Late Goal Leads to OT Win for Dashers

By Nate Williamson

Danville, IL - The Danville Dashers took down the Mentor Ice Breakers in an overtime thriller between the league's bottom two teams on Friday night. Digging themselves out of a 3-0 hole, the Dashers scored four straight goals to grow the standings gap between themselves and the last placed Ice Breakers.

The game was an absolute thriller and tense from the start, with both teams exchanging breakaway opportunities, but seeing Mentor take a majority of the shots, thanks to speedy offensive play. At 15:07 into the first period, Mentor's Vaughn Clouston scored on assists from Mark Essery and Parker Moskal with some nice passing that led to the game's opening goal after the teams exchanged power plays. Just two minutes later, Mentor increased their lead when Moskal found the back of the net on an even strength goal thanks to some beautiful passing in front of Matt Kaludis, which left the Dashers' goalkeeper unable to defend the shot from the slot.

Mentor had many offensive opportunities, piling up a massive thirty shots between the first two periods, compared to Danville who had just 21. Mentor's third and final goal of the game came from the speedy winger Brett Oldaker, who scored on the power play when Kaludis was unable to hold onto the puck as it bared down on his net. Thomas Devesvre and Tommy Mahoney combined for the assists on the goal which came a little over the halfway mark of the second period. Danville struck back at 18:01 to finally get on the board with a short-handed opportunity from Patrik Zilak and Daniel Martin who found a streaking Dustin Henning to fire home a slap shot past John Sellie-Hanson. The Dashers Captain lit the spark that would eventually power the Dashers to their second home overtime win of the season. 

The comeback continued early in the third period when Fred Hein shot in the slot after being fed by a beauty of a pass from Taylor Cutting to cut the lead to one. Cutting would become the hero of the Dashers faithful and the bearer of bad news to Ice Breaker fans, as he fired home a slap shot on an assist from Hein and Jared Henderson to tie the game with just 41 seconds left in the game. 

Other than a Kaludis save on Steven Fowler, in which he stretched out his blocker to close a gap on his left post, the Dashers took control of the three-on-three overtime period. It was Brandon Contratto, who had hit the post with just four seconds left in regulation, that fired home the winning goal for the Dashers on an assist from Martin.

Brandon Contratto, Fred Hein, and Taylor Cutting took home the Stars of the Game. Matt Kaludis and John Sellie-Hanson also had standout nights, blocking 37 shots and 33 shots, respectively.

The two teams square off again tomorrow on Breast Cancer Awareness Night at the David S. Palmer Arena for the second game of the three-game weekend series. The finale will be played in Mentor on Sunday.

Photo credit: LMB Studios