Game Recaps 12/22/23


Black Bears Top Wolves In Lively Rematch

by Cole Parenti

Binghamton, NY - The Binghamton Black Bears and Watertown Wolves squared off for a Friday evening matchup at Visions Veteran Memorial Arena. It was a hard-fought rematch off the heels of a fiery Black Bears 4-0 win last Saturday. Ultimately, the Black Bears would skate off with a 5-2 win.


The first period was a workout for the referees as eight penalties were called. The Black Bears would be off and rolling quickly thanks to Austin Thompson and a little bit of puck luck on the power play. The puck would deflect off a Watertown skater’s stick and find its way behind their goaltender, Eloi Bouchard. Chiwetin Blacksmith would tie the game not too long later as he capitalized during a two-on-one thanks to a beautiful pass from Carter Thorton. Blacksmith would double down later in the period as he scored shorthand to give the Wolves the lead going into the second.


Binghamton would waste no time tying the game as Gavin Yates on a breakaway found some space between Bouchard’s legs. After this, the goalies would take center stage as Connor McAnanama stopped all 11 shots he faced and Eloi Bouchard would stop 12 out of 14. Andrew Logar would finish the period on a high note for the Black Bears as he would clean up a rebound on the power play to give Binghamton a 3-2 lead.


Mathieu Boislard would double Binghamton’s leads with an unassisted wrist shot right next to the right face-off circle. The final goal of the night would come from Dakota Bohn as he sent the puck nearly the length of the ice into a yawning cage to finish off the Wolves. 


Connor McAnanama stopped all but 2 of the 26 shots he faced and Eloi Bouchard would finish the night making 40 saves on 44 Binghamton shots. The Black Bears are now 4-1-0-0 against the Wolves this season and have won their last 8 on home ice. Both teams will meet again tomorrow as they close out this weekend set at the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena.


Rockers Snap Losing Streak Behind TJ Delaney's Career Night, Balanced Attack


by Ben Szilagy

Fraser, MI - The Motor City Rockers ended its five-game losing streak with an emphatic 8-4 win over the Elmira River Sharks on Friday night at Big Boy Arena. 

Leading the way for Motor City was TJ Delaney with four goals surpassing his season total of three in 10 games played, while five Rockers had at least two assists on the scoresheet from the balanced offensive attack.

The Rockers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first period, two of which came off Delaney's stick.

The 6-foot-6 forward opened the scoring in the first 1:42 when he flicked the puck from inside the far-side circle for a 1-0 lead. A minute and a half later, Declan Conway attacked the slot and rifled a point blank shot for his seventh of the season before Delaney added a power play goal almost six minutes later from inside the crease for a 3-0 lead. Josh Colten added the other power play goal with a blast from the point for his second power play goal of the season and a 4-0 lead after the first twenty minutes of play. 

The RiverSharks started the second period with a man advantage and cut into the lead off a hard blast from the point by Cody Rodgers 39-seconds into the period. Rodgers struck again on the power play from another heavy blast from the point with 12:20 to play in the middle frame that helped Elmira pull within two, 4-2, before Motor City added one back off the stick of Delaney for his first career hat-trick. 

Cam Yarwood who was added to the Elmira roster on Thursday assisted the first two RiverShark goals, and added the third power play goal of the night when he finished off a one-timer inside the near side circle to make it a two goal game, 5-3, 35 seconds into the third period. 

The Rockers added two more goals to build its lead back up to four goals, 7-3, on Delaney’s fourth of the night and Scott Coash’s team leading 12th goal of the season when he offered a shot reminiscent of a step-back 3-pointer in basketball from the far side circle to create separation from a closing defender. 

Rodgers completed his hat-trick of his own with a goal at the 8:11 mark of the third period for his first hat-trick of his FPHL Career and second career multi-goal game since Nov 5th 2022. 

Nick Magill-Diaz capped the scoring with an empty net goal with 2:51 to play for his third goal of the season in thirteen games.

The Rockers and RiverSharks will wrap the season series tomorrow night at 6:05pm at Big Boy Arena in Fraser before Motor City takes a short break for Christmas.

Elmira Fails To Stop The Music, 8-4

by Jon Kliment

Fraser, MI The River Sharks went on the road carrying with them a 3 game winning streak, but Elmira had yet to take a long road trip. Their first one of the year and minus a couple of impact players due to loans the River Sharks knew it would be a tall task ahead of them this weekend.

The first period got off to an inauspicious start as TJ Delaney wasted no time firing a shot past Sammy Bernard just 1:42 into the game to give the struggling Rockers the lead, 1-0. 1:18 later Declan Conway added to the lead on a Cade Lambdin pass to make it 2-0. Motor City scored again on two power play opportunities later in the period as Delaney added his second of the night and Josh Colten netted his first to give the Rockers a 4-0 lead. 

Elmira began the second period with a power play advantage and took no time to cash in as Larri Vartiainen passed back to Cody Rodgers who slapped it past Trevor Babin to cut the lead to 4-1. Tristen Wells took a boarding major and was sent off the ice with a game misconduct after taking out Darius Davidson and Derek Makimaa added a cross checking minor of his own to give Elmira a 5 on 3 power play that found Rodgers another opportunity he wouldn't miss to close the gap to 4-2 Motor City. The Rockers responded however as Delaney completed his Hat Trick to put the Rockers back up 5-2. 

Cameron Yarwood led the Sharks out and just 35 seconds into the final frame on a power play closed the gap again to 5-3. However Delaney continued scoring just 1:22 later and Scott Coash added more insurance to make it a 7-3 lead for Motor City. On an ensuing power play however Cody Rodgers finished off his hat trick to close the gap one more time, but an empty net goal from Niklas Magill-Diaz saw Elmira fall firmly 8-4.

Bernard stopped 23 of 30 in his first loss of the season.

The River Sharks are back in action tomorrow night for the season series finale against Motor City at 6:05 pm make sure to follow along on Mixlr or on Youtube! 




by Doug Lattuca

Danbury, CT - The Hat Tricks' dominance over Port Huron continued on Friday as they shutout the Prowlers 4-0. The Hat Tricks were led by goaltender Connor McCollum who picked up his first shutout of the season, stopping all 24 shots. It is the eighth straight time the Hat Tricks have beaten the Prowlers in Danbury. 

It was a defensive battle through the first portion of the first period. However, at 11:29 forward Jonny Ruiz gave the Danbury faithful something to cheer about. After fighting for a free puck in front of the net, the Captain secured his team leading ninth goal of the season sliding it past Port Huron netminder Ian Wallace to give the Hat Tricks a 1-0 advantage. The New Jersey native currently leads the team in all three offensive categories. 

Early on in the second period, the Hat Tricks extended their lead thanks to a new addition. Forward Connor Woolley, who signed with the team Friday morning for his second stint with the Hat Tricks, buried a rebound in the crease to extend the lead to 2-0. Woolley, who last played on Nov. 22, made his presence felt Friday night racking up three points.

Tempers flared halfway through the period with five players receiving penalties in a three minute span. 

The Hat Tricks came out fast in the third with Ruiz potting his second goal of the night 19 seconds into the period. The offense wouldn’t stop there as at 11:42 forward Chase Harwell tucked in a wrap-around for his first goal of the season and the only goal that didn’t come from the Hat Tricks top line. 

The Hat Tricks top trio of Ruiz, Woolley, and Jacob Ratcliffe combined for eight points in the win.

The Hat Tricks look to give their fans an early gift Saturday, Dec. 23, in their final game before Christmas, as they go for the weekend sweep over the Prowlers. The puck drops at 7 pm. 


by Will Wiegelman

Danbury, CT - The Port Huron Prowlers were shut out by the Danbury Hat Tricks 4-0 on Dec. 22 in Danbury. Connor McCollum made 24 saves for his first professional shutout.

“Terrible game, I thought that was our probably worst effort in some time,” said Prowlers assistant coach Chris Paulin. “I thought the first 10 minutes were great until they scored a goal, we got hit in the mouth and I think the energy went out the window and we never got it back.”

Jonny Ruiz got the scoring started in the first when a bouncing puck found him at the side of the cage midway through the first. 

Early in the second, a Xavier Abdella shot tipped off of Ian Wallace’s glove and dropped in front of Connor Woolley who tapped it home to make it 2-0. 

That score held until the third when Ruiz scored a breakaway goal 19 seconds in to extend the Danbury lead to three. Chase Harwell scored a wraparound for his first in the FPHL to put the final nail in the Prowlers’ coffin.

“They like to chuck the puck a lot and they have guys leaking behind us,” Paulin said. “You saw it with all the odd-man rushes they got, that’s unacceptable. It starts with the offensive zone play and the defensemen being disciplined and not getting too far up into the play. Defensive zone, we had a couple of laps, not just the defense, the forwards had a couple of lapses as well.”

Ruiz had two goals and an assist while Woolley had a goal and two helpers. Their linemate Jacob Ratcliffe chipped in two assists as did Abdella.

Wallace made 28 saves in the loss for Port Huron who got shut out for the first time this season.

The teams will meet again in Danbury on Dec. 23 with puck drop at Danbury Ice Arena scheduled for 7:00 P.M.



by Brett Wiseman

Wytheville, VA - Despite another solid 60 minute effort, three more periods went by without a goal for the Blue Ridge Bobcats in a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Carolina Thunderbirds.

Christian Pavlas did all he could, stopping 44 of 49 shots in net. Rookies Justin Daly and Gehrig Lindberg showed signs of promise, along with veterans Zach Tatrn and Danny Martin.

The Bobcats return to action January 5th against Columbus.

Carolina Blanks Blue Ridge, 5-0

Salak nets two, Cavaliere records first shutout 

by Brendan Reilly

Wytheville, VA - Behind two goals from Jan Salak and a shutout from Mario Cavaliere, the Carolina Thunderbirds dominated the Blue Ridge Bobcats, 5-0, Friday night at the Apex Center to remain perfect against the Bobcats. 


Carolina (15-3-0) got on the board early in the first period and never looked back. Jan Salak, who had goals in each of his last three games, found the back of the net at the 5:28 mark of the 1st period with assists from Jiri Pestuka and Joe Kennedy giving the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. The Thunderbirds held that lead going into the 2nd period, and Carolina doubled its advantage from Gus Ford’s 15th goal of the year at the 4:38 mark of the 2nd period. 


Less than two minutes later, Blue Ridge (5-12-2) surrendered its third goal with Salak netting his second of the evening for his sixth goal in his last four games giving Carolina the 3-0 advantage. 10 minutes later while on the power play, Dawson Baker beat Christian Pavlas to give the Thunderbirds the 4-0 lead at the 16:24 mark of the 2nd period. 


With the attack clicking, Thunderbirds netminder Mario Cavaliere was a wall. The Mississauga, Ontario native stopped all 26 shots across the first 40 minutes before Jon Buttitta put the finishing touches on the Bobcats at the 11:34 mark of the 3rd on the way to a 5-0 victory over the Bobcats. 


Cavaliere stopped all 38 shots he saw on the evening picking up his first shutout victory on the season. The ‘Czech Line’ earned all three stars on the night with Petr Panacek picking up two assists, Pestuka a trio of assists, and Salak scoring twice. 


With the win, Carolina has now won 11 out of its last 12 games and improves to 5-0-0 against Blue Ridge this season. 


The Thunderbirds begin a stretch of four games against the Columbus River Dragons starting on Saturday night at the Annex. Puck drop between Carolina and Columbus is set for 6:05 p.m. from Winston-Salem.