The Sharks ended up with the hot potato last as Martin Vitolins scored his 35th goal of the season 2:46 into overtime to give the Sharks the 7-6 victory.

“We struggled on the defensive side of the puck and I think our goaltender (Kyle Van Wagner) had a tough day today,” Long Beach coach Mike Stanaway said. “The positives, you score seven goals in a game, you would think you win. It was exciting to watch for anyone who came into the building. I heard comments from some of the fans just how much of a fun atmosphere it was.”

L/A entered the third period with the 4-3 lead and was able to kill off a 5-on-3 power play which included a four minute double minor to Matt Siegel for a slash at the end of the second period.

Not scoring didn’t deter the Sharks who entered the game with 168 goals in 27 games played.

Oskar Lindberg potted his 35th and 36th goals of the season in a 1:05 span. The first goal came at the 6:59 mark of the third period Carmine Taffo notching the lone assist to tie the game up at four. Taffo along with Vitolins set up the fifth goal at the 8:04 mark.

Gunther Stange gave the Sharks the 6-4 lead as he notched his seventh goal of the season with Lindberg and Vitolins setting the play up. The tally came at the 11:09 mark.

“I think we went six minutes straight not cashing in on the power play,” Stanaway said. “They did a good job coming back.You can see after that, momentum was all ours in the third period. We controlled the game in the third. Again we struggled a little bit in lapses between our defensemen and our goaltending, but everybody is going to have a tough day, it was a tough day for them. Luckily our offense had a good day.”

Matt Siegel sent the game into overtime as he scored two goals in a 1:26 span. His seventh goal of the season came with 7:59 remaining in the period with Clifford Olge and Dylan Vrees picking up the assists. Vrees set the second goal up with 6:33 remaining in regulation.

“I will say, there was a lot of highs and lot of lows throughout the game,” Fighting Spirit acting head coach Cam Robichaud said. “We were trying to keep it even-keeled with the emotions. I didn’t think we did it well when we had the lead because we gave the lead up, but I think we did well with the emotional shifts coming back. We were able to push and able to tie it back up six to six.”

The Sharks came out strong in the opening period and they got on the board at the 6:12 mark, Carmine Taffo jammed in his 20th goal of the season with Grant Denton and Stange picking up the assists.

The Fighting Spirit settled down after the goal and the special teams had success in the period. Jonathan Donaghey had a shorthanded opportunity at the 8:45 mark on a breakaway, but lost control of the puck when he went to the backhand.

L/A had a 5-on-3 power play as Alex Cerda went off for a hook and Lindberg went off for interference. With the extra space on the ice, the Fighting Spirit went to work. Newcomer and Greene native Caleb Labrie got the puck the crease where his linemate Thomas Kuntz put the loose puck home at the 14:20 mark of the first period.

L/A was 1-for-2 on the power play while Long Beach was 1-for-5.

Dylan gave the Fighting Spirit the 2-1 lead with his 17th goal of the season, with Matt Siegel and JP Chauvin assisting on the marker 24 seconds into the second period. Felix Nyqvist stretched the lead to two goals as he blasted a shot past Sharks goalie Van Wagner.

Long Beach mounted a comeback when Lindberg found Vitolins going to the net for his 34 goal of the season. They tied the game up when Taffo was tripped up on a breakaway opportunity. He was awarded a penalty shot where he made Fighting Spirit goalie Michael Errico commit and had an open cage to shoot at for his 21st goal of the season at the 12:04 mark.

“On the penalty shot I questioned the ref because the player did get the shot off,” Robichaud said. “I thought it was a 50-50 chance he might have given him a penalty shot or a power play. I asked him and he said ‘(Taffo) wasn’t able to get a high enough of a qualty shot. He would have if he didn’t get tripped.’ That’s why he was given that. Obviously they capitalized. That one hurt because it tied the up, 3-3.”

Kuntz gave the Fighting Spirit the 4-3 lead as he beat Van Wagner in the slot with a snapshot with 3:46 left to play in the second period. Assists went to JP Chauvin and Nyqvist.

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