Dashers Dominate Ice Breakers

By Nate Williamson

Danville, IL - The Danville Dashers won their second game in a row against the Mentor Ice Breakers at David S. Palmer Arena on Saturday night. Their 7-2 victory on Cancer Night narrowed the gap to five points behind Port Huron with three games in hand.

The Ice Breakers got off to a hot start just 38 seconds into the game while Brian Dunford was in the box for interference when Gordy Bonnel fired home on assists from Nathan Farrington and Mark Essery. Bonnel fired a slap shot past Danville goaltender Matt Kaludis from one knee in an impressive effort. Just minutes later an Ice Breakers goal was waived off after a hand pass was called on their offense. After that, it was all Dashers for the majority of the game. Daniel Martin tied things up on assists from Alex Pommerville and Dustin Henning, followed by Brandon Contratto scoring at even strength on a breakaway, beating Derek Moser. A little over five minutes later, Contratto gave the Dashers a two goal lead when he once again found the back of the net on a breakaway, showing off impressive down ice speed. 

The Dashers never took their foot off the gas, as Contratto and Nathan Campbell linked up with Fred Hein to score on another Danville power play just 25 seconds into the second period. Jared Henderson scored on a Campbell slap shot, assisted by Hein. Campbell's shot was saved by relief goaltender John Sellie-Hanson, before Henderson picked up the rebound and tickled twine. With just under eight minutes gone in the frame, Danville went up 6-1 when Eric Masters found the back of the net on assists from Campbell and Henning.

There was a lone bright spot in the late stages of the game for Mentor when Parker Moskal scored, freshly supplied by some beautiful tic-tac passes from Vaughn Clouston and Declan Conway. The last goal of the night went to the Dashers, though, when Henning fired home on an impressive breakaway, beating Sellie-Hanson, despite being draped on by multiple defensemen.

The Dashers looked to be in mid season form tonight as they narrowed the lead on the 4th place Port Huron Prowlers, who fell to the Watertown Wolves. If the victory wasn't sweet enough, over $2,000 dollars was raised for various cancer charities.

Photo credit: LMB Studios