COLUMBUS DOMINATES IN GAME 1 WIN OVER ELMIRA 5-1
by Zak DeBeaussaert
Columbus, GA - The Columbus River Dragons skated a great game start to finish and won game 1 of their 3-in-3 set with the Elmira Enforcers by a score of 5-1.
The River Dragons got on the board first in this one with Jay Croop putting in a centering feed from Vojtech Zemlicka for an early 1-0 lead 2:27 into the contest.
Elmira would strike back though midway through the period after a penalty to Nick Mangone had expired but before he could get into the play Brett Gravelle found himself open on the right circle and blasted a shot past Jared Rutledge to make it 1-1.
Croop would find the back of the net again though in the same period when Ivan Bondarenko sent a puck towards the net and Croop deflected it on a tight angle over Troy Passingham's shoulder and in for a 2-1 lead that would last to the end of the period.
From there on out Columbus dominated the remaining periods with early goals. First it was Jake Schultz firing one home on the power play 27 seconds in on a one-timer set up by Mac Jansen. Nate O'Brien scored his first as a River Dragon later in the second with a good move around a defender and in space snapped one past Passingham's blocker for a 4-1 lead.
Columbus iced the game with another early goal in the 3rd period. This time it was Chase Fallis sending a quick wrister home 16 seconds into the period to give the game its final scoreline of 5-1.
Jared Rutledge gets his 4th win of the season stopping 22 of 23 Elmira shots sent his way. Troy Passingham takes the loss after a 40 save effort on 45 shots.
The same two teams go at it again tomorrow night with a 6:35 puck drop at the Civic Center, tickets available at the Civic Center Box Office or on TicketMaster. Fans who can't make it out to the game can watch the game locally on WTVM 9.2 Bounce. The game is also available on the River Dragons YouTube page and the River Dragons Radio Network too.
Three Stars of the Game