Titans Rise in Crunch Time, Down Demolition in First Battle, 5-4
Dayton, OH - Since 2012, Dayton vs. Danbury has been one of the top rivalries in the Federal Hockey League. From two Commissioners' Cup Finals to countless amounts of classic games, the series never could be described as dull. That was no different for the first match-up of the Dayton Demolition and the Danbury Titans.
The Titans got on the board first, nearly halfway through the opening period. Tyler Gjurich, the league leader in goals scored, flicks one back-handed past Dayton's Brent Troyan. Gjurich's 28th tally was lead on by Mike Driscoll and Ryan Patsch at the 9:16 mark. Throughout the 1st Period, the Titans kept the puck close, building up eleven shots on the Dayton goalie.
Dayton went to work in the 2nd Period against Mike Pearless and the Danbury Titans. The first Demolition goal was Scott Kozlak, his third of the year in his third game, hemming a rebound deep in the crease from a centering pass by Jacques Lamoureux and Michael Lipari at the 3:27 margin. Danbury regained the lead nearly eight minutes later from Zach Tatrn redirecting a shot from Gjurich and Justin Blaszak. Tatrn's rush for the puck resulted in his tenth goal of the year.
The Demolition answered right back on their third Power Play opportunity of the night, when Brett Wall was close to the Danbury goalie and unleashed a top-shelf score. Wall's third goal of the year at the 14:05 mark of the second was assisted by Myles McCauley (his second assist in his second game in Dayton) and Chad Bennett to tie things up again. Just under two minutes later and with some force behind the goal line, it was Martin Uhnak assisting Mike Henderson on a revolving-door goal past Pearless for the first Dayton lead of the night. Henderson's ninth goal was scored at the 15:58 mark of the 2nd, but it wasn't the last for the Titans. To close out the period, Dean Yakura found a loose puck in a collection of bodies and unloaded the third Titan goal of the night, with John Scorcia and Brett Liscomb driving the assists. Both teams went back to the locker rooms tied at 3.
The Demolition reclaimed the lead early into the third, with a Martin Uhnak zip. Uhnak's 12th goal was driven by the force of Ryan Timar (his third assist in his third game in Dayton.) Dayton held on to a 4-3 lead for over eight minutes until Yakura struck twice with Scorcia assisting again. Both teams held their zones until a late goal in the third. Collapsing around Troyan, the Titans continued to push the puck until Phil Bronner sent the rebound home. Bronner's Game-Winning Goal and 17th of the year was dished by Aaron Atwell and Liscomb at the 18:43 mark. Dayton would counter with an extra attacker after the Titans' fifth goal, but Pearless held on for the 5-4 Danbury Titans win.
Mike Pearless recorded 22 saves on 26 shots tonight, whereas Brent Troyan registered 25 saves on 30 attempts. Dean Yakura was awarded the #1 star tonight with his two goal performance, whereas Dayton's Michael Lipari won the #3 star with a pair of assists, and Martin Uhnak's one goal, one assist game.
Dayton fell to 7-16-3 after a tough battle with the Titans; Danbury improved to 20-9-1 on the year.
The Demolition will host the Berlin River Drivers on Friday, January 29th back at Hara. Dayton has won both home matchups against the New Hampshire team. The puck falls at 7:30 and gates open at 6:30. For more information on tickets and broadcasting information, visit demolitionhockey.com.
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