Yates Goal Takes Wolves to Finals in Longest Game in FHL History

By Jay Harris

Watertown, NY - After a heart-pounding come-from-behind victory in North Carolina, the Watertown Wolves looked to finish off the Carolina Thunderbirds in the the Federal Hockey League Playoffs at the Watertown Municipal Arena on Saturday night. After trailing 4-0, the Wolves rallied to respond with 4 unanswered goals to tie up Friday night's game and send it into overtime where they scored their fifth goal for the win.

Tyler Gjurich drew first blood for the Wolves on assists from Aleh Shypitsyn and John Scully at the 9:30 mark. Tommy Tsicos tied it up for the Thunderbirds at the seven minute mark. The Wolves were not able to take advantage of the power play from Jay Kenney's slashing penalty, and the tie would hold for the rest of the first period.

The lone goal of the second period came from Carolina's Joe Cangelosi who hid the puck so well in the net it wasn't found until after the play was blown dead. The Wolves successfully killed Gavin Yates' high sticking penalty and Kyle Powell's cross-checking penalty, but were unable to capitalize on a Carolina penalty by Rick O'Connor.

Cameron Dimmitt showed off some shooting skills when he made a power play goal from a seated position to tie the game up for Watertown with just five minutes left in the period on assists from Nicola Levesque and Tyler Gjurich. The score remained the same for the rest of the period, sending the game into overtime for the second night in a row.

After a physical and scoreless overtime the game went to double overtime, making it the longest game in Federal Hockey League history. Gavin Yates took a deflected shot from Nicola Levesque who got the puck from Cameron Dimmitt to tickle twine and win the game. The Wolves advanced to the Commissioner's Cup Finals for the second time in the team's history with the victory.

Gavin Yates's game-winning goal earned him the first star of the game. Tyler Gjurich's goal credited him the second star of the game. The third was awarded to Cameron Dimmitt for his one goal and one assist.

The Wolves will travel to Port Huron, MI to take on the Prowlers in the Commissioner's Cup Finals on April 20th and 21st. They will then return to Watertown on April 27th. If necessary, Game 4 will be in Watertown on April 28th, and Game 5 will be in Port Huron on April 29th.

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