Enforcers Sweep Ice Breakers
By Jared Tennant
Mentor, OH - The Elmira Enforcers’ stout defensive effort proved to be too much for the Mentor Ice Breakers once again as Mentor fell by a 4-1 final on Saturday evening at Mentor Civic Ice Arena.
For the second night in a row, the Ice Breakers managed to get on the board first. Patrick Porkka took a pass from Thomas McKinnon and fired a shot from the blue line that deflected off the glove of Enforcers netminder Troy Passingham into the back of the net. The power play goal came under five minutes into the game and would end up as Mentor’s only tally of the night. Exactly five minutes after Porkka’s goal, Cameron Yarwood tied the game at 9:42 of the first period. Sean Reynolds and Mitch Atkins both figured into the goal with assists as the two clubs headed to the first intermission deadlocked at one goal apiece.
Tensions began to rise in the second period, but both teams kept their cool. Brody Duncan was given a 10-minute misconduct six minutes into the period, presumably for something he said to an official, but other than that it was a clean period from both sides. Elmira took the lead at 14:48 when Glen Patterson scored what would turn out to be the game-winning goal for the Enforcers. Reynolds and Atkins once again factored into the goal with assists.
Emotions started to boil over in the third period when Elmira stretched its lead to 3-1 after Alex Morrow lost an edge and took a hard tumble behind the Ice Breakers net. He remained down on the ice for about ten seconds, but the Ice Breakers were unable to gain possession of the puck to stop play. Elmira capitalized on the brief man advantage with Kyle Stevens’ third goal of the season. Duncan plead the Ice Breakers’ case with the officials following the goal and as a result was handed his second 10-minute misconduct of the game. Late in the period, Mentor forward Ivan Vilcauskas tried to finish a rebound and hit Passingham with his stick. Darren Lamble defended his goaltender and fought Vilcauskas, with the two exchanging some heavy blows. With just over a minute left in the game, Enforcers forward Joe Cannan jumped Ice Breakers defenseman Thomas Devesvre far away from the play, resulting in a five-minute fighting penalty to Cannan, but no penalty to Devesvre. With 223 penalty minutes and 0 points in 45 career FHL games, Cannan seems to have a clear-cut role with the Enforcers. Dmytro Babenko sealed Elmira’s win with an empty-net goal with 20 seconds to go in regulation, making it a 4-1 final.
Passingham earned the win in his first start against the Ice Breakers with a stellar performance, stopping 29 of 30 Mentor attempts.
The Ice Breakers are back in action the day after Christmas at home against the red-hot Carolina Thunderbirds, winners of six straight games. The Enforcers, meanwhile, will play host to the Watertown Wolves on the same night.
The Mentor Ice Breakers are in their inaugural season and proud members of the Federal Hockey League. Single game and ticket packages are available 24/7 online at mentoricebreakers.com/tickets. They can also be purchased at the box office prior to the game or by calling (440) 290-850.
Photo credit: Dee Hannum