River Dragons Win A Tightly Contested Friday Night Against Danbury

Columbus, GA - The Columbus River Dragons and Danbury Hat Tricks played their third of five straight after splitting last weekend in Danbury. The Dragons got off on the right foot this weekend with a 3-2 regulation win over the Hat Tricks.

Early on you could tell the animosity from last weekend was going to carry over to this weekend, but it was Danbury punching back with a goal early. 18 seconds in to the game Cory Anderson deflected a shot from Aaron Atwell at the left point that Jared Rutledge could not see and the Hat Tricks had an early 1-0 lead.

Rutledge would hunker down the rest of the period stopping everything else in the opening stanza. Meanwhile it took half the period but Columbus would get on the board and when they did, the floodgates opened. 

Anton Lennartsson found the back of the net in his third straight game going back bar on Dillon Kelley to tie the game. Then 2:07 later CJ Hayes showed off a burst of speed to get around a Danbury defenseman andplace one in the top left corner for a River Dragons lead. The scoring wasn't over though, as Vaughn Clouston got a puck to go off his shin pads on a Yianni Liarakos pass to the middle and into the net for a 3-1 lead in a quick span of 3:39.

Facing a 3-1 deficit into the second Danbury would respond with a power play goal early. 2:50 into the second a weird carom off the corner boards left Gordy Bonnel all alone in front. He was able to feed Phil Bronner for a tap-in goal to make it 3-2.

The scoreline would hold for the final 37:10 of regulation but the physicality would continue to build up. Late in the second period Edgars Ozolinsh was tossed from the game for a solo fighting major and a game misconduct against Nicola Levesque. Danbury's second best power play would come up empty for the remainder of the second period as well as 3:06 into the third.

Columbus now has a 2-1 lead in games and a 5-4 lead in points in this five game set over two weekends. The fourth installment will come tomorrow night at the Civic Center on Military Appreciation Night brought to you by Liberty Utilities. Specialty jerseys will be worn at the game and are available to win via the LiveSource app during the game. The River Dragons have also signed 2LT Eddie Nolan to a celebrity contract in advance of the game.

Jared Rutledge gets the win with a 41 save effort tonight, Dillon Kelley takes the loss with 24 saves on 27 shots.

Puck drop for tomorrow's Military Appreciation night is at 6:05, meaning a 5:35 pregame show on the River Dragons broadcast network.

Three Stars of the Game

CJ Hayes
Jared Rutledge
Vaughn Clouston