Dashers drop one in shootout, but win weekend versus Columbus

The third-place Danville Dashers increased the gap between the top three teams in the Federal Professional Hockey League’s Western Conference standings as they took more than their fair share of points in the series against the fourth-placed Columbus River Dragons over the weekend.

The Dashers got the weekend off on the right foot with a win over Columbus on Friday night by a score of 6 goals to 2. In an important weekend series in the Western Conference, the Dashers offense exploded, with AJ Tesoriero grabbing four points on the night, with a hat trick and an assist on the night. Despite being down 201 heading into the second period, the Dashers fought hard and scored five straight against the River Dragons, with Tesoriero, Patrik Zilak and Fred Hein all finding the back of the net.

Goaltender Jesse Gordichuk had a second-star earning performance, letting in two goals with a save percentage of .949 on 39 shots faced.

Heading into Saturday, the Dashers gave starting goaltender Gordichuk a rest, electing to go with backup Harley White, who put on a star-worthy performance, stopping a massive 46 shots on goal out of 47, allowing just one goal in the game, which went to a penalty shootout. White had a huge performance on the night, but the Dashers dropped the extra point to the River Dragons in the shootout.  

After that it was back to business and on to Sunday for the Dashers, who then took the third game of the weekend by a score of four goals to two. It was a hotly contested affair, with many fights throughout the night. Nonetheless, the Dashers used goals by Mitch Atkins, Nigel Slade and two-goal scorer Patrik Zilak to fuel a win despite being outshot by a total of 37 to 19.

The Dashers took the majority of the points on the road over the weekend, and now sit just one point back of the Port Huron Prowlers for second place, with a .551 win percentage being the main determinator of seedings, Port Huron leads that with a .650 win percentage.