GAME RECAPS 10/28/23


Motor City Rockers Earn Weekend Split With 4-3 Win Over Bobcats

by Ben Szilagy

Fraser, MI -  The Motor City Rockers earned a split of weekend series at Big Boy Arena against the Blue Ridge Bobcats with a 4-3 win on Saturday night. 

The Bobcats jumped out to an early lead, 1-0, in the first period thanks to a goal by former Rocker Cody Oakes who beat Trevor Babin through the five-hole for his third goal of the season 6:33 into the first.

The Rockers Captain Danny Vanderwiel knotted the score at 1-1 two and a half minutes later with his first of the season when he followed up a blocked shot and beat Christian Pavlas over his shoulder on the stick side.

The back and forth continued when Kolton Maguire fired a hard shot from the point with 6:20 left in the open frame that was deflected in front by Hunter Hall for his third of the season for a 2-1 lead before the Rockers answered late in the first period. 

With 13.1 left in the opening frame, Declan Conway earned his first point of the year when he feathered the puck across the slot to Derek Makimaa who fired his first of the season to tie the score back up at 2-2. 

Blue Ridge earned a controversial goal in the second period when Chris Ciolek ran into Babin causing him to not be able to play the puck, and scored while the net was off its mooring for a 3-2 lead. 

The Rockers were held scoreless for over 25-minutes of play between the first and third periods before Motor City tied the score off the stick of Dante Suffredini. 

With 12:31 left in the third period, Pavel Svintsov slid the puck from the far side to the point to Suffredini. From there, the defenseman from Shelby Township, MI fired a shot through a crowd that found the back of the net for a 3-3 tie. 

Vanderwiel later earned the game winner when he picked up a rebound from behind the net and took a chance at a wrap-around as Pavlas was rising to his feet. As he did, the goaltender knocked the net off the moorings as Vanderwiel put the puck in for his second of the night and a 4-3 lead with 1:31 to play.

The Rockers have earned a point in every game its played this season, and will travel to Elmira, NY to face the River Sharks next weekend on Nov 3rd and 4th before coming home for a home-and-home series with Port Huron the weekend of the 10th and 11th. 


Hat Tricks Top Carolina 2-1 Saturday Night, Split Weekend Series

by Doug Lattuca

Danbury, CT -  The Hat Tricks bested Carolina 2-1 in the second game of the weekend series Saturday night to avoid a three-game losing streak and improve to 3-3. Defenseman Daniel Amesbury wacked home the game-winning goal at 13:31 of the second period to push the Hat Tricks to 3-1 on home ice.


The first period saw no goals but was not without action. With 30 seconds on the clock, Amesbury dropped the gloves with defenseman Joseph Kennedy of the Thunderbirds to ignite the crowd and close out the opening 20 minutes.


In the second period, the Hat Tricks struck first at 7:47 when forward Brandon Stojcevski one-timed an elevated pass from defenseman Jarod Yau into the back of the net. The Hat Tricks weren't done there. At 13:31, Amesbury stuffed home a rebound during a net mouth scramble to extend the lead to two.


Carolina responded in the third frame though when d-man Kennedy tucked a snapshot under the bar to pull the Thunderbirds within one at 10:10.


Unlike Friday night in which the Hat Tricks surrendered three unanswered goals in the third to fall 4-2, Danbury held on to secure a 2-1 victory thanks in large part to goalie Conor McCollum who stopped 34 of 35 Carolina shots in his third professional start for the Hat Tricks. McCollum is 2-1 and leads the FPHL with a goals against average of 1.98.


The Hat Tricks play next in Watertown on Friday night before returning home to battle Binghamton on Saturday.



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI -  It took overtime but the Port Huron Prowlers took down the Mississippi Sea Wolves 5-4 on McMorran Place on Oct. 28. Vincent Dekumbis was the OT hero with his first goal of the season.

“[Dekumbis] put in a lot of work over the summer, as you can tell,” said Prowlers head coach Matt Graham. “He was our best player throughout camp. He’s a full 200-foot player which is what I love about him. He’s a catalyst for us.”

The Prowlers opened the scoring in the first when Brandon Picard beat Joseph Sheppard to the glove side with a wrist shot on the rush. Braden Deck doubled the advantage when he sent a shot from the point that found the twine right off the faceoff for his first professional goal.

Sam Marit made it 3-0, banging home a loose puck in front of the net on the power play. Just like the night before, Mississippi battled back. Kyle Russell got the Sea Wolves on the board and then Jackson Bond scored shorthanded less than two minutes later. Joakim Nilsson tied the game with under two minutes to go in the period.

“As the game goes on, guys start searching for a little more offense,” Graham said. “You get a lead, they start to smell blood and they want to score more so we start to lose sight of those defensive habits.”

Chuck Costello gave Mississippi its first lead of the game early in the third and the Prowlers were in danger of falling to their Biloxi rivals for the first time. With seven minutes left in the third, it all broke loose. Deck and Hugo Koch got tangled up on the boards, leading to whistles and penalties, and then Joe Pace came flying in to grab and punch Dekumbis. Koch and Deck got matching minor penalties with Koch also picking up an extra two. Pace got five for fighting, two for instigating and was kicked out of the game. That led to Port Huron being on the man-advantage for nearly the entire rest of regulation.

The Prowlers were still down 4-3 in the final minute when Connor Lind took an unsportsmanlike penalty and, with the goalie pulled, Port Huron was on a six-on-three advantage. Graham found Tristan Simm back door with 14 seconds to go to tie the game at four.

In overtime, the Prowlers were still up a man, four-on-three, when the puck sat in the blue paint before it was banged home by Dekumbis. He was named the first star of the game.

“I saw the puck was loose and the goalie wasn’t covering it,” Dekumbis said. “I just hammered it and it went in.”

The Prowlers pulled out the victory behind three assists from Graham, the game’s third star. Austin Fetterly had two helpers. Makar Sokolov picked up the victory in his first career start after making 33 saves.

Yianni Liarakos and Philip Wong had two assists apiece for the Sea Wolves. Liam Murray officially gets the loss after he came in for Sheppard late in the first and again in the second period. He gave up three goals on 33 shots.

The Prowlers get a week off before a home-and-home with the Motor City Rockers on Nov. 10 and 11.


Wolves Come Up Short 

by Jeff Barrett

Watertown, NY -  Game number 2 of a home and home series between the Watertown Wolves and the Binghamton Black Bears had both teams travelling up Rt 81 in New Your State to the Watertown Municipal Arena.

The Black Bears were the first to light the lamp at the 4:44 mark as Nikita Ivashkin took advantage of a rebound off Watertown keeper Travis Ridgen, and put the Bears up 1-0.

Brendan Stanko extended the Bears lead following up his own shot on goal, and hit Ridgen's foot off the rebound to make the score 2-0 at 14:39 of the period.

The Wolves would cut into the lead when Tate Leeson was able to continue his scoring ways with a nasty wrist shot from 15 feet out and beat the Black Bears netminder Nolan Egbert at the 18:42 mark for a power play goal.

The period ended with Black Bears out shooting the Wolves 14 to 11, and Binghamton holding onto the 2-1 lead.

As they've done all season, the Wolves would battle back after falling behind early, to tie the score on a Chase DiBari goal at the 7:55 mark, assisted by Trevor Lord and Vladislav Pavlov, knotting the game at 2 a piece.

The Black Bears jumped back into the lead when three white jerseys got behind the Watertown defense, and Austin Thompson would be the benefactor of some tic tac toe passing from Thomas Wray and Tyson Kirkby, netting the goal at the 15:14 of the period. 

Binghamton would take the 3-2 lead to the locker room after 40 minutes of play. The Black Bears continued to out shoot the Wolves, 15 to 11 in the period.

At 2:27 of period 3, the Black Bears would extend their lead when JT Walters knifed a shot past Wolves keeper Josh Rosenzweig, giving the Black Bears a 4-2 lead.

At the 8:44 mark, once again the Wolves battled back to get within a goal on a blast from Tate Leeson making the score 4-3. Assists on the goal belonged to Chase DiBari and Michael Mercurio, but that's as close as the Wolves would get.

Tyson Kirkby added an insurance goal for Bingham

ton at 15:13 of the period assisted by Jesse Anderson and Austin Thompson making it 5-3.

The Black Bears outshot Watertown 12 to 9 in the third making the totals for the game 4as they host 1 to 31.

Watertown will be back in action next Friday November 3rd , as they host the Danbury Hat Tricks for a 7:30 puck drop.

The Binghamton Black Bears will travel to Danbury, Ct to face the Hat Tricks on Saturday evening at 7:00


Baton Rouge Zydeco Hockey Closes Out Inaugural Series vs the River Dragons

by Lily Gayle

Baton Rouge, LA -  The Baton Rouge Zydeco against the River City Dragons in the inaugural game in the Raising Canes River Center in the last game of the first ever series in Baton Rouge. 

The first period showed improvement that the team desperately needed as they appeared the calmest they have all series. They were able to hold the River Dragons to only 12 shots with 3:12 left on the clock. Tensions was a little high on the ice in between players as the River Dragons controlled the game for the majority of the period but Zydeco was close behind them. The Dragons got their first goal within the first five minutes. The puck was driven in by Dragon, Cody Wickline with an assist by Justin McDonald. Their second goal of the period and power play goal came at the 15:14 mark, made by Austin Daae with an assist by Kyle Moore and Lane King. They continued to dominate the ice by answering their own goal with another point scored by Alexander Jmaeff and assists by Wickline. The first period ended 3-0 in the River Dragons’ favor. 

Second period started off with a shot by Forward Parker Moskal within the first minute. Zydeco were able to get more consecutive shots on goal with 10 shots. The Dragons continued to be dominant as a goal was scored by Jmaeff who was assisted by McDonald and Wickline. The second period ended with the score 4-0. 

The third period is where the drought ended as Brendan Hussey put in his first goal in five games. This brought up the momentum for Baton Rouge as Moskal answered with an assist from Austin Weber, cutting the score in half. But this is where the good luck would end as the Dragons’ defense once again was able to hold the Zydeco down to two and go 3-0 this weekend. 

The next game is November 3rd at 7 p.m. central vs. the Mississippi Sea Wolves at the Raising Canes River Center.


by Tom Callahan

Baton Rouge, LA - For the second straight night a member of the River Dragons hit the 300-point plateau in the Federal Prospects Hockey League as Columbus topped the Baton Rouge Zydeco 5-2 Saturday.

Austin Daae’s third goal of the season, a power play marker at 15:14 of the first period, put the forward into the exclusive 300-point club for his FPHL career. Just one night earlier Daae’s linemate Josh Pietrantonio accomplished the feat as well.

The goal made it 2-0 River Dragons and was followed just 1:03 later by Alexander Jmaeff’s first of two on the night to make it 3-0 after the first period and end the night for Zydeco starter Greg Harney.

Jmaeff scored again in the second to stretch the lead to 4-0.

The Zydeco did attempt a comeback in the third period, scoring twice to close the gap. But while the Zydeco had the goaltender pulled on a power play late in the game, Alex Storjohann scored into the empty net for the 5-2 final.

Cody Wickline recorded a goal and two assists while Justin MacDonald has a pair of assists in the win. Breandan Colgan made 29 saves for the win.

The River Dragons will return to Baton Rouge on Wednesday, November 8 for another three-in-three series against the Zydeco. Columbus will open the home schedule November 17 against the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Full season tickets are on sale now by calling (706) 507-4625 or online at