Enforcers Stay Unbeaten at Home Against Dashers
By Jonathan Kliment
Elmira, NY - The Elmira Enforcers came into Wednesday night’s matchup with nothing to lose and everything to gain as they faced off with the Danville Dashers for the final time in the regular season. A win in regulation would guarantee them the 2nd seed in the Playoffs and home ice advantage. The game went to overtime, but the home team skated away with a 2-1 victory in front of 2,581 fans at First Arena.
The first period started with Elmira trying to find their feet. The Dashers got the first shots on goal, but were unable to put anything by Troy Passingham. The Enforcers got it together in the middle of the period, pushing the pace and getting a few quality shots on Matt Kaludis, but were unable to beat the Danville netminder. At intermission, Danville lead in shots, 10-7.
The Enforcers were able to turn up the pressure in the second period and get on the scoreboard at 11:27. Mitch Atkins sent a beauty of a pass across the net mouth to Gavin Yates who put the puck into the net behind Kaludis. However, Danville wasn’t ready to submit, and Fred Hein came in with Nathan Campbell at 15:05 to put one over the shoulder of Passingham to tie it up. The score was tied 1-1 at intermission with the shots on goal at 22-22.
The third period saw more back and forth as the Enforcers cranked up their efforts, but just couldn’t sneak anything by Kaludis. Power play attempts were plentiful for both teams throughout the frame, but neither team could claim victory. With just 40 seconds to go, JT Walters and Hein got into a pushing and shoving match, earning them matching minors. Then, Brian Dunford took a penalty for high sticking just 17 seconds later, which gave Elmira a 4-on-3 opportunity for 23 seconds, but they were unable to capitalize.
Overtime lasted exactly one minute as Anton Lennartsson took a pass from Yates and buried it over the shoulder over Kaludis to secure an unbeaten home record for Elmira against Danville. However, they did not secure the second place seed and the home ice that would come along with it.
The Enforcers head for Carolina for a two-game set this weekend to play the 1st place Thunderbirds on Friday and Saturday. They return home on March 29th and 30th to close out their home portion of the regular season against the Mentor Ice Breakers. Get your tickets now by calling (607) 734-PUCK (7825).
Photo credit: Curtis Berleue Photography