Clash of the Expansion Teams Goes to Enforcers
By Jonathan Kliment
Elmira, NY - On a weekend of odd bounces and momentum shifts, the Elmira Enforcers finally saw things go their way at the expense of the Mentor Ice Breakers. They defeated their fellow newcomer to the FHL by a score of 6-3 in front of 3,009 fans.
The first period was a back and forth battle for the first few minutes as both sides seemed to feel each other out. Both clubs would get opportunities on special teams, but the inevitable first goal would come with just three minutes remaining in the first period. Cameron Yarwood nailed home a shot from the point that sent the teddy bears flying on the first annual Teddy Bear Toss Night at First Arena.
The second period saw an early tie from Ice Breakers goals leader Mark Essery. Minutes later, a floodgate opened for the Enforcers as they would nail four consecutive goals from Mike Chemello, Ondrej Gabrhelik, Ahmed Marfouz, and Yarwood's second of the night. All of that scoring had already accounted multi-point nights for Sean Reynolds, Ahmed Mahfouz, and Yarwood. After two, the Enforcers were up, 5-1.
The third period was set to be an easy cruise to victory for the Enforcers, but it was not to be, as penalty after penalty was assessed and Mentor clawed back within two. Essery nailed home his second of the night and Gordy Bonnel tallied on the power play before the midway point of the frame. Sean Reynolds buried a shorthanded chance at 18:00 unassisted to end it.
The battle of the Elmira backups saw Elmira Ryan Mulder stop 26 of 29, while former Enforcer backup Derek Moser stopped 28 of 36 in the loss.
The Enforcers go on the road for the next four games. They travel to Winston-Salem next weekend, and will be heading to Mentor for a rematch the weekend before Christmas. Elmira will next be home on Wednesday, December 26th against Watertown at 7:05 PM.
Photo credit: Curtis Berleue Photography