River Dragons Rout Ice Breakers 10-1 To Start 3-in-3

Columbus, GA - In advance of a big 3-in-3 weekend the River Dragons started off on the right foot with a 10-1 win over the Mentor Ice Breakers on Friday night.

Columbus got on the board first with Jake Howie firing a seeing eye shot into the top right corner of the net off of a faceoff win 5:23 into the first period. 

Mentor would answer back within three minutes after having momentum in the zone thanks to a power play and eventually finding the top corner of the net through Richard Pinkowski. 

The first period continued like this with back and forth chances but no other goals were scored.

Then in the second period, Columbus turned it on.

The next 40 minutes saw the River Dragons dictate the pace of play, score nine unanswered goals, and rile the crowd up even more with some shenanigans between them and the Ice Breakers.

In the second period, CJ Hayes thought he had the leading goal about a minute into the period but a last second clearance by Henry Berger kept the puck out even though the goal light had come on behind the net. About 45 seconds later though the River Dragons got what they though they had when Ivan Bondarenko sniped a corner past Frankie McClendon to make it 2-1.

The 2-1 scoreline continued for a while but then a faceoff win by Yianni Liarakos set up Jake Howie for a shot from the point. Howie was itching for his second of the night but his shot kareemed off a defender and ended up in Liarakos' path for him to bury past a screened McClendon and the game was now 3-1. This is when the floodgates began to open.

Less than two minutes later Bondarenko found his second of the night after Parker Moskal faked everyone out with a blind pass behind the net against the run of play. Two and a half minutes later Jacob Gerson picked a corner for his first professional goal and he would end McClendon's night at 5-1 and 34 minutes played.

Unfortunately for Mentor Jordan Brant would not fare much better.

A power play goal by Wyatt Trumbley ended the second period scoring at 6-1 and while bigger deficits have been overcome in the FPHL, the River Dragons wanted to leave no doubt in anyone's mind heading into the third.

Six minutes into the second Liarakos got his second of the game deflecting a point shot for Vaughn Clouston into the net for 7-1. 35 seconds later Parker Moskal scored against his old team with help from CJ Hayes setting him up from behind the goal line.

A Cameron Dimmitt wraparound halfway through the third seemed to be the end of it, but then in the later stages Bondarenko saw a chance for a hat trick and made no mistake on it using a screen in front of Brant to give the River Dragons double digits, and Bondarenko his first professional hat trick.

Cody Karpinski got the win with 25 saves on 26 shots. Frankie McClendon ends up taking the loss with 20 saves on 25 shots.

The River Dragons and Ice Breakers conclude their season series tomorrow at the Civic Center. $9 general admission tickets are available for the game thanks to WTVM News Leader 9 and Chattahoochee Harley-Davidson. Puck drop is at 6:05 with a 5:35 pregame show.

Three Stars of the Game

Ivan Bondarenko
Yianni Liarakos
Jake Howie