COLUMBUS FALLS TO DANBURY, SETS FPHL ATTENDANCE RECORD DURING GAME
by Zak DeBeaussaert
Columbus, GA - An FPHL record crowd of 5,027 packed the Columbus Civic Center on Military Appreciation night for the Columbus River Dragons. Unfortunately for the large crowd though the home team feel tonight 4-2.
It was a lively atmosphere all night long with troops from Fort Benning in attendance, and a prefgame show that featured the ceremonial puck drop be delivered by rappelling troops from the ceiling.
All that aside though, Danbury struck first when Gordy Bonnel put in a goal that fell to the ice just out of the reach of Cody Karpinski and in a dangerous area in the slot. Bonnel's 12th of the year separated the teams at the break 1-0.
Bonnel would then double his goal total when he deflected a Carter Shinkaruk shot past Karpinski from in close on the power play early in the second, but Danbury wasn't done there on the man adavantage. As the game just got over halfway done the Hat Tricks found the back of the net again on the man advantage, this time with a low glove shot from Vlad Gavrik.
Facing a 3-0 hole near the end of the second, CJ Hayes picked himself up after taking a hit the previous possession, found the puck on his stick in the neutral zone and used his speed to make space for a bullet of a snipe past Thomas McGuckin and it was 3-1 after 40 minutes of play.
With 50.5 seconds left to go in the second period, chaos broke out that resulted in multiple penalties and a couple misconducts to be handed out by the referees. The scoreline remained though and Danbury had over four minutes of major power play time to start the third.
Despite that advantage the Hat Tricks could not capitalize, but did find the back of the net later in the third when Aaron Atwell buried after a two-on-one involving him and Casper Dyrssen, who returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game.
Columbus would have a major power play of their own in the third and scored when MJ Graham found Cameron Dimmit in the low slot. Only one goal would be scored on the major though and despite more efforts late in the third, Columbus ultimately came up short in front of the record crowd.
Thomas McGuckin gets the win with a 31 save effort tonight, Cody Karpinski takes the loss with 29 saves on 33 shots.
The same two teams play for the fifth and final time tomorrow afternoon at the Civic Center. A 4:05 puck drop means a 3:35 pregame show on the River Dragons broadcast network
Three Stars of the Game