Prowlers Head East to Take on Enforcers, Weekend Preview
By: Brady Beedon
Port Huron - The Port Huron Prowlers (15-10-3-0) will head east for a two game tilt in New York against the Elmira Enforcers (14-12-2-2). The games will be played at First Arena in Elmira, New York. The puck will drop at 7:05 PM.
Game Storylines - Despite not meeting up so far this season, this series still carries plenty of intrigue. Both Port Huron and Elmira are both fighting for second place in their respective divisions. Elmira passed Watertown on Wednesday night with a victory to move into second place, while Port Huron fell to Danville and dropped out of second.
Scouting the Enforcers - Elmira has some of the most prolific scorers the FPHL has ever seen. The Enforcers will have both Ahmed Mahfouz and Tyler Gjurich in uniform this weekend. Mahfouz is the Fed’s all time leader in points, with 806 points over his decade long career. Gjurich has also had one of the better careers in league history. He is just five points shy of tying the second all time leading points scorer, Justin Levac. Both Mahfouz and Gjurich are currently leading the league in points. The Enforcers also have four other players at a point per game pace. Hudson Michaelis, Brandon Tucker, Kyle Stevens, and Deon Dale are all averaging at least a point per game for Elmira.
Last Time Out - Both Port Huron and Elmira had rare Wednesday night games this week. Port Huron fell to Danville 3-2 behind a Fred Hein hat trick. Elmira knocked off the Watertown Wolves, 6-3. Gjurich scored twice while Mahfouz put in the empty netter for the Enforcers.
A January Blockbuster - Earlier this week, the Elmira Enforcers made what may be one of the biggest trades in the Federal League’s history. The Enforcers acquired Tyler Gjurich from the Watertown Wolves in exchange for Tanner Hildebrandt, Dustin Skinner, Gavin Yates, Eli Kinsman, and Michael Stilidas. Gjurich scored twice in his Elmira debut.
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.
Guess Who’s Back? - After being in the SPHL for nearly a month, Cory Simons has returned to Port Huron. Simons is 6-1 on the season for the Prowlers, with the lone loss coming is his return game on Wednesday against the Danville Dashers.
Tending the Twine - As mentioned earlier, Cory Simons is back for the Port Huron Prowlers and will likely get the starts on Friday and Saturday. Blake Scott has also shown promise in limited action for the Prowlers, going 2-0 in a weekend set against the Battle Creek Rumble Bees.
The Enforcers will likely send out Troy Passingham between the pipes. Passingham is 11-9 with a 3.60 goals against and a .911 save percentage.
Season Series - This will be the first time this year that Port Huron and Elmira square off on the ice. The only other team that the Prowlers have not played yet this season is the Carolina Thunderbirds.
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 6-6-3-0 when outside of the Blue Water area. While on home ice, Port Huron is 9-4-0-0. Elmira has played worse on home ice, posting a 5-8 record inside of First Arena. When the Enforcers have traveled, they have managed a 9-4-2-2 record.