Dashers Game Recap: Cancer Night vs Mentor Ice Breakers

The Danville Dashers won their second game in a row against the Mentor Ice Breakers on Cancer Night at David S. Palmer Arena on Saturday night, narrowing the gap to five points behind Port Huron with three games in hand on the Prowlers.

The Ice Breakers got off to a hot start just over thirty seconds into the game as the Dashers sent Brian Dunford to the box for interference, before Gordy Bonnel fired home on assists from Nathan Farrington and Mark Essery. Bonnel fired a slap shot past Danville goaltender Matt Kaludis from one knee, in an impressive effort.

Just minutes later an Ice Breaker goal was called off after a hand pass was called on the Mentor offense. After that it was all Dashers for the majority of the game, as Daniel Martin tied the game up at 1-1 on assists from Alex Pommerville and Dustin Henning with just ten minutes played. Thirteen in Brandon Contratto scored at full strength on a breakaway, beating Derek Moser (who would later be pulled from the game).

It was five minutes later that Contratto got the Dashers to a two-goal lead as he once again fired home on a breakaway, showing off impressive down-ice speed. Contratto was again in on the scoring as he and Nathan Campbell linked up with Fred Hein to score on another Dasher power play just 25 seconds into the second period.

The Dashers never took their foot off the gas, as Jared Henderson scored on a Nathan Campbell slapshot, which was assisted by Fred Hein. Campbell’s slapshot was saved by newly-introduced goaltender John Sellie-Hanson (who started last night’s contest), before Henderson picked up the rebound and fired home.

Danville went up 6-1 with eight minutes gone in the second period as Eric Masters found the back of the net on assists from Nathan Campbell and Dustin Henning.

There was a lone bright spot in the late stages of the game as the Mentor Ice Breakers scored again on a Parker Moskal shot, freshly supplied by some beautiful tic-tac passes from Vaughn Clouston and Declan Conway.

The last goal of the night went to the Dashers, however, as Dustin Henning fired home on an impressive breakaway, beating Sellie-Hanson despite being draped on by multiple Mentor defensemen.

The Dashers looked to be in mid-season form as they narrowed the lead on the fourth-place Port Huron Prowlers, who fell to the Watertown Wolves on the evening. It’s bound to be an exciting few weeks as we head to the home-stretch of the season, and the Dashers will look to defy the odds and land a playoff spot.