(PR) Elmira, NY – Patrick Coulombe scored two goals, Michael Dubuc added a goal and an assist, and Zane Kalemba got his first-career ECHL victory by making 19 of 23 saves as the Elmira Jackals defeated the Trenton Devils, 5-4, at First Arena Saturday night.
The Devils’ Jeremy Akeson gave Trenton the early jump on a delayed penalty at 4:44, beating Elmira goaltender Zane Kalemba, who was making his ECHL debut after a four-year career at Princeton University. After a Dave Leaderer shot was stopped by Kalemba, Akeson, who had parked himself to the side of the goal post, used pure strength to force the puck through Elmira’s rookie goaltender. Defenseman T.J. Miller also had an assist on the play, his first in a Devils uniform. The Devils made the score 2-0 2:39 later when Matt Lombardi out-muscled an Elmira defenseman in front of the net, and scored his third goal of the season, assisted by Dan Charleston and Dave Leaderer. Before the first period ended, though, the Jackals cut Trenton’s lead in half when Patrick Coulombe beat Dave Caruso at 12:54 to make the score 2-1.
With Trenton leading Elmira, 2-1, early in the second period, the heated division rivals began embracing a much chippier style of play, as both teams exchanged numerous physical blows against one another. In a penalty-filled second period, Martin Nolet was sent off for cross-checking at 7:48, but instead of allowing Elmira to tie the score, Trevor Kell gained possession of a loose puck and came flying down the ice on a breakaway, and smacked a shot past Kalemba to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.
Following Kell’s fifth of the season, the relentless Jackals answered back with the game’s next two goals, with Patrick Coulombe getting his second of the night at 9:30 to make the score 3-2, and Justin Donati tying the game with his seventh of the season at 11:33 in what was the Jackals’ second shorthanded goal of the 2010-11 season.
Almost as soon as the hometown Jackals had rallied to tie the game, the Devils re-claimed the lead once more when Dan Charleston put the Devils ahead, 4-3, with 4:49 remaining in the middle stanza. Charleston’s first of the season, assisted by Ryan Hayes and Justin Pender, came on the power play after Elmira had put themselves shorthanded by taking a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct at 12:31 when water bottles were heaved onto the ice from the Jackals bench onto the ice in protest of a disallowed goal just seconds before which could have given Elmira a one-goal lead. Instead, following Charleston’s goal, it was the Devils who took a 4-3 lead into the third period.
In the third period, the Jackals came out hungry, putting Caruso under siege in an effort to even the score. Elmira broke through when Michael Dubuc struck for his ECHL-leading 11th goal at 8:07. The Jackals then went ahead when Oren Eizenman beat Caruso on Elmira’s 47th shot, with 5:23 remaining for the eventual game-winning goal, as the fourth-year pro buried a rebound that the Devils’ defense could not control.
Behind for the first time, the Devils couldn’t draw even in the game’s final minutes despite a two-minute power play, as Elmira took round one of the season series against Trenton, winning 5-4 and dropping the Devils record to 4-4-0-1.
The Devils return to the Sun National Bank Center to tussle with the Reading Royals Wednesday, November 17 at 7:00 p.m