The River Sharks came into Friday night's matchup on the back of an 8-game losing skid, however after a pair of close game last weekend against Binghamton and Watertown, Elmira came out determined to end their losing ways.
The first period saw the River Sharks come out attacking, but after a slashing minor to Nick Gullo the Wolves found the back of the net first as Trevor Lord connected on the power play. Shortly thereafter William Godbout took a delay of game call giving Elmira their own man advantage and they wasted no time putting it to work as Houston Wilson took a pass from Steven Klinck and Austin Pickford and sniped it past Josh Rosenzweig 25 seconds after the penalty to tie the game up at one a piece. Less than two minutes later Trevor Lord gave Watertown back their lead 2-1, however on the ensuing play Aleksandr Gamzatov took a goaltender interference call and Houston Wilson buried another pass from Pickford and Klinck to tie it up at 2-2.
After a line brawl at the end of the first period resulted in another power play for Elmira Darius Davidson took a pass from Klinck and was able to get it by Rosenzweig for the River Sharks first lead of the night at 3-2. 3:12 later Steven Ford scored his first goal of the season after a couple of rebounds in front of the net as Owen Liskiewicz gave up his first of the night to make it a 4-2 lead for Elmira. Another dust up later saw Elmira back on the advantage on the instigator penalty as Houston Wilson buried a hat trick goal to give Elmira the 5-2 lead giving way to Liskiewicz being pulled in favor of Rosenzweig. 46 seconds later Steven Klinck took a pass from Darius Davidson returning the earlier favor to give Elmira the 6-2 advantage. On a Justin Schmidt interference penalty Cody Rodgers capped off his first night in a River Sharks uniform by giving Elmira the 7-2 lead, but Watertown's Lord finished off his own hat trick to shrink the lead back to just one.
In the final frame it looked to be a game of keep away as Elmira began to dump and chase killing the clock and frustration set in for Rosenzweig after he took a penalty Liskiewicz returned to the net however as the game got to its final legs the Wolves made a last ditch effort to get back into the game pulling their goaltender which allowed Justin Vernace to score his first goal as a River Shark to give Elmira the 8-3 advantage.
Bernard stopped 27 of 30 for his first win as a River Shark.
Elmira goes on the road to Watertown to battle the Wolves in the conclusion of this three game stretch next Friday night at 7:30 pm. Be sure to follow all the action on Mixlr.com and live on the River Sharks Youtube page. #FeartheFin