Wolves Finish Regular Season with Win Over Prowlers
By Jay Harris
Watertown, NY - The Watertown Wolves finished their regular season in the Federal Hockey League facing the opponents they defeated for the Commissioner's Cup last season, the Port Huron Prowlers. The Wolves now look to carry the momentum into the postseason.
The Wolves' offense came out with guns blazing in the first period with 5 goals. George Holt started the lighting of the lamps just 23 seconds into the game on a play from Cameron Dimmitt and Egor Kostyukov. The Prowlers held the Wolves off for a few minutes before Dimmitt tickled twine off the rebound from Anton Kalinin's shot via George Holt's pass. Port Huron found themselves in more hot water when Matyas Kasek was charged for holding. Deric Boudreau made it a six-second power play on a shot set up by Tyler Prendergast and Kyle Powell. The Prowlers were able to take some pressure off their netminder Chris Paulin briefly with an offensive blitz that resulted in a goal from Matt Robertson. The Wolves regained momentum with Yianni Liarakos' unassisted goal on a fast break at 7:37. The game became more physical after Port Huron's Zachary Zulkanycz received an inadvertent elbow to the head that left him down on the ice for several moments. He fortunately was able to get himself up and back to the bench for further examination. When play resumed Watertown found themselves on a penalty kill at the hands of Justin Coachman's interference infraction, but they did not let being a man down take any wind out of their sails. Josh Newberg sent the puck to Liarakos, who was able to make a fast break 2-on-1 situation in the offensive zone with Prendergast for Watertown's fifth goal. In the last minute of play it appeared Anton Kalinin was going to make Watertown's sixth goal, but he Instead he received a hard slash from the up-close play with the goalie that resulted in his needing to leave the ice for the remainder of the frame. The teams headed into the second with Watertown leading, 5-1.
After a scoreless second period, two additional goals came for each team in the third period. Port Huron came into the third hot, scoring both of their goals in less than a minute by Artur Drindrozhik and Robertson. After each team killed 5-on-3 power plays, the Wolves found their groove again late in the game. During the penalty kill for Christian Whitcomb's roughing call, Tyler Gjurich and Lane King were able to get the puck to Powell, who navigated through a 2-on-1 situation to score on a laid out Paulin. Tim Santopaolo snuck the puck behind the goalie on a play from Liarakos and Coachman for the last goal of the night.
With 2 points on the night, Cameron Dimmitt received the 1st Star of the Game. The 2nd Star was awarded to Yianni Liarakos with 4 points. Tyler Prendergast earned the 3rd Star with 2 points.
The Wolves finished the Federal Hockey League regular season in third place. They will face the Elmira Enforcers in a best-of-three playoff series. Game 1 will take place at the Watertown Municipal Arena on Friday, April 12 at 7:30 PM.
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