Kelly Scores Twice Including OT Game Winner

by Tom Callahan

Columbus, GA.- Jacob Kelly’s second goal of the night 1:19 into overtime helped the Columbus River Dragons end a three-game losing streak by a 6-5 score on Saturday night at the Columbus Civic Center.

Alex Storjohann fed the puck across to Kelly, whose first shot was stopped by Carolina Thunderbirds goaltender Boris Babik. But Kelly followed his own rebound and flipped the puck over the outstretched left pad of the sprawling goaltender for the game winner.

The goal capped a two goal, two assist performance for Kelly, who is now second in league scoring with 25 goals after Thunderbird Gus Ford recorded his league-leading 26th of the season in the game.

Columbus opened the scoring just 1:19 into the game with the first of two shorthanded goals in the period off the stick of Josh Labelle. 

After the River Dragons fell behind 2-1, they rounded out the first period with Kelly’s first goal of the night, a shorthanded effort just 0.3 second before the end of the first period.

Columbus built a 4-2 lead through two periods of play thanks to goals from Adam Vannelli and Jay Croop, but again the Thunderbirds stormed back in the third period to grab a 5-4 lead before River Dragons captain Josh Pietrantonio tied the game at 10:56 of the third period.

Ty Hunter earned his second professional win with 32 saves on the night.

Columbus will now host the Port Huron Prowlers next Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale now through the Columbus Civic Center Box Office and online at



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI - The Port Huron Prowlers won their second shootout of the season 2-1 over the Motor City Rockers on McMorran Place on Jan. 21. A season-high 2,014 fans packed the barn in Port Huron to witness the goaltending duel between Wyatt Hoflin and Trevor Babin.

An even first period only saw one goal. Tommy Cardinal finished an odd-man rush chance to give his team the lead late in the frame. It was his third goal of the series.

The Prowlers answered in the second period. Joe Deveny served a too-many-men-on-the-ice penalty and as soon as it was killed, he took a stretch pass from Dan Chartrand to go in all alone. He beat Babin with a quick shot to knot the score.

The goalies took over from there. Hoflin made 17 saves in the third and Babin made 18 to keep both teams off the board and send the game to overtime.

Liam Freeborn took a tripping penalty in the extra session but the Port Huron penalty kill held strong to kill it off. Both teams took five shots in overtime but neither found the twine.

Tim Perks opened the shootout with a goal on Hoflin. Dalton Jay answered to tie it in the third round. Chartrand scored in the fourth round to secure the win.

Hoflin finished as the first star with 41 saves through regulation and overtime. Chartrand was the third star with an assist and the shootout winner. The Prowlers tied the Battle of I-94 at six wins apiece.

Babin was named the game’s second star after a 40-save performance.

The Prowlers are back on the road next week against the Columbus River Dragons on Jan. 27 and 28. Puck drop is set for 7:30 P.M. both nights.



by Chris Lynch

Danbury, CT.- Saturday night promised a heavy-weight bought between the Empire Division’s leading teams. The Danbury Hat Tricks and Binghamton Black Bears obliged and lit up Danbury with an excellent performance and plenty to discuss after. 

Binghamton dictated the pace and rhythm of the game in the early going, landing two quick goals in the first period and a third late in the frame. Chad Lopez went first, driving up the wing and roofing a puck on Brian Wilson at the 3:34 mark of the first period. Austin Thompson followed shortly thereafter, notching the 2-0 goal at the 5:51 mark of the frame. 

Danbury upped the offense, peppering Binghamton goalkeeper Riley McVeigh with ten shots in the period, but were unable to crack him. In the last minute of the frame, Binghamton capitalized on a great offensive drive and potted a goal with 16 seconds left thanks to Josh Newberg’s efforts. Danbury argued a penalty on a hit shortly before at the opposite end of the rink was missed and that the goal shouldn’t count, but the officials ruled otherwise and Binghamton took a 3-0 lead into the intermission.

The Hat Trick chipped away at the lead, with Michael Falanga doing the scoring honors on a backhander 2:05 into the second period. Then in the third, Danbury potted two goals late in the frame to tie the game. Dustin Jesseau landed his team leading 22nd goal of the season with 4:16 left in regulation. Evan Lugo notched the equalizer with 2:26 remaining in regulation time and sent the game into overtime. 

This was the second OT period between Binghamton and Danbury this season, both held at the Danbury Arena. The first went to Danbury. Saturday night’s went to Binghamton but not without litigation. 

At the 2:29 mark of the overtime period, Jake Schultz wired a shot into the net. As he shot the puck, the net came dislodged. Initially, the officials ruled the play as no goal due to the dislodged net. The refs got together to discuss and consult the rulebook and after an elongated discussion and deliberation, much to the consternation of the assembled Danbury fans, the officials overruled their initial call and awarded the Black Bears with the goal and the overtime 4-3 victory. 

With the result, Danbury drops their first overtime game at home this season, falling to 22-3-4 on the season. They still gain a point from the game, improving to 65 points in the standings, still good for first place in the Empire Division and trailing only the Columbus River Dragons for first place in the FPHL. 

Brian Wilson stopped 23 of 27 shots faced. 

Binghamton improves to 20-7-2, moving to 60 points and increasing their lead over third place Elmira to 28 points. 

Riley McVeigh stopped 32 of 35 shots faced in the Black Bear net. 

The Hat Tricks and Black Bears reconvene for a matchup next weekend in Binghamton. Puck drops at 7PM at Visions Veterans Memorial Arena on Friday night. 


Yevdokimov Pushes Sea Wolves Past Thunder 

by Nick Roesch

Harrington, DE – The Mississippi Sea Wolves enjoyed their second weekend sweep in a row on Saturday night with a 6-4 victory over the Delaware Thunder at the Centre Ice Arena. 

Mississippi got off to a slow start after a Houston Wilson shot put the Thunder up 1-0 at 3:12 of play. Yianni Liarakos picked things up and went back-to-back to give the Sea Wolves a 2-1 edge after one period. 

Liarakos finalized a natural hat trick with his third unanswered strike seven minutes into the second period. Two minutes later, the Mississippi lead was pushed to 4-1 thanks to Jeff Eppright. 

From there, the Thunder brought the margin to one goal at 4-3 with Rasmus Asp and Olle Vennstrom combining goals. Asp’s power play tally was his second goal of the weekend against the Sea Wolves. 

With most of the third period passing through quietly, TJ Delaney put one past Mississippi goalie Ethan Taylor for a 4-4 tie at the 13:47 marker. Former Sea Wolf Eric Melso was credited with an assist. 

After the Sea Wolves continued to throw chances onto netminder Trevor Martin, they finally took the lead at 5-4 with Yaroslav Yevdokimov’s fifth goal of the weekend with 1:03 to spare in regulation. Jake Raleigh buried an empty net conversion for good measure in the final 30 seconds. 

The Sea Wolves continue their slate of road games next weekend against the Carolina Thunderbirds. The series begins this Friday, January 27 at 6:35pm CST inside the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex. 

Thunder Fall Again to Sea Wolves

by Delaware Staff

Harrington, DE -  The Delaware Thunder fell in a close game to the Mississippi Sea Wolves on Saturday night in the Thunderdome. The 

Thunder got on the board first. in period one with a powerplay goal by Houston Wilson. The Sea Wolves tied it up just over 3 minutes later on the first of 3 straight goals by Yianni Liarakos. His second gave Mississippi the lead with 6:10 left in the first period.

The second period scoring started with the third goal by Yianni Liarakos at 7:08 to give the Sea Wolves a 3-1 lead. Just 2 minutes later, MIssissippi took a commanding 4-1 lead on a powerplay goal by Jeff Eppright.

The Thunder started their comeback with 7:06 left in the second period on a powerplay goal by Rasmus Asp to cut the lead to 2. With just 27 seconds left in the second period Olle Vennstrom scored for Delaware to get within 1 goal.

TJ Delaney scored with 6:13 left in the game for Delaware to tie the score at 4., but with just over a minute to play Mississippi got the winning goal from Yaroslav Yevdokimov before a late empty net goal completed the scoring in a 6-4 Sea Wolves win.