Enforcers Drop Tight Contest To Delaware, 6-4

by Jon Kliment

The Enforcers (9-7-2-1) were back in action at the First Arena tonight for the first time since December 7th. Since that December 7th game, the Enforcers have played four games on the road, going 3-1, including an overtime win over the Carolina Thunderbirds. Tonight the Delaware Thunder (4-14-0-0) came to town looking for a win after losing 8 of their last 10 games.

It took about 7 minutes for our first goal of the night to hit the back of the net as Ahmed Mahfouz sent the puck toward the slot, Dale Deon was able to control it and send a beautiful pass to Brendan Hussey, who collected it and sniped a wrist shot right past the glove of the Delaware net-minder to put the Enforcers up 1-0. The new Enforcer in town, Gino Mini, would take a high-sticking minor at the 8:59 mark of the period, which allowed the Thunder the man advantage and the opportunity to tie the game at 1 as they slipped a wrist-shot of their own past the Elmira goalie Troy Passingham. Elmira would get that goal back late in the period as the captain, Ahmed Mahfouz, would net his eleventh goal of the season and give the Enforcers a 2-1 lead. The shot totals would be close, but Elmira would have a slight advantage, 17-15, as well as the 2-1 advantage in the score column at the end of the first 20 minutes.

The action came early in the second period as the Enforcers stretched their lead to 3-1 less than a minute in. Elmira’s leading goal scorer Brandon Tucker netted his 14th goal of the season on a gorgeous shot. Not to be outdone, Delaware cut into that lead to close the gap to 3-2 as Ryan Marker scored his 20th goal of the season. Less than a minute later, the Thunder struck again with Patrik Tondl finding the back of the net and tying the game 3-3. Penalties were making the difference for the Enforcers as the Thunder would score their third straight unanswered goal when Anton Kalinin collected the puck in front of the net and sent their second power play goal of the night past Passingham to give them the 4-3 lead. Despite losing the lead in a very short amount of time, the Enforcers tied the game 4-4 with just over a minute left in the period as defensemen Glen Patterson scored his second goal of the season. The game would remain tied going into the second intermission as Delaware led in the shot column 29-27.

It took just about half a period for either team to find the net in the third period, but it was Delaware scoring first and taking the 5-4 lead when Ryan Marker went on a breakaway and snuck one past the arm of Troy Passingham for his second goal of the night, and 21st of the season. Delaware extended their lead to 6-4 with under five minutes to play in the game when Ryan Marker found the back of the net for the second time in the period, and the third time in the contest.

The Delaware Thunder would complete the comeback and win the game 6-4 while also leading in the shot column 41-34. Your Elmira Enforcers will be back in action again at the First Arena tomorrow night when the Danbury Hat-Tricks come to town for one game, with puck drop at 7:05 pm.

-Contributed by Zachary Braster