only goal of the final period.
Sean Day, Justin Breton and John Furgele replied for Maine (12-10-1).
Michael Garteig, making an eighth straight start, faced 21 shots in the Newfoundland goal. The Growlers sent 37 shots the way of Mariners starter Connor Lacouvee and Brandon Halverson, who came on in relief to start the third period.
The result ended a two-game losing streak — their only one of the season — for the Growlers, who had dropped 7-5 and 5-3 decisions to the Reading Royals last weekend at Mile One, games that saw Newfoundland unable to recover from early deficits.
Bonavista native Adam Pardy played his first game of the season for the Growlers, and was in the starting lineup Tuesday. The 34-year-old defenceman and veteran of 342 National Hockey League games, picked up an assist on Pooley’s 12 goal of the season and was plus-one for the night.
The two teams meet again tonight (7 p.m.) at Mile One in what will be the Growlers’ last game of 2018 in St. John’s. The team plays Sunday in Brampton, Ont., against the Beast before starting a Christmas break, then resumes play Dec. 28 in Reading, Pa., versus the Royals.
Attendance Tuesday at Mile One was just under 4,000 … The three stars of the game were all Growlers: 1. Matt Bradley 2. J.J. Piccinich, who had two assists and Adam Pardy … All 10 Newfoundland forwards had at least one point in the game ... The Growlers made a lot of transactions Tuesday, bringing Pardy and Derian Plouffe off injured reserve, adding Zach O’Brien off the reserve list, and welcoming back defenceman Stefan LeBlanc from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. The team placed forward Todd Skirving and defenceman Ilya Nekolenko on IR and forwards Sam Babintsev and Emerson Clark on the reserve list. There was also a paper transaction, with goaltender Michael Garteig officially called up to the Marlies and then returned as he was signed to an AHL contract. He had been on an ECHL-only deal ...…