Prowlers Fight For Extra Hockey, Fall in Shootout

The Port Huron Prowlers scored twice with the extra attacker to force overtime but ultimately fell in a shootout 6-5 in Danbury on March 1. Jacob Ratcliffe scored the winner in the fifth round of the skills competition.

"The end of the game was outstanding," said Prowlers assistant coach Chris Paulin. "The urgency we played with in those last three minutes, the will to win and being able to come back... The overtime period was probably the best overtime we've had all year so something we can build on there."

In a game of runs, the Hat Tricks got the first two goals 55 seconds apart thanks to a deflection by Brandon Stojcevski and a rush by Chase Harwell. Less than two minutes later, it was the Prowlers’ turn. Liam Freeborn cut the lead in half and then he found Austin Fetterly 1:28 later to knot the score at two.

Alex Johnson scored during a five-on-three power play to give Port Huron a 3-2 lead after 20 minutes.

The Danbury man advantage came alive in the second as Jonny Ruiz fired a one-timer home 6:29 into the middle frame and then Josh Labelle gave his team back the lead with a wrist shot that deflected past Ian Wallace.

Early in the third, Bohdan Zinchenko made it 5-3 Hat Tricks, taking advantage of a turnover in the Port Huron end. The Prowlers had to kill some late penalties and once they did, they went to work.

With just over two minutes to play and Wallace pulled for the extra attacker, Matt Graham found Tucker Scantlebury in tight to pull Port Huron within one. As the final seconds ticked down, Fetterly sent a prayer towards the net that hit the back boards and bounced into the crease where Graham dug it free and potted it to tie the game with three seconds on the clock.

"I didn't like out discipline," Paulin said. "But to kill off a five-on-three for two minutes, have the guts to do that and then go out there and score two late ones to force overtime, I like that a lot."

Both teams had opportunities in overtime but couldn’t convert and the game headed to a shootout. Fetterly scored as the first shooter but in the third round, Connor Woolley kept the game alive. Then in the bottom of the fifth, Ratcliffe went five-hole on Wallace to end it.

Graham and Freeborn finished with a goal and two assists apiece while Fetterly and Scantlebury had a tally and a helper. Wallace made 34 saves and went 3-5 in the shootout.

Zinchenko led the way for Danbury with a goal and two assists while Xavier Abdella and Samuel Tetreault dished out a pair of helpers each. Connor McCollum got the win with 31 saves and stopped four of five shooters in the skills competition.

Game two of the three-game set is scheduled for 7 P.M. on March 2. It will be available live on the PHP Network YouTube channel.