Four Unanswered Goals Snap Four-Game Losing Streak For Columbus

Columbus, GA - The Columbus River Dragons welcomed in the Delaware Thunder on the weekend before Christmas and broke a four game losing streak in the first game of the series with a final score of 6-3.

Delaware would jump out first in this one though when on a power play (a 3-minute major power play after some coincident penalties of different severity) Taylor Cutting deflected a puck cleanly by Jared Rutledge for the game's first goal 6:15 into the contest. Three and a half minutes later Anton Kalinin would double Delaware's lead with a great move to the middle and out stretched Rutledge to the near post to make it 2-0.

Columbus would fire back with goals 1:10 apart, first by Dylan Farmer. His first of the season was a seeing eye shot  from the left point that beat a screened Aaron Taylor. Shortly after the Farmer goal, Jay Croop buried his 10th of the season with a beauty of a feed from MJ Graham in his return to the lineup after missing the last three games.

Facing a 2-2 tie heading into the locker room, Kalinin returned to the score sheet with some great stick handles and at the end laid it on a tee for Eric Masters to fire home and give Delaware a 3-2 lead at the break.

After a 5-goal first period the second period surprisingly went goalless, despite each team receiving an extended 5-on-3 during the period.

Still facing a one-goal deficit in the third Columbus would explode in the third. Early in the third Columbus tied the game and then took the lead with goals 56 seconds apart from MJ Graham and Mike Chemello quickly flipped the game in Columbus' favor, and it was a lead they would not relinquish.

A great solo effort with a nice hand-eye coordination finish from Tim Santopoalo gave an insurance goal to the River Dragons and then a Wyatt Trumbley blast for his first of the season gave the game its final score of 6-3.

Jared Rutledge picks up the win stopping 25 of 28 shots for his fourth win of the year. Aaron Taylor picked up the loss after stopping 32 of 38 shots.

The same two teams go at it tomorrow night with a 6:05 puck drop at the Civic Center. It's Hockey Fights Hunger night with specialty jerseys worn by the River Dragons being made available for auction via LiveSource. Tickets available at the Civic Center Box Office or on Ticketmaster. Tomorrow's pregame show starts at 5:35.

Three Stars of the Game

Mike Chemello
MJ Graham
Dylan Farmer