COLUMBUS RIVER DRAGONS at MOTOR CITY ROCKERS
Rockers Take Weekend Series With Come from Behind Win Over Columbus
by Ben Szilagy
Fraser, MI - After losing on Saturday night, Motor City found a way to complete a comeback and take two-out-of-three against Columbus on Sunday afternoon.
The Rockers used a goal in the second and third period to beat the River Dragons 2-1 at Big Boy Arena.
The Rockers and River Dragons skated in a very even back-and-forth first period, but Columbus found a way to get on the board in the last minute of play.
Cody Rodgers secured the puck deep in the defensive zone, and pushed it on a D-to-D pass to Edgars Ozolinsh to start the breakout. Ozolinsh passed the puck into the neutral zone and on to the stick of Austin Daae.
As Daae carried the puck into the offensive zone, he bobbled the puck. After he quickly collected it inside the far circle he fired a shot that beat Trevor Babin who never noticed it for a 1-0 lead with 48.9 seconds left in the 1st period. It was his 16th of the season.
The Rockers (24-14-6) got some late period heroics at the end of the second period thanks to a marvelous play by Derek Makimaa.
The Puck was played behind the centerline by Cody Oakes after he controlled a Ryan Rotondi pass. Makimaa walked the puck through the other side of the neutral zone and poked past a Columbus pinch and then turned on the afterburners. As he sped up to collect the puck in between the hashes, Makimaa picked the top right corner to beat Breandan Colgan glove side for a 1-1 tie with 9.6 ticks on the clock.
Motor City had a flurry in front of Colgan with 13:13 left in the third period that Scott Coash converted for the insurance goal.
As Declan Conway fired the puck, Colgan made a quick save and stopped the rebound of Connor Inger. As the puck bounced into the far side circle, Coash picked it up and fired it to the top shelf from a shallow angle for his 30th goal of the year, and his 50th point of the year for a 2-1 lead in the third period.
The River Dragons (33-8-4) did not give up their fight though the rest of the period. Babin had to stop a flurry of shots, and his defense picked up loose rebounds to keep Columbus off the scoreboard the rest of the way, including stopping a 90-second 6-on-5 attack to close the game.
This is the first time since the middle of January that Columbus has lost two games in a series, in regulation when it was in Winston-Salem to take on Carolina.
Motor City has to regroup quickly as the Rockers will travel for a three against those same Thunderbirds on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
ROCKERS COME FROM BEHIND TO DOWN RIVER DRAGONS
Motor City Takes Sunday Matinee 2-1
by Tom Callahan
Fraser, MI - Austin Daae scored the only goal for the Columbus River Dragons in a disappointing 2-1 loss to the Motor City Rockers on Sunday afternoon at Big Boy Arena.
Daae recorded his 16th goal of the season with a wrist shot from the left wing faceoff circle, beating Rockers goaltender Trevor Babin (19 saves) on the glove side to make it 1-0 after one period of play.
Then Motor City began its comeback, starting with Derek Makimaa’s 15th of the season to tie the game in the second period. Then Scott Coash’s 30th goal of the season in the third period provided the margin of victory for Motor City.
Columbus will face another three-in-three this weekend, as they host the Mississippi Sea Wolves Friday through Sunday at the Columbus Civic Center. Friday’s game features special St. Patrick’s Day sweaters and Saturday is Columbus Legends Night. Tickets are on sale now for all remaining regular season home games via the Civic Center Box Office and online at TicketMaster.com.