Double Hat Tricks, Double the Fun

by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY - The Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Mississippi Sea Wolves 9-1 on Friday night. Austin Thompson and Tyson Kirkby recorded hat tricks, while Nolan Egbert stopped the final 16 shots he faced. 

Due to warm-up violations, both teams were issued a penalty, and the game began at 4- on-4. Mississippi was able to take advantage of the special team situation, and Justin Barr scored the only goal of the night for the Sea Wolves 1:51 into the period. 

Binghamton controlled the pace, possession, and just about everything else for the remainder of the game. Austin Thompson scored to tie the game at 1-1. From that point forward, the Black Bears did not look back. Cameron Clarke scored his first goal at home this year, and Thompson added his second of the night. Binghamton led 3-1 after the opening period. 

The Black Bears kept pouring it on across the final 40 minutes, scoring six more goals. Josh Fletcher and Gavin Yates grabbed themselves goals, then Kirkby recorded his first goal of the night to kick off the third period. Thompson added the 7th goal of the night for Binghamton, his 3rd for his only hat trick of the season. Kirkby added two more and the hat parade continued for the Black Bears, marking the second time in franchise history two players have recorded hat tricks in the same game. 

Binghamton wins 9-1 and inches closer to clinching the division title.



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI - The Port Huron Prowlers got back in the win column with a big 4-2 win over the Motor City Rockers. The victory for Port Huron keeps Motor City from clinching a playoff spot.

“The message before the game is that we left last week in the past,” said Prowlers head coach Matt Graham. “This week was focusing on the details of our game and what’s important for us to be successful. First period, we strayed away from the details and made uncharacteristic mistakes that ended up in the back of our net and I think we responded well in the second and tightened things up in the third as well.”

The Rockers had the better of the play in the first period and they opened the scoring. TJ Delaney found Roman Gaudet who got a bouncing puck past Tucker Tynan for his first point since coming off IR at the end of February.

Jameson Milam doubled the advantage late in the frame as he clapped a slapshot over Tynan’s glove. His team took the 2-0 lead into the intermission.

Port Huron responded in the second, when Evan Foley, Vincent Dekumbis and Dalton Jay went to work on the forecheck. The puck was worked to Jay in the slot who got a backhander off that found the top shelf to cut the lead in half.

“It’s just relentless pursuit of the puck,” Foley said. “That was the key there, constantly putting pressure and reloading. It was a great shot by a great goal scorer.”

Later in the period, Dekumbis chased down a loose puck and held it in the corner to waste time on a penalty kill. It popped out to Liam Freeborn who cut to the slot and beat Ricky Gonzalez to tie the game. With the goal, Freeborn became the first Prowler to score 50 points this season.

It was tied past the midway point of the third when Conor Foley took the puck behind his own net and found his way into offensive territory where he dropped the puck off to Mitch Jones. Jones snapped the puck top corner to put Port Huron in front for the first time.

“To me, that play was so successful because of his play behind the net,” Graham said. “He had a little bit of patience with the puck and deception. He cut to the middle of the ice and created a lot of time and space for himself. He’s a really smart player.”

The Prowlers held things down the rest of the way and Evan Foley hit the empty net to seal the deal.

Foley led the way with the empty-net goal and two assists while Dekumbis had a pair of helpers. Tynan made 36 stops in his 10th win of the season.

Gonzalez made 32 saves on the other end for the Rockers.

Game two of the three-game set is at 6:50 P.M. on Saturday, March 16 at Big Boy Arena. The game can be found live on the PHP Network YouTube channel.

Rockers Drop Opening Weekend Game To Port Huron In Battle of I-94

by Ben Szilagy

Port Huron, MI -  The Motor City Rockers thought they had the Prowlers right where they wanted them. But four unanswered goals by Port Huron proved to be too many as the Prowlers came away with a 4-2 win on Friday night.

The season series sits at 8-5-1 on the year with six games remaining between the two teams.

The Rockers have felt comfortable at McMorran Place all season long with a 5-2-1 road record in the series, and it didn't take too long for Motor City to make themselves feel right at home with two goals in the first period. 

The first one was scored midway through the first when TJ Delany kept his point streak against Port Huron alive when he received a pass from Jonthan Juliano. Delaney moved down the far wall and feathered a centering pass to Roman Gaudet who settled the puck down and shoved it through the five-hole for a 1-0 lead with 9:58 to play in the opening period. 

Juliano was playing in his 400th career game on Friday. 

Meanwhile, it was Gaudet’s first goal since returning from his second IR stint, and snapped a four game drought. Delaney now has an 8-game point streak versus the Prowlers as well. 

The Rockers extended the lead with just under six minutes remaining. 

TJ Sneath won the face-off draw that was controlled by Lane King. King worked his way from the end line to the half wall and centered the puck to Jameson Milam who was able to hit the top shelf for a 2-0 lead with 5:35 to play in the first period. 

It was Milam’s 13th of the season, and extends his point streak to four games. Lane King now has five assists in six games since joining the Rockers and is now on a five-game point streak as well. 

Just as the first period belonged to the Rockers, the second belonged to the Prowlers.

Dalton Jay cut into the Motor City lead after a giveaway in the defensive zone. Vincent Dekumbis found a loose puck that was poked to his stick from Evan Foley. A quick chip from Dekumbis to Jay allowed the Hamilton, ON native to offer a back-hand for a 2-1 game 3:26 into the 2nd period. 

The Prowlers tied the score, 2-2, with a short handed goal eight minutes later when Liam Freeborn got a loose puck from the Rocker endline and worked it into the slot for a quick wrister for his first short handed goal of the season. 

The scoring streak continued with the help of Port Huron’s college signing Conor Foley.

Foley weaved his way from his own endline toward the Motor City end and dropped the puck off for Mitch Jones in the high slot. Jones then picked a corner and fired a wrister for a 3-2 lead with 11:14 to play in the third period.

Evan Foley completed his three point night with an empty net goal for a 4-2 lead with six seconds remaining in the contest.

The Rockers and Prowlers will now play two games in Fraser, MI as the Battle of I-94 continues on into the weekend at Big Boy Arena with a 6:05pm puck drop on Saturday and a 2:05pm face-off on Sunday.



by Doug Lattuca

Danbury, CT - Corey Cunningham’s second career hat trick and second four-point performance against the River Sharks this season paved the way for the Hat Tricks in an 8-1 smackdown of Elmira in the final game of Danbury’s nine-game homestand. Danbury netted two goals in the first, three in the second, and four in the third to build an 8-0 lead.

The Hat Tricks buried two goals 1:17 apart from each other. Cunningham started the scoring at 5:40 on a wrister inside the right post. At 6:57, DiNicola extended Danbury’s lead to two when he tapped in a second opportunity in tight.

The Hat Tricks pulled away in the second with three goals in a 4:30 span. Not even 1:30 in, Josh Labelle slid home a rebound off the pad of Sam LiVecchi to push the lead to three. 12 seconds after being released from the penalty box, Cunningham tallied his second goal of the night after slipping it inside the right post. At 6:09 of the middle frame, Daniel McKitrick made it 5-0 after wristing it through LiVecchi from the right circle.

A powerplay goal from Cunningham at 5:01 of the third completed the hat trick and put Danbury ahead by six. 19 seconds later, Nick DiNicola swatted the puck into the far side. With six minutes remaining, Jacob Ratcliffe sniped Danbury’s eighth goal of the night. 

Hat Tricks netminder Conor McCollum stopped 32 of 33 shots while Elmira’s tandem of LiVecchi and Frankie McClendon surrendered eight goals on 53 shots.

The Hat Tricks head on the road to face Elmira tomorrow at the First Arena. The puck drops at 6:07 p.m. 

Rabbits Roll River Sharks, 8-1

by Jon Kliment

Danbury, CT - Elmira came into the weekend facing three games in three nights in three different buildings knowing the team trailing them in the standings only play one time this weekend.The Hat Tricks came in looking to extend their hold on third place in the Empire division.

Danbury found the back of the net twice in the first period against recent River Sharks acquisition Sam LiVecchi as right after the media time out Corey Cunningham took a pass from Jonny Ruiz and was able to beat LiVecchi to make it 1-0. Just 1:17 later Nick DiNicola found a rebound right in the slot and put it over the outstretched LiVecchi for the 2-0 lead.

The Hat Tricks continued to push the pace of play to kick off St Paddy's weekend as Josh LaBelle scored on an odd man rush with Connor Wooley just 1:28 into the second period to extend the lead to 3-0. Cunningham nailed his second of the night and Daniel McKitrick added a tally to give the Hat Tricks a 5-0 lead and remove LiVecchi from his debut in favor of Frankie McClendon. 

As the clock continued to tick Danbury kept the pressure up tallying three times on McClendon as well as Cunningham completed the hat trick, DiNicola nabbed his second of the night and Jacob Ratcliffe buried a power play goal before Dustin Jesseau got a rebound and tucked on behind Connor McCollum to give Elmira something to cheer about in an 8-1 defeat.

LiVecchi stopped 21 of 26 in his River Sharks debut earning the loss while McClendon stopped 24 of 27.

The River Sharks and Hat Tricks battle again tomorrow night live from the First Arena. Get your tickets on Ticketmaster or by calling the box office at 607-734-PUCK. #feartheFin



by Brett Wiseman

Wytheville, VA - Despite scoring the first two goals of the game and controlling play for most of the first half of the game, the Blue Ridge Bobcats fell 4-2 to the Carolina Thunderbirds before a Friday night crowd of 1,000+ at the APEX Center.

Carson Andreoli scored his first goal as a Bobcat on his first shift as a Bobcat, rifling a wrist shot past Mario Cavaliere and popping off the water bottle on his net just 41 seconds into the hockey game.

Five minutes later, Nikita Ivashkin and Vladislav Vlasov linked up and found Joel Frazee free in the high slot, who put home his 7th of the season to double the Blue Ridge lead. The Bobcats lead 2-0 after one and 2-1 after the second period, the longest portion of time the Thunderbirds had trailed in 9 meetings with the Bobcats so far this season.

The two teams meet again for a St. Patrick's Day celebration tomorrow night at 7:00.