Series Preview: Last Meetings Between Prowlers, Dragons
One final trip for the Port Huron Prowlers south of the Mason-Dixon Line has them in Columbus to take on the Continental Division leading River Dragons. Both teams faced the same opponent in their last four games with the Prowlers taking three of four from Motor City and the Dragons winning just one of four meetings with Carolina.
After sweeping the rival Rockers the weekend before, Port Huron settled for a split on Jan. 19 and Jan. 21. Motor City controlled the first matchup and built a 5-1 lead in the second period of an eventual 5-2 win in front of 669 fans. Two nights later in Port Huron, a crowd of over 2,000 took in one of the best goaltending duels of the season. Wyatt Hoflin and Trevor Babin each turned in a 40+ save performance as a 1-1 tie made it all the way to the shootout. Tim Perks scored in the first round but Hoflin shut down the next four Rockers, sealing the win with a poke check on Tommy Cardinal in the fifth round. Dalton Jay and Dan Chartrand scored in the skills competition for the Prowlers. Port Huron now has 58 points on a 19-12-3 record. The Prowlers’ lead over Carolina for second in the Continental Division has dwindled to three points.
Columbus has faltered a bit but found the win column to split their last series at home against Carolina. Mario Cavaliere stole the show in the Thunderbirds’ net in the first game, stopping 41 shots on the way to a tight 4-3 win. The Dragons outshot Carolina 44-19 in the game as Colgan took the loss. The next night was a back-and-forth affair where both teams gave up leads in the third period. Overtime was necessary and Jacob Kelly notched the winner to stop a three-game losing skid for his team. Ty Hunter picked up the victory. Columbus has a 12-point lead on Port Huron for the top spot in the Continental at 24-5-1 with 70 points.
SEASON SERIES (COLUMBUS 5-1)
Nov. 18 @ Columbus: River Dragons 5, Prowlers 2
Nov. 19 @ Columbus: River Dragons 5, Prowlers 3
Dec. 9 @ Port Huron: River Dragons 5, Prowlers 3
Dec. 10 @ Port Huron: Prowlers 7, River Dragons 3
Dec. 22 @ Port Huron: River Dragons 7, Prowlers 3
Dec. 23 @ Port Huron: River Dragons 5, Prowlers 2
In the last game before Christmas, Dalton Jay gave the Prowlers a 1-0 lead early in the first but Columbus wouldn’t let that lead stand for long. The Dragons scored the game’s next four goals culminating in Jacob Kelly’s second of the night in the third period. Port Huron was 0-8 on the power play in the 5-2 loss.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Prowlers - Evan Foley (F) - Foley was named an alternate captain on Thursday and will look to get back on the scoresheet after his five-game point streak was snapped on Saturday.
River Dragons - Christian Pavlas (G) - Pavlas signed with Columbus on Wednesday and will help lighten the load on Breandan Colagn who has started seven of nine games since the Dragons traded Bailey MacBurnie. Pavlas began this season with Pensacola in the SPHL.
The Prowlers are 2-0 in shootouts but 0-3 in games ending in overtime…The River Dragons are 21-0-0 when scoring four or more goals…Wyatt Hoflin (PHP) made a season-high 41 saves in his last game on Jan. 21…In his last seven games, Breandan Colgan (CRD) has four-straight shutouts followed by three-straight games with a sub-.800 save percentage
Jan. 27, 7:30 P.M. at Columbus Civic Center (Columbus, GA)
Jan. 28, 7:30 P.M. at Columbus Civic Center (Columbus, GA)
Both games will be available live on the Port Huron Prowlers YouTube channel