Enforcers Down Dashers in Wild Game
By Jonathan Kliment
Elmira, NY - The Elmira Enforcers opened up a weekend series with the Danville Dashers on Friday night at First Arena. The Dashers came in having split the previous series with the Enforcers out in Illinois and both teams were needing wins in the playoff race. It would be Elmira that succeeded and sent the 2,789 fans in attendance home happy with a 4-3 victory.
The first period saw a lot of action, but despite jumping on the Dashers early, the Enforcers surrendered the first goal as new signing Levi Armstrong scooped up a rebound and put it right by Nick Niedert. Not to be outdone in his return to Elmira, Sean Reynolds got a break away a little over a minute later and buried one past Matt Kaludis to bring the Enforcers back even.
Reynolds scored another goal on the power play right from the slot just 1:34 into the second period. Mitch Atkins put up a goal at 7:02, and everything broke down from there. Fights broke out all over the ice as Ahmed Mahfouz fought Fred Hein, and then Brandon Vuic tried to take on the whole bench as Head Coach Brent Clarke followed suit. Things continued to deteriorate for the Enforcers which led to a five-on-three advantage for the Dashers where Daniel Martin narrowed the gap back to one goal at 14:32.
The third period was just as wild and saw each side swap power play goals. Atkins got fed right in the slot for the Enforcers and buried his second of the night into the net with Kaludis spread eagled. Then Hein brought the Dashers as close as they would get at 11:19. The Dashers pulled their goaltender in an attempt to take advantage of a Stepan Timofeyev minor with less than a minute to go, but Niedert made save after save, including one right on the goal line to secure the victory.
The Enforcers and Dashers continue to do battle tomorrow at 7:05 PM in the second of the three game set. Tomorrow is Girl Scout Night and tickets are still available by calling the box office at (607)734-PUCK (7825).
Photo credit: Curtis Berleue Photography