Enforcers Rebound to Bounce Bees, 6-3

by Jon Kliment

Your Elmira Enforcers were back in action tonight at the First Arena as they took on the Battle Creek Rumble Bees in the second game of two this weekend. The Rumble Bees snuck out of the Arena with their first win in franchise history last night with a final score of 2-1. The Enforcers looked to get back on track tonight after losing their last five games.

The first period brought us our first fights of the weekend, with both of them happening at the same time. After some rough hits, Brendan Hussey would go at it with a Rumble Bees player, although both of them only received roughing minors, and at the same time on a different part of the ice, Willie Daigneault would throw haymakers with Austin Weber, getting the better of him in their fight. Daigneault not only received a fighting major for the scrap, but he also received a game misconduct for continuing a fight. Though the Enforcers doubled the Rumble Bees shot total in the period, our score heading into the first intermission remained locked at 0-0.

It was the Enforcers who broke the tie tonight as some beautiful passing down low allowed the captain, Ahmed Mahfouz, to bury the puck and give him his 785th point in his professional career. Not wasting any time, Elmira would bury another goal just a short time later as Mahfouz set up the lone goal scorer from last night, Kyle Stevens, for his first goal of the night, giving them the 2-0 lead early on in the second period. Just 4 short minutes later the Enforcers struck again as their leading goal scorer, Brandon Tukker, buried yet another goal to put them up 3-0. Battle Creek cut that Elmira lead to 3-1 just after the seven minute mark of the period as Maxim Noskov continued his great weekend and beat the net-minder, Joe Young, who got the start for the Enforcers tonight. The Rumble Bees refused to go down without a fight as they would score their second goal of the night as Stavros Soilis would beat Young five hole, cutting the Enforcers lead to 3-2. Ahmed Mahfouz was hot in his first game back from injury as he was able to bury his second goal of the game and extend the Elmira lead back to two goals. It was not only Mahfouz catching fire in the second period, but the entire Enforcers lineup as Andrew Harrison would bury their fifth goal of the game, extending the lead to 5-2. It seemed as though every time the Enforcers would gain some sort of advantage tonight, the Rumble Bees would strike back and cut into their lead. With just over 2 minutes left before the teams headed to the locker room, Austin Weber hit the back of the net, bringing the Enforcers lead back to just two. As was said earlier on, Mahfouz was HOT in his comeback tonight, finishing off his hat trick with 13.7 seconds left in the period after taking the puck on a breakaway and beating the Battle Creek net-minder to extend their lead back to three goals. After a second period full of action tonight, including fights, penalties, and plenty of goals, the Enforcers would head to the locker room for the second intermission with a 6-3 lead.

The third period lacked the goal scoring we saw in the second, but it definitely wasn’t lacking in action. The Enforcers took a total of 59 shots on the night, with 22 coming in the second period and 21 coming in the third.

The Enforcers fought hard all night and came away with the 6-3 win they so desperately needed after a tough five game stretch prior to tonight. Elmira will be back in action next Friday and Saturday when they travel to Watertown to take on the Wolves in a two-game weekend series.

-contributed by Zach Braster