Luke Stork of the Mariners drives down the ice with the puck as Barry Almeida of the Railers moves in on defense Friday in Portland. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald Photo)

On Wednesday night, Mariners Coach Riley Armstrong said his team stole a victory despite being outplayed because of outstanding goaltending from Brandon Halverson.

Two nights later, Halverson couldn’t save them again. The Worcester Railers scored three times on deflections and beat the Mariners 4-2 before a crowd of 2,982 at Cross Insurance Arena.

“Not our best outing,” said Armstrong, whose team had won its previous six games with Halverson in net. “You can’t blame Halverson for any of the goals. He’s tracking the puck and it gets deflected. NHL goalies can’t stop that.”

Halverson finished with 30 saves, same as Worcester goalie Mitch Gillam, who stonewalled the Mariners after they crept within a goal entering the third period. The game remained tight until Josh Holmstrom tipped a shot from Nick Sorkin past Halverson with a little more than three minutes remaining to end the scoring.

The loss ended a four-game home winning streak for the Mariners, who play again Saturday night in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Sunday afternoon in Worcester, Massachusetts,their second three-in-three stretch this season.

Friday night’s game included two fights, one 10 seconds after the puck dropped.


Worcester’s Yanick Turcotte delivered a hard check to Maine’s John Furgele and Morgan Adams-Moisan, sticking up for his teammate, immediately squared off with Turcotte.

Worcester opened the scoring late in the first when Mike Cornell, who played his college hockey in Orono, sent a long angled shot from the right boards into traffic and teammate Dylan Willick deflected it inside the far post for a 1-0 lead.

Adams-Moisan found himself alone with the puck behind the Worcester net 45 seconds later. He hesitated, then bounced one in off a Railer.

“I like to think I tried to do that,” he said, “but no, that was a pass I tried to put in front and it went in.”

Worcester went ahead 3-1 in the second on goals by Tommy Panico from the left point and Barry Almeida in the slot following a Mariners defensive breakdown.

The period included another fight, this time between Ryan Ferrill of Maine and Connor Doherty of Worcester, and a Mariners penalty shot because of a hooking call on a breakaway. Michael McNicholas skated in from the right side and snapped a shot that struck the near post and fell away.

Sean Day made it 3-2 with a screened shot from the left point with a little over six minutes remaining in the second.

The Mariners (9-7-0-1) went 7-2-0-1 in November. They return to Portland on Friday night against Adirondack.

“We just have to continue to play like we did for the whole month of November,” Adams-Moisan said, “and things will be good for us.”

Ryan MacKinnon of the Railers battles for the puck with Michael McNicholas of the Mariners on Friday in Portland. (Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Portland Press Herald Photo)

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