Two games were scheduled at the Heritage Arena Thursday night and it was the opener that had the fans on the edge of their seats. The Duluth Central Trojans defeated the Proctor Rails by a score of 4-3 in overtime. The Rails relied literally on some last minute heroics to tie the game and force it to overtime
The Trojans entered the game fresh off a 6-1 win over Silver Bay-Cook County. After being thumped 11-0 at the hands of Duluth East to open the Heritage Arena, they also lost a tough one to Winona by a score of 4-3 to open the season. The Trojans (2-2) captured their second straight win, but not after they almost saw it slip from their fingertips.
Robert Mackereth opened the scoring for the Rails (1-2) at 4:42 of the first period. Blaze Campenella tied the game on the power play for the Trojans at 11:26 as the teams went to first intermission in a one all deadlock. John Yitalo scored a pair of second period goals to give his team a 3-1 lead despite being out shot 21-12 after two periods and eventually 34-17 for the game.
It wasn’t until the late stages of the third period that the Rails were able to be rewarded for their scoring chances as Trojan goalie Matt Erickson was outstanding. With Rails goalie Derek Robinson pulled for the 6th attacker, Proctor scored on Adam LaFontaine’s goal with 1:01 left in the period.
Robinson was reinserted in the net, and subsequently pulled again for the extra attacker. Luke Davidson scored with:13 left in the third period to force overtime. The Trojans regrouped and scored the game winning goal as a power play expired. Campanella took multiple whacks at the puck and punched it in from the right side of the Proctor net before the fifth attacker could step on the ice to capture the overtime win.
Duluth Central plays the Northern Lakes Lightning Saturday at Heritage while Procter will face off with International Falls at Proctor.