Prowlers and Thunder Split Series In A Wild Weekend

By: Jeremy Skiba

Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Port Huron Prowlers hosted the Delaware Thunder in a two-game series this weekend. Unfortunately, that winning streak would come to an end. In the first game, the Prowlers outlasted the Thunder in a high scoring affair by the score 8-5. In the second game, the Prowlers couldn’t man the storm and were defeated 6-2.

On Friday, the Prowlers got the scoring started when Chris Leveille flipped the puck over Goalie Aaron Taylor to give the Prowlers a 1-0 lead. Next, Matt Stoia would find the back of the net when he drove into the Delaware zone untouched and slipped the puck five-hole on Taylor.

The Thunder would answer with three unanswered goals. Anton Kalinin wristed a shot past Chris Paulin and Brandon Contratto would tie-up the game at two. Ryan Marker's goal would give Delaware a 3-2 lead.  

In the second period, Kalinin would give Delaware a two-goal lead when he scored his second of the night on a breakaway.

But the Prowlers would score four unanswered goals. First, Dalton Jay would fire the puck from the slot to score five-hole. Then, Zach Zulkancyz would score a shorthanded goal to even the score at four. Justin Portillo would put the Prowlers ahead when he scored his 12th goal of the season. Before the second period ended, Jay would find the back of the net once more when he fired home a one-timer from a Zach Zulkancyz pass to give the Prowlers a 6-4 lead.

In the third, Matt Graham would tip home a pass from Leveille 37 seconds into the period but Thomas Munichiello would give Delaware life cutting their deficit to two goals making the score 7-5. However, Dalton Jay would put the nail in the coffin and complete a hat-trick on the penalty kill. Nippard would feed Jay a pass which he would fire glove side on Taylor to cement a Prowlers 8-5 victory.

On Saturday night, the scoring started in the first period when Brandon Contratto, on a three on two rush, blasted a high shot from the Prowler's defensive faceoff circle past Chris Paulin. After a penalty was assessed to Delaware, Dave Nippard would answer back with a blast of his own from the point to even the score at one.

After a scoreless second period, the Thunder would break out in the third. Nothing seemed to go the Prowlers way and it seemed the Prowlers were a step behind with blown assignments in their own zone. Three goals coming from Ryan Marker, Taylor Cutting, and Evan Mackintosh would give Delaware a 4-1 lead.  Cutting's goal was counted even though it was put in with a distinct kicking motion. Shorthanded, Leveille would then tally for the Prowlers but Bryce Litke would answer right back for the Thunder. Mackintosh would score an empty-netter for Delaware cementing a 6-2 victory.

Head Coach Joe Pace shared his thoughts on the bittersweet weekend.

“Friday night was a great night. We battled back hard and the fans went crazy for us and as a team, we loved it,” Pace said. “To get to 10 in a row would have been a huge accomplishment for our group of guys but after the loss on Saturday, we just have to shake it off and get set for Columbus.”

After the weekend, the Prowlers own a record of 12-7-3-0 and still sit in second place in the western division. The Thunder now own a record of 7-16-0-0 and sit last in the eastern division.

The Prowlers will be back in action Thursday, Friday and Saturday night in Columbus this week. You can catch all the action each night on