River Dragons Double Up Rumble Bees 6-3 In Friday Opener

Columbus, GA - The River Dragons continued their hot streak into a home series with the Battle Creek Rumble Bees, winning on Friday night by a score of 6-3.

The Rumble Bees scored first in this one after they were given a power play by a penalty assessed after a skirmish in the Battle Creek zone. Jarrett Pfeiffer fired one on net from a tight angle that somehow leaked through Cody Karpinski and gave the Rumble Bees the 1-0 lead.

Columbus would strike back to take the lead before the end of the period though. First Will Laporte tallied one from in front after Joel Eisenhower couldn't cover up a rebound that was in front of him. Laporte's second of the season tied the game at one. Then after a rush up ice resulted in a Cameron Dimmitt shot going wide, the bounce off the glass put the puck at the side of the net and it leaked through Eisenhower for a River Dragons lead. Dimmitt got credit for his 14th of the season on that one.

In the second period Battle Creek again came out motivated and ready to play, firing the period's first four shots. One of those would end up going in as Ryan Alves went far post and in past Karpinski's blocker and the game was tied at two.

Columbus would again respond though, this time with two goals in 51 seconds. The first one saw Parker Moskal pick up a pass off the boards at the right circle and smoothly go inside-out on Eisenhower to slide home his 19th of the season. Then Anton Lennartsson drove the far goal line and passed across the crease to hit a wide open MJ Graham who put home a one timer on an open net. Just as quick as the game was tied the River Dragons got themselves a two goal lead.

Battle Creek would have an answer for that though, about midway through the second period Jakub Volf went back bar for the Bees that was called on ice by the referee in good position. Over 3,800 other referees in attendance did not agree but the all stood and the game was 4-3.

Again Columbus would answer, this time 58 seconds later it was Graham again, this time being in the right spot at the right time with a goal going in off a Vaughn Clouston shot for a 5-3 scoreline.

That scoreline would hold through the second period, but near the end while Battle Creek was on a 5-on-3 Sebastian Crystal was hammered into the boards by Aleh Shypitsyn and a stretcher needed to be called to get him off the ice securely. Crystal was transported to a local hosptial for further evaluation and was awake and responding to all treatments administered to him.

In the third period both team pushed hard for goals to either put a dagger in or draw to within one. After 19 minutes of this the River Dragons ended up on a 2-on-0 break against Eisenhower and Jay Croop deked his way to his 19th goal of the season and third in the last two games to give the game its final score.

Cody Karpinski picks up his 6th win on the season, stopping 31 of 34 shots. Joel Eisenhower suffers the loss with 32 saves on 38 shots.

The River Dragons and Rumble Bees conclude a two-game weekend with a 6:05 puck drop on Saturday and it's Chattahoochee Valley Family and Kids Magazine's Kids night with all sort of great kid-centric activities at the game, plus a special ticket offer at the box office if you pick up their publication on shelves now.

Three Stars of the Game

MJ Graham
Vaughn Clouston
Jay Croop