There were hats and Harts in abundance Friday night at Cross Insurance Arena.

Terrence Wallin’s third goal of the game prompted the former to float down from the stands as the Mariners rallied for a 5-3 ECHL victory over the Jacksonville Icemen. A crowd of 2,354 saw Cumberland brothers Ted and Brian Hart play together for the first time since they wore Greely Middle School sweaters.

The game also featured the return of former Portland Pirates fan favorite Jason Christie, nicknamed Smurf for his stature but certainly not his spunk, now head coach of the Icemen.

“It was nice to come back and see people I hadn’t seen in a while,” said Christie, who was part of four Pirates teams between 1994 and 1998. “We won a lot of games in here as a player. A lot of unbelievable memories.”

Christie’s team has lost five in a row and remains the only ECHL club yet to reach double-digit victories. The streak seemed likely to end when Jacksonville took leads of 2-1 and 3-2 in the second period, but the Mariners converted a power play with three seconds left in the period and added two more goals in the third.

“I didn’t think we played that great,” said Mariners Coach Riley Armstrong. “The only positive out of tonight was our special teams. The power play worked the puck really well. We had tons of chances. And our kill, I don’t think they really got set up on their power play for the one opportunity they got.”

Officials waved off an apparent Jacksonville goal – after not one but two lengthy reviews –midway through the third that would have cut Maine’s lead to 5-4.

“They said it didn’t fully cross (the goal line),” Christie said. “But there was no whistle on it and it was in the back of the net.”

A cross-checking penalty with 38 seconds left in the second set the stage for Sean Day’s tying goal, a blast from the high slot with assists from Michael McNicholas and Ty Ronning.

Wallin scored Maine’s first two goals. Taylor Cammarata set up the opening score by blocking a Jacksonville slap shot and turning the carom into a breakaway. Ryan Culkin spotted Wallin trailing the play and fed him the puck.

Maine’s 1-0 lead lasted a little more than a minute. Jacksonville’s Craig Martin tied it late in the first and Luke Shiplo put the Icemen ahead 2-1 in the seventh minute of the second period on a screened shot. A minute later, the Mariners managed their first shot on net of the period, with Wallin swatting a deflection into the net for a 2-2 tie.

Wallin completed his hat trick seven minutes into the third when he pounced on the rebound of an Alex Kile shot just after an Icemen penalty expired. Less than a minute later, Ronning scored, with assists from Kile and Dillan Fox.

As the game progressed, the brothers Hart got more chances to be on the ice at the same time. A Ted-to-Brian feed in the second provided the best chance for scoring.

“He set me up pretty good,” said Brian, who hadn’t played professionally since last March in Scotland but signed with the Mariners on Friday, two weeks after completing his last semester at Harvard University. “I should have done more with that.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.