By Jeremy Skiba
The Port Huron Prowlers started their season off on a high note last weekend with two overtime road wins in Danbury. However, last weekend things did not go in the Prowler’s favor against the Watertown Wolves.
Goaltender Ville Kaukkila made his FPHL debut in Friday night’s contest and in the first period he looked solid, making 15 saves. Rookie defenseman Alex Strack put the Prowlers on the board first with a quick wrist shot from the point, 11 minutes into the first period.
The Wolves would strike three times in the second period with a goal from Lane King and two goals from Joseph Deveny. Justin Portillo registered his first goal of the year for the Prowlers and Alex Gregorich scored his first career FPHL goal. After a shot by Haythem Oeid beat Jeremy Pominville under his pads fell short of the goal line, Gregorich was able to pick up the loose puck and tap it in to the tie the game at three. Oeid’s assist would be his first career point in the FPHL.
The third period started off on a positive foot for the Prowlers when Matt Graham put Port Huron up 4-3, four minutes into the period. But just when it seemed like things were going in the Prowlers favor, the team seemed to run out of gas. The Prowlers neutral zone play broke down as the Wolves had multiple 2-on-1 chances and breakaways. Watertown would score four unanswered goals which came from Deveny, who completed his hat-trick, Tyler Gjurich on the power play and two from Deric Boudreau. Only three penalties were called the entire game, one on the Prowlers and two on the Wolves. Watertown would take game one by the score of 7-4. While Kaukkila would finish with 34 saves, Pominville had 41 saves.
Chris Paulin would get the nod to start in Saturday night’s game for Port Huron and Jeremy Pominville would once again start in his fourth straight game. Right from the drop of the puck, Port Huron came out flat looking gassed from the night before. This time it was Watertown who struck first when Jamie Lukas found the back of the net with a shot from the slot that beat Paulin stick side. Port Huron would quickly even it up on the power play when rookie Jarrett Pfeiffer would throw a puck from the corner that would deflect off the back of Pominville’s skate into the net for Pfeiffer’s first career goal in the FPHL. But it was all downhill from there. Deric Boudreau would score with 49 seconds remaining in the period giving Watertown the lead right before the first intermission.
In the second period, former Prowler Marvin Powell would deflect a shot past Paulin and Boudreau would score two more times to record a hat-trick. The Wolves would take the contest by the score 5-1.16 penalties were called, 10 against Port Huron. The first fight of the Prowlers season occurred between Alex Strack and Lane King in the third period. After Strack finished a check on King, King tripped, then cross-checked Strack in the back and the two got wrapped up before Strack threw King over his shoulder to the ice. King was able to land a few punches on Strack from the ice before the refs pulled the two apart. Both players were sent to the sin bin for five minutes.
Player/Assistant Coach Matt Graham shared his thoughts on the weekend.
“It’s a little disappointing when you have the kind of success we had in the first weekend and you can’t repeat it,” Graham commented. “The good thing is we can learn from the mistakes we made and improve moving forward. We’re excited to get back on home ice now and play in front of the best fans in the league.”
With the losses, the Prowlers drop to 0-2-2-0 on the season. They will be back in action tonight for their home opener against the Columbus River Dragons. You can catch all the action on EBW.TV. Puck drop is set for 7:30.