Prowlers-River Dragons Weekend Preview
By: Brady Beedon
Port Huron - The Port Huron Prowlers (5-6-2-0) will travel down to Columbus, Georgia for a single contest against the Columbus River Dragons (5-7-1-1). This will be the sixth meeting between these two teams this season, and the fifth in McMorran. Puck will drop at 7:30 on Friday night, and 6:00 on Saturday. Saturday will also feature the annual teddy bear toss and the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.
Game Storylines - The River Dragons currently sit at fourth in the FPHL Western Division, just one point back of Port Huron. The River Dragons also have played one more game (14) than the Prowlers (13). In the five games between Port Huron and Columbus, the Prowlers have won three times in regulation, while the River Dragons have won twice.
Scouting the River Dragons - The River Dragons have three point per game players. MJ Graham and Jay Croop have recorded 18 and 17 points so far this season, while Ivan Bondarenko has amassed 13 points in his 10 games. Forward Zach Pease was called up last week to the Huntsville Havoc of the SPHL. In last Friday’s match up, several River Dragons did not play. Yianni Liarakos was suspended along with Nick Wright. MJ Graham and Jiri Pestuka both did not dress with injury concerns.
Last Time Out - The Prowlers took down the River Dragons last Friday night. Port Huron came away with the 4-2 victory behind two Matt Robertson goals. Jarret Pfeiffer and Zach Zulkancyz also netted goals in last weeks victory. Ivan Bondaranko and CJ Hayes scored the goals for Columbus.
Tending the Twine - The River Dragons have had a pair of goalies pick up three wins. Rylan Pashovitz has compiled a record of (3-2-0-0) in the four games he has played. While Jared Rutledge has a losing record this season (2-5-1-1).
The Prowlers have had three different netminders play this season, Chris Paulin, Cory Simons, and Ville Kaukkila have all had started at least a game for the Prowlers. Simons, through four games is undefeated between the pipes, leading the Prowlers in wins with four.
Season Series - This will be the sixth time Port Huron will play Columbus this year, and the fifth in McMorran. The first weekend between the two saw a pair of 4-3 regulation victories, one going to each team. The second stint of games saw the Prowlers lost 6-3, and win 6-2. While last weekend, the Prowlers took the only game with their 4-2 win.
Picking Up the Split - The Prowlers have split the last four weekend series that include at least two games, including two weekends ago with Danville. They have yet to take more than four points from a weekend. The last time that Port Huron came away with a weekend sweep, was the opening weekend in which they defeated the Danbury Hat Tricks twice in overtime.
No New Friends - While this will be the sixth and seventh time that Port Huron and Columbus play, Port Huron has yet to play four of the nine other teams in the FPHL. The Prowlers have not played Delaware, Carolina, Elmira or Battle Creek yet this season.
300 For Robertson! - With an assist during their 11-23 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 126 goals, while assisting 174 times. Robertson currently sits at fifth all time on the FPHL scoring leaders.
Change of Venues - So far this season the Prowlers have tallied a 2-4-2-0 record away from McMorran Ice. While at home the Prowlers are sitting at 3-2-0-0.
The River Dragons have fared alright away from the peach state, posting a 4-5-0-0 record on the road. Two of their four wins have come on McMorran’s ice.