Warwick, RI The Mulissha began their 8 game home stand with two wins against the Hartford Fire Ants. The first game was a back and forth battle, with the Fire Ants refusing to fold. Josh Antunes was credited with the game’s first goal, when Christian Iacobellis shot caromed off Antunes back six minutes into the game. RI’s Josh Melo took a penalty for interference, and Jordan St. Jean scored a minute and a half into the man advantage for the Fire Ants. Hartford went up 2 -1 when Brian Salce scored on Denis Loper’s pass. 13 seconds later, RI evened the score on Antunes second of the game. The game was tied at two as the second half began, but Iacobellis dazzled the home fans with an end to end rush, scoring 15 seconds into the second period. The Fire Ants Mark Miller scored three minutes later to dead-lock the game at three. Jerry Turcotte put the home team back up 4 – 3 on a snap shot from the slot, but the lead would again be short-lived. With two and a half minutes to play Hartford again evened the score on Zack Grenier’s goal. In the final minute, Mulissha’s Kevin Bothelo absorbed a shot from the point that hit him in the ribs and dropped to his feet. He curled to his right and steered the puck past the outstretched glove of goalie Alvin Durning for the dramatic game winner. Mulissha goalie Derek Antunes made 30 saves on 34 shots, while Durning snared 25 of 30. Hartford went 1 for 2 on the power play, while RI had no opportunities with the man advantage.
Game two was Rhode Island’s to lose as they set the tone by scoring 17 seconds in. Justin Zarella tapped the puck into an open net on Iacobellis’ feed. The newly minted line of Bothelo and Turcotte combined again on their third goal of the day, with Bothelo again scoring. Hartford got on the board with two and a half minutes to play when Logan Gauvin scored. Iacobellis restored the home team’s two goal lead by finishing an exchange between linemmate Antunes and defenseman Sean Grady with 33 seconds left in the half. The teams played a conservative second half. With two minutes to play Hartford pulled Durning, and Mulissha’s Turcotte made them pay, scoring twice into the open net. The Fire Ants proved they didn’t know how to quit when Tim Colman scored with 13 seconds left. Goalie Jay Willard won his third straight start by stopping 11 of 13, while counterpart Durning deserved a better fate, having stopped 16 of 21 in his second game of the day. Neither team scored on their singular man advantage.