by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY.- The Binghamton Black Bears routed the Delaware Thunder on Friday night by a final score of 8-2. Both new additions for the Black Bears shined, as Talor Joseph earned a victory in net in his debut, and Don Olivieri tallied three points. 

After a scorless first period, the Black Bears got the scoring started in the second period with two quick goals from Chad Lopez and Austin Thompson. Delaware would push back with a power play goal, but 12 seconds later, Lopez would grab his second of the night, reclaiming a two-goal lead. Nikita Ivashkin now had two assists on both of Lopez’s goals. In the final five minutes of the period, Ivashkin would add a goal of his own on a pop-up the bounced on the goal line and fell into the net. After two periods the Black Bears had secured a three-goal cushion, leading 4- 1. 

The final period of the night saw the penatiles start to wrack up, and both teams found themselves in-an-out of the penalty box. Thompson would grab his second of the night on the power play, collecting the loose puck out in front from a Mathieu Boislard shot, making it 5-1 in favor of the home team. 

The Black Bears then conceded two straight penatiles and found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-on-3. Delaware would slip one through the five-hole of Talor Joseph scoring their final goal on the night, both of which came on the power play. Tyler Gjurich inched closer to the all-time FPHL goal lead with his marker tonight, Ivashkin picking up another assist. The new guy, Don Olivieri, wristed one from the point on the Black Bears final power play of the night for the icing on the cake. 

The cherry on top was Chad Lopez scoring his third of the night for his 1st hat trick for Binghamton. 8 goals for the Black Bears on Friday night was more than enough to defeat the Delaware Thunder for the seventh time this season. The same two teams have a scheduled rematch Saturday, at 7:00p.m. 


Elmira Falls 4-3 to Motor City

by Jacob Johnson

Elmira, NY - In the first meeting behind the two newest teams in the FPHL the Motor City Rockers got the upper hand in meeting number 1 winning 4-3 over the Elmira Mammoth. 

The first period was a feeling out process for both teams, the Rockers would strike first with an odd man advantage that Declan Conway buried for his 13th of the season. The first period would end 1-0 in favor of the Rockers

To start the 2nd period, Jonathan Juliano picked up a rebound out in front and buried it past Thomas Proudlock to make it 2-0. 

The Elmira Mammoth would answer a minute and a half later with some silky stick work from Tate Leeson to go 5-hole on Trevor Babin. Thomas McGuire and Tyler Piekarski each received an assist.

Later in the period Tate Leeson would find Kyle Stevens sitting on the back door step to knot it all up at 2. 

The Mammoth lead would evaporate less than a minute later when Scott Coash just fit a puck underneath Proudlock to give Motor City a 3-2 lead. The Rockers would find the net one more time in the 2nd period with Derek Makimaa. The teams would head into the intermission with the score 4-2. 

The 3rd period would be back and forth hockey with both teams garnering up some grade A opportunities. The Mammoth would strike with the lone goal of the period off the stick of Nathan Campbell to make it 4-3. The Mammoth had a few chances on the power play and after Trevor Babin was ejected but to no avail. 

Blake Scott came in and stood his ground to complete the Rockers victory. These two teams will be back tomorrow night with puck drop at 6:30pm. 


 Hat Tricks Fall in OT

by Chris Lynch

Danbury, CT.Friday Night promised a spirited and excellent matchup between the FPHL’s first place teams. The Continental Division leading Columbus River Dragons and Empire Division leading Danbury Hat Tricks met expectations, offering a brilliant goaltending matchup. 

Danbury’s Brian Wilson and Columbus’ Breandan Colgan made a great series of excellent saves to thrill the Danbury crowd and send the matchup the distance. Colgan stopped 28 shots while Wilson stopped 33. The three goals that went in were aided by wild bounces, leading to the goaltenders fighting the ice, and occasionally their teammates throughout the game. 

Michael Marchesan’s second period goal went in off the skate of Columbus defender Paul Fregeau at the 5:37 mark of the frame. Luke Richards notched an assist on the goal. 

Columbus tied the game at the 7:36 mark of the third period courtesy of Thomas Aldworth’s efforts. The shot knuckled on Brian Wilson and found its way into the twine. 

Danbury killed all Columbus power plays in the game while the River Dragons did not take a penalty from the middle point of the second period through to the end of the game. 

In overtime, both teams got a few good chances, but the final score rolled over Brian Wilson’s glove arm and ended the night in heartbreaking fashion for the Hat Tricks and uplifting fashion for Columbus. Cody Rodgers did the honors at the 2:54 mark of the frame to improve the River Dragons to 27-5-1 and drop the Hat Tricks to 24-4-5. This is Columbus’ fourth overtime win this season. 

The teams complete their weekend series at the Danbury Arena on Saturday night. Puck drops at 7PM. 


Rodgers Scores Game Winner; Colgan

Records 28 Saves in Win

by Tom Callahan

Danbury, CT - Cody Rodgers scored the game-winning goal at 2:54 of overtime to help the Columbus River Dragons to a 2-1 overtime win over the Danbury Hat Tricks on Friday night at Danbury Arena.

Rodgers followed the rebound of his own shot, chipping the puck over top of Danbury goaltender Brian Wilson (33 saves) and just under the crossbar for his seventh goal of the season.

The Hat Tricks opened the scoring in the second period when Michael Marchesan’s cross-ice pass deflected past Breandan Colgan (28 saves) off a River Dragons defender at 5:37 of the second period.

Columbus finally managed to tie the game in the third period when Thomas Aldworth fired a wrist shot that leaked through the pads on Wilson at 7:36 of the third period to force the eventual overtime.

The two teams wrap up the season series tomorrow night at 7 pm in Danbury. The AirForce Heating and Air Pregame Show starts a half hour before puck drop on the Columbus River Dragons broadcast network.



by Brett Wiseman

Winston-Salem, NC.- Before another packed crowd inside the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, Josh Koepplinger played hero in a shootout thriller between the Carolina Thunderbirds and the Watertown Wolves. 

A game filled with huge goals, huge saves, and huge hits could not be decided in even 65 minutes of hockey. Both teams traded goals, chances, checks, and saves throughout a tumultuous back-and-forth affair.

Carolina started out hot, both in their heads and on the ice. Viktor Grebennikov was injured on a boarding penalty (but later returned) just a handful of seconds in. Gus Ford added to his league leading point total with his 29th goal of the season, dusting defenders in his wake to put home a backhander on a power play rush.

Then, the Wolves came howling. Peppering the Carolina zone with a sustained attack, they added three unanswered goals in the opening frame to take a surprising 3-1 lead.

The Thunderbirds took the punch, and came back with a counterpunch of their own. John Buttitta found Justin Pringle off the rush midway through the middle frame to cut the Watertown lead in half. Lucas Rowe wired home his 23rd of the season on a wrister from the high slot to tie the game at 3, six minutes after Pringle's marker.

A tightly contested third finally opened up when Rowe blasted home his 24th goal of the year on a one timer off a beautiful pass from Ford to give Carolina a 4-3 lead. A lead that almost lasted the rest of the way.

Larry Yellowknee popped one home out of a netmouth scramble to tie the game at 4 in the final minute. Overtime went scoreless.

The first two shooters for each side scored in the first rounds of the shootout. Yellowknee and Brendan Hussey for Watertown, and Ford plus Jiri Pestuka for Carolina. The next two shooters per side were stopped by respective netminders Gregory Hussey and Mario Cavaliere. 

Josh Koepplinger stepped out, stepped up, and sent everyone home happy as he sniped a wrister over top of Hussey to give the Thunderbirds a hard earned 5-4 shootout victory.

Carolina hosts the Wolves once more tomorrow night, for what will be the fourth of a season-long six game homestand.