Cifuentes, Ballance keep Islanders in the hunt

first_imgWith their (4-0) start a distant memory, the now (5-1) Penguins find themselves in a dogfight with the (4-3) Islanders for the top spot in the JCC of Bayonne Sr. Division Floor Hockey “Championship Tournament.” Putting the Penguins in their crosshairs, the Islanders took a 3-0 lead on three Alejandro Cifuentes goals off assists by David Matos (2) and Tristan Wolenski (1). Stunned by the Isles’ scoring blitz, the Penguins went on the attack by pouring in three straight goals as Drew Radil (2 goals, 1 assist), Aaliyana Cifuentes (1 goal, 1 assist) and Ezekiel Lupainez (1 assist) took the bull by the horns. Momentarily deadlocked at 3-3, the Islanders’ Alejandro Cifuentes nailed his fourth goal of the bout to lift the Isles to a 4-3 lead. Building on their up tempo attack, the Islanders stretched their lead to 5-3 on a David Matos’ net jet. Facing a tough stretch run, the Penguins loaded up a defense with Anthony Baez and Mariam Rasslan protecting the homefront. Needing goals in a hurry, Drew Radil and Aaliyana Cifuentes answered the call by blasting two game tying bullseyes. As the clock ticked down to 1:15, the 5-5 tie was erased by the Islanders’ Chris Ballance who fired in the game winning dart as the Isles moved to (5-3) with a hard fought 6-5 win. A special mention must be given to the Islanders’ Kasper Hooks who set up the winning goal with a brilliant defensive stop.last_img

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