Game Recaps 4/12/24



by Will Wiegelman

Port Huron, MI -  A late goal pushed the Motor City Rockers past the Port Huron Prowlers 3-2 on April 12 at McMorran Place. Scott Coash potted the game winner with 5.1 seconds to go in regulation.

“We were dominant in the first period of the game and did a lot of good things in the playoffs,” said Prowlers head coach Matt Graham. “It’s frustrating that it ended up like that but it is what it is and we’ll take the positives from it and move on.”

The Prowlers got the scoring started in the first after a lengthy shift in the offensive zone. Dan Chartrand found Jeromey Rancourt in the slot who put home his first pro goal to make it 1-0.

That held until the second when Evan Foley found the puck below the goal line and fed Vincent Dekumbis who wired home his seventh of the year. Dekumbis has scored in each of his last four appearances. As has been a theme in this rivalry, the multi-goal lead wasn't safe.

Port Huron killed off multiple penalties but in the final minute of the middle frame, Declan Conway sent a pass across the middle of the ice from the blue line that hit someone in the slot and rainbowed over Makar Sokolov who was playing the pass. That gave the Rockers some life heading into the third.

Ian Wallace replaced Sokolov for the final 20 minutes and early on, he faced a breakaway from Conway who put home his second of the night and 21st of the season to tie things up. 

With just over five minutes left, Tucker Scantlebury drove the net with a step, took some stick contact and ended up with a broken twig. The Port Huron bench was furious and it led to Liam Freeborn being given a game misconduct.

“That was a product of the way the game was flowing and being called,” Graham said. “It’s frustrating when [Scantlebury] has a breakaway cross-crease and his stick gets broken in the middle of his hands. That goes uncalled when there’s a clear sightline and that’s frustrating for the group and gets us off our game a bit. I told the guys after, you can’t complain about the officiating, it’s going to get worse next week when we go down to Carolina, it’s historically like that every year. We just have to play through it and do our best to persevere.”

 It looked like the game was destined for overtime but Scott Coash found the puck in offensive territory, made a move to the net and went top shelf over Wallace for the late game winner.

Wallace takes the loss after making five saves on seven shots in the third. Sokolov made 17 saves in the first two periods. Dan Chartrand had a pair of helpers for the Prowlers.

Conway was the game’s third star with his two goals while Coash was the first star with a goal and an assist. Danny Vanderwiel chipped in two assists. Ricky Gonzalez made 40 stops in net.

The Prowlers and Rockers wrap up their regular seasons on April 13 at 6:05 P.M. at Big Boy Arena. The game will be available live on the PHP Network YouTube channel.

Motor City Secures Home Ice With 3-2 Comeback Win

by Ben Szilagy

Port Huron, MI - The Motor City Rockers secured home ice through the first round of the FPHL Playoffs on Friday Night behind a 3-2 comeback win versus the Prowlers.

The night started out like many nights between the Rockers and Prowlers at McMorran Place with Motor City finding itself in a hole early. 

Port Huron’s Jeromey Rancourt earned his first professional goal midway through the first period when the Prowlers pressure was just too much for the Rockers to overcome. Shots rang from the outside and Motor City couldn’t clear the defensive zone after multiple attempts. 

A shot from Austin Fetterly was blocked by Ricky Gonzalez and the follow-up by Dan Chartrand was also turned away. But the puck lay near the crease and Rancourt put in the rebound for a 1-0 lead with 8:52 to play in the first.

The Prowlers added to its lead in the second period thanks to another press by its forecheck. The puck was behind the end line and Evan Foley won a wall battle, then kicked the puck to the hashes where Vincent Dekumbus buried a sharp wrister for a 2-0 lead with 7:57 to play in the middle frame. 

The Rockers offense began to take off thanks to the help of four power plays that shook off the bye week ring rust. To Port Huron’s credit, they earned four straight kills, but Motor City was able to cut into the lead, 2-1, when Declan Conway offered a shot from the high slot that deflected off a Prowler and into the net.

Conway tied the score in the third period when Danny Vanderwiel hit the Painesville, OH native on a stretch pass from the endline to center ice. Conway raced his way into the Prowler end and fired a wrister all alone for his 21st of the season and a 2-2 score 7:04 into the final frame.

Motor City only needed a point to secure home ice over the defending FPHL Champions Danbury Hat Tricks and it looked like the game would head into overtime as both teams played a back and forth game in the final four minutes.

Scott Coash had other plans, however, as he needed a team leading 27th goal of the season with 5.1 seconds remaining to complete the comeback on three unanswered goals for the Rockers.

Motor City and Port Huron will meet for the final time this season on Saturday at 6:05pm at Big Boy Arena.



by Doug Lattuca

Danbury, CT - The Hat Tricks were bested 4-3 in a shootout by Binghamton Friday night in Danbury’s final game of the regular campaign. All six goals in regulation were scored on the special teams, four on the power play, and two shorthanded.  

With the loss and a Motor City regulation win, the Hat Tricks are locked into the three-seed and will play the two-seed Rockers starting next Friday, April 19 in Danbury. 

Before the puck drop, the Hat Tricks handed out their annual team awards. You can find the winners here. Additionally, Danbury became the first team in professional hockey history to produce an all-Black starting lineup. The six players were D Xavier Abdella, D Steve Brown, F Jhuwon Davis, F Chase Harwell, F Kolby Johnson, and G Tailor Joseph.

2:16 into the first, captain Jonny Ruiz stole the puck from Binghamton goaltender Nolan Egbert and wrapped home a shorthanded goal to give the Hat Tricks a 1-0. With four seconds remaining in the period, Ruiz tapped in a net-side feed from Daniel McKitrick to extend the lead to two on a power play.

Following a five-minute match spearing penalty on Danbury’s Zach Pamaylaon, the Black Bears struck twice. 8:30 into the second period, Binghamton’s Scott Ramaekers ripped a shot from the slot to give the Black Bears their first goal of the night. 1:30 later, Binghamton’s J.T. Walters wristed a point shot to the top left corner to even the score at 2-2. With 4:52 left in the second frame, Jacob Ratcliffe one-timed a pass from Billy Berry on the power play to push Danbury back in front. 

With 5:13 left in the third, with the Hat Tricks on the power play, Binghamton’s Kyle Stephan drove the puck up the right wing and went bar down over the shoulder of Hat Tricks netminder Talor Joseph to tie the score at 3-3 and that is how regulation ended.

After five minutes of scoreless overtime, Binghamton’s Blake Tosto scored the lone goal in the shootout through the five-hole of Joseph to finish off a Black Bears 4-3 win. 

The Hat Tricks open the playoffs on Friday, April 19 in Danbury against Motor City. The puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.



by Brett Wiseman

Wytheville, VA - Thanks to strong performances from Owen Liskiewicz in net, and the game's three stars, Zach Tatrn, Jackson Bohan and Nick McHugh, the Blue Ridge Bobcats vanquished the Watertown Wolves 4-2 for their second straight victory. A crowd of 1,029 fans filled the APEX Center for the Friday night contest.

Both teams traded chances, posts and a crossbar through a tight and scoreless first period. Tatrn opened the scoring, sniping home a top-shelf wrist shot on the power play just 2 minutes and 43 seconds into the second period. Vladislav Vlasov followed suit 11 minutes and 35 seconds later, muscling home another power play goal on the doorstep to double the Blue Ridge lead. 

Bohan, who assisted on the two prior goals, snapped home his first North American professional goal four minutes following Vlasov's marker to give the Bobcats a 3-0 advantage. Tate Leeson answered for Watertown with a power play goal less than two minutes later to bring the Wolves within two goals through 40 minutes of play.

The Bobcats held serve in the third, and added one more to the tally. 53 seconds into the final frame, Vlasov found McHugh all alone in front, who wired home his first professional goal to restore the Bobcats 3 goal lead. Jacob Black answered later on for the Wolves, but Liskiewicz stood on his head and then some in the third, stopping 17 of 18 shots faced in the final frame and 41 of 43 Watertown shots in total. McHugh, Bohan and Tatrn all three had a goal and two assists a piece.

The Bobcats will wrap up the regular season tomorrow night, and with a regulation win can eliminate Watertown from playoff contention in the Empire Division. Puck drop for Fan Appreciation Night at the APEX Center is set for 7:00.


Carolina Comes from Behind against Columbus, 3-2

Nate Keeley’s overtime winner secures two points over River Dragons 

by Brendan Reillly

Winston-Salem, NC - Following a shootout loss on Thursday and trailing for most of the evening, the Carolina Thunderbirds came from behind to win in overtime against the Columbus River Dragons, 3-2, Friday night at the Fairgrounds Arena. 


Columbus (44-7-4) jumped out in front early just 2:41 into the 1st period. Bryan Moore lifted a shot over the glove of Carolina (40-11-4) netminder Cody Karpinski taking a 1-0 lead early. The River Dragons held onto the lead for nearly five minutes before Jon Buttitta was left alone in the slot on a one-timer, blasting a shot past William Lavalliere tying the game at one. The tie was short lived as Columbus went to a power play and Alexander Jmaeff tipped home a centering pass giving the visitors a 2-1 lead. 


Columbus held that advantage until the 3rd. Coming off a faceoff win by Jan Salak, Jiri Pestuka snapped a shot over the blocker of Lavalliere tying the game at two with 11 minutes remaining in regulation. For the second night in-a-row, Carolina was awarded a 5-on-3 opportunity with less than two minutes remaining in regulation. The Thunderbirds could not score in regulation and the two sides went to overtime for the fifth time this year.


In overtime, after a first rush was cleared by Columbus, Karpinski laced a stretch pass to the attacking blue line to Buttitta who found Nate Keeley coming off the bench and ripping a snap shot past Lavalliere and sending the Thunderbirds home winners, 3-2. 


The win for Carolina was its 40th of the season and marks its 10th come from behind victory while trailing going into the 3rd period. 


Pestuka was named the 3rd star with the tying goal while Karpinski earned 2nd star honors making 37 saves and getting an assist on the game winning goal. Keeley was awarded the 1st star with the overtime winner. 


Carolina and Columbus meet for the regular season finale on Saturday in Columbus. Puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. from the Columbus Civic Center. 


Thunderbirds Defeat River Dragons, 3-2 

by Tom Callahan

Winston-Salem, NC - For the second straight night a five-on-three power play for the Carolina Thunderbirds played a pivotal role late in the game against the Columbus River Dragons. This time it led to an overtime game-winning goal from Nate Keeley as the Thunderbirds beat the River Dragons 3-2 on Friday night.

With the game tied at two late in the third period, Columbus took two separate penalties on the same play leading to the Thunderbirds five-on-three power play for the remaining 1:20 of regulation. The River Dragons managed to kill that time and force overtime, where the two-man advantage would carry over for Carolina.

With one second remaining on the power play, Keeley scored on a shot from the top of the right circle, beating River Dragons goaltender William Lavalliere to give Carolina the extra point in OT.

The goal ruined a solid outing from Lavalliere, who made several outstanding saves to help Columbus to the single point.

Bryan Moore and Alexander Jmaeff scored for the River Dragons in game.


  • Moore’s goal was the 100th of his pro career.
  • Jmaeff reached the 30-goal plateau with his power play marker, the second time in his pro career he has eclipsed that total.
  • Carolina goaltender Cody Karpinski’s home shutout streak came to a close at just over three games on Moore’s goal at 2:41 of the first period.
  • Five of the ten games played so far in the season series between the two teams has gone beyond regulation time.

Columbus wraps up its regular season Saturday night at home against the Thunderbirds at 7:05 pm on Fan Appreciation Night. Be sure to arrive early as there are plenty of giveaways and prizes all night long! Tickets are on sale now through the Civic Center Box Office and online at



by Tate Elsworth

Baton Rouge, LA - The Zydeco and Sea Wolves rivalry continued in a fiery fashion on Friday night. In a match filled with fights, physical hockey, and the Zydeco’s best goal of the season, Baton Rouge came out on top, 5-2.

After dropping Thursday night’s matchup against Baton Rouge, the Sea Wolves came into the second game of the series on a 7-game losing streak, whereas Baton Rouge is looking to win their 5th straight against Mississippi.

Both teams set the tone early with their offense, scoring two goals each in the first period. The Zydeco struck first, with Nick Ketola slicing in the game’s first goal at the 16:30 mark. Jackson Bond didn’t take long to respond, willing his way to two early goals at 14:10 and 8:41. Closing out the first period, the Zydeco evened the score 2-2 with a nice shot from Noah Robinson.

Both offenses cooled down in the second period but the tensions heated up. Just over 7 minutes into the period, Edgars Ozolinsh and Richard Pinkowski dropped their sticks and broke out into a fight, giving the Baton Rouge fans their money’s worth. The Zydeco also snuck in their third goal of the night on a power play goal from Curtis Hansen.

Entering the third period up 3-2, the Zydeco made sure to put away the Wolves in a dominant fashion. With 9:04 left in the game, Scott Shorrock scored the Zydeco’s goal of the season on a wrap-around Michigan style shot, putting Baton Rouge up 4-2. An empty net goal from M.J. Graham with under 20 seconds left to go was enough to seal the deal, with the Zydeco winning 5-2.

Baton Rouge closes out their first inaugural season on Saturday night at 7 p.m. against the Sea Wolves.