Jeremy Gottsch | harrisburgheat.com
The Harrisburg Heat lose a close one to Syracuse Silver Knights by a score of 8-7. The Heat came out strong as Thiago Freitas and Dominic Francis each scored two goals to lead the offensive attack for Harrisburg. They held the lead for the majority of the game, but with a tying goal late in the 4th period, the Silver Knights sent the game into overtime. Quickly into the extra frame, the Heat let up the game winning goal to fall to the visiting Knights.
The Heat started with one-two punch of 2 quick goals right out of the gate, with Dominic Francis scoring the opening goal of the game. Less than a minute later, Thaigo Freitas doubled the lead off of a pass by teammate Ricardo Carvalho. Carvalho chipped a pass over a defender’s head and Freitas hit a one- time volley into the back of the net. The Silver Knights answered with a goal of their own from Darren Toby with 11 minutes left to play in the 1st period. The Heat added a third goal off a set piece by defender Jose Luiz Birche to increase the lead to two.
Just seconds later, Slavisa Ubiparipovic scored on a penetly kick for Syracuse to pull within one. With 4 minutes left in the 1st, Brad Kerstetter added a goal for the hometown team to put the Heat up 4-2. Kenardo Forbes scored a last minute goal at the end of the period for the Silver Knights. The period ended with the Heat leading 4-3.
Goals in the 2nd half were hard to come by. Each team scored a goal apiece. Antonio Manfut tied the game for Syracuse with a goal coming in the opening minutes of the period. Midway through the 2nd frame, Freitas scored his 2nd goal of the game to put the Heat back on top 5-4. The Heat had a number of chances to score in the 2nd. Shots by Val Teixeira and Tom Mellor nailed off of the crossbar but were unable to find the back of the net.
Kenardo Forbes scored his second goal of the game to tie up the game early into the 3rd period. Midway through the period, Francis added his 2nd goal of the game. Francis stole the ball at midfield and scored a breakaway goal to put the Heat back on top. Harrisburg held a 6-5 lead heading into the final period.
Four minutes into the 4th period, captain Val Teixeira scored a one-time volley to put Harrisburg up by two goals. Seconds later, Silver Knight leading scorer Joey Tavernese scored a goal to pull them back within one goal. A victory looked to be in the sights of the Heat but with 21 seconds left to play, Moises Gonzalez scored a goal to tie the game 7-7.
Just 31 seconds into overtime, Gonzalez scored the game winning goal for the visiting Silver Knights. Harrisburg was still down about the late 4th period goal that they gave up and were unable to recover.
The Heat had 19 shots on goal compared to 18 by Syracuse. Goalie Hugo DaSilva registered 10 saves while Syracuse goal keeper Andrew Coughlin finished with 12 saves.
The Heat are home again Saturday, January 28th as they take on the Chicago Mustangs. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. For tickets visit http://harrisburgheat.com/tickets/