Enforcers Split Weekend With Prowlers, Win 5-2

by Jon Kliment

The Enforcers were back at the First Arena tonight for the second game of two against the Port Huron Prowlers. Last night’s loss snapped a 3-game win streak for Elmira in a tough 4-3 shootout loss. The player to watch for the Enforcers tonight was Andrew Harrison, who showed off his hands last night with a smooth dangle for one of their three goals in the game. Harrison also sat at 198 career points before tonight’s game and was looking for those two points on home ice.

The first period brought plenty of opportunities for the Enforcers as they went on the power-play 3 separate times and outshot the Prowlers 15-8. On their first power-play Elmira hit the cross-bar not once, not twice, but three separate times. It was the Prowlers who struck first though with just 31 seconds left in the period when Matt Graham took the puck on a breakaway and backhanded it through the Enforcers net-minder Joe Young’s five-hole for their second short-handed goal in as many games this weekend. We went to the locker room for intermission number one with the Enforcers still trailing 1-0, but they would be on the power-play for another 1:12 when the puck dropped for the second period.

The power-play would end, but another one began just seconds after the first one ended for the Enforcers, and they wouldn’t miss their opportunity on this one as Cameron Yarwood fired the puck toward the net which allowed Glen Patterson to redirect it past the Prowlers goalie Cory Simons to tie our score at 1 goal apiece. Penalties seemed to be the name of the game tonight as the Prowlers would take advantage of Bryce Martin’s third penalty of the night and score the power-play goal to take a 2-1 advantage with just under 10 minutes left in the period. On this play, Elmira put Port Huron right back on the power-play as Kyle Stevens took a minor penalty for hooking the goal scorer as he was driving toward the net. The Enforcers hopped back on the power-play following a string of penalties taken by them, and they scored their second power-play goal of the night as Tyler Gjurich accepted a pass and sniped a wrist-shot for his first goal as an Enforcer on home ice. A total of 8 penalties were taken in the second period between the two teams, and we entered the second intermission with our score locked at 2-2. Elmira went to the locker room still outshooting the Prowlers, 23-20.

Elmira went back on the power-play exactly three minutes into the third period, and to add onto that the Prowlers would take another penalty to give the Enforcers 18 seconds of 5-on-3 hockey. Tyler Gjurich took advantage of the power-play opportunity once again, scoring his second goal of the night just after the first man came out of the penalty box, and gave the Enforcers a big 3-2 lead with 14:23 left in the game. Penalties continued to be the name of the game tonight as the Enforcers went on another power-play and a gorgeous pass to the slot from Ahmed Mahfouz was received and sent into the back of the net just 6 seconds into the man advantage by Glen Patterson to give Elmira a 4-2 advantage with less than half the period left to play. A breakaway opportunity presented itself after a beautiful knockdown of the puck by Ahmed Mahfouz and he didn’t miss, as he got the inside on the defender and sent a wrist-shot over the right shoulder of Cory Simons for his 21st goal of the season, extending the Elmira lead to 5-2 late in the game.

The Enforcers came up with a huge 5-2 win tonight and used all of the Port Huron penalties to their advantage as they led in the shot column at the end of 60 minutes 31-29. Elmira will be back in action on January 21st when the Columbus River Dragons come to town for a 7:05pm puck drop.

-contributed by Zach Braster