BEDFORD, MA -- James Nash scored with 19 seconds left in regulation, helping the East Coast Wizards to a big 3-2 victory over the Vermont Lumberjacks. For Nash, his 4th goal of the season came at the most opportune time, as he now has the winning tally in back to back games. With the win, the Wizards move back into 1st place in their division, owning a record of 7-3-1 through their first 11 games.
"That was a fun game," said Wizards head coach and general manager Freddy Meyer. "I think we were very evenly matched with Vermont, and we are definitely happy to be on the positive side of yesterday's late goal."
The 1st period brought with it some great back and forth play, but no goals, as both Korbinian Lutz for the Wizards and Connor Carbo for the Lumberjacks were up to the task in the opening frame.
The shots at the end of the first 20 minutes pointed 13-9 in favor of the Wizards.
Flip over to the 2nd period, and that's when the scoring started. Steve Rizzuto tipped home a great feed from Isaac Leslie, and the power-play goal broke the scoreless tie just over a minute and a half into the frame.
From there however, the Lumberjacks responded with a pair of goals less than 4 minutes apart from each other. Vermont was also able to hold onto that lead heading into the 2nd break.
The middle frame shot totals also pointed in favor of the visitors, 12-8.
With the start of the final frame, the Wizards began to crank up the pressure in the Lumberjacks end. Despite a number of point-blank chances, the Wizards were unable to break through until there were just over 5 minutes remaining in regulation. Rizzuto cashed in once again, on another great feed from Leslie, giving him 2 power-play goals in the contest.
From there, the game seemed destined for overtime, that was until James Nash powered his way past a pair of Lumberjacks defensemen and snuck a backhander past Carbo with just 19 seconds left to go. The goal brought an obvious jolt to the Wizards bench, and their 3rd victory in as many games.
Lutz picked up his 4th win of the season, turning aside 27 of the 29 total shots that he faced.
Coming up next for the Wizards is another home game on Saturday night, as the EHL team welcomes the New York Applecore to town for a 7:10pm puck drop. The Wizards will be looking for the regular season sweep of the Applecore, after beating New York by the score of 3-1 at the first showcase.
If you can't make it Bedford for the game, you can catch the action live on HockeyTV. Also, be sure to follow the Wizards on Twitter, for updates throughout Saturday's matchup.
Michael Walsh ('98) continues to play big minutes for the Wizards on the blue line this season.