River Dragons Bite Back in Third

by Mike Basile

    The Delaware Thunder made the long trip down to Columbus for a matchup against the River Dragons. The Thunder preached on getting off to a fast start after a good morning skate Friday. The team did exactly that, the Thunder looked great right out of the gate. Delaware tallied the first goal of the game at the 6:15 mark in the first on the power-play. Charlie Pens Jr. Put a shot on goal from the point, and Taylor Cutting got a piece in front to deflect it home. Delaware would score the second goal of the game as well. Anton Kalinin razzled and dazzled his way through the defense and put the Thunder up 2-0 with just over ten minutes to go in the first period. The River Dragons would respond with back to back goals in less than a minute. Dylan Farmer scored the first goal on a shot from the point that hit a stick in front and deflected past Aaron Taylor. Jay Croop scored the equalizer on a beautiful feed from M.J Graham. Delaware would respond right back with a goal from Eric Masters on a great pass from Anton Kalinin. After 1 Delaware led 3-2.

   The Second period was filled with penalties and very solid goaltending.  Eight total penalties were called in the second period and both teams penalty-killing units killed them all. For all of those penalties, neither team could reach ten shots in period two. Aaron Taylor stopped all nine shots from the River Dragons, and Jared Rutledge stopped all eight from the Thunder. After two the score remained 3-2. 

    In the third period, the River Dragons looked like a different team as they exploded for four goals. The first goal came at the 5:35 mark when M.J Graham buried a shot from the low slot on a three on two. 56 seconds later, they would strike again and take their first lead of the night. Mike Chemello potted a nifty backhander past Aaron Taylor to put the River Dragons up 4-3. Tim Santopaolo would add another to increase the lead with less than five minutes to play. The River Dragons would put the game away on a Wyatt Trumbley goal with 2 minutes left to play. 6-3 was the final. The two teams meet again at The Civic Center Saturday Night at 6:05.