Dashers, Bluefins spilt weekend pair

FALMOUTH, MA – The Danville Dashers came east this past weekend to take on the Cape Cod Bluefins in a pair of Federal Hockey League games with each team winning once. Both games featured big third periods for the winning team. Saturday night, the Dashers lit the lamp three times in the final period to defeat the Bluefins 5-3 at the Martha’s Vineyard Arena. Then on Sunday, the teams returned to the mainland where a three-goal third pushed the Bluefins to a 5-2 victory at the Falmouth Ice Arena.
In Friday’s contest, Darick Ste Marie got the Dashers on the board first at the 7:08 mark of the opening stanza off of assists from Shawn McNulty and Dustin Skinner. Less than two minutes later, the Bluefins tied the game on the power play when Chris Campanale got his sixth goal of the season at 9:02 from George Nicholes and Brian Yanovitch.
Taylor Larsen broke the tie for Cape Cod at the 2:44 mark of the second period with Casey Mignone and Tyler Howe picking up the assists. The lead lasted until the 11:40 mark when Danville tied the game at two on a score by Phillippe St-Laurent. Campanale restored the Cape Cod lead when he scored with less than two minutes remaining in the period from Matthew Harrington.
The Bluefins nearly scored on a shorthanded breakaway early in the third and it turned out to be costly. On the counter rush, Jonathan Juliano tied the game for the Dashers with a power play goal at the 5:09 mark. Danville took the lead just over two minutes later on a goal from Billy Hunt and Ryan Stern tallied with 6:35 to go in the third period to finalize the score.
Josselin St. Pierre was solid in the Danville net, making 35 saves to record the victory. His counterpart, Cape Cod’s Scott Barchard, stopped 41 of the 46 shots he faced in a losing effort.
The teams had a quick turnaround, jumping on the ferry back from Martha’s Vineyard to Falmouth for an afternoon contest, the lone scheduled FHL game.
Andrew Hutton from nearby Brewster got the Bluefins on the board first at 4:54 of the opening period with an assist from Stephen Drizis. Danville tied the game before the period ended on a score by McNulty with just 32 seconds left before the intermission.
Feeling the momentum from McNulty’s tally, the Dashers took the lead early in the second when Ryan Stern beat Bluefins netminder Ryan Klingensmith a little over three minutes in. The lead held up until Taylor Larsen evened the score on the power play with his fourth goal of the season from Harrington and Nick Wheeler at the 15:37 mark of the period.
Harrington broke the deadlock as Cape Cod cashed in a 5-on-3 man advantage opportunity 3:57 into the third period with Wheeler and Campanale earning assists. Kevin McCready’s sixth goal of the season from Casey Mignone and Falmouth’s own Tyler Howe at 17:13 of the period gave Cape Cod some breathing room. Harrington notched his second of the period on an empty-netter from Mignone and Howe with nine seconds left to finalize the score.
The Bluefins’ offensive output matched a strong defensive effort that killed five Danville power plays. Klingensmith earned his second win of the season by making 34 saves on 36 shots while St Pierre took the loss for the Dashers, making 20 saves on the 24 shots he faced.
The Bluefins will head to Williamsport Thursday night to face the Outlaws before the Datyton Demonz make their first trip to the Cape. The weekend set will take place at the Charles A Moore Arena in Orleans. Friday night is set for 8 pm while Saturday’s contest will have a 6:35 pm faceoff.
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