Storjohann, Pietrantonio Lead Columbus Past Motor City 5-2

by Ben Szilagy

Fraser, MI - After being shutout the night before, Columbus had a strong offensive performance to take Game 2 of a three game series with a 5-2 win at Big Boy Arena.

The River Dragons (33-7-4) used its trademark suffocating forecheck and odd-man rushes to take control of the game in the second period building a lead that was started in the first period. 

Midway through the opening frame with 9:50 left in the first period Alex Storjohann netted his first of the night, and 22nd of the season. 

The puck was fired on net by Josh Labelle from the far side point that was turned away by Trevor Babin. Josh Petrantonio slid it into the slot where a crashing Storjohann sliced through the Rocker defense and put the puck in for a 1-0 lead. 

Motor City (23-15-6) knotted the score up, 1-1, on the power play with 12:04 left in the second period, cashing in its only power play goal of the night. 

Tommy Cardinal feathered a pass to Brad Reitter along the far boards. Reitter threaded the needle through a crowd in front of the net and found Nick Magill-Diaz for a one-timer on the far side post for his second of the weekend, and fourth of the season. 

From then on, it was all River Dragons who regained the lead on a 5-on-3 with 6:31 left in the middle frame. 

Storjohann cycled the puck back to the point to Labelle who pushed it to the nearside to Petrantonio. As a man was screening in front, Petrantonio fired a hard blast through the five-hole of Babin for a 2-1 lead and his 14th of the season. 

The Rockers’ defense succumbed to the constant pressure of Columbus, as Motor City was only rotating five defensemen the whole night. The River Dragons smelt blood and went in for the kill. 

With under three minutes to play in the 2nd period, Columbus had two breakaway goals, one by Petrantonio and the other by Jacob Kelly that were born off stretch passes that slipped behind the Rockers for a 4-1 lead after two. 

Motor City got back on the board thanks to a rebound goal by Derek Makimaa on the nearside to pull within two, 4-2, with 8:21 to play in the third. But an empty net goal by Storjohann for his second of the night solidified a 5-2 win. 

The rubber match of the weekend will be the lone game going on in the FPHL on Sunday at 2pm at Big Boy Arena. 


Pietrantonio, Storjohann Both Score Twice and Add Assist

by Tom Callahan

Fraser, MI - Josh Pietrantonio and Alex Storjohann paced the offense with two goals and an assist each as the Columbus River Dragons beat the Motor City Rockers 5-2 on Saturday night.

Tied at one in the second period, Pietrantonio scored his first of two consecutive goals in a five-on-three power play situation to give the River Dragons a 2-1 lead at 13:29. Then at 17:01 Pietrantonio took a stretch pass from Michael Greco and raced in alone, scoring on his own rebound to make it 3-1.

Despite Motor City scoring halfway through the third period to make it 4-2, Storjohann’s second of the night into an empty net sealed the win for Columbus. Jacob Kelly recorded his team-leading 34th goal of the season in the win.

Breandan Colgan stopped 28 shots to earn the win for Columbus.

The same two teams are right back at it tomorrow at 2 pm ET, with the AirForce Heating and Air Pregame Show kicking off a half-hour before puck drop on the Columbus River Dragons broadcast network.



by Brett Wiseman

Winston-Salem, NC - In the season series finale between the cross-division rivals, the Carolina Thunderbirds once again dominated offensively, romping the Binghamton Black Bears 9-5 to complete a season sweep.

The fifth meeting between two of the top four teams in the league had everything that the previous matchups had, just a lot more offense. Still played with speed, physicality, and great goaltending on both sides. But with Binghamton's 54 shots on goal and Carolina's 49, both offenses were rolling.

Matthew Bazarin opened the scoring six minutes into the opening frame, sending a wrist shot through the legs of Riley McVeigh to net his first goal as a Thunderbird and make it 1-0.

Three minutes and 34 seconds later, Josh Koepplinger scooped up a rebound out of a net mouth scramble and sniped it home underneath the crossbar to double the Thunderbirds lead.

Carolina continued their bombardment in the middle frame, with Gus Ford adding his 37th goal of the season on a breakaway, then feeding a backdoor pass put home by John Buttitta on the power play. Ford, the league leader in points, extended that total to 93 with another goal in the third.

Binghamton finally chiseled away and got one past Boris Babik when Austin Thompson poked home a rebound for the Black Bears first goal in five and a half periods of hockey. Jake Schultz added another on a similar play four minutes later.

Justin Pringle continued his strong play of late, popping home a rebound in the second as well, seven minutes and seven seconds into the middle period.

The Black Bears did what they could in the third to keep up in the goalfest, as Thompson added his second and Yates scored back-to-back-goals, but it wasn't enough.

Petr Panacek added another goal off of a rebound, backhanding one home in his second game back from an extended injury absence. Brice French even got in on the fun, smacking home a beautiful backdoor pass from Panacek for just his second goal of the season. 

Koepplinger added the exclamation point, one-timing a shot home for his second goal of the night off a perfectly executed 3-on-2 rush with Ford and Pringle in the game's final minute.

The Thunderbirds remain at home, with three games next weekend to wrap up their regular season series with a potential playoff opponent, the Motor City Rockers.



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI - The Port Huron Prowlers fell to the Elmira Mammoth 5-2 on March 11 to split their series at McMorran Place. Danick Rodrigue made 52 saves for Elmira.

Zack Olen got the scoring started 5:10 into the opening period when he stepped over the blue line and picked the top corner. That was his first professional goal and earned him the third star of the game.

Joe Deveny doubled the advantage early in the second with a power-play goal.

Ricards Jelenskis took over later in the period with a pair of power-play goals to tie the score at two.

Noah Wild came in on a breakaway and scored on the backhand to give the Mammoth the lead with under two minutes to play in the period. He was the game’s second star.

The Prowlers threw all they could at the Elmira net in the third period but couldn’t beat Rodrigue. Luke Richards scored a dagger with three minutes to go and Tate Leeson hit the empty net.

Frank Schumacher, Alex Johnson and Matt Stoia each picked up an assist for the Prowlers. Nick Althaus made 28 saves in his professional hockey debut. 

Dalton Anderson and Tristan Mock each had a pair of assists for the Mammoth. Rodrigue picked up the victory in his first start with the team.

The Prowlers’ homestand continues when the Delaware Thunder come to town on March 17 and 18. Tickets are available online at or by calling the McMorran box office at 810-985-6166.


Hat Tricks Sweep Weekend Series Over Wolves

by Jeff Barrett

Watertown, NY -  For the second night in a row the Wolves hosted the Empire division leading Danbury Hat Tricks. Unlike the previous night's tight back and forth battle, this one would get started with Danbury picking up 3 first period goals, starting with a Daniel McKitrick goal at the 6:58 mark, assisted by Johnny Ruiz and Zach Pamaylaon.

McKitrick would add a second goal of the period on a short handed effort at 17:23 of the period, as he was able to split two defenders and go one on one with Owen Liskiewicz, and beat him to the top left corner.

Danbury would extend the lead even further at the 19:29 mark when Johnny Ruiz lifted a pass from Kyle Gonzalez and John MacDonald over the shoulder of Liskiewicz making the score 3-0.

The period ended with that score although Watertown outshot Danbury 19 to 16.
Period number two started with a goalie change for the Wolves as newly signed Adam Wisco would see his first professional action.

The Wolves would finally get on the scoreboard at 10:13 of the second period on Elijah Wilson wrist shot that beat Danbury netminder Brian Wilson on the stick side, cutting the lead to 3-1. Assists on the goal went to Brandon Baker and Don Carter Jr.

Danbury again took a three goal lead when Micheal Marcheson tapped home a rebound from Jacob Ratcliff and Kyle Gonzalez at 13:40 to make the score 4-1. Johnny Ruiz would lengthen the lead to 5-1 when he was able to stuff the puck inside the left pipe. Assists on the goal went to Daniel Amesbury and Jarod Yau. Danbury outshot Watertown 15 to 8 in the second frame, and took the 4-1 to the locker room.

The Wolves were able to close the gap early in the third on a Parker Moskal wrist shot at 2:47 making the score 5-2. Assists on the goal belonged to Lincoln Gingerich and goalkeeper Adam Wisco, giving him his first pro point.

The Hat Tricks controlled most of the remaining action in the third and added another goal at the 12:18 mark when Jacob Ratcliff lit the lamp extending the lead to 6-2. Michael Marcheson and Lucas DeBenedet were credited with the helpers on the goal. 
6-2 would be the final score despite Watertown outshooting Danbury 17 to 7 in the third and 44 to 38 for the game. 

These same two teams will meet again next weekend with Friday the 17th's game here in Watertown before both clubs head to Danbury for the Saturday matchup.  


Sea Wolves Shut Out Thunder 6-0

by Nick Roesch

Biloxi, MS - Goaltender Anthony D’Aloisio stopped all 40 shots faced on Saturday night as the (14-26-4) Mississippi Sea Wolves blanked the (5-36-3) Delaware Thunder 6-0 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. It was D’Aloisio’s first professional shutout between the pipes. 

The Sea Wolves dominated the first period, as Yaroslav Yevdokimov and Jake Raleigh each scored twice for a 4-0 lead. Michael Haskins, Yianni Liarakos and Ethan Busch-Anderson each recorded assists on the offensive flurry. 

The second period went down much quieter with its only goal scored by Kyle Russell at the 1:13 mark. On a pass from Busch-Anderson, he banged in a shot from the blue line for his second of the season and a 5-0 Mississippi advantage. 

12:34 into period three, Yevdokimov earned his second hat trick in as many games on a crossice pass courtesy of Raleigh. 

The special teams unit was another crucial factor for the Sea Wolves. They were successful on all 11 of their penalty kills while striking on the power play for the third time of the two-game weekend. 

Delaware recorded 13 shots in each period, but D’Aloisio stood firm for his fifth straight win in net. The Sea Wolves’ five-game win streak is their highest of the season. 

After 11 consecutive home games, the Sea Wolves hit the road this Friday, March 17 for the opener of a three-game series against the Columbus River Dragons. The action is set to begin at 6:30pm Central and fans can view the action live on the Mississippi Sea Wolves YouTube channel.