River Sharks Downed By Rockers 4-1

by Jon Kliment

Elmira, NY, -  The River Sharks played a back-to-back matchup for the first time this year against the Motor City Rockers. Elmira took the win on Friday night, but the Rockers looked strong on the First Arena ice.  


It didn’t take long for Motor City to start things off as Rocco DiCostanzo took a shot from outside inside the blue line just 1:14 into the first period for a 1-0 lead. The Rockers continued to pour on the pressure and despite being shorthanded late in the period Mike Winn was able to steal a puck and give Motor City a 2-0 lead at 14:41.  


The Rockers continued to pressure into the second frame as Declan Conway buried a third goal at 14:01. Elmira finally was able to burst through as Austin Pickford buried his first goal 1:37 seconds later amid a scrum right in front of the net. However, the momentum only lasted 2:10 before Scott Coash gave Motor City their 3 goal lead back.  


Spencer Kozlowski stopped 28 of 32 shots in the loss. 


The River Sharks are back in action at the First Arena on Saturday November 11th at 6:07pm. Get your tickets on Ticketmaster or by calling the box office at 607-734-PUCK.  

Rockers Earn a Weekend Split With Elmira Behind 4-1 Win

by Ben Szilagy

Elmira, NY - Motor City was able to salvage a weekend split, against the Elmira Sharks with a 4-1 win at First Arena on Saturday night. 

The Rockers jumped out to an early lead thanks to Rocco DiCostanzo’s second of the season 1:14 into the first period. 

Scott Coash moved the puck on a stretch pass into the neutral zone to Declan Conway. Conway slid the puck into the offensive zone and onto the stick of DiCostanzo who beat Spencer Kozlowski for a 1-0 lead. 

While Motor was killing a 5-on-3 with 6:29 to play in the second period, the Rockers added to its lead. As Elmira held the puck near the point, a giveaway created by Mike Winn spurred a breakaway that he put away for his first career short handed goal and a 2-0 lead. It was also his first career FPHL goal. 

The Rockers extended its lead in the second period thanks to two goals one by Conway and the other by Coash.

With six minutes left in the middle frame, Coash fed the puck to Pavel Svintsov on the nearside circle. Svintsov chipped it ahead to Conway who fired the puck with his backhand for a 3-0 lead for his first of the season. 

Elmira cut into the lead on a goal scored by Austin Pickford when he put away a rebound past an outstretched Ricky Gonzalez to make it a 3-1 game with 4:22 left in the second period. The Rockers added onto the lead when Danny Vanderwiel slid the puck to Coash deep in the defensive zone. Coash went coast-to-coast and scored his third goal of the season for a 4-1 lead with 2:13 to play in the second period. 

The Rockers didn’t add to its lead in the third period as Gonzalez stopped ten shots in the final frame. The 2nd year goaltender stopped 31 shots on the night in the win. 

Motor City will come back to Michigan for a home and home series with Port Huron beginning on Nov 10th on Military Night at Big Boy Arena. Then on Saturday Nov 11th the I-94 rivalry will head back up the freeway to Port Huron.


Big Second Period Spurs Thunderbirds to 4-1 Victory

Ford nets a pair while Cavaliere stops 27 shots in Opening Night win

by Brendan Reilly

Winston-Salem, NC - After trailing by a goal after 20 minutes in the 2023-24 Home Opener, the Carolina Thunderbirds used four unanswered goals to skate by the Blue Ridge Bobcats, 4-1, Saturday night at the Annex. 


Blue Ridge (1-4-1) quieted the sold-out crowd in Winston-Salem in the first period. Hunter Hall, who had the lone goal for Blue Ridge the night before, sneaked a wrist shot by Carolina (3-1-0) netminder Mario Cavaliere to take a 1-0 advantage. 


The visitors held the advantage at the first intermission, but after Bobcats goalie Christian Pavlas was called for a two-minute minor, the Thunderbirds started the second period on the man advantage. It didn’t take long for reigning FPHL MVP Gus Ford to make an impact. 


With the power play almost over, Roman Kraemer sent a pass across the crease where Ford was waiting for a tap-in goal to tie the game at one. Nearly 90 seconds later, captain Jon Buttitta took a deflected pass and gloved it down in the neutral zone to spur a breakaway where he deked out Pavlas giving the Thunderbirds the lead, and the lead for good, 2-1. 


With the home crowd back in it and steady pressure, Carolina returned to the power play and Ford again made the Bobcats pay. After a shot from the point was knocked down in front, the forward found it from the left dot and slotted home his second of the night, extending the lead to two, 3-1. 


After the second Ford goal, Carolina found one more at the 18:48 mark of the second period when Dominic Dumas snapped one past Pavlas for his first career professional goal. Assisting was Jordan Popoff who also picked up his first career point. 


With a three-goal lead, the Thunderbirds locked down Blue Ridge in the third and cruised to a 4-1 victory. 


With the two goals, Ford was named the 1st star of the game. Buttitta’s breakaway goal earned him the 2nd Star while Cavaliere was the 3rd star of the evening. 


The Thunderbirds swept the home-and-home set with Blue Ridge and came away with six points on the weekend. Carolina currently has nine points across four games and head to Binghamton next Friday for a two-game set with the Binghamton Black Bears. Puck drop on Friday is scheduled for 7 p.m.


Bobcats Drop Weekend Series Against Thunderbirds

by Brett Wiseman

Winston-Salem, NC -  Despite a valiant comeback effort in the third period, the Blue Ridge Bobcats fell to the Carolina Thunderbirds by a score of 4-1 for the second straight night.

Hunter Hall continued his hot offensive start to the season, muscling a tight angle shot through the five-hole of Carolina goaltender Mario Cavaliere at the 8;55 mark of the opening frame. Hall's fifth goal of the season, with assists from Josh Newberg and Dominic Matonach gave the Bobcats a 1-0 lead that they carried into the second period.

Blue Ridge was mired by penalties in the second period, giving up a pair of power play goals to reigning league MVP Gus Ford. Jon Buttitta and Dominic Dumas added the other two middle frame markers for the Thunderbirds.

Connor Green came in net in relief of Christian Pavlas, who had stopped 26 of 30 Carolina shots through the first 40 minutes. Green was spectacular, stopping all 9 shots he faced with the majority being on high-danger scoring chances.

Green kept the Bobcats in the game, and Blue Ridge generated a wealth of scoring chances in the third but could not get the puck to bounce in their favor.

The Bobcats return home to the Apex Center next weekend for a two game tilt with the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Friday night's game begins at 7:30, and tickets are available at



by Doug Lattuca

Danbury, CT - The Hat Tricks struggled to find their offensive groove in a 4-2 loss to Binghamton Saturday night. The Black Bears netted three goals in 2:14 span during the second period to grow a 3-0 lead.

Both teams felt each other out in the first 20 minutes of the game with the Black Bears outshooting the Hat Tricks 10-4. Both goalies, Conor McCollum for the Hat Tricks and Sam LiVecchi for Binghamton, stood tall against the limited action they faced to keep it scoreless.

It wasn’t until the second period when things started to amp up. The chaos began when Binghamton buried three unanswered goals in a 2:14 stretch to pull ahead. First, forward Nikita Ivashkin opened the scoring at 12:46, assisted by forward Brenden Stanko and defenseman Mathieu Boislar. Just over a minute later, Binghamton’s leading point-getter Brenden Stanko extended the lead to 2-0 at 14:12. Stanko has goals in three consecutive goals and eleven points during that stretch. Binghamton’s second-leading scorer Connor Smith further widened the gap to three at 15:00 on a breakaway.

Following the three-goal onslaught from the Black Bears, the discipline from both sides went out the window. Defenseman Daniel Amesbury (aggressor), forward Mac Lewis (third man in), and Binghamton head coach Brant Sherwood (abuse of officials) were all ejected from the game.

In the final frame, Danbury was granted two five-on-three power plays with a chance to mount a comeback. At 11:40 the Hat Tricks got on the board on the man advantage. Off the faceoff forward Sam Dabrowksi snapped his fourth goal in as many games and his second on the power play under the bar to get the Hat Tricks within two. Forward Nick DiNicola found the back of the net with 1.2 seconds left in game, but it was too little too late.

The Hat Tricks fall to 3-5-0 and 3-2-0 on home ice while the Black Bears improve to 5-0-2 with a league-leading 17 points. Binghamton leads the season series over Danbury 2-1.

The Hat Tricks travel to Elmira next Saturday to face the River Sharks for the first time this season.