Big 1st Period Lifts Black Bears

by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY - The Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Motor City Rockers for the second time this season, winning 6-3. Don Olivieri recorded his first hat trick of the season in front of 4,224 fans. 

The Black Bears were first on the board this time around against the Rockers. Don Olivieri grabbed his 10th of the season and 1st of the night on a back-handed shot that squeaked past Trevor Babin. 24 seconds later, Liam Anderson was the recipient of a fortunate bounce off the glass. The puck bounced into the blue paint and was deflected back into the Motor City net, now leading 2-0. Motor City took the game’s first penalty but were able to score first on special teams. TJ Delaney scored his 2 nd shorthanded goal of the season putting the Rockers on the board. With some time left in power play, Olivieri was able to blast his 2nd of the night past the goaltender, giving Binghamton a 3-1 advantage at the break. 

A much quicker second period, with very few whistles, led to offense on both ends of the ice. The coast-to-coast action was filled with chances, saves, and only one goal. Binghamton was able to cash-in on their second power play of the night, as Andrew Logar earned his 10th goal of the season. Motor City was able to kill off a 5-on-3 chance to gain some momentum back and carried 20 seconds of power play time into the third period. 

The final period was much more even, as both teams saw man-advantages, and a pair of goals each. Olivieri would become the second Black Bear of the season to record a hat trick, scoring his 3 rd and final goal of the night. Josh Colten then scored his 2nd power play goal of the series. Connor Smith traded that tally with one of his own, then in the dying seconds, Erik Oganezov scored his first of the year. Binghamton’s big first period, lifted them to victory, 6-1. 

Olivieri's Hat-Trick Propels Black Bears Against Motor City

by Ben Szilagy

Binghamton, NY - The Motor City Rockers started the Empire State weekend trip off with a 6-3 loss to the Binghamton Black Bears on Friday night at Visions Veteran Memorial. 

Binghamton took the lead early thanks to two goals and a little bit of puck luck. 

The first goal came from a blast from JT Walters from the point that was turned away by Trevor Babin. But Donald Oliveri picked up the rebound in the slot and fired a lazy back-hand that slid under the pads of Babin for a 1-0 lead with 12:59 to play in the opening period. 

22-seconds later Liam Anderson fired a hard shot from the point that was stopped by Babin with his blocker but ricocheted into the net for a 2-0 lead. 

Motor City was able to chip into the lead while attempting to kill a power play. 

TJ Delaney picked up a loose puck in the Rockers D-Zone and started an attack with Jonathan Juliano. After a drop off pass to Juliano, and shot on goal, Delaney pick up the rebound on the far side post and put in the rebound that cut into the lead 2-1 with 7:59 to play in the first period. 

The Black Bears converted the power play 24 seconds later when Oliveri scored his second of the game for a 3-1 lead. 

Binghamton added to its lead with the lone goal of the second period when the puck was fed from the right circle from Austin Thompson to Andrew Logar who was all alone in between the hash marks and fired the puck in from point blank range for a 4-1 lead. 

Oliveri completed his first FPHL hat-trick in the first 5:22 of the third period when he roofed a back-hand for a 5-1 lead. 

Motor City earned a goal on the power play, as the Rockers went 1-for-4 on the man advantage when Josh Colten fired the puck from the point that beat Connor McAnanama for a 5-2 game. It was Colten’s first goal since the Rockers played Binghamton on January 6th. 

Binghamton got one back off the stick of Connor Smith from the right circle for a 6-2 lead, before Erik Oganezov’s first goal as a Rocker with 38 seconds left in the game for a 6-3 final. 

Motor City will now travel for two games against the Watertown Wolves on Saturday and Sunday before heading home to play the Binghamton Black Bears at Big Boy Arena next weekend.  



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI - The Port Huron Prowlers fell 5-1 to the Elmira River Sharks to open up a five-game home stand on Feb. 2. Elmira scored five unanswered including the empty netter.

“I didn’t see the same hunger this week in practice [as the past few weeks],” said Prowlers assistant coach Chris Paulin. “We had some guys sick, some guys hurt, we have a lot of excuses to make but the reality is, we didn’t show up with that same urgency and hunger. We said in the locker room we need to be a team full of dogs and dogs are never full, they’re always hungry. You win a few games and then you get a lesson in humility and that’s what we got served.”

Austin Fetterly got the scoring started with a one-timer near the bottom of the faceoff circle off a pass from Matt Graham. 56 seconds later, Larri Vartiainen turned a shot on net from the half wall that beat Tucker Tynan to tie the game.

Marquis Grant-Mentis untied the score a minute later in his River Sharks debut and Bret Parker rounded out the first-period scoring when the puck popped out to him in the slot.

Darius Davidson made it 4-1 midway through the second period and Kyle Powell hit the empty net from below his own goal line in the final minutes of the third to seal the deal.

Tynan finished with 27 saves while his team had 47 shots, their most in a loss this season.

“[We need] a lot of self evaluation, for all of us,” Paulin said. “Staff, players, everyone needs to self evaluate what’s important and what kind of team we are. We were never a team built to show up to the rink and score a few goals when you need it and win a game. Whether we’re playing a first place team or last place team, we come here hungry and playing for each other.”

Sammy Bernard was the first star of the game with 46 saves. Davide Gaeta and Rasmus Asp contributed a pair of assists apiece.

The teams battle again in Port Huron on Feb. 3 at 7:05 P.M. Tickets are available at or at the door.

Elmira Bites Back At Prowlers, 5-1

by Jon Kliment 

Port Huron, MI - The River Sharks traveled out to Port Huron after a difficult four games in four nights kicked off last weekend with the Prowlers and Elmira was unable to find a way to victory at First Arena. Coming into McMorran Arena the River Sharks were looking for revenge.

The Prowlers once again got off to the hot start as Austin Fetterly scored his 8th of the year getting a puck behind Sammy Bernard, but 56 seconds later Larri Vartiainen took advantage of his former team shooting an odd angle shot over the shoulder of Tucker Tynan to tie the game at 1-1. One minute after the Sharks first goal the newest member of Elmira made his presence felt as Marquis Grant-Mentis blasted on past Tynan for his 50th professional point and his first goal as a River Shark to give Elmira the 2-1 lead. The River Sharks weren't done there as Bret Parker continued to push the pace scoring his third of the season to give Elmira the 3-1 lead.

The River Sharks continued to push as Darius Davidson had the only goal of the second period giving Elmira the 4-1 lead despite each side getting a power play opportunity and the end of the period coming with a four on four. The final frame didn't see much more action as Kyle Powell netted an empty netter to finish off the Prowlers 5-1.

Sammy Bernard stopped 46 of 47 in the win.

The River Sharks return to action tomorrow night from McMorran Arena finishing off the weekend series with the Prowlers at 7:05pm. Be sure to follow along on Youtube and Mixlr! #FeartheFin



by Brett Wisman

Wytheville, VA - In what was one of their most complete, full 60 minute outings of the season, the Blue Ridge Bobcats rode waves of strong offense backed up by stalwart goaltending to a resounding 6-2 win over the Baton Rouge Zydeco on Friday. 

Danny Martin got the scoring parade started 3 minutes and 33 seconds into the game, when he converted on a beautiful pass from Dmytro Babenko and beat Zydeco goaltender Greg Hussey cleanly up top and under the bar.

Gehrig Lindberg returned to the Bobcats in the best way he knew how, putting the puck in the back of the net. Chris Ciolik waited and baited a pair of Baton Rouge defenders into collapsing towards the net and found a streaking Lindberg wide open on the far side to put the Bobcats up 2-0 with half a minute left in the opening frame. 

The Bobcats barreled up on the barrage in the middle frame, putting home another four goals to put the game away after 40 minutes.

Danny Martin and Jakub Volf each scored a power play goal toward the start and at the tail end of the second period, with markers from Andre Ivanov and Cody Oakes sandwiched in between.

Connor Green was monstrous in net for the Bobcats, stopping 39 of 40 Zydeco shots. 

Volf's goal and pair of assists earned him third star, while Ivanov and Martin picked up second and first stars.

The Bobcats will run it back against Baton Rouge tomorrow night at 7:00.


River Dragons Edge Sea Wolves, 7-6

by Tom Callahan

Columbus, GA - Justin MacDonald extended his scoring streak to 20 straight games including scoring the overtime game winner at 3:28 to give the Columbus River Dragons a 7-6 win over the Mississippi Sea Wolves on Friday night.

Josh Pietrantonio fed a saucer pass across from the right wing to a streaking MacDonald, who beat Sea Wolves goaltender Blake Weyrick (31 saves, L) to the stick side off the rush. The goal capped a three-point night for MacDonald and gave Columbus a much-needed two points in the standings.

Regulation time was a back-and-forth affair, with all 12 goals coming in the second and third periods. Twice Columbus scored to take the lead early in the second, and twice Mississippi responded almost immediately to tie the game back up. Later in the frame when the Sea Wolves took a 3-2 lead, Columbus charged back to tie the game just 1:48 later.

In the third period, the River Dragons took a 6-4 lead on goals by Alexander Jmaeff and Kyle Moore, but the Sea Wolves would once again rally to tie the game and force overtime.


  • MacDonald now has 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points over the course of his current scoring streak.
  • Moore extended his career-best scoring streak to nine games and now has 6-13-19 in that stretch including three straight multi-point games.
  • Columbus allowed more shots in overtime tonight (four) that it had in three previous overtimes in total (one).
  • The River Dragons are now 19-1 lifetime against Mississippi.

The same two teams rematch tomorrow night at 7:05 pm on Military Appreciation Night, which is expected to sell out. Limited seats may be available through or at the Civic Center Box Office.


Carolina Comes from Behind, Take Down Danbury in OT, 3-2

Koepplinger scores twice, including game winner in overtime

by Brendan Reilly

Winston-Salem, NC -  For most of Friday night, the Carolina Thunderbirds were trailing. Going to the 3rd period, Carolina was outshooting the Danbury Hat Tricks, 28-15, but trailed 1-0. In the 3rd, Carolina tied it but fell behind again before a late goal forced overtime before the Josh Koepplinger won it 1:41 into overtime, taking the 3-2 win for Carolina.

In the 1st period, Carolina (22-8-1) fell behind with just under six minutes remaining. Zach Pamaylaon beat Cody Karpinski on a tip-in in front giving Danbury (17-12-3) the 1-0 lead. The Hat Tricks held that advantage through 40 minutes before Carolina broke through in the 3rd.

Just 94 seconds into the final frame, Josh Koepplinger snapped one off the bar and in over Liam Murray tying the game at one. Despite countless chances, Danbury regained the lead on a breakout with another tip-in from Jarod Yau at the 7:41 mark, moving the Hat Tricks back in front, 2-1.

The Thunderbirds kept pressing, and with 2:03 remaining in regulation, Jan Salak floated a shot over the glove of Murray, tying the game at two and sending the two sides to overtime.

Following an early rush from Danbury in the overtime, Salak drove to the front of the net getting a shot away on Murray who let out a rebound for Koepplinger to bury completing the comeback and taking the 3-2 overtime win.

In the victory, Koepplinger was named the 1st star with two goals on the evening with Salak picking up two points and 2nd star honors. Murray was named the 3rd star saving 49-out-of-52 shots.

Following the victory, the Thunderbirds and Hat Tricks meet for the regular season finale on Saturday evening. Puck drop is set for 6:05 p.m. from the Annex in Winston-Salem.