Black Bears Earn Point in OTL

by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY - The Binghamton Black Bears fell in OT on Saturday night by a final score of 4-3. The Thunderbirds score the game-winning goal with 54 seconds left in the extra period. 

In a role reversal from last night, Carolina was the team that jumped out to a 2-0 led early in the first period. Newsignee, Vinnie Susi, started the scoring on a delayed penalty sequence. Josh Koepplinger followed that up with his third goal of the series. Late in the period, the Black Bears would score their first of three power play goals, thanks to Don Olivieri. After the first period, Carolina held a one-goal advantage, leading 2-1. 

Binghamton scored on the power play in the final five minutes of the second period. Chad Lopez took a pass from Jake Schultz and wristed it to the far side of the net. Carolina would then subsequently earn a 5-on-3 and score once Schultz returned to the ice. Dawson Baker reclaimed the lead for Carolina and sent the Thunderbirds to the room up by one. 

Teams traded chances in the third period, going back-and-forth. The biggest sequence of the period came late, as the Black Bears scored the tying goal with 2:28 remaining. Schutlz scores his 7 th goal of the season to make sure the Black Bears secure one point in the standings. 

After three periods, we did not have a victor. 

In overtime, both teams traded shots, but it was Carolina’s Jiri Pestuka scoring the GWG to push the Thunderbirds to victory 54 seconds away from a shootout. 

The final game of the series will take place on Sunday at 3:00p.m. Tickets for Kid’s day are still available at 


Rockers Sweep Elmira In Convincing Fashion With 7-2 Win

by Ben Szilagy

Fraser, MI - Motor City once again jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as the Rockers earned a 7-2 over Elmira on Saturday night. 

Motor City (21-12-6) jumped out to an early lead thanks to Tommy Cardinal’s 14th of the season. 

Elmira goaltender Harley White played the puck out of the crease to the farside boards where Danny Vanderwiel was waiting. Vanderwiel offered a no-look pass to Cardinal who fired the puck to the top shelf on the short side for a 1-0 lead 3:23 into the first period. 

After not cashing in on the power play last night, the Rockers converted on its first opportunity of the night off the stick of Scott Coash. 

The Rockers were moving the puck around keeping it in the offensive zone. Brad Reitter offered a quick pass to Connor Inger who feathered the puck from the corner to Coash’s stick. Coash came off the boards atop of the near side circle and fired the puck for his 25th of the season and a 2-0 lead with 12:41 to play in the period. 

Elmira (12-24-5) got back into the game also on the power play when Mo Levac played the puck down low and centered it for a crashing Tate Leeson. However, Leeson didn’t get to meet the puck as it bounced off a Rocker skate and into the net for Levac’s fifth of the season that cut into the lead 2-1 with 9:35 to play in the first period.

The Rockers went 2-for-3 on the power play on the night, while killing 2-out-of-3. 

In the second period, Motor City kept its offense humming along to build its lead. 

Derek Makimaa controlled the puck on the nearside boards and pushed it to the point onto the stick of Jamie Milam. Milam slid the puck to Nick Magill-Diaz who walked in the puck and fired the puck that sniped the water bottle for a 3-1 lead for his second of the weekend with 13:23 to play in the 2nd. 

Declan Conway added to the lead a few minutes later when the Rockers were working on the power play. 

Coash received the puck from Josh Colten from the point and feathered a pass to the far side post where Conway tipped in the goal for a 4-1 lead and his 18th of the season. It was his fourth goal of the weekend. 

The third period, like much of the game, was controlled by the purple and black. 

Tommy Cardinal added his second of the game in the opening moments of the third period when he finished a one-timer from Vanderwiel a point blank range for a 5-1 lead. 

Elmira got one back off the stick of Luke Richards for his 7th of the season when he carried the puck into the offensive zone and fired a shot on the short side that tucked under Trevor Babin’s arm to make it a 5-2 game two minutes later. 

Motor City then closed out the game with two more goals in the span of two and half minutes. 

Conway fished a hard pass from Inger in the corner out to Coash. The forward from Plainfield, IL walked it into the slot and fired it through the five-hole for his second of the game and Tim Perks added his third of the weekend off a back-hand for a 7-2 lead. 

This marks the first time since early December Motor City took six points from the weekend as the Rockers climbed up a spot in the Continental Division to third place. 

The Rockers will host the Carolina Thunderbirds on March 3rd and 4th at Big Boy arena next weekend. The last time the two met each team won a game in a weekend series. 


Ruiz Four Goals Lead Hat Tricks to Victory

by Chris Lynch

Danbury, CT - Jonny Ruiz joined the Danbury Hat Tricks in the 2019-2020 season and immediately became a fixture in the Hat Tricks lineup, rising to wearing a deserved captain’s “C” in Hat City during the 2021-22 season. 

On Saturday night, he spearheaded a 7-3 victory for the Hat Tricks over the Port Huron Prowlers with a record setting four goal game. With the scoring binge, the Williamstown, NJ, native recorded the first ever four goal game in the history of the Hat Tricks organization. In the process, Ruiz also scored his 100th goal as a Hat Trick, the first player in franchise history to achieve that milestone. 

Ruiz started the scoring with a shorthanded goal at the first period’s seven minute mark and added his second at the 17:23 point of the frame. Lucas DeBenedet and Dmitry Kuznetsov added first period goals to enter the first intermission at 4-0. 

Danbury tacked on three more goals in the second period with the first two coming on a power play. Egor Borschev tipped in a Dmitry Kuznetsov shot at the 6:20 mark of the frame on a 5on3 advantage. 29 seconds later, on following 5on4 power play, Ruiz recorded his hat trick goal. With 1:59 left in the frame, Ruiz took a feed from Jacob Ratcliffe and potted the franchise record goal. 

Port Huron scored three goals in the final minutes of the game, with Joseph Deveny, Jason Diamond, and Bryan Parsons doing the honors. Diamond’s goal was his first after being signed by the Prowlers from Western New England University. 

Even with the late scoring, the Hat Tricks secured a convincing 7-3 win and a clean sweep on the weekend. Danbury improves to 30-6-5, becoming the second team in the FPHL to achieve that win milestone. 

Port Huron falls to 21-17-3. With the Motor City Rockers’ win over the Elmira Mammoth, the Prowlers fall to fourth place in the FPHL’s Continental Division. 

Wyatt Hoflin was chased after surrendering 6 goals on 16 shots. Danick Rodrigue entered in relief and stopped 21 of 22 shots in the Prowler net. 

The Prowlers head to Harrington Delaware for their series next weekend. 

Frankie McClendon took the net for the Hat Tricks and stopped 29 of 32 shots in the game, his 6th win in 8 decisions this season.

Danbury faces Elmira in a home-and-home next weekend with the Friday matchup at the Danbury Ice Arena. 


Wolves Take Weekend Series 

by Jeff Heacock

Harrington, DE -    The Delaware Thunder suffered a second straight tough loss 9-3 to the Watertown Wolves on Friday night in Harrington. 

Trevor Lord started the scoring early for Watertown just 20 seconds into the contest and Parker Moskal scored another one 3 minutes later. 

Delaware was able to cut the lead down to one on a powerplay goal by TJ Delaney. The score at the first intermission was 2-1 Watertown.

The Wolves went on a 4 goal run in the second period to build a commanding 6-1 lead late in the stanza. Delaware managed to get a goal from Austin Weber with less than 2 minutes to go to cut the score to 6-2 at the second intermission.

Watertown put the game away with 3 more tallies in the third period before the Thunder put up a final powerplay goal to make the final margin 9-3.