Elmira Comeback Falls Just Short, Lose 4-3 in Shootout

by Jacob Johnson

Elmira, NY - Another battle between the two newest teams in the FPHL tonight resulted in some extra hockey with this game going to a shootout. The Motor City Rockers would come away with the two points in the standings winning 4-3.

The Mammoth continued to start out hot in games, netting the first goal just 43 seconds into the game off the stick of Dalton Anderson, he picked off a pass in the neutral zone and buried a shot past Blake Scott. 

The Rockers would then go on to score back to back goals in the first period. Brad Reitter and Devon Fields both beat Harley White on the glove side to give Motor City a 2-1 lead heading into the 2nd period. 

The 2nd period saw some undisciplined hockey by both teams filling the penalty box. The first 17:59 of the period saw some chippy neutral zone play where neither team could find an edge. 

But finally with 2:01 left in the 2nd Tommy Cardinal buried a power play goal past White to give the Rockers a 3-1 lead. The period had 12 penalties combined and the Rockers would bury the only power play goal of the period. At the end of two stanzas it was 3-1 in favor of the Michigan boys. 

Behind a big 3rd period the Mammoth tied things up to send it to overtime. First it was Stavros Soilis from the point burying a shot past Scott to make it 3-2. 

Then with less than 2 minutes remaining Dalton Anderson buried his 2nd of the night to tie things up between the Mammoth and the Rockers.

In overtime both teams had some great chances but the goalies stood strong to send the game into a shootout.

After both Kyle Stevens and Declan Conway missed their first attempts both Chris Hunt and Scott Coash delivered, tying things up at 1. Then Dalton Anderson would step up and miss to open the door for Motor City. Connor Inger would then end it by pushing a puck past Harley White to give the Motor City Rockers a 4-3 victory. The Mammoth earned 1 point in the standings and stayed in 3rd place with the Watertown Wolves.

Elmira will be back in action next Friday and Saturday against the Delaware Thunder in Harrington DE. They will be home the following Saturday against the Black Bears. 



by Brett Wiseman

Winston-Salem, NC.- Before a sellout crowd of 3,297 on Hockey Fights Cancer Night inside the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, many Carolina Thunderbirds shined. Boris Babik shined the brightest of all, stopping all 38 shots faced in an 8-0 trouncing of the Watertown Wolves. 

Babik's first career shutout earned him first star honors on the night.

The first 19 and a half minutes of the first period were heated, physical tight-checking and contentious. Josh Koepplinger shifted the course of the entire game in the final minute of the first. His wraparound goal with 4 seconds left in the opening frame gave Carolina a 1-0 lead, one they never looked back from.

Dawson Baker sniped home a wrist shot in the first half of the middle frame to put the Thunderbirds ahead 2-0. Jacob Schnapp's hard work for the entirety of the night was rewarded when he wired home a power play goal five minutes later to make it 3-0. S goal from Lucas Rowe and a power play tally from Justin Pringle completed a four goal onslaught by the Thunderbirds in the second period.

Jiri Pestuka and Blake Peavey added to the Carolina total. Gus Ford's 30th goal of the season was the exclamation point and the icing on the cake of a dominant 8-0 Thunderbirds victory.

The win was Carolina's 4th in a row, and 4th on the current season long six-game homestand.

The Thunderbirds wrap up that homestand next weekend against the archrival Columbus River Dragons. Tickets are on sale now at, the Annex Box Office, and by calling 336-748-3949.


Falanga Leads Hat Tricks to 5-4 Overtime Win against River Dragons

by Jim Cerny

Danbury, CT.- Michael Falanga’s second goal of the game, with 41.3 seconds remaining in overtime, lifted the Danbury Hat Tricks to a thrilling 5-4 win against the Columbus River Dragons at Danbury Arena on Saturday.

The goal capped a wild sequence, where each team believed it had won. The Hat Tricks thought Falanga scored on a drive to the net and began to celebrate but the referee waved off the apparent goal. The River Dragons kept playing and Jacob Kelly scored on a breakaway at the other end of the ice, seemingly to end the game. The on-ice officials converged to discuss what happened and decided that Falanga had indeed scored, giving the Hat Tricks the victory.

Falanga also scored on a breakaway at 2:41 of the first period to give Danbury a quick 2-0 lead, shortly after Dustin Jesseau scored his team-leading 25th goal 1:09 into the game. Falanga has eight goals this season.

Columbus pulled even before the first intermission. Alex Storjohann scored his 21st goal at 12:57 and Kelly scored at 19:45 to make it 2-2.

The Hat Tricks started quickly again in the second period. Michael Marchesan scored an unassisted goal 43 seconds into the period. Then Lucas DeBenedet made it 4-2 for Danbury, scoring at 3:55.

Again, the River Dragons came back to tie the game before the intermission, scoring on both ends of a 5-on-3 power play. Kelly scored his second goal of the game, 30th this season, at 17:12 during the two-man advantage. Jay Croop then scored a 5-on-4 goal 20 seconds later to tie the game, 4-4.

Jesseau and DeBendet each had a goal and an assist for Danbury and Dmitry Kuznetsov had two assists. Brian Wilson made 26 saves for his League-high 17th win in goal.

Storjohann led Columbus with three points (one goal, two assists) and Christian Pavlas finished with 28 saves.

The Hat Tricks ended their season series with a 2-1-1 record against the River Dragons. Three of the four games were decided in overtime or a shootout, including each of Danbury’s wins.

Danbury will travel to Watertown next weekend (Feb. 10-12) for a three-game series against the Wolves.


Kelly Scores Twice, Storjohann Records

Three Points in Loss

by Tom Callahan

Danbury, CT - A wild, back-and-forth game ended with a referee review and two goals on the same sequence in overtime that ended in favor of the Danbury Hat Tricks by a 5-4 count on Saturday night at Danbury Arena.

In the overtime, the drama began with a goalmouth scramble in front of Columbus River Dragons goaltender Christian Pavlas. Initially it appeared the puck was stopped from crossing the goal line by the River Dragons’ Alex Storjohann, and then a race up the ice resulted in a breakaway goal for Jacob Kelly. As the River Dragons celebrated the apparent overtime win, the referees convened for a discussion in the crease, eventually deciding that Michael Falanga had scored the game winner on the preceding scramble, giving the win to Danbury.

The reversal took away what would have been a dramatic hat trick for Kelly, who scored his league-leading 29th and 30th goals of the season on Saturday. Storjohann also posted a three-point night with a goal and two assists.

The first two periods followed almost the exact same pattern, with Danbury going ahead by two goals early in the frame followed by the River Dragons rallying to tie the game before the end of the period. In the second, Columbus capitalized on consecutive power plays of five-on-three and five-on-four to knot the game again, this time at 4-4.

Saturday wraps up the season series between the two teams, with Columbus ending with a 1-1-2 record against the Hat Tricks. Next weekend the Carolina Thunderbirds host the River Dragons on Friday and Saturday night before the Delaware Thunder come to Columbus on February 17, 18 and 19.



by Brooks Hill

Binghamton, NY.- The Binghamton Black Bears defeated the Delaware Thunder for the seventh time this season 8-6 in a high scoring affair. Binghamton picks up three more points with the regulation victory keeping pace with Danbury for the top spot in the standings. 

Unlike last night, there was plenty of scoring in the first period. Delaware jumped out to a 2-0 lead quickly, leaving the fans stunned as some of them were still making there way to their seats. Tyler Gjurich would put the Black Bears on board with a breakaway goal, which would be followed up by Josh Newberg, tying the game at 2-2. Momentum had swung back in favor of the home team and they capitalized on it. Tyson Kirkby had an amazing backhand shot that he roofed giving the Black Bears their first lead of the game. 

Delaware did not let the party last long, as they would tie the game at 3-3 with another power play goal, their second of the night. All square at 3-3 after the 1st period. 

The Black Bears faced adversirty in the second period, the benched was shortend and Gjurich was injured and did not return. Down one of their best forwards, Binghamton still found a way to produce offense in the form of Nikita Ivashkin and Mac Lewis. Ivashkin would score two even-strength goals, and Lewis added his fifth of the year to scoreboard. Black Bears score three goals for the second straight period, whereas Delaware only managed to put one in the back of the net. Black Bears led 6-4 after two periods. 

Delaware was first on the board in the third making it a one-goal contest again. But then, the play of the game just a few minutes later. Chad Lopez danced around a defender, and out-waited the goaltender to backhand the seventh and the game winning goal. Black Bears would add one more from Kirkby and skate away victors on their first Star Wars Night in franchise history. 

Binghamton remains in second place in the Empire Division. They will travel to Port Huron this weekend for a twogame road trip. Binghamton continues to improve their attendance numbers with over 4500 fans for Saturday night’s contest, leading the FPHL.