April 2, 2017 - Federal Hockey League (FHL) - Berlin River Drivers
The Berlin Riverdrivers and the Danbury Titans met in a crucial game Sunday afternoon that saw both teams vying for second place in league standings. The Riverdrivers were wearing Berlin Maroons inspired throwback jerseys. The Maroons were an amateur hockey organization that saw many of Berlin's hockey greats come through its ranks over the team's storied past.
Both teams started the game looking to play a mistake free brand of hockey, more interested in feeling out their opposition than pushing the pace offensively. As a result, the first goal of the game came with just 1:01 remaining in the first period. Drivers goalie Matt Kaludis made the first stop on the play and even stopped the Titans second effort but was bested by Michael Dolman who finally found a way through Kaludis for the one goal lead. Frankie Hart and Dean Yakura recorded assists on the play.
Danbury's Dean Yakura was charged with hooking at 12:40 in the second period, putting the Riverdrivers on the powerplay. Berlin's man advantage unit wasted no time, with Jiri Pestuka tying the game at 11:03. Pestuka found himself all alone between the hash marks in the Titans defensive zone before redirecting a Dom Synek shot to tie the game at one. The assists on the play went to Synek and Matt Fuller. Synek and Fuller combined once again for the Riverdrivers second goal of the game. Fuller started the play, head-manning the puck to Jiri Pestuka in transition. Pestuka found Synek entering the offensive zone and hit him with a tape-to-tape pass before Synek fired a wrist shot that beat the Titans goalie off the post and in, low to the blocker side.
The Danbury Titans tied the game at 18:15 in the third period. Ludlow Harris Jr. made a nice move to his backhand to beat his defender before sliding a cross iced pass to John Sciavo who one-timed the pass past Kaludis. Dominik Synek scored his second goal of the game at 2:45 In the third period, poking in a loose puck that had slid through Titans netminder Bobby Bowden's five hole. The goal was assisted by Pavel Kubina and Matt Fuller. Jiri Pestuka added an empty net goal with just 25.5 seconds remaining in the third. Pavel Kubina unselfishly elected to pass to the open Pestuka despite facing the wide open net himself. Matt Fuller also received an assist on the play.
With the win at home, the Riverdrivers clinched the second overall position in league standings with the playoffs fast approaching next weekend.