Game Recaps 12/30/23



by Will Wiegelman

PORT HURON, MI - The Port Huron Prowlers dropped the second game of their three-in-three with the Motor City Rockers 5-3 on Dec. 30 at McMorran Place. The Rockers scored two power-play goals in the third to get the three points.

“It was a disappointing game,” said Prowlers assistant coach Chris Paulin. “Not the result we wanted or expected. I think we played in a way that we deserved to lose tonight.”

In the first, Dalton Jay fought through a check and found Liam Freeborn all by himself in the middle of the ice on a rush. The Alberta native went backhand to the top shelf to open the scoring for Port Huron. A few minutes later, new signing Adam Kuhn walked into the Prowlers zone and fired a shot past Ian Wallace to knot the score.

Freeborn struck again later in the frame as a rebound shot on the power play from the faceoff circle pinballed past Ricky Gonzalez to give the Prowlers back the lead. Roman Gaudet tied things up again with a power-play marker of his own with just under two to play in the period.

19 seconds into the second, Evan Foley won a faceoff right to Mitch Jones who rifled a wrister past Gonzalez to make it 3-2 Port Huron. Later, the puck popped up in the air off a faceoff in Prowlers territory and Alex Johnson batted at it but accidentally put it in his own net.

The score was 3-3 heading into the third when midway through, TJ Sneath snuck a shot through traffic for a power-play goal to give Motor City its first lead of the night. The Rockers got a five-on-three with just over five to play and Jameson Milam found Delaney for a back-door one timer that put the game away.

“Aside from the penalty kill, just getting into those situations, terrible discipline,” Paulin said. “I think selfish penalties, guys putting themselves above the team a little bit and putting us in a disadvantageous situation.”

Freeborn was the second star of the game with his two goals while Jones added an assist to his tally. Wallace stopped 27 Motor City shots.

Delaney was the first star with two goals while Milam and Dante Suffredini each had a pair of assists. Gonzalez made 33 saves in his first win over the Prowlers.

The rubber match of this three-game set is scheduled for 2:05 P.M. on New Year’s Eve at Big Boy Arena. The game will be broadcast live on the PHP Network YouTube channel.

Rockers Power Play Propels Motor City In 5-3 Win Over Port Huron

by Ben Szilagy

PORT HURON, MI -  The Motor City Rockers earned a 5-3 win over the Port Huron Prowlers on Saturday night thanks to a two goal third period at McMorran Place.

Entering the third period the game was tied at 3-3, and the Rockers league leading power play gave them the cushion it’d need. 

With 11:11 left in the third period, Mike Winn quarterbacked the power play from the point. After he received a pass from Jameson Milam, Winn fed the puck to TJ Sneath. Sneath, whose five game point streak was broken on Friday, fired a sharp wrister to the low glove side for his fourth power play goal of the season and a 4-3 lead.

The insurance goal came off the stick of TJ Delaney with 5:00 to play in the final period.

Declan Conway fed the puck to Milam on the nearside where the defensemen faked a shot, and fed the puck to the far side post to Delaney. Delaney finished the one-timer for his second goal of the night and a 5-3 lead.

Ricky Gonzalez earned his first win over Port Huron after dropping the game on Dec 8th. Gonzalez stopped 33 shots on the night while improving to 4-3 on the season. 

Motor City was chasing goals most of the contest while the Prowlers and Rockers traded goals the entire first period with each team getting on the board via even strength and power play goals.

Port Huron took an early 1-0 lead when Dalton Jay broke through a battle along the wall and chipped the puck ahead to a wide open Liam Freeborn ahead of the play. Freeborn then walked into the slot on a breakaway and a goal. 

Motor City was able to tie the score three minutes later.

Dante Suffredini gathered the puck deep in the defensive zone and passed it toward the neutral zone and on the stick of newly signed Adam Kuhn. Kuhn walked the puck into the far side circle and fired a quick wrister for his first professional goal since the 2011-12 season and a 1-1 tie. 

The Prowlers regained the lead on the power play when Mitch Jones fired a shot from the point that was kick-saved to the far side circle where Freeborn was able to fire it back on net for his second of the night with 5:29 to play.

On a power play of its own, Motor City tied the score when it was looking for a deflection in front of Ian Wallace.

Suffredini tried to get a deflection and missed, but was able to regain the puck on a cycle from Tristan Wells. On the second attempt from the near side circle, Suffredini fired for a deflection that Roman Gaudet tipped in for his power play goal of the season for a 2-2 tie with 1:57 to play in the first period. 

The Prowlers took the lead back in the second period just 19-seconds in. 

Off a face-off draw, Evan Foley’s win pushed the puck to Jones who ripped a blast for his second goal of the weekend and a 3-2 lead.

Motor City got a little puck luck to tie the score at 3-3 with 12:50 to play in the middle frame. 

On a face-off draw, Jonathan Julian won the draw, and the puck bounced off the skate of Delaney. As it shot up in the air, Prowler Alex Johnson tipped it with his stick as he tried to settle it down, and put it in his own net for a 3-3 tie.

Delaney was credited with the goal, good for his eighth on the season. 

Motor City and Port Huron will wrap up its three game series tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon at Big Boy Arena in Fraser. Fans can skate with the players after the game, and are encouraged to bring their skates to the rink.




by Doug Lattuca

Danbury, CT - Despite falling behind 3-0 in the first seven minutes, the Hat Tricks prevailed in overtime ending their six-game losing skid against Binghamton in the final home game of 2023. Defenseman Josh Labelle slid a rebound shot past the outstretched stick of Binghamton goalie Sam LiVecchi to complete the comeback.

In the first, Binghamton started aggressively scoring three goals on Hat Tricks’ goalie Liam Murray before the seven-minute mark. At 3:06, forward Tyson Kirby tipped a point shot in, to start the scoring. After a double minor was assessed to Hat Tricks’ forward John Scully, Binghamton forward Don Oliveri wristed the puck from the blue line into the back of the net. The Black Bears weren’t done. On the man advantage, forward Nikita Ivashkin redirected a rebound past Murray to make it 3-0.

However, momentum changed quickly when Jonny Ruiz tipped one home just 12 second later to cut the Binghamton lead to two. Moments later, the Captain got another on a wrap-around to bring the Hat Tricks within one.

In the second period, the Hat Tricks kept their foot on the pedal when defenseman Josh Labelle sniped his first goal as a Hat Tricks to tie the game at three. Minutes later, forward John Scully slid the puck in from the short side for his first with the Hat Tricks to give Danbury a 4-3 advantage.

The third period was silent until 5:49 when Binghamton forward Jestin Somero beat Murray under the pad to tie the game at four.

In overtime, Labelle, on the power play, tapped home his second of the night on a rebound from a Stojcevski slap shot.

The Hat Tricks wrap up 2023 Sunday night in Binghamton. Puck drop is 5 p.m.


by Binghamton Staff

Danbury, CT - The Binghamton Black Bears fell in OT to the Danbury Hat Tricks 5-4 on Saturday night. Binghamton could not hold onto their early 3-0 lead, but managed to battle back to earn a point in the standings. 

Binghamton started hot, scoring the first three goals in a span a 3:45. The captain, Tyson Kirkby deflected the first goal of the night for his 13th of the year. Don Olivieri expanded the lead on the power play with a end-over-end shot from the blue line, and Nikita Ivashkin scored his 104th career. That gave Binghamton a 3-0 lead… for the time being. 

Danbury called a timeout at the 13:11 mark, and it was enough to spark the home team into a comeback. Jonny Ruiz scored twice, igniting the building and his teammates and sent the Hat Tricks into the locker room only down by one. 

The second period was one to forget for the visitors as Binghamton was not able to score and only managed six shots on goal. The home team, on the other hand, exploded for two more goals and 15 shots. Danbury was able to grab the lead with their power play converting on their fourth try on the night. John Scully, knocked in a rebound off the Ruiz shot that gave Danbury a 4-3 advantage. 

In the third period the ice was tilted towards the Hat Tricks until the six-minute point of the period. Jestin Somero was able to score his third goal of the season, tying the game at 4-4, securing at least one point for the Black Bears. For the third time this season, the two teams headed to the overtime period.  

Binghamton was caught in a line change that resulted in a too many men penalty, that would see Danbury score the game-winning goal on the power play. Danbury wins in OT 5-4. 



Wolves Nip the River Sharks

by Jeff Barrett

Watertown, NY - On the final Saturday the Elmira River Sharks headed up route 81 in New York State to battle the Watertown Wolves in the Watertown Municipal Arena. In five previous games this season the River Sharks hold a three game to two lead over the Wolves.

Watertown's Trevor Lord would continue his scoring ways by getting the Wolves on the board first at 10:35 with a blast from the high slot beating Elmira starting netminder Sammy Bernard, on a pass from Marc Bottero.

Mike Mercurio was also credited with an assist on the goal.

Davide Gaeta knotted the game at one goal each at 14:04 of the period, sliding a rebound past Eloi Bouchard before he could recover from the initial shot from Blake Peavey. Peavey and Austin Pickford would get the assists.

At 18:47 of the period, Aleksandr Gamzatov picked up his second goal of the weekend when he blasted a shot from the right side putting the Wolves back on top 2-1. Trevor Lord added to his point total on the night getting credited with the assist.

Shots on goal after twenty minutes were dead even at 13 each.

The River Sharks evened the game at 2-2 just 2:48 into the second period when Luke James was able to knife a shot past Bouchard to the back of the net, assisted by Cody Rogers.

It would take less than a minute for the Wolves to jump back to the lead when Chiweten Blacksmith lifted a shot over Bernard assisted by Chase DiBari and Mike Mercurio.

Watertown's Chase DiBari extended the Wolves lead to 4-2 at the 11:37 mark, when he was able to find a loose puck to the side of the net and slap home his fourth goal of the season. Mike Mercurio was credited with the assist again.

Thirteen seconds later Elmira's Steven Klinck cut into the Wolves lead at the 11:50 point of the frame, getting the River Sharks back within a goal, after sliding the puck through Bouchard's five hole making the score 4-3.

Exactly one minute later Cody Rogers would even the score on a blast from the left point that caught the inside of Bouchard's leg pad, for a power play goal assisted by Cameron Yarwood and Davide Gaeta at the 12:50 mark.

The tie game only lasted twenty five seconds though as Marc Bottero received a crossing pass from Joshua Tomasi sending a shot past a sprawling Bernard at the 13:15 mark, putting Watertown up 5-4.

The Wolves would end up outshooting the River Sharks 17 to 14 in the second period and take the 5-4 lead to the room.

Period number three had the Wolves killing off multiple penalties, leaving them short handed for the first 6:30 of the frame including a brief 5 on 3 for the River Sharks.

Both teams would continue the see-saw battle back and forth with neither team able to find the back of the net. The River Sharks pulled Bernard in favor of an extra skater, but the Wolves took advantage of a missed pass, and Blacksmith was able to carry the puck into the offensive zone and send the puck to the back of the empty net.

The River Sharks outshot the Wolves 17 to 9 in the third and 44 to 39 for the game, but Watertown scored the 6-4 win.

The Wolves and River Sharks will both head to the southern tier of New York for the second game of the home and home series, Sunday afternoon at 2:00.

The Wolves would like to wish our fans and everyone around the league a very Happy New Year. 

River Sharks Fall to Wolves in High Scoring Affair, 6-4

by Jon Kliment

Watertown, NY - As the River Sharks came into a game against Watertown, a divisional opponent they had won the previous two games against, Elmira needed points to find their way out of the basement of the Empire division. Watertown came in after beating the defending champions by a wide margin Friday night and looked to continue rolling against Elmira.

The Wolves found the back of the net first on a power play goal as Trevor Lord added to his team leading point total beating Sammy Bernard for the 1-0 advantage. However on an ensuing 5 on 3 power play the River Sharks cashed in as Davide Gaeta scored his second in a River Sharks uniform in as many nights to even the score back up 1-1. However on a late defensive breakdown it was Watertown taking the lead Aleksander Gamzatov buried a loose puck to give the Wolves the 2-1 lead.

Elmira came out with fire in the second frame as Luke James deflected a Cody Rodgers shot to tie up the game at 2 a piece, but 41 seconds later Chiwetin Blacksmith gave Watertown their lead back. Chase DiBari added to the lead after the halfway point of the period, but Steven Klinck had seen enough and took the ensuing faceoff back down the ice and beat Eloi Bouchard to close the gap back to 4-3. On a power play a minute later Cody Rodgers snapped off a shot from the point that tied up the game, but 25 seconds later on a somewhat controversial goal that took several minutes for the officials to confirm the Wolves regained their lead 5-4 after the second period.

Blacksmith added an empty net goal in the third despite a number of power play opportunities for the Sharks to finish off the game 6-4.

Sammy Bernard stopped 33 of 38 in the loss.

The River Sharks kick off New Years Eve with a 2:05pm start in Elmira against Watertown. Get your tickets on Ticketmaster or by calling the box office at 607-743- PUCK! #FeartheFin


Carolina Falls to Columbus, 4-3

Late charge not enough to complete comeback against River Dragons

by Brendan Reilly

Winston-Salem, NC - Despite a goal with 37 seconds left by Clay Keeley, the Carolina Thunderbirds fell to the Columbus River Dragons, 4-3, Saturday night at the Annex. 


Carolina (16-5-0) struck first early in the 1st period with Jan Salak beating Columbus (15-2-2) netminder Breandan Colgan giving the Thunderbirds the early 1-0 lead. The Thunderbirds held the lead for a majority of the period before Josh Pietrantonio tied it up on a shot from the half boards sending the two sides to the dressing rooms tied at one. 


In the 2nd, Carolina regained the lead on a deflection from Jacob Schnapp after a shot from the point by Justin Movalli, but the lead disappeared late in the second. On a 5-on-3 opportunity, Kyle Moore scored with only 25 seconds to go in the period, once again tying the game, 2-2. Columbus started the 3rd period on the power play but after Carolina killed the penalty, the River Dragons once again went on the man advantage. 


Off the faceoff, Justin MacDonald found Austin Daae at the near dot slotting one past Cavaliere, giving the River Dragons the lead for good. Three minutes later, Moore got his second of the night extending the lead to two, 4-2, at the 5:35 mark of the 3rd period. 


Carolina had one last charge on the power play with the extra attacker on with an empty net, and with 37 seconds left, Clay Keeley notched his first FPHL goal of his career on a rebound, cutting the deficit to one, 4-3. After the goal, the Thunderbirds couldn’t find a late equalizer, and fell to the River Dragons, 4-3.


Gus Ford with two assists was named the 3rd star, while Pietrantonio got 2nd star honors, and Moore named the 1st star of the evening. 


Carolina and Columbus conclude their three-game series on Sunday evening at the Annex. Puck drop is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. from Winston-Salem on New Year’s Eve. 


Moore's Two Goals Power River Dragons Over the Thunderbirds

by Tom Callahan

Winston-Salem, NC -  Kyle Moore scored a pair of goals including the game winner to help the Columbus River Dragons beat the Carolina Thunderbirds 4-3 in regulation at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex on Saturday night.

Moore’s first goal came late in the second period during a five-on-three power play chance. It appeared that Moore was going to pass the puck across the ice, but instead at the last moment hooked the puck towards the net, beating a surprised Mario Cavaliere under the left pad to tie the game at 2-2 just before the intermission.

Columbus then opened up its first lead of the game in the third period, starting with an Austin Daae power play goal at 2:27 followed by Moore’s second of the game at 5:35 for the eventual game winner.

As they did the previous evening, Carolina found itself on a late power play and pulled the goalie before scoring a six-on-four goal to make it 4-3 with just under 37 seconds remaining. But the Thunderbirds could draw no closer and Columbus claimed victory for the second straight night.

The same two teams complete the three-in-three series tomorrow night at 8:35 pm ET, with the AirForce Heating and Air Pregame Show kicking off at 8 pm on 106.9 Really Rocks and the River Dragons YouTube page @ColumbusRiverDragons.


Sea Wolves Drop Series Finale

by Matthew Hoard 

Biloxi, MS - On a Saturday night for White Out night in the Wolves Den, three thousand fiver hundred and thirty three were on hand to hopefully see the series sweep of the Zydeco, but they would leave dissapointed


Mathias Tellstrom would open up the scoring for the Zydeco only 1:49 into the first period. An uneventful first period would end in a solid goal from Hugo Koch to tie things up and a firey fight between Yianni Liarakos and MJ Graham.


The Zydeco would keep the pressure on by a Noah Robinson short-handed goal in the second period. Beyond that, the second period would be relatively boring other than the peppering of holding, hooking, and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on both sides. 


 The Zydeco would continue to lay it on think with another short handed goal by Noah Robinson and a unassisted goal by Brendan Hussey as the Sea Wolves were pulling goalie Blake Weyrick. Hugo Koch would add another goal to his credit with 45 seconds remaining in the third period. The Zydeco would finish off the scoring with an empty net goal by Kyle Stevens with 3 seconds remaining in the game.


Goalies for the Sea Wolves Blake Weyrick would face 34 shots and make 30 saves, while Anthony D'Aloisio would face 2 shots and make 2 saves. William Lavalliere stood tall for the Zydeco tonight facing 48 shots and making 46 saves.


Third Star of the game was awarded to MJ Graham with 2 assists. Second Star of the game was awarded to Hugo Koch with 2 goals. Finishing as First Star of the game was Noah Robinson with 2 short-handed goals.


The Sea Wolves continue their long homestand on January 2nd and 3rd when the Port Huron Prowlers make their way south in the Wolves Den.



by Joseph Furtado

Biloxi, MS - The Baton Rouge Zydeco snuck out a win in their final game of the 2023 calendar year, picking up three points in against their division rivals, the Mississippi Sea Wolves. 

After dropping last night's game 6-4, the Zydeco were in desperate need of points, heading into tonight's matchup. Just nine points out of a playoff spot, trailing the Port Huron Prowlers, the Zydeco couldn’t afford another loss with playoff aspirations. 

Jumping into the first period, Baton Rouge turned back to goaltender William Lavalliere, who was impressive tonight, making 46 saves while managing to pick up his first win in a Zydeco uniform. The Zydeco got their offense going early, finding a goal from Mathias Tellstrom, his third in two games, just 01:49 in to make it 1-0. However, the Sea Wolves would go on to answer late on a goal from Hugo Kotch, tying the game 1-1 At the end of the first period, Mississippi led in shots 14-10 but only managed to get one passed Lavalliere. 

Heading into the second period, Baton Rouge would take the lead again, 2-1 at 06:59, on a short-handed goal from Noah Robinson. The Sea Wolves offense bombarded Lavalliere with 18 shots, but couldn’t manage to get anything behind him. Leading the game 2-1, the Zydeco looked to close out the third period and avoid another late-game collapse. 

 Entering the final 20 minutes of hockey, that’s exactly what the Zydeco did; netting three third-period goals. Robinson scored 20 seconds into the period, with his second short-handed goal of the game to make it 3-1. However, the Zydeco didn’t stop there. Brendan Hussey would tally their third short-handed goal of the game helping them to their 5-2 victory.  

Kyle Stevens would go on to add the last goal of the game, making it his first goal with the Zydeco. As well as Koch, who recorded his second of the night for the Sea Wolves, but the effort was not enough for Mississippi.

With the win, the Zydeco closed out 2023, going 5-14-2-1-0, finishing with 19 points. They’ll look to try and turn things around as they embark into the second half of the 2024 season. As for Mississippi with their loss, they now fall to 8-11-1-1-1, closing 2023 with 29 points. 

Baton Rouge will kick off the 2024 calendar year on the road at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum, against the Sea Wolves on January 5th.