TOLEDO, Oh. - Dane Walters scored the game winner for the second night in a row and Neil Conway stopped 38 shots to lead Elmira to a 4-2 win over the Toledo Walleye on Saturday night at Huntington Center. The win was Elmira's fourth in a row and improved its record to 16-22-4 on the season.
Click here for tonight's box score.
Elmira created a veritable shooting gallery in the first period and produced 20 shots on Toledo goalie Mac Carruth. It was the second highest single-period shot total for the Jackals this season behind 23 on November 30 at home against Cincinnati. Despite the bevy of scoring opportunities the Jackals found themselves trailing early. Bobby Shea cut to the slot from his defensive position and blasted a one-timer past Neil Conway 2:37 into the contest. With dogged determination Elmira pounded away at Carruth in an effort to tie the score and eventually cashed in. Harry Young, who hadn't scored in an ECHL game since February 19, 2012, launched a wrist shot from the point that darted past Carruth at 12:12 to knot the score. Elmira received a five-minute power play late in the first when Richard Nedomlel boarded Dane Walters, but Carruth slammed the door on four Elmira shots to help kill the penalty.
The second period was a stark contrast to the first in terms of shots, and scoring opportunities, generated. Toledo persistently peppered Conway to the tune of 15 shots in the frame. But Conway, playing not far from his hometown of Concord, Oh., stopped everything he saw and allowed for Elmira to claim its first lead of the night late in the frame. With a delayed penalty call on the way Mike Vaskivuo centered a pass out of the left wing corner to a pinching Patch Alber who spiked the puck home for his fourth of the year. That gave Elmira the one-goal lead heading into the third.
There were plenty of tense moments in the third period with Elmira hanging on to its one-goal lead and Toledo peppering the net to try to tie it. Walters, though, gave the Jackals breathing room with a highlight-worthy goal. After stealing the puck at the point and beating a defender in open ice, Walters cut to the net and was knocked off his skates but managed to score while falling down. It was his fifth of the season and third in as many games. Kevin Lynch made for more tense moments down the home stretch thanks to a power play goal with 4:25 to play, but Elmira salted the win away with an empty-net goal from Vaskivuo with seven seconds to play.
Conway earned his fourth consecutive win for the Jackals and stopped 30-plus shots for the third time in those four starts. Elmira ended the night 0-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-4 on the penalty kill.
Mark your calendars! The Jackals return to home ice on Wednesday, February 12 to take on the Reading Royals. It's a Willowcreek Wednesday where some lucky fans will compete at first intermission to win free golf from Willowcreek Golf Club. 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.
Willowcreek Wednesday. You could be the lucky fan to play for free golf at intermission! Click here for tickets.