River Dragons Hold Home Ice For 1-0 Advantage in Final Series
Columbus, GA - The Columbus River Dragons find themselves one win away from clinching back-to-back league championships after a 3-2 win over the Watertown Wolves in game 1 of the Commissioner's Cup finals.
Watertown started the scoring early, just 24 seconds into the first period with Justin MacDonald scoring with assists from Lane King and Jimmy Lodge to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead. King's pass from behind his own goal line hit Macdonald in stride at the blue line and he deked his way to his third goal of the playoffs.
In the second, Jagger Williamson tied up the game at the 7:52 mark, scoring with assists from Josh Pietrantonio and Austin Daae to even the score at 1. Six minutes later, Alex Storjohann scored on a seeing-eye shot assisted by MJ Graham to give Columbus a 2-1 lead heading into the locker room despite being outshot 24-17 through 40 minutes.
MJ Graham extended the River Dragons’ lead at the 6:28 mark of the third period when he slipped one past Adam Beukeboom with a great assist from Ian White in the neutral zone that extended the Columbus lead to 3-1.
Justin MacDonald gave Watertown some hope with his second goal of the night at the 14:25 mark of the third period assisted by Jimmy Lodge to put the score at 3-2.
Watertown came close down the stretch aided by a Jagger Williamson hooking penalty with less than a minute to go to make the on-ice advantage 6-on-4. The FPHL's best penalty kill stifled Watertown down the stretch to secure the lead and the 1-0 series advantage.
Bailey MacBurnie takes his 3rd win of the playoffs with a 32-save night. Adam Beukeboom takes the loss with 20 saves on 23 shots.
The series now shifts to Watertown for games 2 and 3 (if necessary) on Sunday and Monday. River Dragons coverage available on the River Dragons radio network.
Three Stars of the Game