GAME RECAPS 11/17/23


Binghamton Wrangles Elmira on Country Night

by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY, - The Binghamton Black Bears and Elmira River Sharks met for a Friday night match-up at Visions Veteran Memorial Arena. It was the home team that skated away with the 8-3 victory during the country night festivities. 

The first period started with neither team giving an inch until the final five minutes were Binghamton scored in bunches. The first goal came from Dan Stone with the extra attacker due to a delayed penalty. The captain, Tyson Kirkby, would double the lead on the power play only a minute later, then Gavin Yates would score from behind the goal line only nine seconds later. The first period would be rounded out by Austin Thompson who would find twine forty-eighty seconds after. This would send Binghamton to the first intermission up four nothing. A new franchise best, four goals in 1:57. 

The Black Bears would keep their foot on the gas pedal as Thomas Wray would clean up a rebound out in front. The lead would increase again when Brendan Stanko beat the goaltender halfway through the period on the power play. Elmira would finally get on the board as Houston Wilson beat Connor McAnanama to round out the scoring in the second. 

The third period was quiet until the end when penalties lead to back-to-back goals for Martin Moucha which brought the River Sharks back to within striking distances. However, Brendan Stanko and Andrew Logar put on the finishing touches with two power play goals for Binghamton. Special teams were the name of the game for this one as the Black Bears were four for five and the River Sharks went two for ten.

Sharks Flounder to Black Bears, 8-3

by Jon Kliment

Binghamton, NY, - Elmira came to Binghamton on just their second road game of the season with one goal in mind, revenge for a 7-3 opening night defeat. In the next game at First Arena the River Sharks tamed the Bears with an overtime winner from their captain to cap off a 4-3 win. Tonight in the third of thirteen meetings the series was up for grabs again.

The first period seemed to start in the River Sharks favor with a slew of power plays landing at their feet including a 5 on 3 opportunity but with a number of new additions to the lineup Elmira couldn't find their footing and the period continued to tick away scoreless. Though the River Sharks got the better of the scoring chances it was Binghamton who in a two minute span put the Sharks into a world of hurt. On a double delayed penalty the Black Bears took advantage of a pulled goaltender and the ensuing power play opportunity to jump out to a 2-0 lead as Daniel Stone and Tyson Kirkby found the back of the net. Binghamton tallied twice more in the same two minute span as Gavin Yates and Austin Thompson both scored to jump out to a commanding 4-0 lead which would end the first period. 

Thomas Wray and Brendan Stanko kept things going for the Black Bears in the second making the hill a mountainous 6-0 for the River Sharks. However Elmira found signs of life when Houston Wilson received a pass from Nick Gullo and fired it past the netminder to cut the defecit to 6-1. 

The power plays continued to come to Elmira as they had numerous chance throughout the third period and Martin Moucha was able to bury two past Connor McAnanama just 36 seconds apart to close the gap to 6-3. Unfortunately the penalties were being called on both sides and on a 5 on 3 Binghamton netted two more from Stanko and Andrew Logar to stifle the comeback and secure Binghamton the 8-3 victory.

Spencer Kozlowski started the game and stopped 15 of 20 while Danick Rodrigue stopped 14 of 17 in relief. 

The River Sharks return home to the Shark tank tomorrow night Saturday November 18th when they face off with the Danbury Hat Tricks at 6:07pm.


Hat Tricks Nip Wolves, 2-1

by Jeff Barrett

Watertown, NY, - For the fourth time this season, and third time in Watertown, the Wolves and Hat Tricks dropped the puck on another FPHL Empire Division battle on this Friday evening. 

Watertown's only two wins so far this season have been at the expense of the Hat Tricks, winning both games with identical scores of 6-5 here in Watertown. Danbury won the one meeting on their home ice by a score of 5-2.

The Wolves would strike first on this evening with Tate Leeeson getting his 9th goal of the season at the 2:13 mark of the first, beating Hat Tricks netminder Connor McCollum, to put the Wolves up 1-0. Assists on the goal belonged to Trevor Lord and Lincoln Gingerich.

That score would stand through the remainder of the period, sending the Wolves to the locker room with the lead. Watertown outshot Danbury 17 to 14 in the first twenty minutes. Watertown went 0 for 2 on power plays while the Hat Tricks were 0 for 1 with the extra skater.

Five minutes into the second frame, the Hat Trick got on the board when newly signed Narek Aleksanyan scored his first goal for Danbury on a rifle of a wrist shot past Watertown's Josh Rosenzweig, knotting the score at 1 goal apiece. Assists on the goal would go to Nick DiNicola and Steve Brown.

Shots on goal for the second twenty minutes were 12 for the Hat Tricks to 10 for Watertown. The period ended tied at 1 each after forty minutes of play.

Period number three found both teams getting ample opportunities to take the lead, but Rosenweig and McCollum were both outstanding keeping the game knotted at 1 each.

But at the 14:08 mark, a miscue by the Wolves left the door open for a breakaway by the Hat Tricks. Connor Wooley was able to slide a pass out of the Hat Tricks' defensive zone to a streaking Samual Tetreault who carried the puck down the right side before sliding it at the last second to Nick DiNicola who tipped it past a sprawling Josh Rosenweig, scoring the game winner for Danbury.

The Hat Tricks would fight any comeback chance for the Wolves, and held on for the 2-1 win, although the Wolves outshot Danbury 42 to 36 for the game.

Watertown will be right back in action Saturday night as they host the Binghamton Black Bears in a 7:30 start. The Hat Tricks will head for the southern tier region of New York state to take on the Elmira River Sharks at First Arena with a start time of 6:07


by Doug Lattuca

Watertown, NY, - The Danbury Hat Tricks held off a late third period push from the Wolves in Watertown to seal a 2-1 win on Friday night.

Coming into the night, playing in Watertown had not been too kind to the Danbury Hat Tricks this season. In their two trips to the Municipal Arena, the Hat Tricks – despite scoring ten goals in both games – found themselves on the losing end of two 6-5 finals. Friday night was different in every aspect.

In each of the first two contests in Watertown, the teams had combined for ten first period tallies. Friday night saw just one goal cross the line in the opening frame. And to no one’s surprise that score came off the stick of alternate captain Tate Leeson who found himself on a breakaway and went five-hole on Hat Tricks goalie Connor McCollum at 2:13 of the first. Leeson came into the night second in the league in goals and third in points.

The Hat Tricks evened the score in the second period when the newcomer, Narek Aleksanyan, roofed a mid-slot snapshot under the crossbar to tie it up at one. The 6’1” forward, who played one game with Binghamton earlier this season, made an immediate impact in his Hat Tricks debut.

Through two periods, the shots were 27-26 Watertown.

The score stayed locked at one midway through the third period until Hat Tricks leading goal scorer Nick DiNicola cashed in on a feed from defenseman Samuel Tetreault at 14:08.

The Hat Tricks survived a late third period attack from the Wolves thanks to McCollum stopping all 15 third period shots. Danbury improves to .500, 5-5, through the first ten games of the season. 

The Hat Tricks are back in action Saturday night in Elmira at 6:07 p.m. The Hat Tricks knocked off the River Sharks 6-5 last Saturday in Elmira.


Carolina Dominates Blue Ridge, 8-1

by Brendan Reilly

Winston-Salem, NC - Behind a hat trick from Gus Ford and a pair of goals from Dawson Baker and Petr Panacek, the Carolina Thunderbirds cruised to an 8-1 victory over the Blue Ridge Bobcats Friday night at the Annex. 


Carolina jumped in front quickly in the first period when Gus Ford found the back of the net only 22 seconds into the game, giving the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. Over three minutes later, Ford struck again, this time on the power play. Ford walked into the zone and snapped home a wrister at the 4:12 mark doubling his tally and the score, 2-0. 


The Thunderbirds continued to press in the attacking zone and Dawson Baker made it a 3-0 game 15 minutes into the first on a beautiful breakout from Petr Panacek and Jan Salak. After the first 20 minutes, Carolina led the visitors, 3-0. 


Blue Ridge couldn’t find much of an answer as in the second, Baker matched Ford with his second goal of the game at the 5:44 mark of the second, making it 4-0. Four minutes later, Jan Salak found his second goal of the season from the top of the slot and Carolina was in full control, leading 5-0. 


Just 10 seconds into the start of the third, Blue Ridge found life from a goal from Justin Daly, but Carolina answered back four minutes later with Petr Panacek netting his first goal of the year, building the lead back to five, 6-1. 


After the goal from Panacek, the game started to turn with multiple game misconducts being issued to both sides, but Carolina kept the pressure on with Panacek picking up his second goal and Gus Ford notching a hat trick on a penalty shot at the 16:03 mark of the third period. Carolina coasted to an 8-1 victory over the Bobcats, moving to 3-0 on the season against Blue Ridge.


Mario Cavaliere only saw 15 shots on the evening and saved 14 moving to 5-2 on the season. 


Carolina and Blue Ridge meet for the fourth time this season on Saturday in Wytheville. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. from the Apex Center. 



by Brett Wiseman

Winston-Salem, NC - The Blue Ridge Bobcats fell 8-1 to the Carolina Thunderbirds on Friday night. The game, the first end of a home-and-home series, was marred by physical play throughout.

Gus Ford scored a hat trick for Carolina, and Justin Daly had the only goal for Blue Ridge.

Connor Green and Christian Pavlas combined to make 29 saves in net for the Bobcats.

The two teams will meet again tomorrow night at the Apex Center. Puck drop is set for 7:00 and tickets are available at



by Tom Callahan

Columbus, GA, - Kevin MacDonald scored a goal and added two assists to extend his scoring streak to seven games and help the Columbus River Dragons to a 5-3 win in its home opener against the Mississippi Sea Wolves on Friday night.

Columbus scored twice in the first period, the first coming from Alexander Jmaeff at 7:01 followed by Josh Pietrantonio scoring off a beautiful back-door feed from Nolan Slachetka to make it 2-0 at 8:39.

In the second period, MacDonald had a power play goal called back at 7:36 because it was ruled he knocked the puck in with his hand. But later on that same power play, Jay Croop netted his first goal of the season to make it 3-0 at 8:33.

Mississippi’s offense woke up after that, scoring a pair of goals to close the gap to 3-2 early in the third period and set the stage for a dramatic finish.

Jmaeff netted his second goal of the night at 12:53 to make it 4-2, but the Sea Wolves would once again draw within a goal with a power play marker from Hugo Koch at 16:39.

With under two minutes remaining and goaltender Joe Sheppard heading to the bench for the extra attacker, the Sea Wolves appeared to score the game-tying goal in a scramble in front of River Dragons goalie Breandan Colgan (23 saves). But the goal was disallowed for a kicking motion, and MacDonald would score into an empty net one minute later to secure the win.

The same two teams go right back at it tomorrow night at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum at 7:05 pm ET, with the AirForce Heating and Air Pregame Show starting at 6:30 pm on 106.9 Really Rocks and the River Dragons YouTube Channel @ColumbusRiverDragons. 



by Joseph Furtado

Baton Rouge, LA, -  Friday night hockey in the Bayou, where the Zydeco and Prowlers would meet for the first matchup of the season. Both teams entered tonight's game riding a two game losing streak and looking to pick up three points in a division showdown. 

With both teams being separated by just three points in the continental division standings, a win was crucial for each squad. A win for Zydeco, who entered at the bottom of the standings, meant they were leap over Port Huron for 4th place. As for the Prowlers, they would create some separation between them and other teams. 

With a 7:30pm start, the Raising Cane's River Center was packed and ready to cheer on the home team. Though the Prowlers didn’t waste any time getting started, within the opening minute of the game Dalton Young snapped one in over the glove hand, beating Hussey on the first shot of the game for the Prowlers. 

As the game progressed, each team traded off scoring chances. Austin Weber found himself behind the Prowlers defense on a stretch pass up the middle, snapping one off the post and in the back of the net, beating Makar Sokolov. Making this Webber's first goal of the season, tying the game at 1-1. 

Later in the 1st, Brendan Hussey would give the Zydeco a 2-1 lead at 10:04. M.J. Graham would pick up an assist on the play, making him one shy of 300 career FPHL points.

In the final 1:11 of the 1st period, the Prowlers would tie the game on a goal from Dalton Young, making it 2-2 going into the next period. With the goal, that would snap Young’s nine game scoring drought, who’s last goal was back on 4/7/23. 

With the start of the 2nd period, the intensity picked up in physicality and pace. Noah Hippolyte-Smith was assessed a five minute major penalty and game misconduct with his hit on Adam Heinzl. The Zydeco would go on to kill off the five minute major penalty, but would surrender a goal on the following power play after killing off three straight penalties. 

Alex Johnson roofed one over the blocker of Gregory Hussey as he was left alone in the high slot, making it 3-2 Prowlers at 10:04 into the 2nd. The lead didn’t last long for the Prowlers, as M.J Graham recorded his 300th career point with the tying goal, making it 3-3. Both teams would trade chances, but end the 2nd period all square at three a piece.

Heading into the final 20 minutes of hockey, Bryan Parson would break the tie at 2:05 into the period, giving the Prowlers a 4-3 lead. Later in the 3rd, the Zydeco would get a 5 on 3 power play opportunity to tie the game. However, their power play woes would continue, finishing the night 0/3. 

The Prowlers would go on to net two more goals in a 6-4 win against the Zydeco, snapping their two game losing streak and improving to 2-3-1-1 on the year. For Baton Rouge, they would fall to 1-7-0, dropping their third straight game and remaining in last place in the division. 

Both teams will be back at it tomorrow night at 7:30pm for the final game of this series.