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Ayr beats Norwich 5-3 after comeback scare
Story by Narrative Science.
The Ayr Centennials survived a determined comeback attempt by the Norwich Merchants on the way to a 5-3 win.
After the loss made the series score 3-0 in the best of seven series, the Merchants face elimination next time out.
Eric Hackborn was all over the ice for the Centennials, as he tallied two goals and one assist in the win. Hackborn scored the first of his two goals on the power play at 4:13 into the first period to make the score 1-0 Ayr. Ayr had gotten the advantage when Norwich's Kurtis Lavis was sent off for unsportsmanlike conduct. Andrew Richard assisted on the tally. Hackborn's next tally on the power play made the score 2-0 Ayr with 14:18 left in the first period. Austin Kovrig provided the assist.
The Centennials forced the Merchants' goalies to work without much rest, launching 44 shots and forcing 39 saves. Patrick Maziarz made 33 stops and Jesse Schoeman made six. Ayr's penalty kill managed to stymie Norwich's power play, giving up only one goal while playing with a man down. Team's forwards weren't the only contributers offensively, and the team's defensemen showcased their scoring touch with three goals.
Ayr additionally got points from Richard, who also grabbed one goal and one assist. Ayr also got a goal from Connor MacLean as well. Other players who recorded assists for Ayr were Riley Clipper, Jeff Howlett, Anthony Pullia, and Brendan Schaefer, who each chipped in one.
The Merchants forced the Centennials goalie Andre Keire to work between the pipes, taking 38 shots.
Andre Keire made 35 saves for Ayr on 38 shots. The Centennials incurred 38 minutes in penalty time with 14 minors. Norwich incurred 34 minutes in penalty time with 12 minors. The Merchants ran into serious disciplinary problems during the contest, and Drake Morrell was ejected from the game.