Danville Snaps Elmira's Winning Streak
By Nate Williamson
Danville, IL - The Danville Dashers snapped a nine-game win streak on Friday night at the David S. Palmer Arena. In the process, they broke a losing streak of their own, stealing a victory from the 2nd place Elmira Enforcers to open their homestand.
The Dashers and Enforcers were both held scoreless through the first period as both sides exchanged some sloppy turnovers, and neither could get much going on the offensive end. Alex Basey went to the penalty box with almost seven minutes left in the period, but the Enforcers were unable to capitalize. Matt Kaludis and Troy Passingham held firm through thirty combined shots (17 for Elmira and 13 for Danville).
The second period started off fast, as Justin Brausen scored with just 34 ticks of the clock off an assist from Brandon Contratto. Less than two minutes later, Fred Hein found the back of the net to give the Dashers a 2-0 lead on an assist from Aaron Atwell, who returned just returned from a stint in the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) with the Peoria Rivermen. Glen Patterson got the Enforcers on the board with a redirect from an Ahmed Mahfouz pass that rocketed through the slot, leaving Kaludis with no opportunity to make the save. A little over four minutes later, Kyle Stevens scored on even strength from from Stepan Timofeyev at 10:55 to knot the game up. The two teams increased their attacking prowess, as the goaltenders took a step backwards, each letting in two goals on 21 shots.
The third period promised an exciting finish between the two teams. It was Danville that found the back of the net first as Aaron Atwell got his second point of his return on a slap shot assisted by Brandon Contratto. The goal beat Passingham through the five-hole and sent the home crowd into a frenzy for a 3-2 Dashers advantage. Fred Hein went to the box for slashing about 30 seconds later, and it only took ten seconds of the resulting power play for Brent Clarke to fire home and even the score at 3-3. Stepan Timofeyev and Ahmed Mahfouz assisted on the goal that increased the already growing tension between the two sides. As the clock counted down and overtime appeared to be looming, Hein would redeem himself at 18:56 for the game winning goal.
Both teams close out their weekend series tomorrow night at David S. Palmer Arena with a 7:05 PM puck drop.
Photo credit: LMB Studios