The Newfoundland Growlers benefited from a Power surge Saturday night in Pennsylvania.
Marcus Power had a hand in all of the Growlers’ regular-time scoring — with a goal and two assists — and then scored the decisive goal in the shootout as the Growlers prevailed 4-3 over the Reading Royals.
It’s the first-ever shootout win for expansion Newfoundland (20-9-1), which began its post-Christmas ECHL schedule with a 4-1 loss to the Royals (15-8-2) Friday night in Reading.
In Saturday’s rematch, the Royals jumped to a 2-0 lead with goals less than a minute apart in the first period. But before the opening frame was finished, the Growlers had evened things up, with Zach O’Brien and Alex Gudbranson scoring the goals. In both cases, there were assists from Power, the St. John’s native who turned pro this season after starring in the QMJHL and Atlantic universities conference,
Gudbranson’s goal came with 16 seconds left in the period.
The teams exchanged tallies in the second period, with Power delivering what was a tying goal at 19:07.
There would be no more scoring in regulation or in overtime, a 25-minute stretch that saw Newfoundland netminder Michael Garteig put in his best work; the Royals outshot the Growlers 18-6 overall in the third period and in the five-minute extra frame.
In the shootout, each team was successful in its first attempt, with Sam Babinstsev scoring for Newfoundland and Frank DiChiara doing the same for Reading.
Then, the goalies took over, with Garteig thwarting the Royals’ next four shooters and Reading’s Callum Booth denying, in order, the Growlers’ Ryan Moore, Josh Kestner and O’Brien. But after Garteig shut down Jack Riley, Power solved Booth, sliding the puck past the Royals’ goalie for the deciding tally.
Today in Glens Falls, N.Y., Newfoundland will close out what officially is a four-game road trip (the Growlers had defeated the Beast in Brampton, Ont., on Dec. 16 before a lengthy holiday break) by taking on the Adirondack Thunder.
That one starts at 6:30 p.m. NT.
Marcus Power was the first star on Saturday, the only Growler selected as a star in the two games in Reading … Matt Bradley had Newfoundland’s only goal in the 4-1 loss to Reading on Friday, when Callum Booth made 23 saves for the Royals. Growlers’ goalie Michael Garteig gave up three goals on 24 shots in the first matchup; Reading’s fourth marker was an empty-netter … Defenceman Garrett Johnston, just signed from Birmingham of the Southern Professional Hockey League, played his first game for Newfoundland Saturday in Reading … Over the holiday break, the Growlers saw three players — forwards Griffen Molino and Derian Plouffe and defenceman Stefan LeBlanc — recalled by the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies. Meanwhile, Newfoundland leading scorer Scott Pooley and defenceman Alex Gubranson were returned by the Marlies …