Overtime goal gives Hounds much-needed win
The Riverhounds, who have been struggling offensively, got an overtime goal by forward David Flavius in the 93rd minute of Friday night's game against Toronto. The Riverhounds defeated Toronto, 2-1, before 1,228 fans at Bethel Park Stadium in a battle of the bottom feeders in the Northeast Division of the Eastern Conference. The game was delayed 20 minutes because of a thunderstorm. After the heavy downpours had passed, the Riverhounds drought seemed to end, thanks to Flavius, who is now tied for the team lead in scoring last year.
“I guess I made up for missing a shot in the first half,” said Flavius, who scored his third goal of the season. “We came out attacking in the overtime. I was lucky to get the pass from B.J. (Johnson). The defender missed and I just got the shot off.”
Toronto, which is the only team the Riverhounds have beaten this season , gave the Riverhounds some extra help early, when defender Milan Kojic got ejected after receiving his second yellow card in the 14th minute. The Riverhounds (2-6-2, 10 pts.) trailed 1-0 at that time after Aristo Knights scored the game's first goal in the sixth minute.
Toronto (1-5-1, 5pts) appeared to be in control, until Kojic got thrown out.
“Sometimes, when you are the team playing a man-down it energizes you,” Riverhounds coach Kai Haaskivi said. “Give credit to Toronto. They battled the entire game with a man down.”
The Riverhounds took advantage of the man-advantage when Jeff Houser scored the Riverhounds first goal, a shot from 25 yards out in the 39th minute off a pass from Joey Worthen to tie the score 1-1.
Prior to that, the Riverhounds had a goal taken away on an offsides call in the 31st minute. Midfielder Gary DePalma had a beautiful corner shot which was deflected by teammate and defender Michael Green and rolled past the outstretched hands of Toronto goalkeeper Theo Zagar. DePalma argued with the official's decision and was given a yellow card. The Riverhounds had 14 shots on the night to Toronto's seven.
“It was not a question of us not having opportunities to score,” Haaskivi said. “It was just a question of finishing our chances. We had plenty of chances to score, and we took advantage of the two that count.”
The Riverhounds got their first overtime win in five extra session games, which pleased Haaskivi, who hasn't had much to smile about lately. His team also moves into second place in the division, behind Rochester, which lost to Milwaukee last night.
“I don't care who scores the goal, just that one of our guys got the game-winner,” Haaskivi said. “Flavius has been working really hard for us. He missed his chance in the second minute (of regulation), but came through in the second minute of overtime.”
Prior to last night, the Riverhounds had only scored seven goals in their first nine games.
“I really wanted to score early in the overtime,” Flavius said. “I think Toronto was happy to play for a tie, especially with a man down. But I wanted the win and knew the minute I scored the game was over.”