Icehawks soar past Gems

The gods of hockey move in mysterious ways.
Elusive bounces of the puck gave the Dayton Gems a 3-1 lead after the first period despite being out shot by the Port Huron Icehawks, 13-9. Whether it was a change of goalies or a renewed focus on the game plan, the Icehawks roared back to score five unanswered goals.
Port Huron defeated Dayton, 6-3, on Friday, January 15 to continue to hold sole possession of first place in the IHL.
“The guys really rallied and found a way,” Port Huron Coach Stan Drulia said. “Dayton got a real lucky one, a deflection, then a late one.”
After the first period Port Huron replaced goalie Larry Sterling with Adam Russo.
“All their goals had nothing to do with my change of goalies. I can’t blame Larry,” Drulia said. “That was the first time I pulled a goalie all year. The move was a wake up call to the whole team.”
“I was really surprised they got lucky on all three goals,” Russo said. “The last goal was a snipe right past Larry’s head.”
Russo blanked the Gems the rest of the night, stopping 19 shots.
“In the last two periods our hitting swung the momentum,” Russo said. “We laid down six or seven checks in the first five minutes. We got the back to back goals that changed the tempo.”
After a Port Huron Brandon Naurato power play goal, the Hawks’ Tab Lardner tied the game at the ten minute mark of the second period. Mike Gershon gave the Hawks the lead with two minutes left.
“Big hits seemed to get contagious,” Drulia said. “That’s the way we know we can play. We need to get physical by committee. When we do that we are going to wear teams down with our speed. That’s what changed the game around.”
Jason Kostadine scored his first goal of the season at the 3:27 mark of the third period.
“It feels like I got a huge gorilla off my back,” Kostadine said. “I felt I was happy but my teammates started acting like we won the cup.”
“Kostadine has been working so hard for that goal,” Russo said. “He’s been playing so well lately.”
Port Huron’s Derek Patrosso added the Hawks’ sixth goal with less than two minutes left to ice the cake.
Quad City will visit McMorran on January 23. Game time is 8:00 p.m. For further Icehawks information, visit www.porthuronicehawks.com.

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