The Freedom Irish erased a two-goal deficit on the road, but the Seymour Thunder battled back to take the 3-2 victory.
Scoring started early for Seymour, who got a goal from Rhett Dreisen in the 12th minute that came off an assist from Keven Sosa-Lassila. Dreisen would tally another goal in the 23rd minute.
The Irish wouldn’t go quietly.
Luke Pingle netted a header off a corner before the halftime whistle. Freedom would level the score on a penalty kick by Brandon Joly in the 58th minute.
“There were some moments, some heated play out there a little bit,” said Seymour coach Todd Messner.
The game got chippy but the Thunder prevailed with a go-ahead goal from Sosa-Lassila, this time on an assist from Dreisen.
Freedom had a couple of good looks late in the game, but the Thunder defense managed to hold on.
“For [Freedom] to battle back and get that shot on us, that would’ve been a little heartbreaking for us if we would’ve ended up tying this game, so I’m glad we pulled it out,” Messner said of the late defensive surge.
Messner added that it’s always good to get the first win of the season, especially against a team like Freedom.
“When we play Freedom, Freedom treats it like a big rivalry and I think maybe some of our guys overlook it,” he said. “These guys know that they have to be ready when they play Freedom because they’re going to sell out and play with a lot of heart against us being so close to each other.”
Seymour’s Evan Schluenz made eight saves in the net, while Freedom’s Gavin Bassette made five.