GAME RECAPS 11/10/23


Black Bears Fall in Shootout

by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY, - The Binghamton Black Bears fell in the shootout on Friday night by a final score of 5-4. Binghamton scored twice in the final four minutes to force overtime and remain unbeaten in regulation time. 

Carolina was able to score first on Friday night. Dawson Baker made the most of a broken play in the Black Bears zone, silencing the capacity crowd early. Binghamton failed to convert on their first man-advantage, and Carolina did the same on their second. The Black Bears took back-to-back penalties and Roman Kraemer extended the Thunderbirds lead to 2-0. Dustin Jesseau led a final push in the period for the Black Bears, but Mario Cavaliere made the saves to keep the two-goal cushion heading into the locker room. 

Binghamton received the message during the break and came on firing in the middle period. Tyson Kirkby scored to take the donut off the board, and Nikita Ivashkin would follow the captain up and tie the game at 2-2. Carolina allowed a power play goal for the first time this season. The Thunderbirds did rally late in the period, killing off another power play, Jacob Schnapp was able to score with six seconds left to put Carolina back on top 3-2. 

The third period saw the first 10 minutes of period play out as if both teams were afraid of making a mistake. Carolina reclaimed a two-goal lead as Schnapp scored with under five minutes remaining. 

Binghamton received a power play late, and with the goalie pulled, Gavin Yates scored his first of the season, giving the Black Bears hope. 

An inch turned into a mile, as Connor Smith scored with the net empty again. This time it was the Black Bears scoring in the dying seconds, tying the game at 4-4. 

Overtime ensued and neither team was able to score. The action did not stop for four minutes and 30 seconds. Nothing came of it, so the teams entered the shootout. Reigning-MVP, Gus, Ford was the only player to score in the contest, and Carolina skated away with the extra point, Thunderbirds win 5-4. 



by Brett Wiseman

Wytheville, VA, - On Veteran's Appreciation Night at the Apex Center, the Blue Ridge Bobcats hosted the Mississippi Sea Wolves for the third time already this season. Much like the first two meetings, it was high scoring and high intensity throughout. 

After an early blitz of Sea Wolves shots on Blue Ridge goaltender Connor Green, newcomer Justin Daly found captain Kyle Stevens all alone on the doorstep. The Massachusetts native didn't miss on the golden opportunity and perfect saucer pass from the rookie, potting the chance home at the 6:20 mark of the opening frame to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.

Just one minute and 37 seconds later, Yianni Liarakos answered for the Sea Wolves with a power play goal to tie the game at 1. The contest remained knotted up through the rest of the first period and through the first five and a half minutes of the second period. Mississippi moved ahead on a goal from Hugo Koch at 5:31 of the second to take a 2-1 lead. 

Daly hopped on his own rebound after a feed from Stevens, netting his first goal in his first game as a Bobcat to tie the game again at 2 just a minute and 7 seconds after Koch put the Sea Wolves ahead. 

Joakim Nilsson scored his first of three goals in the waning moments of the second period on the power play to put Mississippi ahead 3-2 after 40 minutes.

Zach Taturn answered with his first goal of the campaign 2:45 into the final frame to tie the game again at 3, but the Sea Wolves followed with three unanswered to close out a 6-3 win.

The Bobcats rallied late with a massive flurry of shots in the final minutes, and outshot Mississippi 50-49 in the game overall. The two teams will tangle once again on Saturday night, with puck drop slated for 7:00 at the Apex Center.


Motor City Rockers Roll To 7-1 Win Over Port Huron

by Ben Szilagy

Fraser, MI, - The Motor City Rockers have yet to lose in regulation entering Friday’s game against Port Huron, and made sure that trend continued. 

The Rockers rolled to a dominating 7-1 win over the Prowers to improve to 3-0 in the I-94 Rivalry in 2023. 

The first period was all Motor City as the Rockers jumped out to a 3-0 lead behind the sticks of Jamie Milam, Rocco DiCostanzo and Nick Magill-Diaz in the span of two and a half minutes. 

While the Rockers were on the power play, with 10:54 left on the clock, Milam received a pass from Danny Vanderwiel in the near side circle and roofed the puck for his first of the season and 1-0 lead. 28 seconds later, Motor City entered the offensive zone and a centering puck ricocheted off DiCostonzo’s heel and into the net for his third of the season. 

Two minutes later, Scott Coash slid the puck through the neutral zone to Magill-Diaz who walked the puck into the offensive zone and fired it top shelf to beat Ian Wallace for a 3-0 lead for his second of the season.

Even though Motor City had three power plays in the middle frame, the Rockers were only able to cash in on one of them while on a 5-on-3. Coash held the puck on the farside dot and feathered the puck to Declan Conway who tapped in the goal for his second of the season from one-foot out and a 4-0 lead.

The third period got explosive on the scoresheet and on the ice as I-94 Rivalry turned physical throughout the last twenty minutes of play. 16 penalties were called between the two squads as temperatures rose to a boiling point.

In the meantime, Motor City added goals from Derek Makimaa, Jonathon Juliano, and Coash to increase the lead to 7-0. 

Makimaa chipped in a pass from Mike Winn from point blank range for a 5-0 lead on the power play for his second of the season. Nine minutes later Juliano deked and wove his way into the slot and scored for his second of the season while taking a stick to the face. Two minutes later Coash fired a puck from the far side circle for a 7-0 lead for his fourth of the season and fourth point of the night.

Trevor Babin’s second career shutout will have to wait another night as he stopped 25-of-26 shots on the night as Bryan Parsons beat Babin with 10 seconds left on the clock for his first of the season.

Motor City and Port Huron will finish the home and home series on Saturday night at McMorran Place in Port Huron. Puck drop is at 7:05pm.



by Joseph Furtado

Baton Rouge, LA, -  Friday night hockey at the Raising Cane’s River Center, in a split 1-1 series between the Baton Rouge Zydeco and Columbus River Dragons. The Zydeco are coming off of a 6-1 loss after giving up six unanswered goals to Columbus in game 2. 

The fans packed inside the Raising Cane's River Center ready to kickoff game 3 of this series. Opening up the first period, the River Dragons got their offense going early with constant pressure inside the Zydeco defensive zone. 

Columbus tested Zydeco goaltender Greg Harney early with eight shots in the opening minutes of the game, which led to a River Dragons 5 on 3 power play. Baton Rouge would kill on the ensuing powerplay, but Columbus would open the scoring with a goal from Kirk Underwood at 17:31 in the period.

Moving into the 2nd period of play, Columbus would quickly open the scoring on a goal from Alexander Jmaeff at 2:19 into the 2nd, doubling up on their lead. Just moments later Justin MacDonald found himself alone in the high slot, snapping one passed Hussey for a 3-0 lead. The 2nd ended in a 4-1 lead for the River Dragons, with the lone Zydeco goal coming from M.J. Graham. 

Things didn’t get any easier for the Zydeco in the 3rd period, they would go on to give up two more goals and fall 5-1 in the final game of this series. Columbus would improve to 5-1-0 on the year with the Zydeco dropping to 1-6-0.

Both teams won’t see each other again until January 26th in Columbus. The Zydeco will be back at it next week to welcome the Port Huron Prowlers to town.