The Springfield Pics Elite squad came away with a huge win against the Bridgewater Bandits Saturday night, win a 5 - 4 overtime win with Dominick Balboni notching both the goal to bring the game to overtime (while on the penalty kill), and the game winning goal in overtime. Mike Penna also made his return to the lineup this season, and made it an event to remember.
After the Bandits got an early goal from Brian Dale, Mike Penna was able to tie the game up, while gathering his first goal of the season.
Just a few seconds into the first power play of the night for the Pics after a bench minor against the Bandits, Zach Shupe was able to start the punch up the ice. He got the puck knocked briefly away from him but Mike Penna was able to recover and continue down the ice, putting the puck between the legs of a Bandit's defensemen, then beating the goaltender glove side low to light the lamp.
Aaron Champagne put the Pics ahead at just before the 5 minute mark of the 1st when he deflected a shot from Alex Speckhart who got it from Dylan Taylor off the faceoff. Speckhart then took a shot, and Champagne deflected the shot on down which put the Pics ahead for the first time.
Cole Growhowski made it 3 - 1 just a couple minutes into the 2nd period when Shupe was able to successfully battle off a challenge from a Bandits player and was able to dish it off to Growhowski, who one-timed it into the back of the net.
After three unanswered goals, the Bandits looked like they would steal this win away from the Pics again, but Dominick Balboni would prove them different.
Shortly after a faceoff at center ice after the puck went out of play into the Bandits bench, Balboni took the faceoff and won it. He brought the puck on down and dish it off to Mike Penna, who brought it around the net to get Egan to chase after him. After Egan committed, two Bandit's players screened Egan of the ability to see Balboni who missed on his first attempt in which he hit the post. He got his own rebound on back and lifted it top shelf to make it tied up at 4.
After neither team could add a goal during the final minute of regulation, the Pics and Bandits went into overtime. After a blocker save by Woodruff, Balboni grabbed the loose puck and drove up the right wing. He dropped iff off the Paud O'Brien after he crossed the blue line into the Pics attacking zone, who gave it right on back in front of the net. Balboni then put it top shelf again, high glove side to seal the win for the Pics.
Woodruff stopped a staggering 47 out of 51 shots he faced for the win, while Jake Egan stopped 26 out of 31 for the loss.