Enforcers Grab A 4-2 Victory Over The Thunderbirds
by Jonathan Kliment
Following a tough Friday night decision that favored the Carolina Thunderbirds by a 3-2 margin, the Enforcers returned to the ice for the second matchup of a big three-in-three weekend needing points something fierce in the push for the Ignite Cup playoffs. The visiting side made a few minor lineup changes prior to puck drop, but Elmira rolled out the same group that took the loss last night in hopes of catching a groove.
The Thunderbirds pushed the pace of the game through the early stages, but couldn't convert until late in the frame. With 13:35 having passed the two sides by, Josh Koepplinger forced the puck ahead and Tommy Tsicos picked it up behind Troy Passingham's cage directing it to Zach White waiting on the doorstep. White shouldered the load and delivered the tally, giving Carolina a 1-0 advantage. Elmira's grit and determination answered just over 3 minutes later however. On an odd man break in to enemy territory, Jonny Ruiz and Alexis Girard played a little game of give and go before the puck hit Brett Gravelle's stick and found itself snapped by Chris Paulin to knot the game up at 1 apiece after 20 minutes of play.
In the second period the lone goal came 8:06 in when Tyler Gjurich danced into the offensive end after a stretch feed up ice from Ahmed Mahfouz, stretched out Paulin to the left, and then buried it top shelf for Elmira's first lead of the game and weekend, 2-1.
Media timeouts aren't kind and the Enforcers felt that in the third period. Following the scheduled break, Elmira won the faceoff off to Passingham's left but in the aftermath of a wrap around the goal gone wrong - gave the puck away to Kyle Pouncy in the same side circle. Pouncy waltzed in and spiraled it to the back of the net, tying the game back up 2-2. The home side answered back just 58 seconds later. Carter Shinkarurk slung one to Jonny Ruiz who connected with Brett Gravelle in stride in his route to a hard slop shot putting the Enforcers on top 3-2. Despite a late push from Carolina, Elmira was able to put the game out of reach with 3 seconds remaining when Brandon Tucker potted the breakaway to stretch the score to 4-2 which would go final.
Troy Passingham flipped away 48 of 50 shots.
The Enforcers host the Carolina Thunderbirds in the weekend finale from First Arena tomorrow at 1:05pm. Get your tickets by calling (607) 734-PUCK to spend your Easter Sunday with us, or catch the action on YouTube and Mixlr.