Port Huron And Carolina To Dance For The First Time This Season
By: Brady Beedon
Port Huron - The Port Huron Prowlers (22-12-4-0) will head down to North Carolina to take on the Carolina Thunderbirds (28-6-2-3) for the first time this season. Friday’s game will start at 7:35 while Saturday’s contest will begin at 6:05.
Game Storylines - Both Carolina and Port Huron occupy the top two spots in the FPHL Western Division. Carolina has held down first place since the beginning of the season, while Port Huron has had to battle for second place with Danville over the last couple months.
Scouting the Thunderbirds - Carolina has a slew of players that the Prowlers need to watch out for. Starting with their leading scorer, Petr Panacek, who has amassed 60 points in 39 games, including a team high 22 goals. Other Thunderbirds to watch out for are Jan Salak, who is just one goal shy of catching Panacek for the team lead in goals with 21, Daniel Klinecky, who is averaging well over a point per game this season, and Michael Bunn, who has 40 points in 30 games so far.
Last Time Out - The Prowlers are coming off as good of a weekend as you can ask for, securing all nine possible points, with wins over the Mentor Ice Breakers and a Sunday victory against the Danville Dashers. Carolina played the Dashers last Friday and Saturday. Friday they cruised to an easy 8-1 victory over Danville, while on Saturday they fell short, losing 3-2 in a shootout.
Getting the Call! - Matt Robertson was called up on January 1 to the Fayetteville Marksmen. For his efforts during the month of December, Matt Robertson was named FPHL Player of the Month. Matt Stoia and David Nippard have both earned calls to the SPHL. Stoia was called up to the Evansville Thunderbolts, while Nippard was called to Huntsville. Earlier this week, Bobby Sokol was called up to play for the Macon Mayhem of the SPHL.
Tending the Twine - The Port Huron Prowlers currently have a trio of netminders that can play any night. Corey Simons has a 9-3 record this season, while bolstering a 2.54 goals against average. Chris Paulin just returned from injury this past weekend where he recorded a 4-3 victory. Paulin has recorded a pair of shutouts on the season. Blake Scott rounds out the trio, between his stint in Watertown and his record with the Prowlers, Scott finds himself at a perfect 9-0 in the 2019-20 campaign. Carolina currently only has two goaltenders on their roster, former Battle Creek Rumble Bee Jacob Mullen, and Kelly Curl. Mullen is 7-2 in a Thunderbird uniform, giving up just over two and a half goals a game. Curl has only played in one game this season for the Thunderbirds, a loss in which he surrendered four goals.
Season Series - This will be the first time these two teams meet up in the 2019-20 season. They will play a total of five games down the stretch.
300 For Robertson! - With an assist during the November 23 contest against the Mentor Ice Breakers, Matt Robertson recorded his 300th career point in the FPHL. Robertson is far and away the Prowlers all time leading scorer, scoring 133 goals, while assisting 186 times. Robertson currently sits at fifth all time on the FPHL scoring leaders.
Change of Venues - The Prowlers are 8-7-4-0 when outside of the Blue Water area. While on home ice Port Huron is 14-5-0-0. Carolina is 18-3-1-1 at home, while they sit at 10-3-1-2 away from Winston-Salem