COLUMBUS RIVER DRAGONS at MOTOR CITY ROCKERS
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.
RIVER DRAGONS EVEN WEEKEND SERIES WITH 5-2 WIN OVER ROCKERS
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.