Jackals Clip Wings In Season Opener, 6-2
ELMIRA, N.Y. - October 17, 2014 - Six different players scored for the Elmira Jackals tonight in their 6-2 victory over the Kalamazoo Wings in the team's season opener. Elmira scored five unanswered goals to seal a definitive win against the Wings.
Despite the final outcome, it was Kalamazoo that got on the scoreboard first just 2:46 into the game. Dane Fox found a soft spot in the Jackals' defense and blasted home a one-timer top shelf over the glove of Jackals goaltender Travis Fullerton. Nathan Longpre and Kane Lafranchise were credited with the assists. Andrew Conboy evened the score at 12:22 of the opening frame by using his big 6-foot-4 200-pound frame to muscle his way to the front of the net and bang home the loose puck. Paul McIlveen and Patch Alber earned the assists on Conboy's tally. Fullerton was stellar in the first period, stopping 15 of 16 saves, including a barrage of pucks during Kalamazoo's three first period power-plays. The Jackals mustered ten shots on goal in the first but Wings' goalie Joel Martin stifled the Elmira attack.
The second period provided the same result on the scoreboard, with each team scoring once during the middle frame. However, it was Elmira which controlled the play and recorded 18 shots on goal to Kalamazoo's six in the second period. Despite facing only six shots, Fullerton did allow one Wings' goal 4:03 into the second. Ludwig Blomstrand was the beneficiary of an offensive zone feed from Dane Fox following a neutral zone turnover by Spencer McAvoy. Curtis Valk also assisted Blomstrand's goal. The turning point in the game came during a 5-on-3 power-play for the Jackals when a blueline turnover gave Kalamazoo a breakaway opportunity and a chance to double its lead. Fullerton stood tall and made a strong save, which would quickly lead to Steven Shamanski scoring on the power-play at 10:08 in the second period.
The Jackals would build on their momentum in the third period and once they earned their first lead, they would not look back. Rookie forward Taylor Stefishen potted his first goal on the power-play at 5:01 of the third period when Steven Shamanski passed the puck into the slot towards Stefishen and Conboy, who also earned an assist. Thomas Nesbitt doubled the Jackals lead at 11:12 of the final frame with his first goal after Justin Kea drove hard to the net with a strong power move. Lucas Bloodoff also added an assist on Nesbitt's tally. Allan McPherson sealed the deal with an empty net goal and put the Jackals ahead 5-2 at 18:46 of the third period. The Jackals added salt in the wound with another goal at 19:19 of the third when Brodie Reid tapped home a backdoor feed from Stefishen and Ryan Rashid.
The Jackals finished the night 2-for-5 on the power-play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill. Travis Fullerton stopped 24 of 26 shots faced en route to the victory and Joel Martin stopped 28 of 33 shots faced but suffered the loss.
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