Storjohann Leads Offense with Hat Trick

by Tom Callahan

Columbus, GA - Alex Storjohann recorded a hat trick while four other players recorded multi-point efforts as the Columbus River Dragons beat the Motor City Rockers 7-2 and swept the first round playoff series 2-0.

Storjohann scored the first two goals of the game, part of a five-goal first period that rocked Motor City back on its heels. Josh Labelle, Jacob Kelly and Josh Pietrantonio also scored to give Columbus a lead it would not relinquish.

After Storjohann recorded his third goal of the game in the third period, Thomas Aldworth scored on the power play to cap the River Dragons scoring.

Breandan Colgan recorded his second straight win, making 37 saves to earn the victory.

Columbus will now await the winner of the Carolina Thunderbirds Port Huron Prowlers series.

The on sale date for second round tickets will be unveiled in the coming days. 

Rockers Season Ends After RiverDragons Sweep Round One With 7-2 Win

by Ben Szilagy

Columbus, GA - An explosive first period was all Columbus needed to sweep the Motor City Rockers in two games to advance to the Continental Division Finals of the FPHL Commissioner Cup Playoffs. 

The Rockers fell to the RiverDragons 7-2 at the Columbus Civic Center on Friday night. 

The first period was one to quickly forget for the Rockers as the RiverDragons put away five goals, three off breakaways. 

The first goal came after Motor City iced the puck, keeping its skaters on the ice for an extra long shift that Columbus took advantage of. Paul Fregeau fired the puck on net that was blocked but Alex Strojohann beat out two Rockers defenders and slid the puck through the five-hole for his second of the playoffs and a 1-0 lead with 12:20 to play in the first period. 

Two minutes later Lane King cycled the puck down low to Fregeau in the nearside circle. Fregeau then found Storjohann slipping past the defense into the slot for a quick wrister for his second of the night, and an early 2-0 lead with 10:04 to play in the opening period. 

While Motor City was on a power play, Alexander Jmaeff scooped up the puck in the defensive zone, while the Rockers were cycling away from the puck. He raced into the offensive zone and offered a drop pass to Josh Labelle who picked the glove side corner of the net for a 3-0 lead. 

Four minutes later, the puck bounced off the nearside boards in the Rockers offensive zone that Jay Croop collected. As he looked for a stretch pass, Croop hit Jacob Kelly in stride behind the Motor City defense for the second breakaway of the night that Kelly put away for a 4-0 lead. 

A minute and a half later, Josh Pietrantonio capped the scoring at 5-0 with the third breakaway of the period. 

When the first period ended the RiverDragons scored five goals on 12 shots, while Motor City collected 11 shots, including a crossbar early in the first period. 

After a scoreless second, the Rockers didn’t stop fighting as they were able to get on the scoreboard in the third period. 

1:48 into the third, Dante Suffredini held the puck at the nearside point and fired a hard shot through traffic and over the shoulder of Brendan Colgan that cut into the RiverDragon lead 5-1. 

Storjohann was able to finish off his hat-trick with 5:37 left in the third period when he finished a centering pass from Kelly on the near side for his fourth goal of the series and a 6-1 lead. 

Thomas Aldworth got the only goal on the power play on Friday night when he took the puck end-to-end and put away a back-hand shot past Babin for a 7-1 lead. 

The Rockers got one late in the third with 1:13 left in the game when Cade Lambdin put away a rebound that was initially fired off the stick of Tim Perks for his first of the playoffs. 

Motor City finished its inaugural season 32-20-6 on the year, and will look to begin its second season in the FPHL in October of 2023. Season tickets can be secured on the team’s website at as deposits are currently being accepted. 



by Will Wiegelman 

Port Huron, MI, - The Port Huron Prowlers’ comeback fell short in a 5-3 Game 1 loss to the Carolina Thunderbirds at McMorran Place on April 21. Port Huron battled back from a 5-0 deficit but couldn’t come all the way back.

Petr Panacek scored on a rebound 2:43 in to open the scoring for Carolina. Jiri Pestuka added to the lead near the midpoint of the period on a pass from FPHL MVP Gus Ford.

The Prowlers got a power play early in the second but Panacek was the one who scored to make it 3-0. Josh Koepplinger scored twice in 1:15 and the Thunderbirds were up by a handful.

Dalton Jay got one back for the Prowlers shorthanded with under two minutes to play in the middle period.

That 5-1 lead held through the halfway point of the third when Tucker Scantlebury picked the corner over Boris Babik’s glove to make it a three-goal game. Sam Marit added a shorty with under three minutes to go but that’s as close as they got.

Panacek completed the hat trick into the empty net.

Marit had a goal and an assist while Austin Fetterly dished out two helpers. Wyatt Hoflin made 16 saves on 20 shots in 27:24 of work while Ian Wallace made eight saves on nine shots the rest of the way.

Panacek was named the first star with his hat trick. Pestuka had a goal and two assists. Babik made 36 stops in the win.

Game 2 between these teams will start at 4:05 P.M. at Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex on April 22. The game will be available on the Port Huron Prowlers YouTube channel.


Black Bears Take Game 1 of Series, 6-2

by Jeff Barrett

Watertown, NY - The Binghamton Black Bears travelled to Watertown on this Friday evening to face the defending FPHL Commissioner's Cup Champion Wolves, in game number 1 of the 2023 playoffs.

These teams met 8 times in the regular season with Binghamton dominating the series 7 games to 1. Watertown's lone win came on December 16th in Binghamton, a 5-2 win for the Wolves.

The home crowd didn't have to wait long to get on their feet as Everett Thompson was a seconds into able to get loose in front of the Black Bears starting netminder Talor Joseph and send a shot to the back of the goal just :58 seconds into the contest, to give the Wolves a 1-0 lead.

The Bears would even the score at 1 a piece at the 10:06 mark when Chad Lopez lifted a blast past Watertown keeper Ismael Ralston. Assists on the goal would go to Tyler Gjurich and Don Olivieri.

Binghamton would take advantage of their second power play of the period when Tyson Kirkby found a wide open net on a pass fro Gavin Yates. Tyler Gjurich would get his second assist of the night.

Binghamton outshot Watertown 14-13 in the period.

Jesse Anderson would extend the Black Bears lead to 3-1 at the 8:33 mark of period number 2, assisted by Colon Fitzgerald and Jestin Somero.

The Black Bears scoring would continue with Austin Thompson patiently lifting a rebound over a sprawling Ralston making the score 4-1. Chad Lopez and Mac Lewis would get the helpers on the goal.

Binghamton wasn't done yet as Tyson Kirkby was able to control an offensive zone face off and straight off the draw, drive the puck forward and over the shoulder of Ralston extending Binghamton's lead to 5-1.

The Black Bears outshot Watertown 17-9 in the second and would take the 5-1 lead to the locker room.

Binghamton would extend their lead to 6-1 with a short handed goal at 12:14 of the third when Mac Lewis was able to slide the puck past Ralston, assisted by Andrew Logar and Colan Fitzgerald. 

The Wolves got back onto the board at the 14:19 mark when Brenan Young tipped home a Don Carter centering pass to close the gap to 6-2. John Amanatidis would also get credited with an assist.

The Black Bears take game number one of the series with a 6-2 win, outshooting Watertown 50-32 for the game. Game number 2 will be Saturday night at the Visions Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton at 7:00

Game number 3 will be Sunday in Binghamton if necessary. 


Mammoth Fall in Game 1, 7-2 

by Jacob Johnson

Elmira, NY - The Playoffs are a whole different beast when it comes to the emotions surrounding each game. The FPHL was set for the Commissioner Cup Playoffs in the Empire Division starting Friday Night at First Arena. Elmira and Danbury would battle in game 1 of the first round. 

The Mammoth would get the crowd into it early with a goal from Josh Sanchez off the faceoff from Luke Richards. Elmira would take an early 1-0 lead. 

The rest of the 1st period would be all Hat Tricks. 10 minutes later Michael Marchesan got the rabbits on the board from Lucas Debenedent and Riley Robertson. 

About 6 minutes later Johnny Ruiz buried his first of the playoffs from John MacDonald to give Danbury a 2-1 lead. 

Less than 2 minutes later it was Debenedent who caught a break to give Danbury a 3-1 lead. 30 seconds later Marchesan got his 2nd of the night, the Hat Tricks would head into the locker room with a 4-1 lead after 20 minutes of play. 

The 2nd period saw 1 goal scored from the stick of Jake Ratcliffe on a 2 on 0 advantage. Ratcliffe got the feed from Marchesan to make it 5-1 Danbury. 

The Mammoth would strike first in the final frame with a wrist shot from Ricards Jelenskis. Stavros Soilis and Nick Gullo each earned an apple. 

The Hat Tricks would respond two minutes later with tic-tac-toe passing to beat Harley White, Riley Roberston got his first of the night. 

The final dagger came from Jacob Ratcliffe, his 2nd of the night made it 7-2 Hat Tricks. These two teams will meet again tomorrow night at 7 P.M. in Danbury. 

The series is 1-0 in favor of the Hat Tricks with game 2 following at the Danbury Ice Arena.


by Chris Lynch

Elmira, NY - The Danbury Hat Tricks opened their postseason chase for the Commissioner’s Cup in style with a 7-2 thumping of the Elmira Mammoth. The trio of Jacob Ratcliffe, Michael Marchesan, and Lucas DeBenedet powered the offense with four points for each player.

The three reversed a first period that started poorly for the Hat Tricks thanks to Joshua Sanchez opening the scoring 1:09 into the game. Michael Marchesan tied the game on a shot that trickled through Mammoth goalie Thomas Proudlock 11:37 into the frame. Jonny Ruiz danced through the Mammoth defense for a beautiful goal to put the Hat Tricks ahead for good with 2:06 left in the frame. DeBenedet and Marchesan added one more goal each to extend the lead to 4-1 heading into the first intermission.

Thomas Proudlock faced 14 shots in the first period before yielding to Harley White for the second and third period, ultimately stopping 23 of 26 shots.

Danbury controlled the pace of the second and notched the only goal of the stanza, courtesy of New Zealand native Jacob Ratcliffe off a two-on-zero breakaway and pass from Michael Marchesan. 

Elmira got one goal back early in the final frame with Ricards Jelenskis scoring 3:15 into the frame. But the Mammoth did not have the steam to come back. Riley Robertson scored his first goal of the season for the Hat Tricks and Jacob Ratcliffe recorded his second goal of the game to end the scoring at 7-2.

Hat Tricks goaltender Brian Wilson stopped 27 of 29 shots to secure his first postseason win.

The Hat Tricks lead their best-of-three series one game to none and return home for Game Two of the series with the Mammoth on Saturday night. Puck drops at the Danbury Ice Arena at 7 PM.