Enforcers Can't Best Dashers In Game 1

by Jon Kliment

The Elmira Enforcers made their FHL debut on Friday night against the Danville Dashers in Illinois. The Enforcers joined the FHL to continue 17 years of professional hockey in Elmira started by the Elmira Jackals. It was the season opener for both teams, and each team came out ready to start their season off in the win column.

Aaron Taylor kept the Dashers in the game in the 1stperiod after making some spectacular saves. However, Taylor could not save every puck that was thrown at him as he let one slip by him with 12:25 to go in the 1stperiod. Marko Novosel caressed the puck in the slot and ripped a missile top-shelf to score Elmira’s first goal of the game and first goal in franchise history. Elmira’s celebrations lasted shortly as Danville responded quickly. Ryan Marker broke through the Enforcer’s defenders to score a shorthanded breakaway goal to tie the game at 1-1. 

The 2ndperiod was predominantly played in the Enforcer’s defensive zone, but that did not matter to Troy Passingham. Elmira’s netminder was magnificent holding the Dashers scoreless in the 2ndperiod despite the constant pressure. Alex Basey was successful in getting the crowd into the game after dropping the gloves at center ice with Darren Lamble. The two heavyweights went back and forth with haymakers getting the crowd onto their feet and each bench some renewed energy. Despite the dominance of the Danville offense, Elmira was able to muster a goal with their short time on the attack. Glen Patterson threw in a rebound from a shot from the point giving Aaron Taylor no chance and giving Elmira the 2-1 lead after two periods.

After struggling on the man advantage, Danville was finally able to score on the powerplay after going 0/4. Marvin Powell threw one to the front of the net that led to an Enforcers defender trying to clear it, but instead the puck went into his own net to tie the score at 2-2 with 5:50 to go in the third period. Elmira’s undisciplined play was a key factor in letting Danville hang in the game and letting them send it to overtime.

The two teams were forced to battle it out in a fast paced five-minute 3v3 overtime. Danville’s star, Ryan Marker, took over for the Dashers and propelled his team to victory. Marker walked into the zone in a two on two rush, deked to his right, and blew a shot by Passingham’s glove from the top of the circle.   

These two teams will go back at it tomorrow night at David Palmer Arena. Danville was able to secure a season opening victory in front of their home crowd. The Enforcers will look to gain revenge against the Dashers tomorrow night and record their first win in franchise history

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~Contributed by Brooks Vertoske