Prowlers Sweep Sea Wolves
The Port Huron Prowlers won their first shootout of the season to earn the extra point in a 6-5 victory over the Mississippi Sea Wolves at Mississippi Coast Coliseum on Dec. 17. Sam Marit was the only shooter who scored in the skills competition when he ended it in the ninth round.
Fresh off of a hat trick the night before, Yaroslav Yevdokimov opened the scoring in the first period. It was the fourth time in five meetings this season that Mississippi scored first. A few minutes later, Evan Foley dug the puck out on the forecheck and kicked it to Joe Deveny who found Larri Vartiainen at the back door to tie the score.
Shortly after that, Chuck Costello and Dakota Ulmer scored 36 seconds apart to open up a 3-1 lead for the Sea Wolves. Matt Graham found Liam Freeborn going to the net to pull Port Huron within one before the opening frame expired.
In a rare low-scoring period between these two teams, Dalton Jay sniped a power-play tally and the game was tied at three heading into the third.
Jake Raleigh took advantage of the lively boards behind the net and cashed in a power-play goal to give Mississippi back the lead. Time dwindled down on the Prowlers before Graham scored a four-on-four goal to knot it up again at four.
The final minute hit and it looked like overtime was inevitable. Port Huron was determined to take the three points, however, and Foley put on another good forecheck that gave Vartiainen a chance to score his second goal of the game. He made good on the opportunity and the Prowlers had the lead with 34.2 seconds to go in the third. Blake Weyrick went to the bench and it was Mississippi’s turn for late-game heroics. Marvin Powell one-timed a shot through traffic that hit Philip Wong’s skate on the way through for the tying goal with 13.7 seconds left in regulation. Both teams took a point and the game went to overtime.
Jeff Eppright took a goalie interference penalty in the extra secession but the Prowlers couldn’t score on the power play. They outshot the Sea Wolves 3-1 in overtime but neither team could get one past the goalies so we went to the shootout.
Danick Rodrigue turned away all nine shooters ranging from Mississippi’s leading scorer Yevdokimov to enforcer Jesse Michel, whose only other appearance in the game was serving a penalty in the third period. Weyrick stopped the first eight Port Huron shooters before Marit beat him over the blocker in the bottom of the ninth to win it.
Graham led his team with three points. Five other Prowlers had multi-point nights. Rodrigue made 33 saves before going nine-for-nine in the shootout in his first start since Nov. 19. Both Prowlers sweeps this season have come against Mississippi.
Ulmer’s four points were a game-high while Yevdokimov added three. Weyrick stopped 38 of 45 Port Huron shots and went eight-for-nine in the skills competition.
Next up, the Prowlers host a two-game series with the Columbus River Dragons for the second time in three weekends. Puck drops are scheduled for Dec. 22 and Dec. 23 at 7:05 P.M.
Photo courtesy of Tammy Morosko