by Zak DeBeaussaert
Columbus, GA - The Columbus River Dragons put up a double digit effort to sweep the weekend against the Binghamton Black Bears, winning by a final score of 10-3 on Saturday night.
Off of their dominant effort last night, Columbus extended their five unanswered goals from last night into nine unanswered to start off the first period. The teddy bears rained to the ice after Josh Pietrantonio snapped one home past the glove hand of Harley White to give Columbus a 1-0 lead 5:32 into the game.
After a lengthy cleanup, the game continued and Pietrantonio made the crowd feel some Deja Vu, with another goal from just about the same spot on the ice to double up the Dragons lead. Austin Daae and MJ Graham added goals to extend the run over two nights to 9-0 in favor of Columbus. Daae's goal gives him a 5-game goal streak.
30 seconds after the Graham goal Nikita Ivashkin found the back of the net off of a faceoff win for his 19th goal of the season. Shortly after that (11 seconds to be exact) Daae picked up his 2nd of the game to set the score at 5-1 after 20 minutes of play.
Columbus would not let off the gas pedal in the 2nd period as Hunter Bersani and Jagger Williamson played some call and response to extend the lead to 9-1 through 40 minutes. With a new netminder (Joe Sheppard) in, Bersani scores on the power play at the 7:55 mark from a play off the back boards and then Williamson would get one of his own 58 seconds later. In another feat of Deja Vu, Bersani tallied another at 15:04 in the 2nd and 59 seconds later Williamson again found the back of the net.
With a 9-1 lead in tow, the River Dragons laid off the gas a little and Binghamton took advantage with goals from Chalifoux and Ivashkin (his second of the game to draw back to 9-3. Not to be left out with five different players on multi-goal games, MJ Graham added his name to that list with his second of the game with less than 30 seconds left. Final score 10-3 Dragons and all six points on the weekend heading Columbus' way.
Bailey MacBurnie scores his 2nd win of the season with 31 saves on 34 shots. Harley White takes the loss, only playing in the first period with 10 saves on 15 shots. The rest of the way was Joe Sheppard who stopped 17 of 22 shots in relief.
Columbus now looks ahead to Carolina for a two-game set in Biloxi on Friday and Columbus on Saturday. The River Dragons will be wearing their specialty ugly sweaters for both nights and the jerseys will be available on DASH with proceeds benefitting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of West Georgia. Puck drop in Biloxi is at 8:05 (7:05 central) and puck drop in Columbus is at 7:30. Tickets available on TicketMaster.
Three Stars of the Game