The Maine Mariners couldn’t sustain a fast start in their home opener Saturday night, falling to the Trois-Rivières Lions 6-4 at Cross Insurance Arena in front of 5,499 fans.

Maine scored the game’s first two goals, but the Lions got the next four to take control of the game. The win gave the Lions a sweep of the season-opening home-and-home series. After Friday night in Trois-Rivières – a 4-2 Lions win – both teams bused 5 1/2 hours overnight for Saturday’s game, arriving in Portland around 4:30 a.m.

Trois-Rivières took the lead for good at 2:41 of the second period. On a 2-on-1 rush, Cedric Montminy tipped a feed from John Parker-Jones past Maine goalie Shane Starrett for a 3-2 advantage.

The teams played as if they’d faced each other 20 straight nights, not two. Tempers flared early in the second period in the form of an old-fashioned dust up that involved most of the players on the ice. When it was all sorted out, Maine’s Austin Albrecht was issued a five-minute major for spearing and a game misconduct. The Lions took advantage of the five-minute power play, as Miguel Tourigny’s goal at 4:22 increased Trois-Rivières’ lead to 4-2.

“They stung us on the power play a little bit. We’re a pretty young team with a lot of new faces this year. We’ve got to figure out or chemistry,” said Mariners center Tim Doherty, who assisted on all four Maine goals. “Of course we’re going to look at, the negatives, but there’s some positives, too. We fought to the very end.”

The game got chippy at times, with Maine drawing 33 minutes of penalties and Trois-Rivières 18.


“Tonight, it felt like our discipline was a momentum killer. It’s unfortunate, because we showed glimpses of playing really good hockey and could’ve won that game,” Maine Coach Terrence Wallin said. “I think now it’s become such a natural rivalry because we play each other so much. It makes for fun games. We need to learn to keep our composure a little bit.”

Maine twice cut the deficit to one goal in the third period. At 3:10, Alex Kile scored his second power-play goal of the night, on a rebound of Ethan Keppen’s shot.

Former Maine Mariner Nick Jermain’s goal at 6:17 restored the two-goal lead. At 12:49, Keppen answered to make it 5-4.

Maine took an early 2-0 lead, scoring a pair of power-play goals in a span of 2:08.

First, Kile fired a wrister from the top of the circle for a 1-0 lead at the 10:05 mark. Then, at 12:13, Reid Stefanson took a shot from a tough angle, almost even with the net, and beat Lions goalie Joe Vrbetic high for a 2-0 lead.

Trois-Rivières answered just 11 seconds later with a Nolan Yaremko goal.


“Power play’s been sharp through two games. Early in this game, I didn’t love our 5-on-5 play,” Wallin said. “I thought we were soft at times. We weren’t advancing pucks. One of our keys tonight was winning the net fronts, and I don’t think we did that.”

After going 0 for 2 on their first two power-play opportunities, the Lions tied the game at 17:29 with Anthony Beauregard’s power-play goal.

Trois-Rivières clinched the game with an empty-net goal with 37 seconds to play.

After making 30 saves in Friday’s game, Starrett got the start in goal again for Maine and made 24 stops. Vrbetic made 26 stops for the Lions.

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