Game Recaps 1/6/24


Black Bears Barrage 

by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY - - The Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Motor City Rockers 8-1 on Saturday night. Binghamton scored eight goals unanswered after allowing the first goal on the power play. 

Motor City earned the game’s first power play, and the league’s best went right to work. Josh Colten started the scoring with his fourth power play goal of the season, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead. It did not take long for the Black Bears to respond though, Nikita Ivashkin tied the game 50 seconds later by outwaiting the goaltender and shooting for the far-side. 

In his return to Binghamton, Jake Schultz scored with four minutes left in the period, giving Binghamton a lead going into the locker room. 

The second period is where the Black Bears took control of the game. Four different players scored in the middle frame, Kirkby, Logar, Smith, and Bohn extended the Black Bears lead to 6-1 after 40 minutes. 

The third period moved quickly, Schultz added another power play goal for Binghamton, their third of the night, and Smith grabbed his second of the night with a minute left on the clock. Binghamton wins 8-1, extending their home point streak to 21 games dating back to last season. 

Binghamton Unplugs Rockers With 8-1 Win

by Ben Szilagy

Binghamton, NY -  The Rockers could not slow down the high octane offense of the Binghamton Black Bears on Saturday night as Motor City dropped the first meeting between the top two teams in the Empire Division 8-1. 

The Rockers jumped out to an early lead thanks to its power play.

Pavel Svintsov moved the puck to Adam Kuhn in the neutral zone as he avoided a collision. Kuhn knifed his way to the far side circle and hit Josh Colten in the slot where the Rockers’ defensemen flicked the puck for a 1-0 lead with 18:20 to play in the opening period. 

It was the only time Motor City scored on the night as it was outshot 64-to-22 by the Black Bears.  

Binghamton tied the score, 1-1, a minute later with a goal immediately after an ensuing face-off in the offensive zone. Josh Fletcher won the draw to Nikita Ivashkin who worked his way into the slot, deked, and fired the tying goal to the upper right corner with 17:27 left in the first period. 

A drop off pass from Tom Wray to Jake Schultz along the near side circle allowed Schultz to step in and fire the puck to the top shelf for a 2-1 lead that Binghamton wouldn’t surrender. 

The Black Bears netted four goals in the second period, two even strength and two on the power play that extended its lead to 6-1 by the end of 40 minutes. 

Dakota Bohn and Andrew Logar recorded the power play goals while Tyson Kirkby and Andrew Logar scored when it was even strength for Binghamton. 

Schultz and Smith added their second goals of the night in the third period for an 8-1 lead.

Motor City will look to rebound after this New York road trip as the Rockers will head to Wytheville, VA to take on the Blue Ridge Bobcats next weekend in their only meeting in the Old Dominion state this season. 


Wolves Lose to Hat Tricks, 5-3

by Jeff Barrett

Watertown, NY - The seventh meeting between the Watertown Wolves and the Danbury Hat Tricks moved to the Watertown Municipal Arena on Saturday evening. The three previous games split evenly between the two teams. The Hat Tricks were coming after a short trip up from Elmira, while the Wolves were home for a second night in a row.

The Hat Tricks' leading goal scorer, captain Johnny Ruiz would continue his scoring ways lighting the lamp at the 11:42 mark of the first, as he knifed a shot from the top of the left circle to beat Wolves' starter Josh Rosenzweig giving Danbury the 1-0 lead. Assists on the goal belonged to Daniel McKittrick and Jacob Ratcliffe.

At 15:21 of the frame, Bohdan Zinchenko extended the Hat Tricks lead to 2-0 taking a pass in front from Connor Wooley and Brandon Stojcevski, and able to get a couple of pokes at the puck in the blue ice before sliding it five hole on Rosensweig.

Just 1:02 later Chiwetin Blacksmith would cut into the lead, beating the Hat Tricks starter Connor McCollum over the shoulder on a feed from behind by Lincoln Gingerich giving the Wolves their first of the night. The second assist would go to Mike Mercurio.

Period number one ended 2-1 in favor of Danbury. Shots on goal were identical at 14 each.

It wouldn't take long for the Hat Tricks to extend their lead once again in the second, as Corey Cunningham found the back of the goal just :15 seconds into the frame, lifting a shot over the outstretched leg of Rosenzweig. Assists would go to Jacob Ratcliffe and Xavier Abdella, making the core 3-1.

At 3:59 of the frame, Jarod Yau increased the Hat Tricks lead to 4-1, and ending Rosemzweigs's night. Corey Cunningham and Johnny Ruiz would be credited with the helpers on the goal.

The Wolves got some life back at the 9:29 mark when Vladislav Pavlov lifted a shot past McCollum, assisted by Dakota Seaman and Trevor Lord, cutting the score to 4-2. into the third and the Wolves would get to within one on Danbury, outshot Watertown 15 to 12 in the period, and held the 4-2 lead at the break.

Watertown's Aleksandr Gamzatov got the Wolves back within one at the 4:58 point of period number 3 taking a pass from Blacksmith and Mercurio, before beating McCollum to get the game to 4-3.

The Wolves would continue to attack in the third, but McCollum was up to the challenge denying each opportunity. The Wolves pulled Spencer Kozlowski at 17:31 in favor of the extra skater, and the Wolves would get several chances , before Danbury's Corey Cunningham sent a rebound three quarters the length of the ice to the back of the net, essentially ending the game at 5-3. Goalkeeper Connor McCollum and Jacob Ratcliffe were credited with assists.

The Wolves travel to Port Huron, MI next Friday at 7:05, Saturday at 6:05, and Sunday at 3:05 for a three game set. Danbury will head home to host the Empire Division leading Binghamton Black Bears on Friday at 7:30 and Saturday at 7:30. 


MacDonald has another Historical Night

by Tom Callahan

Columbus, GA - Justin MacDonald once again hit a historical milestone in his career, notching his 600th professional point as part of a two goal, two assist performance to lead the Columbus River Dragons past the Blue Ridge Bobcats 7-0 on Saturday night.

After opening the scoring just 55 seconds into the game with his 13th goal of the season, MacDonald assisted on Josh Pietrantonio’s power play at 18:23 of the first period to reach 600 points in his pro career. The previous evening MacDonald registered his 300th FPHL point.

Alexander Jmaeff, Carson Andreoli, Ryan Hunter and Hunter Bersani also scored for Columbus in the game, which reached the seven-goal mark for the second time this season.

Talor Joseph stopped 31 shots for the win and his first professional shutout. 


  • Jmaeff’s goal was his team-leading 21st of the season.
  • MacDonald now has a 12-game scoring streak in progress, notching 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points in that stretch.
  • MacDonald also has a nine-game assist streak in progress and has recorded four consecutive multi-point contests.
  • Both of Columbus’ shutouts this season have come against Blue Ridge.

The River Dragons will host the Elmira River Sharks next Friday and Saturday night. Tickets for all remaining home games are on sale now through the Civic Center Box Office or online through


by Brett Wiseman

Columbus, GA - The Blue Ridge Bobcats again gave a solid effort but were bitten repeatedly by classic Columbus Civic Center puck bounces in a 7-0 defeat at the hands of the River Dragons.

Connor Green did all he could and more in goal for the Bobcats, stopping 39 of the 46 shots he faced.

Andrei Ivanov provided a spark when he dropped the gloves with Nathan Balkwill late in the second period. The two engaged in a lengthy, heavyweight bout that ended even.

The Bobcats wrap up the weekend in Biloxi, MS tomorrow evening against the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Puck drop is set for 5:05 ET (4:05 CT) with pregame coverage on BobcatsTV on YouTube set to begin at 4:45 ET (3:45 CT).


Carolina Sweeps Season Series against Port Huron, Win 9-5

Buttitta nets hat trick, Baker tallies four point

by Brendan Reilly

Winston-Salem, NC - Following a 2-1 overtime victory a night ago, the Carolina Thunderbirds went wire-to-wire, defeating the Port Huron Prowlers, 9-5, Saturday evening at the Annex in front of a sold-out crowd.


Carolina (19-5-0) struck early and often netting three goals in the first eight minutes. Petr Panacek scored first at the 4:44 mark of the 1st before Gus Ford and Jon Buttitta scored two goals in less than 30 seconds giving the Thunderbirds an early 3-0 advantage. 


The Thunderbirds held the advantage going into the second, but Port Huron (10-11-4) answered with Mitch Jones blasting a slap shot past Frankie McClendon making it 3-1. Carolina answered quickly with his second goal of the night at the 3:48 mark in the 2nd period building the lead back to three, 4-1. Buttitta got his second on the evening at the 5:59 mark of the second outlasting Ian Wallace putting Carolina up 5-1. Jones scored his second of the night nearly 10 minutes later before Jiri Pestuka gave the Thunderbirds a four-goal advantage again on the power play, sending the Thunderbirds in front, 6-2, heading to the 3rd period.


In the 3rd period, both teams traded early goals before Port Huron crept back into the contest with Liam Freeborn beating McClendon at the 10:58 mark of the 3rd, making it 7-4. Buttitta nearly put the finishing touches on Port Huron recording the hat trick at the 13:01 mark in the 3rd, making it 8-4. Jones got his hat trick at the 17:17 mark before Dawson Baker’s empty netter secured the three points for Carolina as the Thunderbirds defeated the Prowlers, 9-5. 


Buttitta was named 1st star with the hat trick while Ford earned 2nd star honors. Baker, with four points, was given 3rd star.


Carolina finished off the season sweep of the Prowlers with the win tonight, taking the season series, 6-0. 


The Thunderbirds return to action on Thursday evening at home at the Annex hosting the Blue Ridge Bobcats. Puck drop is set for 7:35 p.m. from the Annex. 



Mississippi scores three in third to erase defecit, Zydeco score with two seconds left to win

by Javik Blake

Biloxi, MS -  The Mississippi Sea Wolves (9-2-1-14) used three third-period goals in the first seven minutes to erase a three-goal deficit, but the Baton Rouge Zydeco (6-1-2-15) scored with two seconds remaining to hang on in a 6-5 Sea Wolves loss at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum on Saturday night. Hugo Koch tied his season-high with four points for the Sea Wolves, while Philip Wong tallied three in the loss.


The Zydeco struck first for the second straight night after Don Carter Jr. scored less than two minutes in. The Sea Wolves battled back with two unanswered from Philip Wong and Sam Turner, ending the first period with a 2-1 lead.


In the second, Carter Jr. struck again with his second of the night, tying the game at two. After a game misconduct and a five-minute power play for Baton Rouge, Scott Shorrock, Brice French and Jake Cox all tallied power play goals, giving the Zydeco a 5-2 lead after two.


The Sea Wolves struck early in the third, with a goal from Dmitry Kuznetsov just over a minute in. Koch netted the second of the period less than three minutes later, and Matt Stoia tied the game at five on the power play three minutes later. With two seconds to go, Kyle Stevens scored after the Zydeco killed off two penalties, giving Baton Rouge a 6-5 win.


The Sea Wolves tallied 51 shots on the night, including 24 in the third period. The teams also combined for 67 penalty minutes.


The Sea Wolves conclude their stretch of five games in six days on Sunday at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum against the Blue Ridge Bobcats. Puck drop is scheduled for 4:05 p.m.