Series Preview: Prowlers Battle Black Bears in Binghamton
The Port Huron Prowlers make another trip to upstate New York with a visit to the Binghamton Black Bears. These teams split a two-game series at McMorran Place in November.
The Prowlers completed a seven-games-in-12-days stretch with a 6-4 victory over the Mississippi Sea Wolves at Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Jan. 2. Matt Graham and Liam Freeborn led the way with three points each. Graham scored the game-winner with under two minutes to go in regulation while Wyatt Hoflin got the victory. Port Huron has won three of its last four games and sits second in the Continental Division with a 15-10-3 record and 47 points.
Binghamton ended 2022 by blowing out the Watertown Wolves in a home-and-home series on Dec. 30 and 31. Jesse Anderson scored a hat trick and Riley McVeigh pitched a shutout in a 6-0 Black Bears victory in Watertown in the series-opening game. The Wolves did win the shot battle 38-24 but couldn’t solve the Binghamton goaltender. The next night, the offense continued to hum behind Nikita Ivashkin’s hat trick. The Russian forward finished with a game-high five points while Tyler Gjurich scored his 300th pro goal. McVeigh was in net once again making 26 saves. The Black Bears are second in the Empire Division with 49 points on a 16-5-2 record.
SEASON SERIES (TIED 1-1)
Nov. 25 @ Port Huron: Black Bears 5, Prowlers 3
Nov. 26 @ Port Huron: Prowlers 5, Black Bears 3
After a 5-3 loss the night before, the Prowlers flipped the script to split the series. Binghamton scored twice in 20 seconds to take a 3-1 lead in the second period before Port Huron stormed back. The Prowlers scored the game's final four goals, two in the second and two in the third, to snatch the victory. Hoflin was in net for Port Huron while now-Watertown-Wolf Owen Liskiewicz took the loss.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Prowlers - Matt Graham (F) - Graham has five goals in his last five games with three of them either tying the game or giving his team a lead. He scored the game-winner and was named the first star on Monday in Baton Rouge.
Black Bears - Nikita Ivashkin (F) - Ivashkin has produced at least a point in five of his last six games including two five-point outings. He was held pointless in the series at McMorran Place in November.
Liam Freeborn (PHP) has put up three points in a third of his games played (six times in 18 games)...Tyler Gjurich’s (BIN) 300th pro goal on Dec. 31 was also his 284th in the FPHL which ranks second all-time…Port Huron’s 28 games played heading into the series are at least four more than any other FPHL team…The Black Bears are averaging an FPHL-high 3,480 fans per game at Visions Veterans Memorial Arena this season
Jan. 6, 7:00 P.M. at Visions Veterans Memorial Arena (Binghamton, NY)
Jan. 7, 7:00 P.M. at Visions Veterans Memorial Arena (Binghamton, NY)
Both games will be live on the Port Huron Prowlers YouTube channel