Dashers down Thunderbirds in shootout

The Danville Dashers took down the league-leading Carolina Thunderbirds in an epic showdown of two of the Western Conference's top three teams.

Mitch Atkins, Tyler Quintos and Jesse Gordichuk were the heroes on the night, and your first, second and third stars, respectively, as the Dashers handed Carolina just their sixth loss on the season, and became just the third team to defeat last year's league Champs.

After an underwhelming performance on Friday night, Head Coach Ray Tremblay rallied his troops into action, determined to make the changes neccesary to put on a show for the home crowd.

To say the second game of the weekend made up for the first, would be an understatement. In a tight game, the team pulled together for a shootout win.

The action started with Gleb Krivoshapkin getting the scoring started for Carolina early on in the second period. Danville fired back, however, with Hustler Player of the Week Seth Ensor firing home a shot on assists from Mitch Atkins and Sam Turner, putting the Dashers back tied with just over half of the third period left to go.

After that it was Tyler Quintos scoring on a power play on assists from Brad Denny and the newly-returned from injury Alex Pommerville. Danville had the lead on the Thunderbirds--- now they had to hold it.

However, it was a last-second empty net goal that pulled Carolina even with the Dashers as Daniel Klinecky scored on assists from Michael Bunn and Petr Panacek that sent the game to overtime.

Two minutes into the game's overtime period, Dashers forward Patrik Zilak was sent to the penalty box for goalie interference. The Dashers were able to hold firm though against the Carolina OT power play, and behind 49 saves from goaltender Jessie Gordichuk, the Dashers sent the game to penalties.

It was one penalty shot, and one alone, that would decide the game.

All five Carolina Thunderbirds would be thwarted by the effort of Jessie Gordichuk, who stopped five shots in the shootout. It was Mitch Atkins, the young man and freshly-brought in by trade forward who scored the lone goal to seal the game for his new side.

The shots ended up at 56 to 33 in favor of Carolina, as Danville stole one from the league leaders through team play that showed heart and determination as the team looks for playoff positioning.