For the second straight weekend, the Battle of I-94 will take center stage in the FPHL. The Port Huron Prowlers swept the two-game set from the Motor City Rockers last week to tie the season series.
The Prowlers continued to roll in the two-game sweep of the Rockers last weekend. Larri Vartiainen and Austin Fetterly each scored twice as Port Huron scored three-straight goals after falling behind 2-1 in the first period. After the 6-3 win at Big Boy Arena, the Prowlers returned home for the first time in 2023 and erased a 2-0 deficit in the second period with four straight goals en route to a 4-3 victory. Evan Foley factored in on all four tallies with two goals and two assists while Chris Paulin picked up the win in his return to Port Huron. The Prowlers still sit second in the Continental Division with an 18-11-3 record and 56 points and have won five of their last six games and seven of their last nine.
Motor City is in a free fall after five-straight losses, three of them to their I-94 Rivals in Port Huron. The Rockers gave up a goal in the first two minutes of both the first and third periods in their 6-3 home loss on Jan. 13. Everett Thompson pulled his team within one with an extra attacker and two minutes to go but Dante Suffredini took a tripping penalty seconds later that helped the Prowlers put the game out of reach. The next night, Motor City built a 2-0 lead early in the second but then gave up four-straight. Scott Coash got one back before the period expired but the Rockers were held off the board in the third. Blake Scott was in goal for both losses for Motor City with Trevor Babin out. The Rockers are fading in the Continental standings after dropping to 14-11-3 with 43 points. They still have a 26-point cushion for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division over the Mississippi Sea Wolves.
SEASON SERIES (TIED 5-5)
Oct. 13 @ Motor City: Prowlers 3, Rockers 2
Oct. 14 @ Port Huron: Prowlers 7, Rockers 3
Oct. 15 @ Port Huron: Rockers 2, Prowlers 1
Oct. 28 @ Motor City: Rockers 6, Prowlers 2
Oct. 29 @ Port Huron: Rockers 4, Prowlers 2
Nov. 5 @ Motor City: Rockers 4, Prowlers 3 (OT)
Dec. 30 @ Port Huron: Rockers 5, Prowlers 4
Dec. 31 @ Motor City: Prowlers 6, Rockers 3
Jan. 13 @ Motor City: Prowlers 6, Rockers 3
Jan. 14 @ Port Huron: Prowlers 4, Rockers 3
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Prowlers - Larri Vartiainen (F) - Vartiainen has a goal in four-straight games and a point in eight of his last nine. He’s already set new career highs in goals (16), assists (19) and points (35) while still six games short of the most he’s played in an FPHL season.
Rockers - Derek Makimaa (F) - Makimaa was suspended for both games of the series with Port Huron last weekend. He has six points in eight games against the Prowlers this season.
Wyatt Hoflin and Chris Paulin (PHP) both stopped 28 of 31 Motor City shots in their wins last weekend…Scott Coash and Declan Conway (MCR) combined for seven points in two games last weekend. The rest of the team combined for 12…The Prowlers have scored a power-play goal in six-straight games…The Rockers have scored more than three goals once in their last seven games and are 1-12-2 when scoring three or fewer goals this season
Jan. 19, 7:30 P.M. at Big Boy Arena (Fraser, MI)
Jan. 21, 8:05 P.M. at McMorran Place (Port Huron, MI)
Both games will be available live on the Port Huron Prowlers YouTube channel