Growlers Get First Win of the Season in Overtime
Extra time was required, but the Newfoundland Growlers picked up their first win of the 2019-2020 ECHL season with a 3-2 overtime victory over the Reading Royals Saturday night at Mile One Centre to split Molson Opening Weekend.
The Royals struck first in Saturday's rematch as Matthew Gaudreau wristed a shot up and over Patrick Munson with 4:14 remaining in the first period to give the visitors a 1-0 lead after the opening 20 minutes of play. Munson stood tall between the pipes for the Growlers in a busy period facing 17 shots, including a sprawling save with 1:39 left in the first period to hold the deficit to one.
Frank DiChiara extended the Reading lead to 2-0 at the 5:04 mark of the second period for his second goal in as many nights, but Aaron Luchuk cut the Royals lead to one with just 46 seconds left in the second period after cleaning up a rebound and putting it behind Kirill Ustimenko, netting his first as a Growler.
The Growlers came out of the gate hungry and physical in the third period, led by multiple big hits from Captain James Melindy to give his team a boost, and the efforts paid off as Matt Bradley scored his second of the season with 7:23 to play in the third period to tie the game at 2-2.
The Growlers went to the powerplay with 18.6 seconds left in the third period, which they carried over into the first seven-minute overtime in Growlers history.
Mac Hollowell played the role of hero 2:51 into the extra frame firing home his first pro goal to complete the comeback and sending Mile One Centre into a frenzy.
Patrick Munson was exceptional in net for the Growlers making 39 saves.
Patrick Munson made his North American professional debut between the pipes
Matt Bradley has goals in back-to-back games
The three stars were 3 - M. Gaudreau (REA), 2 - A. Luchuk (NFL) and 1 - P. Munson (NFL)
The Newfoundland Growlers continue their season-opening five-game homestand Tuesday night against the Reading Royals to wrap up the three-game series. Puck drop is 7 p.m. Tickets are available at mileonecentre.com and the Mile One Centre Box Office.
Reading Royals (1-0-1-0) at Newfoundland Growlers (1-1-0-0)
Saturday, October 12th - Mile One Centre - St. John's, NL
V-H # Per Team Time Goals Assists
1 - 0 1 1st REA 15:46 M. Gaudreau (1) P. Laberge, G. Mitchell
2 - 0 2 2nd REA 5:04 F. DiChiara (2) M. Gaudreau
2 - 1 3 2nd NFL 19:13 A. Luchuk (1) J. Brazeau
2 - 2 4 3rd NFL 12:37 M. Bradley (2) A. Luchuk, G. Estephan
2 - 3 5 OT NFL 2:51 M. Hollowell (1) C. Conrad
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