DETROIT OUTLASTS MUSKEGON IN OVERTIME THRILLER, 8-7

by Kathleen Coyne

MUSKEGON, MI - In one of the most exciting games of the M2 season, the Detroit Waza Flo found themselves one goal better than the Muskegon Risers on Saturday night. The Flo had to mount a late comeback to even get the game into the extra period and never looked back. 

The teams traded early goals to stay within punching distance of each other with Muskegon's Cody Loss opening the scoring and Detroit's Khalid Suleiman equalizing seconds later. Then, rookie Jeremy Sheppard gave the Waza their first lead of the game to close out the 1st quarter. The Risers quickly jumped back on top in the 2nd frame with back-to-back goals from Joe Broekhuizen and Michael Schmitt to gain a one-goal advantage. Kebba Sanneh then notched his lone goal of the match for the Flo to head into halftime all knotted up at three.

After the half, the Waza Flo looked to take control of the game when Suleiman netted his 2nd of the match but the Risers, determined to improve on their 1-6 record, fired back three straight from Kody Harrell, Alexis Mendez, and Loss to take the first two-goal lead of the match.

With under seven minutes to play, Suleiman completed his hattrick to cut the deficit to one. An untimely Detroit penalty lead to a Riser powerplay and Broekhuizen converted the opportunity to regain the two goal advantage with five minutes on the clock. The teams then traded chances but the Waza Flo high press finally broke through as Ludvick Asigo pounced on a rebound to make it a 7-6 lead for Muskegon. With just a minute left to play, Saeed Tawil forced a defensive blunder from the Risers and didn't miss his opportunity as he fired the equalizer past netminder Josh Rumenapp. Tawil followed up his goal by committing a frustration penalty with 35 seconds left in the match that saw the Flo down a man for the next two minutes. Detroit was able to escape the quarter still squared and even killed off the remaining minute and 25 seconds of the powerplay into overtime. Shortly after the Muskegon advantage ended, Suleiman fired a rocket from outside the Riser zone that found its way into the net to give the Flo the sudden death victory 8-7.

With the win, Detroit moves to 4-3 on the season and sit just a half game behind the Rochester Lancers for 2nd place in the M2 Eastern Division. The Flo now get the opportunity to jump the Lancers as they host Rochester on Sunday, February 10th at 5:50pm at the Detroit City Fieldhouse. Tickets can be found on www.wazaflo.com.

Muskegon drops to 1-7 on the year and have a week to regroup before taking on your Waza Flo at the Detroit City Fieldhouse on Saturday, February 16th.