Enforcers Claim Hilliard Cup, Thrash Prowlers 7-1
by Jonathan Kliment
The Enforcers close out the first ever Hilliard Cup with a win tonight and with a new addition in Steve Leonard from the Prowlers, Elmira was ready to battle in the first of a four in four.
The first period got off to a quick start as Carter Shinkaruk was able to bury a shot from the top of the slot after Bryce Martin dropped a pass to Brett Gravelle who carried it below the goal line and found Shinkaruk wide open just 2:45 into the game. Seven minutes later the Enforcers were at it again as Jonny Ruiz took a pass from Gravelle and was able to ramp it off the pipe and right into the back of the net to give Elmira a 2-0 lead. The onslaught continued as Alexis Girard ripped one from the point and through traffic as it bounced off the glove of Kurt Gutting and into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.
Elmira saw a lot more deliberate puck movement in the second period as they slowed play down and seemed content to sit on a lead. Tyler Gjurich did add a goal however, as the Enforcers broke in 2 on 1 and Gjurich ripped a shot from the top of the circle five hole on Gutting to give Elmira a 4-0 lead 10:25 into the second period of play.
Port Huron was down, but not out as they entered the final twenty minutes on a power play and took just 45 seconds to finally snap Troy Passingham’s shutout bid as Dalton Young pushed one five hole. Glen Patterson responded on the power play later in the third as Mitch Atkins broke in on the far side he found Patterson through a seam and as the Captain streaked into the slot he snapped the puck blocker side past Gutting for a 5-1 Enforcer lead. Blake Peavey connected three minutes later on a perfect pass from newcomer Steve Leonard to beat Gutting again for the 6-1 lead. The Enforcers finished off the Hilliard Cup with a seventh goal with just two seconds to go as Passingham hurried a puck ahead to Brett Gravelle who took it coast to coast and bar down over Gutting for the 7-1 win.
Passingham stopped 42 of 43 for the win, his sixth on the season.
The Enforcers play at home again tomorrow night at 7:05pm against the same Port Huron Prowlers for game two of the four game series. Tickets are available at the box office or by calling 607-734-PUCK and the game will be streamed on Youtube and Mixlr.