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Privateers fall apart in 2nd period

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In an early season showdown for first place in the Federal Hockey League, it was clear which team showed up to play in the pivotal second period Thursday night.

Marcus Pryde and Jason Hill each scored three goals as the Dayton Demonz scored the game’s first seven goals to roll past the Thousand Island Privateers, 9-5 at Watertown Fairgrounds Arena.

“We came out pretty well, we had a good first period there,” Privateers assistant coach/player Chris Greene said. “We’ve just got to come together as a team. We had too many breakdowns the whole game, too many turnovers. We have to figure out what we can do as a team.”

Thousand Islands (4-3), which lost 3-1 at Williamsport on Wednesday night, has now lost three of its past four games after winning the first two games of its season.

Ahmed Mahfouz totaled four points, including three assists for Dayton (4-2), which scored four goals in the second period to take command and pulled into a first-place tie with Thousand Islands in the first meeting of the season between the two clubs.

“I thought we had a weak first period,” said Dayton coach Marc Lefebvre, who coached the Privateers for part of last season. “We got that goal in the first, but we had some great goaltending to keep us in it. Then we got that nice breakaway goal in the second period and we went on from there.”

In a penalty-free first period, Thousand Islands outshot Dayton, 17-7, yet the Demonz scored the game’s first goal as Pryde finished off a partial breakaway with Mahfouz by wristing the puck past goalie Matt Anthony at 10 minutes, 15 seconds.

Dayton then tallied three goals within a span of six minutes to open the second period to break the game open.

“We had a good start, one of our better ones of the year,” Privateers assistant captain Adam McAllister said. “But our second period is just unacceptable. I don’t know whether it was we lost our focus or stopped working — those breakdowns really cost us and those sank the ship.”

Thousand Islands coach Paul Kelly declined to comment after the game.

After Dayton defenseman Jarkko Leppanen scored his first goal of the season from just inside the blue line at 2:40 of the second, Pryde finished off a pass in front from Mahfouz at 4:10 for a 3-0 lead to chase Anthony.

Goalie Peter Dundovich didn’t fare much better as Hill registered his first goal of the campaign by scoring on a slapper at 6:07 to build a 4-0 advantage.

To add to their woes, the Privateers had a goal waved off at 8:47 of the middle period and McAllister was assessed the game’s first penalty.

“I think we’re working hard as a team, we just need to work a little bit smarter,” McAllister said. “We’re making things hard for ourselves at times and we’re making too many mistakes out there — and we have top fix those. That’s up to me and Greener and (Campbell) to find out what’s going on in the (dressing) room and take it from there.”

Mahfouz went onto to score at 14:55 for a 5-0 lead for Dayton, which went on to score twice in the first 1:16 of the third period to lead 7-0.

The Privateers went on to score five of the game’s final six goals — with a tally by five different players — to break into the scoring column.

“We were desperate,” Greene said. “We had to come out and do something, we needed a spark. We should have been playing that way earlier in the game.”

Goalie Gerry Fetsa went on to finish with 28 saves to record the win for the Demonz.

After the two teams meet again at 7:35 tonight in Watertown, the Privateers travel to play at Cape Cod at 7:35 p.m. on Saturday.

“We have a real good squad, we have a great group of guys here,” Greene said. “We just have to make sure we play together and we’re pulling on the same rope.”

nNOTES: Greene registered three assists. ... Brent Tamane scored the Privateers’ first shorthanded goal of the season. Tamane, Peter Campbell and Justin MacDonald each finished with a goal and an assist. ... Lefebvre stepped down last season amid the on- and off-ice controversy with the now defunct Akwesasne Warriors team. ... Thousand Islands did not announce an attendance figure Thursday night. ... The Privateers are 2-1 at home after completing a 2-2 road trip.


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