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Newfoundland Growlers seek one point, get three players

There was only one goal scored during the last 27 power-play opportunities for opponents of the Newfoundland Growlers ... and it was scored by Growlers' forward Scott Pooley (12). It was the first shorthanded goal in Newfoundland's short franchise history. — Newfoundland Growlers photo/Jeff Parsons
The Newfoundland Growlers have received three players from the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, including forward Scott Pooley (12), shown in action earlier this season at Mile One Centre.The Growlers close out their ECHL regular-season home schedule with games against the Manchester Monarchs tonight and Saturday. — Newfoundland Growlers photo/Jeff Parsons

They get Pooley, Jardine and Gagne from AHL Marlies as they prepare to play their last two home games of the regular season

It wouldn’t seem the Newfoundland Growlers need a whole lot of help in their quest clinch first place overall in the ECHL’s North Division.

But they’re getting it anyway.

Newfoundland (41-20-6), which requires just a single point or an Adirondack Thunder loss in order to secure top spot in the North, has received three players from the Toronto Marlies in advance of its final regular-season home games.

The Growlers host the Manchester Monarchs tonight and Saturday (both 7 p.m. starts) at Mile One Centre

Forward Scott Pooley and defenceman Sam Jardine have been returned to Newfoundland from the American Hockey League Marlies, while lanky centre/right-winger Gabriel Gagne will make his first appearance on the Growlers’ roster.

Pooley, who had a goal and an assist in a half dozen games during his AHL call-up, comes back to Newfoundland as the team’s second-leading goal scorer despite his time away. The rookie from Indiana has 46 points, including 26 goals, in 55 AHL games. He also has retained his standing as owner of the Growlers’ best plus-minus rating (plus-23).

Jardine hasn’t spent nearly as much time with Newfoundland. After originally being sent down from the Marlies in February, he got into five ECHL games, scoring three points before his latest recall to the AHL.

The 25-year-old Jardine, a one-time Chicago Blackhawks draft pick, brings some welcome experience to the Growlers’ blueline corps, which of late has featured veterans Adam Pardy, James Melindy and Alex Gudbranson, four rookies and Evan Neugold, a former forward in his first full season as a rearguard.

The 22-year-old Gagne, a 2015 second-round draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, came to the Maple Leafs organization as the result of an early January trade that sent fellow forward Morgan Klimchuk to the Senators.

The 6-5, 215-pound Gagne has six goals and 10 assists in 54 AHL games this season, split between the Marlies and the Belleville Senators. This after a 20-goal 2017-18 campaign with Belleville.

This won’t be the first ECHL experience for the native of Ste-Adele, Que., who was drafted out of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. In 2016-17, Gagne appeared in 19 games for the ECHL’s Wichita Thunder, where he briefly was a teammate of Growlers’ leading scorer Zach O’Brien.

Dog Bites

On Thursday, as the Growlers prepared to add the three assignees from the Marlies, they released defenceman Tyler Mayea. The 25-year-old Mayea, who had played eight ECHL games after joining Newfoundland from the Canadian college ranks earlier this month, is the second player let go by this week by the Growlers, who earlier cut tryout forward Adam Dauda … Manchester (36-27-4) arrives in St. John’s looking for points to help them in what is a dogfight for positioning behind the Growlers in the North Division. Just six points separate five teams looking for the three remaining playoff berths in the division. The Monarchs have 76 points and the sixth-place Worcester Railers, with a game in hand on Manchester, have 70 …

Twitter: @telybrendan

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