ELMIRA, N.Y. - With their sister, and two-time silver medalist with the US Women's Olympic Hockey Team, Kacey in the house Rob and Corey Bellamy helped power the Elmira Jackals to a 3-2 win over the Evansville IceMen on Friday night at First Arena. The win improved Elmira to 22-27-7 on the season.
Kacey Bellamy dropped the ceremonial faceoff to get the night's festivities underway but it was Rob who started the fireworks with his 15th goal of the season 7:11 into the contest. Mike Vaskivuo let loose a wrist shot from the left-wing circle that handcuffed Evansville goalie Mike Clemente. Bellamy was waiting on the edge of the crease to slam home the loose puck and give the Jackals a 1-0 lead. Despite 13 shots against Clemente in the first the Jackals couldn't build on their advantage. Jackals goalie Neil Conway stopped each of the 10 shots he faced to ensure Elmira took the lead into the second.
Not much time elapsed in the middle frame before the Jackals' lead had doubled. With the teams skating four-on-four Danny Hobbs outraced the Evansville defense to a loose puck on the left wing. From the bottom of the circle he centered a pass to Jean Bourbeau who jammed home his tenth at the 1:18 mark. Four minutes and 24 seconds later the Bellamy brothers worked the puck from the right wing corner to the netfront to set up Jordan Pietrus' ninth goal of the season. The goal capped two-point nights each for Pietrus (1 goal, 1 assist) and Rob Bellamy (1 goal, 1 assist) while Corey notched his second ECHL helper. Thirty-three seconds after the Pietrus goal Corey Bellamy dropped the gloves with Ryley Grantham in his first of two fights on the night. The IceMen took some momentum from the scrap and Matt Schepke made it a two-goal game with his 22nd of the season at 7:05. Both teams managed 12 shots in the frame but Schepke's strike capped the scoring and Elmira took the two-goal lead into the third.
Elmira was hit with 26 minutes of penalty time in the third period, including Corey Bellamy's second fight of the night, this time with Matt Krug, yet Evansville only procured one power play when the dust had settled. That was all the league's fourth-best unit needed and Matt Lowery shaved the Jackals' lead to one with his 13th of the season at 8:34. The Jackals were under siege for much of the third and were outshot by a 12-4 count. Conway, though, held the fort through the barrage including a 6-on-5 skater disadvantage with Clemente pulled for an extra attacker over the final minute.
Conway turned away 32 of 34 shots to claim his eighth win of the season. Elmira was 0-for-5 on the power play and 6-for-7 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Saturday, March 8 to take on the Wheeling Nailers. Get here early to claim one of the 1,000 Jackals souvenir flags that will be given away. Don't forget that groups of 10 or more who book in advance receive discounts off the box office price and preferred seating based on availability. Call 607-734-7825 to get your group outing booked.