Prowlers Earn First Victory

The Port Huron Prowlers earned their first win of the season, taking down the Mississippi Sea Wolves 7-6 at McMorran Place on Oct. 27. Port Huron scored five times on the man advantage, including three in five-on-three situations on Joe Pace’s return to McMorran Place.

“Ultimately, I’m glad that we got the win, that’s the biggest thing that matters,” said Prowlers head coach Matt Graham. “With that, I think we have a lot to work on, a lot of bad habits we have to shake.”

Brandon Picard opened the scoring on the power play with a shot from the point that hit a Mississippi stick and deflected past Joseph Sheppard midway through the first. Graham found Tristan Simm for a one-timer 40 seconds later to double the advantage. It was Simm’s first pro goal.

“It felt really good,” Simm said. “I got one in the exhibition game and guys were making fun of me, saying it didn’t count so I’d get one in this game. I was open in the slot and some great passes from my teammates.”

Simm struck again a few minutes later, this time on the power play, to extend the lead to 3-0. He was named the game’s third star. 

“[Simm] seems to be available quite a bit which is good,” Graham said. “He’s finishing, he has a goal scorer’s touch a little bit. I like that he’s in the right spots.”

Mississippi fought back though as Chuck Costello scored shorthanded 20 seconds later. Hugo Koch and Joakim Nilsson tallied 39 seconds apart within the final two minutes of the period to knot the game up at three.

It took only six seconds for the Prowlers to regain the lead as Phil Bushbacher knocked home the puck in the crease for his first as a Prowler. That made it 4-3 heading into the break.

Bushbacher tipped home a Dalton Jay shot early in the second for another Port Huron power play goal. The assist was Jay’s 400th point as a Prowler, the first player to reach that mark.

The scoring picked back up in the third as the Port Huron man advantage continued to hum. Graham found a loose puck at the top of the crease with Sheppard down and out and deposited it into the empty cage to make it 6-3. Alex Johnson added to the lead 48 seconds later with another five-on-three goal.

The Sea Wolves battled back once again as Philip Wong scored a power-play marker. Then, Koch and Nilsson each tallied their second of the night, but the Prowler defense buckled down and kept the score 7-6 to the final buzzer.

“I didn’t like the third period a lot,” Graham said. “There were a lot of mistakes that we made throughout the game, a little bit of undisciplined hockey from us in the third period, undisciplined in structure as well. Shoring some of those things up, continuing to hammer it and making sure we’re executing our details properly is going to be important for us to win a lot more games down the stretch.”

Graham led Port Huron with a three-point night and was named the first star. Seven of his teammates picked up two points. Ian Wallace made 31 saves and got an assist on the game’s first goal.

Yianni Liarakos led all skaters with four assists and was the second star of the game. Nilsson and Koch each added an assist to their two goals and Sam Turner dished out two assists. Sheppard made 31 saves.

The teams meet again on Oct. 28 with puck drop scheduled for 7:05 P.M. at McMorran Place. Tickets are available online at or by calling the box office at 810-985-6166.

Photo courtesy of Delta Imaging