Richards' game-winner leads Hounds past Bees
Youngstown improved to 17-13-8 with the 5-4 shootout victory.
By GREG GULAS
YOUNGSTOWN -- Chris Richards scored two goals, including the game-winner during a shootout, as the Youngstown SteelHounds defeated the Rio Grande Valley Killer Bees, 5-4, in Central Hockey League action Saturday night before 4,366 fans at the Chevy Centre.
Tied 4-4 heading into overtime and after a scoreless overtime session, the SteelHounds, with goals by Jeff Christian, Richards and Tab Lardner, won the shootout, 3-1.
Youngstown, which had lost six of its previous 10 shootouts, improved to 17-13-8 (42 points), while the Killer Bees saw their modest three-game win streak go by the wayside as they fell to 16-17-6 (38 points).
The final game of the three-game series will take place today at 4:05 at the Chevy Centre.
The Killer Bees forced the overtime session when Rob Voltera scored his 13th goal of the season, a power play at 12:46 of the third period. That was the only score in the final session.
Voltera had the game-winning goal in Friday night's shootout, a 3-2 win for Rio Grande.
The second period saw five goals highlighted by Richards, whose score at 8:55 -- a power play opportunity that was his 19th of the season and the 200th of his professional career -- gave Youngstown a 3-0 advantage.
Rio Grande scored twice, the first off of former SteelHound Doug Orr's stick just 31 seconds later. When David Masse added his team-leading 23rd goal of the year at 10:42, the Killer Bees pulled within one at 3-2.
Lardner, who scored his 12th of year at 16:57 -- a shorthanded goal -- gave Youngstown its two-goal advantage at 4-2. But a power play netter by Rio's Jason Cirone just 37 seconds later cut the SteelHounds' margin to 4-3 with 20 minutes of play remaining.
The SteelHounds took an early 2-0 lead with the line of Shaun Landolt, Lardner and Mark Odut doing all the damage.
Lardner and Odut assisted Landolt on the first two goals of the game, his first score coming at 11:27 and the second just 30 seconds before intermission with Youngstown holding the 2-0 advantage heading into the second period.
The SteelHounds, one night removed from a franchise-record 55 shots on goal, outshot the Killer Bees, 15-9, in the opening session.