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Fury Shoot Past Expansion Elmira

For one period, the Elmira Jackals reenacted some scenes from the old hockey movie "Slapshot."

There were slashes, players running wild around the ice and even a vicious hit that warranted a major penalty. And to make matters even worse, the Jackals ran off with a 3-1 lead.

But once the second period started, the Muskegon Fury changed channels, went to work, evened the score and won the game, 6-5, in a sudden death shootout. The game was played before a crowd of 3,154 at L.C. Walker Arena.

The victory gives Muskegon 10 points in the Northwest Division standings with a 4-0-2 record.

"Obviously, we got caught up in all the garbage with the penalties in the first period," said Fury coach Rich Kromm, whose team came unglued after Fury standout Quinn Hancock was kneed by Elmira's Shawn Legault at 6:58 of the first period. After Hancock was helped off the ice, the Fury succumbed to the Jackals' tactics and fell behind by two goals.

Preliminary reports indicate no damage to Hancock's knee, just a severe bruise. He is expected to be back in the lineup next week.

"It was a freak show for one period," said Kromm, "but we got back into it. We knew we could get some scoring chances and wear them down."

The Jackals took advantage of the Fury's loss of focus and received first-period goals from David Bernier, Eric Peterson and Jeremy Vanin. That trio scored after Robin Bouchard had given Muskegon a 1-0 lead.

Much of the Jackals' damage was done thanks to a series of power plays from 8:53 to the end of the first period. Elmira's three goals came in a span of less than four minutes late in the first period.

The second period was a whole different story. The Fury returned to playing their brand of hockey. The scoring chances came and the red light was lit. Muskegon racked up three goals and 21 shots on goal.

Todd Robinson, who finished the game with four points, started the comeback with a shorthanded breakaway at 5:16 of the second period. Eight minutes later, Andrew Luciuk scored a power-play goal to pull Muskegon into a 3-all standoff.

The onslaught of Fury chances continued and, sure enough, the puck ended up in the net again. Phillipe Roy fired a shot from the right point that was saved, but the rebound slid to Robinson, who backhanded it into the net.

"We just had to focus on the hockey game," said Robinson. "The calls weren't going our way, but at the start of the second period, we responded, killed the penalties and went from there."

But Elmira, a team that hadn't played in a week, was far from finished. Vanin scored a shorthanded goal of his own at 15:54 to send the teams into the second intermission tied at 4-all.

The Jackals pressured the Fury throughout the third period and it showed with a 13-6 advantage in shots. The Fury's stretch of three-games-in-three-nights was becoming increasing evident as the Jackals buzzed the Fury net.

However, it was Bobby Cunningham who gave the Fury the lead with a nifty move with 1:10 remaining in the third period.

Again, Elmira wasn't finished as Scott Chartier fired a shot through a large group of players congregated in front of Fury goaltender Sylvain Daigle. The shot hit the back of the net with 25 seconds remaining and the game was tied again.

That signified the shootout to decide a winner. Muskegon received goals from Robinson, Crawford and Luciuk, the Fury's sixth shooter. And when Luciuk's shot slid into the back of the net, the Fury celebrated their sixth straight game without a defeat in regulation.

"We can score a lot of goals, but we can't be giving up five per night," said Robinson, the game's No. 1 star.

The Fury return to action Friday night in Knoxville on Friday night followed by a trip to Asheville on Saturday.

October 22, 2000

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