Pittsburgh evens series with Friday win

PITTSBURGH – The Pittsburgh Vengeance scored four goals in the first period and held on to beat the Metro Jets 4-3 Friday night at Blade Runner USA to even their NA3HL East Division final at one game apiece.

The deciding Game 3 is Sunday at Lakeland Arena at 11:50 a.m.

“It was a hard-fought comeback by the guys, but we just couldn't get one by at the end to give ourselves a chance,” Metro head coach Justin Quenneville said. “I felt we responded well after the start of the game. We knew Pittsburgh was going to come hard and play desperate hockey, and they did. We just didn't weather the storm in the first period well enough. It all comes down to one game and all you can ask for is a chance, and we have one."

Cody Jones (pictured), Tyler Layle and Zach Koonce scored for the Jets, while Kam Limburg and Jake Stephan combined to make 25 saves in goal.

“Tonight, we didn't get the start we wanted and we ran out of time,” Jets’ defenseman Jacob Rutkoske said. “We fought back hard and controlled most of the second and third period and hopefully, that energy and momentum carries into Sunday. To prepare for the next game, we just have to forget this loss and play Jets hockey. We knew it would be a battle with this team and we are ready for Sunday.”

Adem Arifi posted two goals and an assist for Pittsburgh and goaltender Brian Baker turned aside 35 shots for the win.