Dashers reel in Bluefins to win at Martha’s Vineyard Arena

Casey Mignone (left) of the Cape Cod Bluefins vies with Darick Ste. Marie for a loose puck following a face-off. — Photo by Adrianne Ryan

The Martha’s Vineyard Arena was the scene Saturday night for Fishbowl 2, a battle between the Cape Cod Bluefins and the Danville (Illinois) Dashers of the Federal Hockey League. The FDL is a professional minor league composed of six teams from the northeastern and midwestern United States.

The first Fishbowl was played at the MV Arena earlier this year, on February 25. The Bluefins lost to the Danbury Whalers, 4-3, with Vineyarders Mick Vukota and Max Sherman in the line-up for Cape Cod.

The Fishbowl sequel played out in front of more than 100 fans who were treated to an exciting contest, featuring eight goals and two fights. The visitors from Danville rallied for three goals in the third period to beat the Bluefins 5-3.

Darick Ste. Marie gave the Dashers a 1-0 lead in the first period. Chris Campanale scored his sixth goal of the season on the power play at 9:02 from George Nicholes and Brian Yanovitch to tie the game at 1-1. Taylor Larsen put the Fins in front at 2:44 of the second period, from Casey Mignone and Tyler Howe.

The Dashers tied the game at 2-2, but Campanale notched his second on the night from Matthew Harrington in the final minute of the period to give Cape Cod a 3-2 lead after two.

Danville equalized again in the third period with a power play goal following a Bluefins shorthanded breakaway bid. Two minutes later, Billy Hunt put the Dashers in front to stay. Ryan Stern added an insurance goal later in the period to give the Dashers the two points.

With two Fishbowls in the tank, Martha’s Vineyard Arena manager Kurt Mundt expressed his satisfaction with the first two games and welcomed a third. “It went very well and I look forward to hosting them [the FDL] again next year,” he said in a phone conversation with the Times on Tuesday.

But the future of any games and the team itself are in doubt. On Wednesday, the Cape Cod Times reported that the Cape Cod Bluefins have suspended play for at least the next three games amid discussions the team will be leaving Cape Cod.

President and general manager Mike Nugnes said a game in Williamsport, Pa. Thursday, as well as home games Friday and Saturday at Moore Arena in Orleans will not be played.