ELMIRA, N.Y. - The Elmira Jackals played their third consecutive overtime game on Sunday, but fell to the Kalamazoo Wings by a score of 3-2. A last-second goal helped the Jackals pick up a standings point, but their record fell to 29-20-6 on the season.
In each of their three prior meetings with Kalamazoo, the Jackals had to battle from behind to try to pick up the win. Tonight the script was flipped thanks to Benjamin Dieude-Fauvel providing a strong individual effort early in the game. After taking a reverse pass from Steven Kaunisto deep in his own end, Dieude-Fauvel raced all the way to the Kalamazoo line before punching a wrist shot past Wings goalie Joe Canaata. It was Dieude-Fauvel's second of the season. The Jackals pounded away at Canaata to the tune of 15 shots in the period, but could not pad their lead. Kalamazoo found the tying goal late when Paul Kirtland capitalized on a goal-mouth scramble and shoveled a puck past Maxime Clermont for his second goal on the season. Thanks to nine saves by Clermont the game went into the second tied at one.
Despite a 14-7 shot advantage in the second period, the Jackals found themselves trailing for the first time in the frame. Kalamazoo's go-ahead goal came after Yann Sauve delivered a check to Jordan Pietrus while the Jackals were trying to break the puck out. The hit knocked Pietrus to the ice for several moments, but off of the loose puck Aaron Clarke knocked a shot past Clermont for his 17th of the season. Pietrus went back to the bench under his own power and did not miss a shift.
The third period felt eerily similar to Saturday night with the Jackals bringing an unrelenting attack and Kalamazoo just trying to hold on. It took every last gasp for the Jackals' offense to capitalize and tie the game to force overtime. Elmira had eight shots on the board before pulling Clermont for the extra attacker in the final minute. After a few unsuccessful tries to establish the attack, the Jackals' Jordon Southron hustled in on the left wing. He sent a shot on net with three seconds to play that was knocked down by Canaata, but Rob Bellamy kept the play alive and Pietrus scored with no time showing on the clock. After the officials conferenced, the goal stood and Pietrus sent it to OT with his 15th of the season.
Kalamazoo had the first great chance to end the game when the Wings were awarded a penalty shot with 2:08 gone by. But when Clermont stopped Nick Sirota the game marched on. Just under a minute later Sirota corralled the rebound from an Aaron Clarke shot and beat Clermont for the game winner.
Clermont turned away 22 shots in taking the loss in net. Elmira finished the game 0-for-2 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.