Enforcers Reel In Ice Breakers, 6-4

by Jon Kliment

The rubber match of the three game series between the two newest expansion teams in the FHL, the Elmira Enforcers and the Mentor Ice Breakers had seen both teams claim a victory in Elmira. The Enforcers won in a shootout the night before and had to come out with a very strong effort to win in the final match of the weekend.

The first period saw a controversial goal for the Ice Breakers as just :22 into the game a puck went by Nick Niedert as the net came off its peg. Despite some arguing it did no good as the Enforcers trailed early, but then took over as after a 10 minute major and game misconduct for Brody Duncan, Elmira took advantage four times including a natural hat trick by Gavin Yates followed up by one final goal by Cameron Yarwood. That allowed the Enforcers to take a 4-1 lead to the first intermission with a 15-10 lead in shots ono goal.

The second period saw the Ice Breakers take advantage of a couple of poorly timed penalties as they scored three unanswered goals as Matthew Kadolph, Jon Buttitta, and Mark Essery all were able to put pucks by Niedert to tie up the game. Mentor also took the shots advantage in the second 13-12. With 20 minutes to go the Enforcers would have to dig deep to find a way to win.

The third period was all Enforcers.  Elmira retook control of the game when Babenko scored the go-ahead goal just under seven minutes into the third frame off assists from Kyle Stevens and Cameron Yarwood. The Enforcers made it a two-goal game at 14:12 when Mitch Atkins scored on a breakaway. Atkins' scoring chance was created by an outstanding save by Niedert on Michael Sullivan. The veteran netminder gave up a big rebound before diving across the crease to keep the puck out of the net. The save created the fast break opportunity for Atkins, who netted his 11th goal on the season.

Niedert stopped 27 of 31 Ice Breakers shots and guaranteed the Enforcers victory as they head towards the playoffs.

Only two games remain both on the road next weekend, but playoffs are coming and Elmira will see playoff action for the first time in six years! Get your tickets now by calling 607-734-PUCK and guaranteeing yourself a spot!