Gjurich Lifts Enforcers With 3 Goals in Shootout, Enforcers Win 4-3
The Enforcers kicked off their second series of the season against the Columbus River Dragons. Though these teams will meet only five times over the course of Elmira’s 25 game season, this match up will mean a considerable amount as the season goes along.
The River Dragons came out with something to prove tonight as they put the first six shots on net despite Elmira controlling a lot of the offensive zone play. It took 5:34, but Jake Schultz cracked the scoreboard first after Josh Pietrantonio won a faceoff back to the left hand side of Troy Passingham. Schultz fired the puck toward the net and it had eyes as the clang of the crossbar could be heard around the arena and the puck slammed down behind Passingham to give Columbus the 1-0 lead. The Enforcers answered back however as after the conclusion of a Seth Ensor penalty Glen Patterson threw a puck right into the slot and Jonny Ruiz buried it behind Jacob Caffrey to tie up the game. A little less than four minutes later Elmira took the lead after a pass up the boards from Caffrey landed on Tyler Gjurich’s stick and he threw it toward the empty net and slide into the goal as Caffrey tried to get back to give Elmira the 2-1 lead.
The second period saw Columbus come out strong again, but Passingham stood strong again. Troy held steady for the entirety of the second period and the Enforcers offense connected again as Stepan Timofeyev threw a puck toward the front of the net and Ahmed Mahfouz reached out to poke it into the back of the net getting a third by Caffrey. The Enforcers turned it on at the end of the second, but couldn’t find the back of the net again.
Despite going in with a lead Elmira continued to attack in the first five minutes peppering Caffrey with 6 shots before Ahmed Mahfouz and Seth Ensor got into a fight after a lot of back and forth. While sitting in the penalty box Mahfouz continued to try to run his team from the box, but signals were a little bit harder and after a shot from Connor Fries, Ivan Bondarenko got the River Dragons to within one beating Troy Passingham on a rebound. The Enforcers defense held strong until Columbus pulled the goaltender. Elmira was unable to clear the zone and the River Dragons moved the puck around until Connor Fries was able to beat Passingham to tie the game and take it to overtime.
The extra frame saw both teams with chances, but neither goalie flinched and it lead to the shootout. Connor Fries and Ivan Bondarenko both scored for the River Dragons, but tonight was Tyler Gjurich’s night. With Elmira down 2-0 in the third round of the shootout Gjurich came up three times and scored on all three to give the Enforcers a 3-2 win in the shootout.
Troy Passingham stopped 39 of 42 shots and the Enforcers Penalty Kill remained perfect.
The Enforcers take on the River Dragons in the rematch tomorrow, Wednesday February 24th at 7:05 pm. Don’t forget to follow us on Youtube live!