ICE BREAKERS AVOID SWEEP WITH 6-3 WIN
Columbus, GA - The Columbus River Dragons attempted to sweep the Mentor Ice Breakers three games out of three on Saturday night but came up short in a final of 6-3.
Mentor came out flying firing the game's first five shots onto Jared Rutledge and soon after found themselves on a power play that was cashed in by Brody Duncan after his shot went off a River Dragon body and past a down Rutledge.
It would take about half a period later but Columbus would respond when MJ Graham took a pass from half-ice and made a couple of great cuts to the goal to get around Austyn Roudebush and tie up the game 1-1.
13 seconds later though, Jon Buttitta banked one in from a weird angle off of Rutledge and quickly restored Mentor's lead.
With a 2-1 lead heading into the second Mentor would again open the scoring, this time Declan Conway found the back of the net on a power play with help coming from Buttitta and Alex Morrow.
Columbus would again draw within one as MJ Graham played a puck from behind the net and he faked to Roudebush's left side while playing the puck behind himself to get it to the opposite side where it laid on the crease and eventually found its way over the line. The referees said no River Dragons touched it before it crossed the line so it counted for Graham's second of the night.
For the third period though it was the same story as the previous two. Mentor opened up the scoring as Stepan Jirovec fired a seeing-eye puck that beat Rutledge to the low glove side and give Mentor back a two-goal lead. The Czech native's first of the year would end up as the game-winner when Shaun Lymer rushed the middle and delivered a crisp pass to Chase Fallis who fired it home top left corner past Roudebush for another one-goal margin.
Mentor wouldn't concede again in this one though and would add to their lead with Declan Conway's second of the night making it 5-3 firing home a beautiful shot from the high slot fed to him by Buttitta. Buttitta then would add a second of his own with five seconds left in the game to give the game its final score of 6-3.
The last five seconds proved eventful with a few fights breaking out from the emotions that ran high all weekend and after some squabbling between the clans, Mentor skated off the ice with three points to take back home to Ohio.
Austyn Roudebush picks up win number nine on the season making 34 saves on 37 shots. Jared Rutledge suffers the loss. He made 36 saves on 42 shots tonight.
Three Stars of the Game
Declan Conway (MIB)
Jon Buttitta (MIB)