ELMIRA, N.Y. - December 6, 2013 - The Elmira Jackals earned consecutive home wins for the first time this season thanks to a 4-3 shootout win over the Fort Wayne Komets on Friday night at First Arena. The Jackals scored on five of seven shots in the shootout to beat Fort Wayne 5-4 in the breakaway competition and improve their record to 6-10-2.
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Elmira was looking for a strong start in the first of seven meetings with Fort Wayne this season, but the visitors were not so accommodating. A point shot by defenseman Jace Coyle was tipped in by Mickey Lang just over three minutes into the game and allowed the Komets to grab the 1-0 lead. The goal was Lang's league-leading 14th. Elmira shook off the bumpy start and received the tying goal by rookie Colin Jacobs just before the first was halfway over. Jacobs banged home a rebound off of a Matt Carter shot for his first of the year. The goal also sprung a shower of teddy bears from the stands on the Jackals' annual Teddy Bear Toss night.
Early in the second period the Jackals did something they had only done once prior this season to grab a 2-1 lead. Danny Hobbs whirled at the side of the net and lifted a shot high blocker-side past Fort Wayne goalie Cody Reichard for a power play goal at 1:56. Fort Wayne responded just under three minutes later when Brandon Marino tucked his seventh of the year past Elmira's Scott Greenham. Not to be undone, the Jackals treated their home fans to a dramatic end to the second. Christian Ouellet won a puck battle deep in Fort Wayne ice and shoveled a pass to Carter behind the net. Carter raced out on the far side and slid a wraparound goal underneath Reichard to give Elmira a 3-2 lead with 5.1 seconds left in the period.
Fort Wayne didn't allow the Jackals to enjoy the lead for long, though, because Scott Fleming knotted things back up 90 seconds into the third. Greenham made the initial save on a long-range shot by Chris Auger, but the rebound popped into the air and Fleming swatted it home for his sixth of the year. Despite eight shots on Reichard in the third the Jackals couldn't respond and re-take the lead so the game headed to overtime.
The Jackals were busy during the 4-on-4 extra session and sent five shots Reichard's way, but their efforts were thwarted each time. Greenham made two saves on the other end to send the game into a shootout. That's when things took another twist.
Greenham sprawled to make a save on Fort Wayne's first shooter, Jordon Southorn, and turned the shot away. In the process, though, he injured himself and could not finish the shootout. Maxime Clermont, who hadn't appeared in a game since November 22, had to come on for the remainder of the shootout. Clermont tried to warm up to game speed as quick as he could but was only able to stop two of the six shots he faced. That proved to be enough, though.
Jordan Pietrus scored in the bottom of the first for the Jackals and Carter followed in the bottom of the third to give Elmira a 2-1 lead headed into the fourth. Lang scored for Fort Wayne and Jakub Culek was stopped by Reichard leaving it tied going into the fifth. Then Fort Wayne really applied the pressure with a goal by Simon Danis-Pepin. Jacobs came out next for his first shootout attempt and beat Reichard to send the shootout to sudden death. Again the Jackals were pushed to the brink by Marino's goal in the top of the sixth, but Hobbs answered emphatically. Clermont stopped Mike Vaskivuo in the top of the seventh and Ludwig Karlsson put the finishing touch on the win.
Clermont picked up his first win of the season for his relief work in the shootout. Greenham, meanwhile, took a no-decision after stopping 30 of 33 shots through regulation and overtime. Reichard took the loss with 29 stops. Elmira was 1-for-1 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals are back on home ice Sunday, December 8 to take on the Fort Wayne Komets. Bring your skates and join us for the Postgame Skate With the Jackals. Skates are available to rent for those who don't own a pair. 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.