GAME RECAPS 11/18/23


River Sharks Can't Solve Tricks, 8-1

by Jon Kliment

Elmira, NY, - A night after Binghamton ran Elmira through the ringer with an 8-3 victory the River Sharks were looking for an opportunity to come out strong in front of their home crowd at First Arena. Despite initially getting some strong opportunities and leading the shots on goal battle as well as controlling the puck for the majority of the beginning of the game, all efforts fell on a hot goaltender.

The scoring didn't commence until the second period, but as the saying goes when it rains it pours. The Hat Tricks ran Spencer Kozlowski from the game 12:24 into the second period after Connor Woolley, Brandon Stojcevski, Jarod Yau, and Nick DiNicola all found the back of the net even strength. Unfortunately, things did not fair better for Danick Rodrigue who allowed goals from Stojcevski, Woolley, and a pair from Jonny Ruiz. The one shred of light for the River Sharks came as Frank Trazzera scored his first goal of the season 19:19 into the third period to break the shutout bid for Connor McCollum.

Kozlowski and Rodrigue both stopped 12 or 16 in the loss.

The River Sharks are back in action at the First Arena on Friday November 24th at 7:05 pm and then Saturday November 25th at 6:07 pm. Go online to Ticketmaster or by calling 607-734-PUCK to get tickets today!

Hat Tricks Harpoon River Sharks 8-1 in Elmira, Extend Win Streak to Three

by Doug Lattuca

Elmira, NY - The Danbury Hat Tricks used seven second period goals to bury the River Sharks 8-1 in Elmira Saturday night. With the victory, the Hat Tricks are back over .500 at 6-5 for the first time since they were 2-1 and have won three straight, all on the road. 

The last time the Hat Tricks were in Elmira they scored six goals to nudge past the River Sharks 6-5. Defenseman Kyle Gonzalez backhanded home the game-winning goal in the third period while forwards Bohdan Zinchenko and Jacob Ratcliffe combined for five goals. 

The Hat Tricks entered Saturday’s game winners of two straight and similar to Friday night’s victory over Watertown the first period was relatively quiet. Elmira outshot the Hat Tricks 10-4 in the frame.

In the second period, the floodgates opened and the Hat Tricks found the back of the net seven times.

Forward Connor Woolley started the barrage at 3:36 with his first of the season. Woolley played in five games with the Hat Tricks last season after finishing up at Salem State and had one goal.

A minute and ten seconds later, Brandon Stojcevski got on the board to double the Hat Tricks advantage.

Up 2-0, the Hat Tricks were far from done. Defenseman Jarod Yau and leading goal scorer Nick DiNicola buried goals number three and four of the period at 7:43 and 12:24 respectively. 

Then Stojcevski and Wolley got their second scores of the night. Stojcevski shorthanded at 15:46 and Wolley at 17:21. Despite a 6-0 lead, the Hat Tricks kept their foot on the gas pedal.

With just three seconds remaining in the period, captain Jonny Ruiz - who didn’t play last weekend against the River Sharks - snapped a seven-game goalless drought with a power play tally. 

In the third, Ruiz won the opening faceoff forward and roofed a breakaway six seconds in for his second power play tally of the night. The Hat Tricks entered the night tied for the worst PP percentage in the league with just three goals but converted twice on Saturday. Ruiz’s PPGs were the first power play goals scored by someone not named Sam Dabrowski, who’s no longer with the team, since Evan Lugo got one in the season opener on Oct. 13. 

Goalie Connor McCollum, who entered action with a league-pacing 93.5% save percentage, picked up his fourth professional win with the Hat Tricks stopping 34 of 35 shots. This after making 41 saves in a 2-1 Hat Tricks win on Friday.

Danbury is 2-0 in Elmira this season after a perfect 12-0 record, including playoffs, against the Elmira Mammoth last campaign.

The Hat Tricks finish off their four-game road trip Wednesday, Nov. 22 - Thanksgiving Eve - in Binghamton against the Black Bears. That starts a three-game in four-day stretch against Binghamton for the Hat Tricks.



by Brett Wiseman

Wytheville, VA - In the most closely contested matchup to date between the budding rival Blue Ridge Bobcats and Carolina Thunderbirds, the guys from Winston-Salem escaped with a 4-3 victory.

Despite being outshot, outhit, and thoroughly outplayed for the majority of the evening, it was one lucky puck bounce that gave the Thunderbirds the win.

Vladislav "Vladechkin" Vlasov opened the scoring, beating Mario Cavaliere through the five-hole a little over four minutes into the first period. John Buttitta answered with a goal for Carolina.

The first period was back and forth, as was most of the rest of the evening.

Justin Daly continued his absolutely scorching hot play of late, scoring his fourth and fifth goals as a Bobcats in just his 4th game with Blue Ridge. His first of the night put Blue Ridge up 2-1 halfway through the opening frame. His second came at the 4:20 mark of the second period to put the Bobcats ahead again 3-2. Carolina prevailed with two unanswered in the third.

The Bobcats will trek down to Baton Rogue, Louisiana and meet another expansion team, the Baton Rogue Zydeco, for the first time next weekend. Both games of the series will be available to watch on the Bobcats YouTube channel.



Bond tallies two goals, Sheppard stops 32 in opener at Mississippi Coast Coliseum

by Javik Blake

Biloxi, MS - In front of a packed Mississippi Coast Coliseum, the Mississippi Sea Wolves (3-1-1-4) fell by a 5-2 final against the Columbus River Dragons (7-0-0-1) on Saturday night in Biloxi.


After a scoreless first nine minutes, Kyle Moore opened the scoring for Columbus at 9:45 in the first period off assists from Josh Pietrantonio and Lane King. With under five minutes remaining in the period, Hunter Bersani extended the lead to two with an assist from Nola Slachetka.


After the River Dragons killed off a five-on-three and the ensuing five-on-four power play, Bersani netted his second of the night, making it 3-0 with assists from Austin Daae and Ryan Hunter. Moments later, Carter Shinkaruk and Kyle Moore struck twice in two-plus minutes, extending the lead to 5-0.


Jackson Bond, off a lead pass from Danny Liscio, hammered home a breakaway goal, giving the Sea Wolves their first goal on home ice in the 2023/24 season. Bond netted his second of the night in the third period off assists from Sam Turner and Joakim Nilsson, making it 5-2.


Talor Joseph stopped 23 of 25 shots for Columbus in the win, his second of the year, while Joseph Sheppard turned aside 32 of 37 shots for the Sea Wolves.


The Sea Wolves will continue their homestand on Wednesday, November 22 against the Baton Rouge Zydeco at 7:05 p.m. at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.


by Tom Callahan

Biloxi, MS - The Columbus River Dragons swept both halves of a home-and-home series from the Mississippi Sea Wolves following a 5-2 road win on Saturday night.

Both Kyle Moore and Hunter Bersani scored twice in the game, helping the River Dragons build a 5-0 lead before the Sea Wolves made it interesting on a pair of goals from Jackson Bond.

Talor Joseph notched his second win of the season with 23 saves to improve to 2-0. Carter Shinkaruk scored the other goal for Columbus.

The River Dragons return home on Black Friday to host the Carolina Thunderbirds at 7:35 pm. The game is the first Chick-fil-A Midland/Kissin’ 99.3 Family Four Pack game of the season. Call the River Dragons office at (706) 507-4625 or come to the team office and receive four tickets to the game, four hot dogs, four popcorn, four Pepsi products, and four coupons for Chick-fil-A sandwiches for just $40 - an over $100 value.


Wolves Top Binghamton

by Jeff Barrett

Watertown, NY -This Saturday evening found the Empire division leading Binghamton Black Bears in Watertown to take on the Wolves. This would be the third meeting of the early season between these two squads, with the Black Bears winning both previous games.

It was very evident right from the start that this was going to be a physical contest, as both teams delivered big hits in the early going.

Nikita Ivashkin got the scoring started for the Black Bears at the 9:12 mark of the first, when he was able to bet the defense to the front of the goal and lifted a nasty wrist shot to the top of the cage over the shoulder of Wolves starter Eloli Bouchard giving Binghamton a 1-0 lead.

That score remained through to the first intermission. Binghamton outshot Watertown 13 to 8. Binghamton was 0 for 2 on power plays in the first.

Period number 2 started strong for the Wolves as they were able to tie the game at 1 a piece at the 2:50 mark when Marc Bottero smacked home a rebound past Black Bears starter Nolan Egbert to give Watertown their first goal. Assists on the goal belonged to Carter Thornton and William Godbout.

Less than three minutes later the Wolves took the lead for the first time when Trevor Lord roofed a shot from the slot area at 4:24 of the period, assisted by Tate Leeson and Justin Schmit, making the score 2-1.

The Wolves extended the lead to 3-1 at 9:53 of the frame when Aleksandr Gamzatov scored his first for the Wolves when he won a scramble for a loose puck in front of the goal and was able to slide it home assisted by Tate Leeson and Trevor Lord.

At 11:57 Vladislav Pavlov slipped the puck behind Egbert, ending his night and giving the Wolves a 4-1 lead. Assists were provided by Chase DiBari and Dakota Seaman.

The Black Bears continued to outshoot the Wolves 10 to 9 in the period.

At the 12:52 mark of the third period, Ivan Sergeev extended the Watertown lead to 5-1 as he forced the puck through two different checks and went top shelf over Connor McAnanama, exciting the Watertown faithful once again. Trevor Lord and Tate Leeson were credited with assists on the goal.

The Wolves would have to battle 5 on 3 power plays twice in the final seven minute to hold on for the 5-1 win over the Black Bears. Binghamton outshot Watertown 17 to 5 in the third making the totals 40-20 in favor of the Black Bears. Binghamton was 0 for 9 on power plays while Watertown was 0 for 1 with the extra man.

The Wolves will be back in action Wednesday night when they host the Motor City Rockers in a 7:30 start. Binghamton will also be home on Wednesday as they host the Danbury Hat Tricks at the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena for a 6:00 puck drop.  


by Brooks Hill

Watertown, NY - The Binghamton Black Bears fell on the road to the Watertown Wolves, 5-1 on Saturday night. Watertown scored the final five goals of the game, becoming the first team to defeat Binghamton in regulation time. 

Binghamton was on the board first in the opening period. Nikita Ivashkin was sprung off a stretch pass from the d-zone and able to score his 8th goal of the season. It’s Ivashkin’s 99th career goal, moving him up to a tie with Josh Hennessy for 7th all-time in Binghamton Hockey history. Black Bears carried a 1-0 lead into the locker room. 

Unfortunately for the Black Bears, that is where the scoring ended, as Watertown took advantage of the long-second period change, scoring four goals in the middle frame. Bottero, Lord, Gamzatov, and Pavlov took advantage of their opportunities, and gave a three-goal cushion to the home team after 40. 

The power play could not get going in the third for the Black Bears. Watertown scored a final goal in the third, capping off a five-goal night for the Wolves. 

Binghamton falls to 7-1-3 after 11 games on the season, still in 1st place in the Empire Division.  

2023-24 Prorated Season Tickets are still on sale! Call the Black Bears office at 607-722-7367 or stop into the third-floor hockey offices of Visions Veterans Memorial Arena. Save up to 30% on tickets and receive over $200 in benefits.

Stay current with the latest team news by visiting and by following the Black Bears all year long on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tik Tok @BlackBearsFPHL  


Baton Rouge Zydeco Falls at Home in to Port Huron

by Lily Gayle

Baton Rouge, LA - Baton Rouge Zydeco fell to the Port Huron Prowlers in a two game home stance this weekend, losing the last game 5-1 at the Raising Canes River Center Saturday night. 


The first period started out with solid energy and good puck possession. Zydeco improved on clogging middle ice and making the Prowlers keep to the walls, but it wasn’t enough as the Prowlers got their first goal of the night by Liam Freeborn with an assist by Brandon Picard. It would be a continuous shootout between teams, but this would be the only goal scored between the two until the second period. 


The second period started strongly for Baton Rouge as there were improvements in their passing game, but lacked control. The Prowlers would outshoot the Zydeco by double, 18 shots to nine. The next two goals would be against the Zydeco as Dalton Jay got in a good shot with assists from Brian Parsons and Braden Deck at the 9:38 mark. The second goal was made by Evan Foley off an assist by Freeborn. The period would end with the Prowlers leading 3-0. 


Brandon Picard opened up the third period with a goal, upping the score, 4-0. Noah Robinson would answer with his own goal off an assist by Cody Rodgers and Brendan Hussey. Matthew Bazarin was thrown out near the end of the third period for misconduct and boarding of a Prowler player who ended up with a minor face injury. Within the last two minutes of the game, Port Huron sealed the deal with a last minute goal by Alex Johnson with assists from Freeborn and Dalton. 


The next game is the first away game against the Mississippi Seawolves Wednesday, Nov. 22 at 7:05 p.m at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.