Game Recaps 12/16/23


River Sharks Battle Back Take Victory Over Defending Champs, 4-2

by Jon Kliment

Elmira, NY - Elmira came off a big win against Watertown Friday night winning 8-5 on a five goal night from Steven Klinck. As the River Sharks returned home they had yet to beat the defending champions. 

Despite coming in with 16 goals in their last two games it was Danbury who found their way to the board first on a power play opportunity as Brandon Stojcevski tallied the first goal of the game. Five minutes later, however, Houston Wilson was able to tie the game on a perfect pass from Steven Klinck that he deflected past Connor McCollum to tie the game at 1-1 on a secondary power play opportunity which held up through 40 minutes.

The Hat Tricks kept the pressure up throughout the second period and in the final frame 1:44 in Sam Debrowski put in a rebound just as a power play came to an end to give Danbury the 2-1 lead. At the 11:00 mark the River Sharks worked the puck perfectly around as Mark Pozsar threw a pass right across the middle of the zone to Steven Ford who one timed it into the back of the net to tie the game up. 1:39 later on a pass from Elijah Wilson, Luke Richards wrapped around the back of the net and as McCollum collided with a defender, Richards tucked it in to give Elmira their first lead of the game. The Hat Tricks pulled their goaltender with 2:31 remaining and Danbury continued to pressure, but with 34 seconds left Elijah Wilson took a shot from inside his own blue line and it glided into the back of the empty net to give Elmira their 4-2 lead.

Sammy Bernard stopped 36 of 38 for his 3rd win of the season.

Elmira heads out on the road to Fraser, Mi to battle with their divisional rivals the Motor City Rockers next Friday and Saturday night. Follow all the action on Youtube and Mixlr! #FeartheFin



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI - The Port Huron Prowlers fell in a low-scoring affair to the Carolina Thunderbirds 3-1 at McMorran Place on Dec. 16. All three Carolina goals were special teams goals.

“It was a good hockey game, low scoring,” said Prowlers assistant coach Chris Paulin. “They’re a good team and tough to play against. I thought we were plenty tough to play against and, ultimately, one goal short. I thought it was a very tight, competitive hockey game.”

Jan Salak opened the scoring in the first, taking a feed from Gus Ford for a power-play marker. It was his eighth of the year, third on the man advantage.

Dalton Jay put home a back-door feed from Dan Chartrand in the second to send the teddy bears on the ice and knot the score. Later in the frame, Ford walked the goal line and roofed an in-tight shot for his team’s second power-play goal of the game.

“The penalty kill was good,” Paulin said. “They did exactly what we thought they were going to do and what we planned for. We made one subtle mistake on their first goal, subtle but important, they had a good player make a good play. The second one, I like the way we played it. Ford has scored a couple goals in this league and he made a nice play.”

Neither team could solve the goaltenders in the third and Jacob Schnapp hit the empty net shorthanded. It was the Thunderbirds’ first shorthanded goal of the season, they were the only team without one.

Chartrand and Bryan Parsons picked up assists on Jay’s goal for Port Huron. Makar Sokolov made 37 saves in net.

Ford was the first star of the game with a goal and an assist. Frankie McClendon got third-star honors with 31 saves.

The Prowlers are back in action on the road against the defending champion Danbury Hat Tricks on Dec. 22 and 23. Both games will be streamed live on the PHP Network.


McAnanama Blanks Wolves 

Connor McAnanama made 24 saves in the team's first shutout performance of the year 

Connor Smith extended his point streak to 11 games with an assist tonight  


by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY - The Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Watertown Wolves, 4-0 on Saturday night. Connor McAnanama made 24 saves on 24 shots to earn his first career shutout. Connor Smith extended his point-streak to 11 straight games with an assist on the Binghamton third goal. 

Binghamton started the scoring early, and it came often. Tyson Kirkby started the party at the 4:10 of the period on the power play. Josh Fletcher followed-up the captain four minutes later off a redirect from Mathieu Boislard, and Don Olivieri closed the scoring in the first period, with the second power play goal of the night. The Black Bears led 3-0 after the first frame, only allowing six shots. 

Watertown had better step in the stride in the second period but were unable to squeak one past Connor McAnanama. The Wolves began a parade to the penalty box, but the Black Bears were unable to convert on the man-advantage for the rest of the night. Binghamton carried the same 3-0 lead into the room once again. 

Tempers flared in the third period, as multiple players from both teams were given the gate early for their altercations. The final goal of the night came from Liam Anderson on a beautiful stick handling display from Andrew Logar. McAnanama shut the door in the final eight minutes, earning the first shutout of the season for the Black Bears, as they win 4-0, their 7th win in-a-row on home-ice. 



Sea Wolves break four-game skid, Koch tallies four points, Liarakos tallies three

by Javik Blake

Biloxi, MS -  Entering Saturday, the Mississippi Sea Wolves (7-1-1-10) had scored the third-most goals in the FPHL and exploded on offense for a 7-3 win over the Baton Rouge Zydeco (4-1-1-13) at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. The win ended the Sea Wolves’ four-game losing streak in the first of eight matchups between the teams over the next month.


The Sea Wolves opened the scoring on a goal from Kyle Russell off an assist from Ethan Busch-Anderson less than five minutes in on the power play. Joakim Nilsson then extended the lead to two with 37 seconds remaining in the period.


In the second, Yianni Liarakos netted the Sea Wolves’ third goal of the night 14 seconds into the period and Hugo Koch made it a four-goal advantage two minutes later. Koch netted his first of the night a minute later, making it 5-0. Don Carter, Jr. put the Zydeco on the board later in the period off an assist from Tyler Larwood.


Ten seconds into the third, Liarakos netted a short-handed goal from his own defensive zone for his league-leading 18th goal of the year. Adamo Asselin made it 6-2 Mississippi two minutes later off Larwood’s second assist of the night. Koch later tallied his fourth point of the night off a rebound for his 13th goal of the year. Noah Robinson tallied Baton Rouge’s third of the night on the power play after the midpoint of the period, making it 7-3.


The Sea Wolves penalty kill starred, going 10-11 and going 2-6 on the power play.


After the Christmas holiday, the Sea Wolves will continue their homestand against the Zydeco on Tuesday, December 26 at 7:05 p.m.


by Joseph Furtado

Biloxi, MS - The Baton Rouge Zydeco headed East to Biloxi, Mississippi to take on the Sea Wolves, kicking off their 19-game road trip. After beating the Sea Wolves 7-6 on Thursday night, the Zydeco were looking to pick up another win and keep pace in the continental division.

However, things didn’t go as planned for the Zydeco, dropping the game 7-3. In the first period, the Sea Wolves recorded goals from Kyle Russel and Joakim Nillson to take a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.

Things wouldn’t get any easier for the Zydeco to begin the second period, giving up a goal to Yianni Liarakos just 14 seconds in to make in 3-0. The Sea Wolves wouldn’t stop there, adding two more goals in the period. Don Carter Jr. would record the only goal for the Zydeco in the second period, making it 5-1 heading into the final 20 minutes of hockey.

In the third period, Liarakos would record a shorthanded goal just 10 seconds into the third. The Sea Wolves would go on to close the game out 7-3, with Adamo Asselin and Noah Robinson netting the last two for the Zydeco.

With their second straight loss, the Zydeco now fall to 4-13-1-1-0 on the season. As for the Sea Wolves, they now improve to 7-10-1-1-0, jumping to third place in the division.

The Zydeco will play the Sea Wolves for the next six games in their schedule. Both teams will meet on December 26th in Mississippi. 


River Dragons Shutout Bobcats

by Tom Callahan

Columbus, GA - Cody Wickline sent the stuffies flying on Teddy Bear Toss night as part of a two goal, one assist effort to help the Columbus River Dragons down the Blue Ridge Bobcats 4-0 on Saturday night.

Wickline and Ryan Hunter (two goals) both scored in the first period to put Columbus into a lead that was never threatened. Wickline added his second in the middle frame and Hunter rounded out the scoring in the third.

Breandan Colgan made 22 saves for his first shutout of the season and eighth in a River Dragons uniform.


  • Columbus was held to just 28 shots on goal, the lowest total this season.
  • The River Dragons top-rated penalty kill went a perfect 7-for-7 including an extended stretch of 5-on-3 in the early stages of the third period when the game was still 3-0.
  • Colgan’s shutout is his first of the season, and he becomes only the third goaltender in the league to record a donut in 2023-24.
  • Justin MacDonald extended his point scoring streak to six games (7-5-12) as did Kyle Moore (1-7-8). 
  • Alexander Jmaeff (5-3-8) and Ryan Hunter (5-3-8) both are now on three-game point streaks.

Columbus rounds out the pre-Christmas portion of the schedule on the road against the Carolina Thunderbirds on Saturday, December 23. The next River Dragons home game is Friday, December 29th at 7:35 pm against Carolina. Tickets are on sale now through the Civic Center Box Office and online at


by Brett Wiseman

Columbus, GA - Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good, and for the Columbus River Dragons, that was the case in a 4-0 win over the Blue Ridge Bobcats.

Danny Martin appeared to score just 9 seconds into the game when he sniped a shot off the crossbar. It looked as if it went just underneath the bar and in, and the reactions from both teams on the ice seemed to indicate that also. However, officials ruled no goal on the ice and opted not to review the play at the next stoppage.

Blue Ridge held Columbus shotless through the first 6:32 of the game. Cody Wickline leaked one across the goal line on the power play midway through the first. Late in the first, a crazy carom in front of Brendan Colgan led to an odd man rush the other way, finished off by Ryan Hunter at 19:55. Columbus lead 2-0 after the opening 20.

Cody Wickline scored his second when he sent a shot off the glove of the Bobcats' Dave Nicoletti and into the back of the net to make it 3-0 early in the second.

The Bobcats never stopped competing despite the score, and stayed mainly even all night long in shots, scoring chances and attack zone time. The puck bounced every which way but theirs, in spite of the full 60 minute effort.

Blue Ridge returns home Friday night to host the Carolina Thunderbirds at 7:30.