Wolves Snap Back in Shootout

By Jay Harris

Watertown, NY - Head Coach Trevor Karasiewicz and the Watertown Wolves sought redemption Saturday night in their rematch with the Danville Dashers at Watertown Municipal Arena. The Wolves fell to the Dashers the previous night in a nail-biting sudden death shootout after neither team could win in regulation or overtime.

Six penalties and a goal transpired in the first period. Danville started the exchange of with Glen Patterson's hooking penalty. Justin Coachman was called on a delay of game penalty. His penance for his transgression allowed league-leading scorer Tyler Gjurich to get his fourth short-handed goal of the season and put the Wolves in the lead for the remainder of the period. Watertown was unable to extend their lead on the power plays from Danville's Justin Brausen's tripping penalty nor Brandon Wahlin's hooking minor. The Wolves were successful in killing Nicola Levesque's hooking penalty and Aleh Shypitsyn's delay of game minor to keep Danville scoreless in the first period.

Justin Brausen tied the game up for the Dashers less than five minutes into the second period. Gavin Yates put the Wolves back in the lead exactly two minutes later with assists from Nicola Levesque and Cameron Dimmitt. Brausen scored Danville's second goal just past the ten minute mark to tie things up again. The remainder of the period only resulted in more penalties accruing. After Coachman was charged with unsportsmanlike conduct, Vincent Caligiuri delayed the game for intentionally knocking the net off and got put in timeout. Tyler Gjurich let loose on Caligiuri after being hit in the back while on his way to the bench. Moments later, tempers flared in front of the Danville goal, resulting in Paul Fregeau getting two minutes for slashing and unsportsmanlike conduct, and Danville goalie Matt Kaludis getting two minutes for unsportsmanlike and leaving the crease. The final penalty of the second period went to Levesque for roughing. The game remained tied at 2 after the buzzer ended the period.

The Wolves took the lead back three and a half minutes into the third period when CJ Hayes and Ryan Rotondi got the puck to Tyler Gjurich. Tempers boiled over again, resulting in 10 penalties being handed out to eight different players and a Wolves power play. Anton Lennartsson scored on the power play with the help of Gjurich and Hayes to make it a 4-2 game. Nicola Levesque earned a boarding penalty which gave Justin Brausen a chance to score a power play goal for his hat trick and bring Danville within one goal. Andrew Harrison tied things up with just two minutes left and sent the game into overtime.

The Wolves held off the Dashers in overtime despite having to kill a penalty for the last ninety seconds of the frame.

The shootout had one Danville goal made by Justin Brausen. The Wolves came out on top with goals from Jesse Facchini and Ryan Rotondi.

Rotondi's game winning shot earned him the 1st Star of the Game. Tyler Gjurich's two goals and assist earned him the 2nd Star of the Game. CJ Hayes was credited with the 3rd Star for his two assists.

The Wolves will host the Carolina Thunderbirds in Game 2 of the Commissioner's Cup Playoffs on Saturday, April 14th at Watertown Municipal Arena with a 7:30 PM puck drop. If needed, a deciding Game 3 will be held in Watertown on Sunday, April 15th at 6:00 PM. All tickets for the playoff games will be $15.

Photo credit: CMC Advertising Design & Photography