Game Recaps 1/7/23


Black Bears Comeback Falls Short

by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY.- The Port Huron Prowlers were able to defeat the Binghamton Black Bears by a final score of 6-5 on Saturday night. Port Huron’s big lead in the first period proved to be the difference maker as Binghamton’s comeback efforts fell one game short.

Much like last night, a team took control of the game in the first period. On Saturday, it was Port Huron jumping out to a 4-0 before the halfway point of the period. Alex Johnson, Dalton Jay, Sam Gagnon, and Evan Foley each scored and chased starting goaltender Jeremie Forget out the game in his professional debut. Binghamton would get on the board with a powerplay goal from Tyler Gjurich, but it would be answered right away by Larri Vartiainen pushing the lead back up to four.

In the final minutes of the period, Gavin Yates tallied his seventh of the season to cut the deficit down to three. After the first period it was the visitors from Michigan, who held a 5-3 advantage.

The Black Bears woke up in the second period. Scoring the only three goals in the frame. Mathieu Boislard scored on a wrist shot from the point. Gjurich knabbed his second of the night in the crease and Nikita Ivashkin tied the game at 5-5 on a breakaway. At the moment, Binghamton had climbed the mountain all the back from down 0-4 to 5-5. The crowd was back in the game after 40, all square just like the game started.

In the third, teams traded chances back and forth, but Rodrigue and McVeigh stood tall for most of the period. With 11 minutes left, the Black Bears were headed to the power play trying to grab their first lead of the game.

Port Huron had different plans…

A costly turnover at the blue line allowed Dan Chartrand a short-handed breakaway that would end up being the difference maker. The first goal for Port Huron since the first period. The Prowlers spilt the weekend, one game apiece, and the season series evens at 2-2.

Gjurich extends his point streak to 50 games, dating back to last season. Gjurich and the Black Bears will return to face the Watertown Wolves in a home-and-home series next Friday and Saturday. Rivarly night will take place inside Vision’s Veterans Memorial Arena at 7:00p.m. on Saturday. Fans can purchase tickets online at


Watertown Sweeps the Battle of the Wolves

by Jeff Barrett

Watertown, NY.- Game number two of the weekend between the visiting Mississippi Sea Wolves and the Watertown Wolves started much differently than Friday nights affair with Mississippi breaking their weekend scoring drought at just 1:44 of the opening period on a Phillip Wong goal, assisted by Mason Cirone and Yanni Liarakos to give the Sea Wolves the early lead.

At the 16:31 mark, Elijah Wilson did a little fancy footwork to split the Mississippi defense and drag the puck from right to left and lift a back hand over the blocker of Joe Sheppard knotting the game at one goal a piece. The final minutes of the period would find Sheppard and Wolves starter Travis Smith both making outstanding save to keep the game 1 -1 after 20 minutes. Watertown outshot Mississippi 14 to 10 in the frame.
Period number two would turn out to be a goaltender battle with Sheppard and Smith seeing their share of tough shots , but both were more than up to the challenge, entertaining the crowd with some spectacular saves. The Wolves broke the scoring barrier at 19:41 when Elijah Wilson lifted a shot from the left faceoff circle over the shoulder of Sheppard, to give Watertown their first lead of the game, and his second goal of the night.

 Watertown outshot Mississippi 20 to 11 in the second, and would take a 2-1 lead to the locker room.

Justin Laporte would even the score at 2 each just 4:17 into the third taking a feed from the right side and beating Smith to the left pipe, assisted by Phillip Wong and Yanni Liarakos. Just over a minute later at 5:45 the Wolves would regain the lead when Trevor Lord slid home a pass from Nick Papandrea on an even strength effort. Watertown added an insurance goal at 13:46 of the period when Chase DiBari took
a pass to the right side, beating the defense and going one on one with Sheppard, and was able to send one passed Sheppard to lengthen the lead to 4-2. Assisting on the play was Kolt Maguire and Charlie Pens.
The win gives the Wolves the weekend sweep of the Sea Wolves. Watertown outshot Mississippi 42 to 35 for the game. Mississippi was 1 for 6 on power play efforts, while Watertown went 1 for 7. 

The Wolves will be back home on Friday the 13th to host the Binghamton Black Bears. Mississippi wil be home next weekend for a two game set, playing host to the Danbury Hat Tricks.

Sea Wolves Doubled Up 4-2 by Watertown

by Nick Roesch

Watertown, NY - The Mississippi Sea Wolves tied the game twice on Saturday night but were eventually dropped by the Watertown Wolves 4-2 at the Watertown Municipal Arena.

After Mississippi was shut out yesterday, Philip Wong capitalized on a power play and scored the Sea Wolves’ first goal of the weekend just 1:44 into the game on a rink-wide pass from Mason Cirone.

Watertown tied the game 1-1 late in the first period on an individual effort from Elijah Wilson (16:31). He would come back to score the only goal of the second stanza, once again unassisted with 19 seconds to go.

Justin LaPorte netted his first goal in a Sea Wolves jersey at 4:17 of the third period to tie the matchup at 2-2. Yianni Liarakos was credited with assists on both Mississippi goals.

Watertown was able to buckle down offensively and finish strong with a pair of goals from Trevor Lord (5:45) and Chase DiBari (13:46).

The 4-2 final score saw Joe Sheppard in net for the Sea Wolves, who faced 45 Watertown shots in his second Sea Wolves appearance. Watertown netminder Travis Smith clinched back-toback wins between the pipes after stopping 30 of 32 shots faced.

The Sea Wolves return home this Friday, January 13 when they welcome the Danbury Hat Tricks to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. Puck drop is set for 7:05pm and tickets can be purchased through the Coliseum box office or online at 



Breandan Colgan Scoreless Streak Now At 256:01

by Tom Callahan

Columbus, GA.- Breandan Colgan continues to turn aside every shot faced, extending his FPHL-record shutout streak to 256:01 with his fourth consecutive shutout in a 4-0 win over the Motor City Rockers on Saturday night.

With his 31-save performance, Colgan also tied the league record for shutouts in a season with five.

Captain Josh Pietrantonio led the way offensively with three assists, while Alexander Jmaeff and Jay Croop each chipped in a goal and an assist. Cody Rodgers and Austin Daae rounded out the scoring for the River Dragons.

Notes: - Colgan also remains the only goaltender undefeated in regulation this season, pushing his record to 12-0-1 with the win.

- Columbus is now on a nine-game winning streak and also remains unbeaten in regulation at home with a 12-0-1 mark.

- Jmaeff now has points in six straight games (7-4-11).

- Columbus improved to 11-1-0 when scoring a power play goal.

Columbus is back in action this weekend at the Carolina Thunderbirds Friday and Saturday before returning home to face the Thunderbirds Friday, January 20th and Saturday, January 21st. Tickets are on sale now through the Columbus Civic Center Box Office and online at


Jesseau Sinks Thunderbirds in Dramatic 3-2 Win

by Chris Lynch

Danbury, CT. - Friday night saw the Carolina Thunderbirds deal the Danbury Hat Tricks their first loss on home ice of the season. The Hat Tricks took the loss to heart and rebounded for one of the most electric performances of the season, knocking out the Thunderbirds in dramatic style. 

Jonny Ruiz landed the only goal of the first period, potting a pinballing puck off his backhand at the 11:25 mark of the frame. 

Neither team took a penalty for the duration of the first period. Then Carolina took three penalties in the second period. The first two Hat Tricks power plays went by with out incident, then the third resulted in Jonny Ruiz’ second goal of the night at 19:18 of the second. They needed that goal as at the 16:37 point of the second, John Buttita punched in a goal to take tie the score before Ruiz restored the home team’s lead. 

The third period brought the energy to a fever pitch. Gus Ford opened proceedings with a nifty solo drive for a goal to tie the score at 2-2 only 50 seconds in. The teams traded punches, penalties, shots, and near goals. All this built on a screaming match held between the benches before the second intermission, saw Jacob Schnapp assessed a 10 Minute misconduct, and built into a spectacular finish in the final minute of regulation. 

Frankie McClendon stopped 19 shots on the game, and stopped a flurry of shots in the final minute, aided by the Thunderbirds hitting multiple posts. Dustin Jesseau then cleared the zone and finished off a beautiful solo drive to put the Hat Tricks in the lead for good with 41 seconds left, sending the packed Danbury Arena into a frenzy. 

Danbury completed the 3-2 victory to improve to 21-2-2 on the season with the win. 

Jesseau’s goal extended his goal streak to four straight games and his point streak to ten straight games. 

Carolina drops to 16-7-1. 

Mario Cavaliere stopped 26 of 29 shots faced. 

The Thunderbirds return home for a two-game home series against the league leading Columbus River Dragons.

Danbury hits the road next weekend, heading to Biloxi for a two game series against the Mississippi Sea Wolves. 

Hat Tricks Snap Thunderbirds Six Game Winning Streak

by Brett Wiseman

Danbury, CT - The Carolina Thunderbirds six game win streak came to an end Saturday night. Dustin Jessau's hat trick gave the Danbury Hat Tricks a 3-2 win in front of a raucous, rowdy and vocal crowd inside Danbury Arena.

Mario Cavaliere was stalwart in net again, stopping 27 of 30 shots. Dustin Jessau scored all three goals, including the game winner on a breakaway with 41 seconds remaining. 

John Buttitta opened the scoring for Carolina, popping a loose puck home over Frankie McClendon after Josh Koepplinger was tied up with a defender in front of the net. 

Gus Ford tied the game at 2 in the third before Jesseau's game winning goal in the final minute.

Carolina heads home for a Friday the 13th home tilt with the Continental Division leading and archrival Columbus River Dragons. It will be the first of four consecutive meetings between them.