Game Recaps 3/29/24


 Motor City Rockers Top Columbus 4-2, Snaps MacDonald's Point Streak

by Ben Szilagy

Fraser, MI - The Motor City Rockers looked to rebound after a dismal performance in last weekend’s series in Columbus where the Rockers were swept in three games. 

Fast Forward to Friday in Hockeytown, the Rockers earned a big 4-2 win breaking a seven win streak for the RiverDragons.

The Rockers ended the first period with the lead thanks to Pavel Svintsov’s first goal since March 2nd.

Rocker Forward Jonthan Juliano cut the puck off at the half wall in the Motor City offensive zone. After he passed it to TJ Delaney, the 6-foot-6 forward from St. Louis, MO centered it to Svintsov in the slot. After a quick move to his back-hand, the Russian put the puck away for a 1-0 lead with 10:36 to play in the opening frame.

Last weekend against Columbus, Motor City struggled in the second period being held to some of its lowest shot totals of the season. That wasn’t the case on Friday night when the Rockers acquired 14 and two goals.

The first goal of the middle frame came from an aggressive forecheck that kept the puck in the offensive end. Juliano fed the puck to the end line where Svintsov feathered a pass to the slot and Danny Vanderwiel. The captain walked into a well aimed shot for his seventh of the year and a 2-0 lead. 

The RiverDragons were able to get one back, however, on its first power play of the night.

Carter Shinkaruk carried the puck at the point and fed it to the nearside wall to Nolan Slachetka. The forward from Joliet, IL fired a shot that was turned away by Trevor Babin, but the rebound came out to the low circle to Alexander Jmaeff for a 2-1 game.

Forty seconds later, Motor City built the lead back up to two, 3-1 when Nick Magill-Diaz rifled a shot from the high slot past Brendan Colgan for his eighth of the year. 

Columbus brought the lead back to one, 3-2, when Cody Wickline deflected a shot from Parker Layton, who recorded his first professional point early in the third period at the 1:11 mark. 

The Rockers built the lead back up thanks to a pure effort play from TJ Delaney who forced a turnover deep in the RiverDragon end. After a Columbus player misplayed the puck in the nearside circle, Delaney gathered the biscuit and fired it past Colgan for a 4-2 lead.

This is the first loss Colgan has suffered since December 23rd against the Carolina Thunderbirds breaking a 15-game win streak from the Wynnewood, PA native. Justin MacDonald’s history setting 38-game point streak also came to a halt as the Hamilton, ON native failed to get on the scoresheet in the contest. 

The Rockers will not have time to rest as it will host the Empire Division leading Binghamton Black Bears on Saturday at 6:05pm at Big Boy Arena before the Easter Break.


by Tom Callahan

Fraser, MI - Justin MacDonald’s FPHL-record scoring streak came to a halt at 38 games and the Columbus River Dragons were stopped by the Motor City Rockers 4-2 on Friday night at Big Boy Arena.

With Motor City leading 2-0 early in the second period Columbus broke through with a power play goal at 4:11 of the second period from Alexander Jmaeff. But the Rockers came back to score just 39 seconds later and go back up by two goals.

Just 1:11 into the third period Columbus would cut the lead to one again on Cody Wickline’s tip of a Parker Layton point shot to make it 3-2. Once again Motor City responded quickly, this time just 23 seconds later to move back in front 4-2.


  • MacDonald’s league-record streak stops at 38 straight games with a point dating back to 1 December. He scored 35 goals and added 53 assists for 88 points in that stretch.
  • Layton’s assist was his first professional point in his second pro game.
  • With the Binghamton loss to Port Huron, Columbus is now four points away from locking the Black Bears out of the FPHL regular season title.

The River Dragons wrap the weekend in Port Huron against the Prowlers on Saturday night at 7:05 pm. The next River Dragons home games are April 5 and 6 on Legends Weekend. See the Legends of Columbus Hockey play at 4:30 pm on Saturday, and your ticket for that night’s River Dragons game gets you into both events. Tickets are on sale now through the Civic Center Box Office and online at



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI - The Port Huron Prowlers took down the Empire-Division leading Binghamton Black Bears 4-1 at McMorran Place on March 29. It’s the only matchup between the teams this season.

“It was a compilation of our best efforts coming together,” said Prowlers head coach Matt Graham. “We played a disciplined brand of hockey, we didn’t stray from it all night. We put a really good 60 minutes together.”

The Black Bears got some opportunities on the man-advantage in the first but the Prowlers turned it around on them. Alex Johnson’s clear attempt was knocked down and Vincent Dekumbis chipped the loose puck past Dakota Bohn to spring himself on a breakaway. He beat Connor McAnanama over the blocker to open the scoring.

That held through the end of the frame. 32 seconds into the middle period, Frank Schumacher smacked a shot from the point that caromed off the back boards and came to Liam Freeborn at the side of the cage. He deposited his team-high 23rd goal of the season to double the Port Huron lead.

Early in the third, Tucker Scantlebury and Josh Fletcher dropped the mitts. Jake Vaughan took Scantlebury’s spot for the ensuing faceoff and six seconds later, Dalton Jay’s backhander hit him and deflected past McAnanama for Vaughan’s first pro goal. He was named the game’s first star.

“He’s a big body,” Graham said of Vaughan. “He’s played very well. I’ve used him sparingly so far and he’s done a lot with the opportunities he’s gotten. I love his energy on the bench and the energy he carries himself with on the ice. First pro goal, awesome for him.”

Dakota Bohn got Binghamton on the board later in the frame as he went end-to-end while dangling a few Prowlers for a shorthanded five-on-three goal. That made it 3-1.

Port Huron held tough from there and Scantlebury sent a shot to the top corner to put the icing on the cake and with just over two-and-a-half minutes to play.

Nine different Prowlers recorded a point while Makar Sokolov made 39 saves in between the pipes.

“We got offense from all over,” Graham said. “We played solid defensively, we had guys who were willing to block shots. Makar played awesome in net for us. The addition of [Dominic Loubert and Chace McCardle] helped us get out of our zone very easily.”

McAnanama stopped 20 shots in the loss. His .833 save percentage on the night is his worst in any start this season.

The Prowlers wrap up their home three-in-three with a second meeting against the Columbus River Dragons. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 P.M. and tickets are available at


by Brooks Hill

Port Huron, MI -  The Binghamton Black Bears fell on the road to the Port Huron Prowlers, 4-1 on Friday night, in the only matchup of the season. Dakota Bohn recorded the only goal of the night for the Black Bears, shorthanded 3on5. 

In the only contest this year, Port Huron was able to find the back of the net for the first three goals of the game. In the first period, the prowlers were able to score shorthanded, on a broken play. Binghamton was able to put 17 shots on goal, but came up empty-handed, trailing 1-0 going into the locker room. 

Things took a hard turn for the Black Bears to begin the second. The Prowlers knocked in a juicy rebound off a shot that missed the net, bouncing hard of the dashers. The power play was not able to capitalize, and Binghamton could not seem to sneak one past the netminder. After two periods of play, Binghamton trailed 0-2, but generated chances, out shooting Port Huron 31-16 after 40 minutes. 

Binghamton came out of the room with a little bit of spark in the third, prompted by a Josh Fletcher tilt, but would give up one more goal before the bright spot occurred. The Black Bears down three goals, and two men due to penalties, found themselves on the wrong end of a 5on3. However, Dakota Bohn scored the highlight reel goal, skating with the puck coast to coast put the Black Bears on the board. Bohn's 13th of the season is the first in franchise history to be recorded with two-men shorthanded. 

Alas, It was not enough for the Black Bears on Friday night, as the fall 4-1 to the Port Huron Prowlers.  


Thunderbirds Shutout Blue Ridge, 5-0 

Karpinski records third straight shutout at home

by Brendan Reilly

Winston-Salem, NC - Coming off of two straight shutouts at home, Carolina Thunderbirds netminder Cody Karpinski recorded his third consecutive shutout in a 5-0 victory over the Blue Ridge Bobcats on Friday evening at the Fairgrounds Arena.


In the 1st period, Carolina (37-11-2) and Blue Ridge (13-31-7) went back and forth early on until just after the midway mark of the frame. After the Thunderbirds killed off a penalty, Jon Buttitta drove into the corner before sending a backhand pass to the far dot finding Dawson Baker who found the back of the net at the 12:41 mark giving the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. Cody Karpinski saw his most action across the first 20 minutes saving all seven shots he saw, holding the goal lead into the second. 


Carolina started to figure out Blue Ridge in the 2nd period. Just inside three and a half minutes into the period, Gus Ford picked up his 40th goal of the season on a wraparound in front beating Connor Green doubling the lead for the Thunderbirds. Ford found his second of the night six minutes later before Josh Koepplinger jammed home his 14th goal of the season at the 12:53 mark and the Thunderbirds held a commanding 4-0 lead going to the 3rd. 


After seeing 13 shots across the first 40 minutes, Karpinski only saw two shots in the 3rd while Tucker Firth picked up his first goal since February 3rd on the power play at the 8:14 mark of the 3rd as Carolina coasted to a 5-0 shutout victory over the Bobcats.


With the win, Carolina improves to 12-0 this season against Blue Ridge. With two goals, Ford was named the 3rd star, Karpinski earned 2nd star honors with the 15-save shutout, while Baker received 1st star honors with three points. 


The Thunderbirds and Bobcats finish off their season series on Saturday night in Wytheville, Virginia. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. from the Apex Center. 




by Doug Lattuca

Danbury, CT - Rookie forward Billy Berry recorded his first professional hat trick in his eighth pro game Friday night to lead the Hat Tricks to a 7-4 victory over Watertown. The Hat Tricks have won six straight games and 13 of the last 16. Danbury took nine of the 13 games against Watertown in the regular season series. 

Forwards Jacob Ratcliffe, Jonny Ruiz, and Connor Woolley recorded two assists each, while rookie Kolby Johnson secured his first professional goal. 

With 8:30 left in the first period, Hat Tricks captain Ruiz led a three-on-two into the offensive zone and delivered a cross-slot feed to forward Daniel McKitrick for the wrist shot goal under the arm of Spencer Kozlowski. McKitrick’s eleventh goal of the season gave Danbury a 1-0 lead and that is how the period ended. Danbury outshot Watertown 16-7 in the opening frame.

The offenses started to click in the second. 57 seconds into the period, Berry lofted a point shot off of Kozlowski’s helmet and under the crossbar to extend the lead to two. Berry struck again soon after at 3:47 of the period when he swooped around the left side of the net and snuck it inside the post to make it 3-0. Watertown’s Carter Thornton notched a power play goal with 4:38 remaining in the period, which was confirmed by video review. The Hat Tricks responded minutes later at 17:38 of the middle frame after Kyle Gonzalez scored his first goal since Nov. 11. With eleven seconds to go, Watertown’s Thornton scored his second off of a rebound shot to cut the deficit to two.

6:58 into the third, Berry buried his third of the night after snapping the puck past Kozlowski on a one-timer in tight. Seconds later, at 7:14, Johnson tallied his first goal of the season. Watertown responded with two goals to get back within two, but Danbury’s Corey Cunningham sealed the deal with an empty-netter at 16:50.

The Hat Tricks return to action next Friday night in Binghamton against the first-place Black Bears.


A Home Zydeco Fight to Clinch The Win

by Morgan King

Baton Rouge, LA - Friday night The Baton Rouge Zydeco took on The Mississippi Sea Wolves. The Zydeco trailed 3 nothing but made a comeback in the second half of the game for a home Zydeco win.

The 1st period had an early Zydeco powerplay where the team tried scoring but was shut down by the Sea Wolves goalie. The Sea Wolves Philip Wong scored the first goal of the evening making this his 16th goal for the season. Ending the period with a Sea Wolves two-nothing lead.  

In the 2nd period, the Zydeco continued to struggle, leading the Sea Wolves to improve their lead. Zydeco's MJ Graham assisted Scott Shorrock to make their first point of the game. The game heated up as Zydeco's Tyler Larwood was tripped up by the Sea Wolves, creating a power play for the Zydeco. As the period was coming to a close Connor Lind of the Sea Wolves served time in the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct. Creating a power play for the Zydeco, but this did not help Baton Rouge Zydeco. The period concluded with a 3-1 score, and the Sea Wolves carried the lead. 

For the 3rd period, it was a great opening for the Zydeco. They got their power play goal from Scott Shorrock, and seconds later Noah Robbsion tied the game, no longer trailing. Bradley Richardson makes a stellar goal with the assist from Noah Hippolyte and Michael Haskins. The Zydeco fought, clinching their lead and Curtis Hansen secured the win with a goal to an empty net.  

The Zydeco's next game is tomorrow Saturday, March 30th against the Mississippi Sea Wolves at the Raising Cane's River Center. 


by Zachary Morgan

Baton Rouge, LA - The Mississippi Sea Wolves of the Federal Prospect Hockey League (FPHL) have clinched a coveted spot in the 2024 Commissioners Cup Playoff following an outstanding 8-2 victory over the Baton Rouge Zydeco. The thrilling match unfolded last night at the Wolves Den, nestled within the heart of the MS Gulf Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Mississippi.

In a showcase of sheer determination and exceptional teamwork, the Sea Wolves showcased their prowess on the ice, delivering a commanding performance that left fans roaring with excitement. From the opening face-off to the final buzzer, the Sea Wolves demonstrated their unwavering commitment to excellence, dominating every aspect of the game with finesse and precision.

The atmosphere within the Wolves Den was electric as fans rallied behind their beloved team, cheering them on with unbridled enthusiasm. With every goal scored and every save made, the Sea Wolves showcased their dedication to the sport and their unyielding passion for victory.

Speaking after the game, Coach Dustin Skinner praised the team's resilience and determination, emphasizing the importance of this victory in securing their place in the upcoming Commissioners Cup Playoff. "Tonight's win is a testament to the hard work and dedication of every player on this team," said Coach Dustin Skinner. "We've faced numerous challenges throughout the season, but our unwavering determination has brought us to this moment. I couldn't be prouder of the effort displayed by each and every member of the Sea Wolves."

As the Sea Wolves celebrate this significant milestone in their season, they now turn their focus towards the upcoming playoffs, where they will continue to pursue their ultimate goal of championship glory. With their sights set firmly on success, the Sea Wolves are prepared to face any challenge that comes their way, fueled by the unwavering support of their loyal fanbase.