Motor City Squanders Lead, Loses 2nd Straight To Port Huron

by Ben Szilagy

Fraser, MI The Motor City Rockers had Port Huron right where it wanted them: up three goals, entering the third period on Saturday night at Big Boy Arena.

But a four goal final period for the Prowlers flipped the script as Port Huron edged out the Rockers with a 5-4 win. 

It’s the first time this season the Prowlers have won two straight over Motor City and the first time since Jan 13th and 14th Port Huron has accomplished the feat.

The Prowlers got on the board first in the first period taking advantage of a 5-minute major when Elias Thompson went to the box for fighting.

Matt Graham had the puck down low at the end line after it was cycled from the point by Dalton Jay. Graham centered it across the goal mouth to Brandon Picard for a 1-0 lead 3:40 into the opening frame.

Motor City was able to tie the score off the stick of Declan Conway with 1:45 left in the period when he held the puck along the nearside wall and fired the puck from a shallow angle. It bounced off Makar Sokolov and into the net for his sixth of the season and a 1-1 tie. 

The Rockers controlled the second period with a three goal outburst that was started by Jonathan Juliano when he followed up a shot from TJ Delaney who crashed the net. Sokolov was out of position and Juliano snuck it over the out of position goaltender for a 2-1 lead with 14:02 to play.

Delaney added a goal of his own five and a half minutes later when he picked up the puck in the neutral zone and fired a shot from the nearside circle. The puck picked the top shelf as Motor City earned a 3-1 lead. 

The final goal of the second period was scored with 1:22 left on the clock when Scott Coash created an odd man rush from center ice. As Coash carried the puck into the offensive zone, he centered it at the last minute to Glynn Robatillle for his third of the weekend and a 4-1 lead. 

Everything was going Motor City’s way, but Trevor Babin re-aggravated a lower body injury in the second period making a flurry of saves to keep a 3-1 game. Babin stopped 29-of-30 shots before he exited play.

Ricky Gonzalez came off the bench and was put to the test immediately by Port Huron.

Alex Johnson fired a hard slapshot from the far side point that raced through a crowd and beat Gonzalez to pull the Prowlers within 2, 4-2 42-seconds into the third period. 

Matt Graham pulled Port Huron within one, 4-3, a minute and a half later when he trailed the play and Paul Arnott centered the puck to the Player/ Coach in front of the net. 

The back breaker came off the stick of Dalton Jay while Motor City was on the power play midway through the third period when he snuck behind the defense and beat Gonzalez to tie the game up a 4-4 with 9:20 left to play for his first shorthanded goal of the year.

Graham gave the Prowlers the lead when he picked up a loose puck in between the hashes on a Motor City giveaway and roofed his second goal of the game for a 5-4 lead.

Motor City will look to regroup quickly as the Carolina Thunderbirds come to Michigan to play both Motor City and Port Huron next weekend with the Rockers and Thunderbirds dropping the puck on Friday night at 7:35pm at Big Boy Arena.


Hat Tricks Perfect in the Shootout, Secure 4-3 Win Over Watertown

by Doug Lattuca

Danbury, CT -Shootout goals from forwards Corey Cunningham and Chase Harwell lifted the Hat Tricks over the Wolves 4-3 in extra time Saturday night. Cunningham buried two regulation scores plus the game-winner in the shootout to push his season point total to five through four games.

Just about midway through the first period, Captain Jonny Ruiz tapped in a net side feed past the outstretched glove of goalie Owen Liskiewicz to give the Hat Tricks the lead at 11:59. But Watertown responded with two quick tallies. Forward Carter Thornton netted both goals, one with 5:32 left on the board, the other with 2:20.

In the second frame, forward Corey Cunningham stuffed in a power play goal to get the Hat Tricks back even. But quickly after the equalizer, Thornton struck again with his third goal of the night, to put the Wolves in the lead 3-2.

With the period was winding down, things got physical. At one point, both teams had three players each in the penalty box for fighting.

In the third, forward Corey Cunningham roofed the game-tying goal under the bar at 7:46 into the period. The Hat Tricks went back and forth with Watertown the rest of the period and in an action-packed overtime but neither side found the back of the net sending the game to a shootout.

Conor McCollum, who stopped 32 of 35 shots, made both saves in the shootout to secure the win.

The Hat Tricks, who have points in four of their last five games, hit the road next weekend for two divisional contests in Binghamton and Elmira. The Hat Tricks improve to 8-7-2.


Carolina Bounces Back, Takes Down Binghamton, 8-3

Kennedy, Salak, net a pair of goals in victory

by Brendan Reilly

Winston-Salem, NC -Following a 2-1 victory last night against the Binghamton Black Bears, the Carolina Thunderbirds bounced back in a big way, putting up eight goals against the Black Bears on the way to an 8-3 victory Saturday night at the Annex. 


Carolina (12-3-0) wasted no time in the first period with Jon Buttitta deflecting home a shot from Joe Kennedy giving the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead quickly. Three minutes later, the Thunderbirds doubled their advantage with Kennedy getting lose at the near dot, beating Binghamton (12-2-3) netminder Sam LiVecchi five hole making it 2-0. The Thunderbirds added on two more goals in the first period before Binghamton got on the board, cutting the deficit in half with goals from Jesse Anderson and Gavin Yates before the end of the 1st, making it 4-2. 


In the second, Carolina found three goals in 30 seconds starting at the 5:39 mark. Jan Salak beat Nolan Egbert near side building the lead back to three, 5-2. 20 seconds later, Kennedy got his second of the night on a shot from the point, making it a four-goal game again, 6-2. Ten seconds later, Gus Ford capped off the flurry of goals for his 13th of the season and gave the Thunderbirds a 7-2 lead going to the third. 


In the third, Nikita Ivashkin cut the lead to four at the 5:58 mark but that was all Binghamton could manage as Mario Cavaliere made 10 saves in the third and Salak got his second of the night with just 16 seconds remaining, putting the finishing touches on Binghamton, 8-3. 


In the win, nine Thunderbirds picked up multi-point games with Ford leading the way with four points and Kennedy picking up three on the night. The eight goals ties a single game season high. 


After going 5-1-0 on the six-game homestand, Carolina hits the road to Michigan next weekend to see the Motor City Rockers on Friday evening and the Port Huron Prowlers on Saturday. Puck drop from the Big Boy Arena on Friday night is set for 7:35 p.m. 


by Brooks Hill

Winston-Salem, NC - The Binghamton Black Bears fell on the road to the Carolina Thunderbirds for just the second time in regulation this season. Carolina used a four-goal first period to propel themselves over the Black Bears 8-3. 

Carolina was out for revenge from Friday night’s game, and it started quickly. The T-Birds scored four goals in the opening 10:30. Binghamton switched goaltenders and caught a little bit of a spark to end the frame. Jesse Anderson scored his first goal of the season, and Gavin Yates followed right behind. Binghamton was able to creep back into game at the break, trailing 4-2.  

Carolina dominated the second period, scoring all three goals. The last bright spot came in the final frame as Nikita Ivashkin was able to score his 11th goal of the season. 

Binghamton losses in regulation for the second time this season but manage to win the season series claiming seven points to Carolina’s five. 

The Black Bears return home next weekend to 

take on the Danbury Hat Tricks and Watertown Wolves on Friday and Saturday night.   



by Joseph Furtado

BATON ROUGE, LA - With a chance to complete their first series sweep in franchise history, the Zydeco surrendered three unanswered goals, including the OT winner on Saturday night. 

The Bobcats came out strong to begin the first period, opening with a goal from Cody Oaks. With their offensive pressure in the period, they placed 14 shots on Greg Hussey and limited the Zydeco to four shots. 

After coming out flat in the first period, the Zydeco offense woke up to begin the second period. With only nine shots in the period, they capitalized on their chances. Baton Rouge managed to find the back of the net three times, just minutes apart. Sotirios Karageorgos, MJ Graham, and Noah Robinson picked up the goals to make it 3-1. 

Heading into the third period with the lead, the Bobcats wouldn’t go away. Savva Smirnov opened the third just 58 seconds in, to cut the Zydeco lead down to one. In the final minutes of the game, Jakub Volf tied the game at 3-3 after a failed clear by the Zydeco, sending the game to overtime.

Smirnov would go on to score the OT winner and get the extra point for the Bobcats. After trailing by two in the final period, The Bobcats rallied back, scoring three unanswered including the OT winner to win the game. With the 4-3 win, the Bobcats leaped back over the Zydeco for fifth place in the division. 

Both teams will meet again on December 15th at the Raising Cane’s River Center for the final time of the calendar year.


River Dragons Win Shorten Game

Columbus, GA - The Columbus River Dragons defeated the Mississippi Sea Wolves, 8-1 in a game shorten due to a player injury. 

The game was stopped at 3:38 of the third period with the River Dragons leading 8-1 after an injury to River Dragons defenseman Nathan Balkwill that required transport to a local hospital for care.

After a conversion between league officials and the coaches from both teams it was determined that Columbus would be declared the winner of the game.