Dashers' Rally Falls Short
By Nate Williamson
Danville, IL - The Danville Dashers lost the opening contest of their three-game home series against the Port Huron Prowlers on Friday night. Despite an admirable comeback attempt from a three goal deficit, Danville dropped the heartbreaker.
The Dashers fell behind just under two minutes into the first period after Matt Robertson found the back of the net on assists from Jonathon Juliano and Matyas Kasek. Juliano threaded a pass through to Robertson, who found himself one-on-one with Danville keeper Matt Kaludis, and buried a hard shot into the top right corner of the net. The Dashers answered back in rapid fashion, however, when Daniel Martin scored after a great outlet pass from Kaludis found the stick of Nathan Campbell, who fired a pass into the slot for Martin to promptly finish. Shortly after the two quick goals, the game took a weird turn, with Dalton Jay firing home on a short-handed goal after an errant turnover from the Danville defense left Port Huron with big chance. Jay found the net again on a short-handed goal just over a minute later, increasing the Port Huron lead to 4-1. Jay secured his hat trick at even strength off assists from Matt Robertson and Zachary Zulkanycz after Danville goaltender Matt Kaludis ended up on the ground in his own blue area. Danville was down but not out, as Campbell fired back with under a minute left in the period. This would give him two points on the night off assists from Brandon Contratto and Fred Hein. There was a delayed penalty on the play, but Campbell made it irrelevant off of a rebound from a Contratto shot that came off the blocker of Ryan Hubbert to narrow the deficit to 4-2.
There would only be one more goal when Ryan Alves scored in his fifth game after coming to Danville on a trade.
The Dashers couldn't secure the goal they needed to tie it up, despite having several attempts during five-on-three situations as multiple Prowlers went to the box for hooking on three different occasions.
Danville fell by a final score of 4-3, despite leading in many categories and seemingly dominating the Port Huron team for most of the game. Port Huron's Ryan Hubbert stood strong down the stretch and stopped 44 of 47 shots to secure the win for the Prowlers.
Dalton Jay got the 1st Star for his hat trick of an impressive fashion with two short-handed goals. Nathan Campbell finished as the 2nd star with one goal and one assist. Daniel Martin grabbed the 3rd Star with one goal and one assist.
The two teams are back in action at the David S. Palmer Arena on Saturday and Sunday.
Photo credit: LMB Studios