Motor City Freezes Out Carolina With 5-1 Win

by Ben Szilagy

Fraser, MI - Motor City is entering the toughest part of their season as the top two teams in the Continental Division are coming to Big Boy Arena. 

On Friday night, Carolina, the second team in the division, came into town ahead of the snowstorm and walked into a storm of offense on the ice. Motor City dominated the Thunderbirds with a 5-1 win to earn three points in the playoff push. 

The Rockers (22-13-6) jumped out to an early lead securing two goals in the first period. 

Leading point getter, Scott Coash, opened the scoring with his 27th of the year 3:05 into the first period. Declan Conway had the puck at the end line of the offensive zone and moved it to the corner to Connor Inger. Inger found Coash in the slot and the forward from Plainfield, IL buried the puck with a back-hand for a 1-0 lead. 

Tim Perks continued his hot streak as he collected the puck deep in the offensive zone, and found a crashing Cade Lambdin for a one-timer for his fifth of the season and 2-0 lead with 6:15 to play in the first period. 

Carolina (30-9-2) got one back on the only goal the Thunderbirds scored in the second period. 

Jiri Pestuka carried the puck down low and centered a pass to Lucas Rowe on the far side post. Rowe slammed the puck past Trevor Babin to cut into the lead 2-1 4:39 into the period. 

From then on it was all Motor City as the Rockers got a power play goal late in the second period. 

After a massive fight ensued, the Rockers got even on the scoreboard when Brad Reitter carried the puck from center ice down low into the offensive end. Reitter tried to center the puck but it bounced off the stick of a Carolina defensemen and chipped over Mario Cavaliere and into the net for his fifth power play goal of the season and a 3-1 lead. 

With 1.5 left in the period Connor Inger charged the net and fired the puck to the nearside and increased the lead to 4-0 for his sixth of the season. 

The Rockers added a short handed goal on a pure effort play in the third period with 14:35 left in the game. 

Lambid protected the blue line like a rabid wolverine and caused a turnover at the point. As he continued battling for the puck, he chipped it ahead to Coash who had a breakaway. Coash entered the zone and fired the puck top-shelf glove side for his second of the game and his third short handed goal of the season for a 5-1 lead. 

Trevor Babin played exceptionally well in net stopping 19 shots in the first period. He stopped 10 shots in the second and closed out the third strong stopping eight shots. Babin made 37 saves on the night on his way to earning his third straight win.

Motor City will host Carolina again on Saturday night at Big Boy Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00pm and tickets can be found on



Pietrantonio Scores Game Winner in OT

by Tom Callahan

Columbus, GA - Columbus River Dragons captain Josh Pietrantonio scored on a breakaway one minute into overtime to finish a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Binghamton Black Bears Friday night at the Columbus Civic Center.

Columbus entered the overtime needing to kill 55 seconds remaining on a cross checking call against Josh Labelle. As time was winding down in kill, Pietrantonio blocked a shot and the rebound ricocheted to center ice. He hustled past two Black Bears defenders to pick the puck up just outside the Binghamton blue line, breaking in alone against Riley McVeigh (28 saves) and beating him glove-side high just under the crossbar.

The goal capped a come-from-behind win for the River Dragons, who twice rallied to tie the game during regulation on power play goals from Micheal Greco and Paul Fregeau.

Breandan Colgan was in top form to earn the win, turning aside 28 shots in the victory including several on the final penalty kill to end regulation and start the overtime.

The same two teams go right back at it tomorrow night at 7:30 pm. Tickets are on sale for all remaining River Dragons home games at the Civic Center Box Office and online at


Home Ice Kind to Hat Tricks

by Chris Lynch

Danbury, CT -  The Danbury Hat Tricks opened their home-and-home against the Elmira Mammoth in style with a 5-1 victory powered by a pair of shorthanded goals.

Defenseman Kyle Gonzalez opened the scoring with a nifty glide in and backhand score on Elmira goaltender Ian Wallace at the 1:19 mark of the opening frame. Danbury added two more goals in the opening stanza. Lucas DeBenedet went first, scoring off a seeing-eye shot to extend the Hat Tricks lead to 2-0 at the 5:13 mark of the frame. Later in the first, while on the penalty kill, Hat Tricks Captain Jonny Ruiz was taken down on a breakaway leading to a penalty shot. Ruiz capitalized on the chance with the Hat Tricks’ first penalty shot goal of the season.

Former Hat Trick Luke Richards got Elmira on the board at the 18:40 mark of the frame to end the first period scoring at 3-1.

Danbury’s scoring push continued in the second period. Michael Marchesan went first, scoring off a Jarod Yau feed and extending the score to 4-1 at the 6:57 mark of the stanza. At the 12:26 mark of the frame, Evan Lugo landed the Hat Tricks’ second goal while on a penalty kill, scoring off a feed from Jonny Ruiz, who recorded three points on the evening. Neither team added a goal in the third period.

Ian Wallace started the game in net for Elmira but was pulled following the Hat Tricks’ fourth goal. Danick Rodrigue entered in relief for the second consecutive game in Danbury, having played for the Prowlers at the Danbury Ice Arena last week.

Brian Wilson stopped 26 of 27 shots in his effort between the Danbury pipes.

Danbury improves to 31-6-5, gaining a point’s worth of cushion over the Binghamton Black Bears for first place in the Empire Division. Elmira falls to 12-25-5.

The teams complete their weekend home-and-home at First Arena on Saturday night. Puck drops in Elmira at 6:35 PM ET.


Mississippi Wins Battle of Wolves 7-4

by Nick Roesch

Biloxi, MS - The Mississippi Sea Wolves staked their second consecutive win on Friday night, outgunning the Watertown Wolves 7-4 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. 

It was another evened-up game for the Sea Wolves with the teams taking a 1-1 score into the first intermission. Watertown’s top-scorer Parker Moskal scored up high on Anthony D’Aloisio at 4:31 before Philip Wong got Mississippi on the board ten minutes later. 

After a lengthy delay leading into the second period, Yianni Liarakos sniped back-to-back goals at 0:30 and 5:23 for a 3-1 Sea Wolves lead. Watertown buckled down and scored two between Trevor Lord and John Amanatidis, but Matt Caranci’s tally represented the go-ahead marker for the Sea Wolves at 4-3. 

The third stanza had a difficult start for the Sea Wolves with the puck taking an odd deflection into D’Aloisio’s net just 10 seconds in. Samuel Hrabcak was given credit on the tying goal. 

Mississippi jumped back in front on a Yaroslav Yevdokimov knuckler from the near circle at 1:55. Sam Turner scored from the same spot and Jake Raleigh added a one-timer before the buzzer sounded to conclude the 7-4 Sea Wolves win. 

D’Aloisio earned his second consecutive win in net on 33 saves. Yevdokimov finished the night with four points, while Philip Wong, Jake Raleigh and Yianni Liarakos each posted three. 

The Sea Wolves will meet the Wolves for the final time of the season tomorrow, March 4. The matchup begins at 7:05pm CST inside the Mississippi Coast Coliseum. 


Thunder Back to Winning Ways

by Jeff Heacock

Harrington, DE -  The Delaware Thunder bounced back from a tough weekend with a strong win at home against the Port Huron Prowlers 5-2. 

Both of the goalies stayed strong through almost the entire first period before Delaware got on the board with a powerplay goal by Denis Gafarov with less than 1 second left until the horn.

The Thunder scored again 7 minutes into the second period to take a 2-0 lead. However, Port Huron was able to cut the lead to one just 36 seconds later on a goal by Dalton Jay. Delaware was able to push the lead back to 2 midway through the second period when Gafarov scored his second power play goal of the game. The two teams traded goals in the last 3 minutes of the second period to make the score 4-2 at the second break.

The third period had some strong goalie play on both sides, but the Thunder got a shorthanded goal by Rocco DiCostanzo to finish off the scoring in a 5-2 Delaware Thunder win. 

The stars of the game were Denis Gafarov and Rocco DiCostanzo with 2 goals each and new goalie, Spencer Kozlowski, with a strong performance in net stopping 43 out of 45 shots in his first start.


by Will Wiegelman

Harrington, DE - The Port Huron Prowlers dropped the first game of a back-to-back in Delaware 5-2 on March 3. Spencer Kozlowski made 43 saves and was the game’s first star in his first professional start.

The first period seemed destined to finish scoreless but Denis Gafarov stepped into the Prowlers’ zone and picked the top corner with 0.8 seconds on the clock to give the Thunder the lead after the first 20 minutes.

TJ Delaney doubled the advantage in the second when he muscled home a loose puck in the slot. 36 seconds later, Dalton Jay pushed through Alex Basey and chipped a loose puck home to cut the lead in half. 

Gafarov answered back with his second power-play goal of the game a few minutes later to restore the two-goal advantage. Jay scored one short-handed to make the deficit one again with under three minutes to go in the frame. 16 seconds later, Rocco DiCostanzo responded on the same power play and the lead was 4-2 for Delaware heading into the third.

Port Huron peppered Kozlowski in the final period, outshooting the Thunder 20-9 in the frame, but couldn’t break through. DiCostanzo put home his second of the game past the midway point to put it out of reach.

Jay led the Prowlers with two goals. Sam Gagnon, Alex Johnson, Dan Chartrand and Matt Stoia each had an assist. Colten Lancaster made 27 saves in his first professional start.

Gafarov and DiCostanzo each scored twice for Delaware. Houston Wilson and Rasmus Asp added a pair of helpers apiece while TJ Delaney had a goal and an assist.

The Prowlers will try to snap their three-game losing skid on March 4 in a rematch with the Thunder. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 P.M. and the game will be available live on the Port Huron Prowlers YouTube channel.