Local Sports

Prowlers vs Elmira, March 22, 2024

Photos courtesy of David Dell – Delta Imaging Photography

By David Dell

PORT HURON-The Prowlers, who secured 3rd seed in the Continental Division playoffs with a Wytheville Blue Ridge Bobcats loss to the Carolina Thunderbirds, played spoiler to the Elmira River Sharks of the Empire, Friday night in front of 960 fans.  Elmira is still battling with the Watertown Wolves for the last playoff seed.

Port Huron came out sluggish in the first managing all of two shots on goal in the first ten minutes of the opening frame, while allowing a pair of even strength goals by Steven Klinck at 4:09 and Bret Parker at 6:21.  After an Alex Johnson Interference minor at 10:34 picked up the pace and finished strong offensively but still trailed 2-0.  Elmira finished the period up 12-10 in shots.

In the second period the Prowlers showed a completely different team.  Blake Peavy picked up a Hooking call at 2:35 to put the home team on the powerplay and Ross Bartlett (2nd of the season) wasted no time in halving the score differential, at 3:20.  Liam Freeborn fired a hard shot from the right wing point that Sammy Bernard couldn’t control and the rebound came out to Bartlett’s stick on the backdoor for a textbook redirect. Tucker Scantlebury picked up a helper on the goal.  Less than 3 minutes later at 5:17 Connor Foley (5th of the season) slammed a shot in from the left side of the slot.  Freeborn picked up the assist as he made a cross ice pass from the right side, while Paul Arnott raced up the middle, and just like that the game was tied.  Port Huron showed great promise running the game with a 17-6 shots on goal tally for the stanza.

Elmira’s Klinck notched his second goal of the night on their first shot of the third at 1:14 and the game would stay 3-2 in favor of the visitors until 12:24 when Tristan Simm (13th of the season) tied things up again. Austin Fetterly let loose a low flying jet of a shot from above the right side faceoff circle that again was mishandled by Bernard and Simm was waiting to take advantage.  Evan Foley was also credited with an assist.  The 3-3 total would last through regulation time while Elmira led 13-9 in shots on goal. 

Ross Bartlett put the Prowlers down 4-3 in extra innings with a Tripping minor at 1:49 and then Bryan Parsons and River Sharks’ Austin Pickford were sent packing with 10 Misconducts for Inciting an Opponent with 14 seconds remaining in the overtime period.

Elmira got first go with the skills competition that is the Shoot Out and Ian Wallace stood tall between the pipes.  Unlike previous seasons where the Shoot Out was best of 5, it is now in line with the NHL at best of 3.  Connor Foley (6th of the season) gained the zone on the right wing, crossing diagonally in front of Bernard in the crease on the forehand, before casually switching to a one handed backhand and gliding the disk into the net for the only score of the Shoot Out and a 2-point win for Port Huron.  This was Elmira’s only Shoot Out loss of the season and the Prowlers’ first. Wallace stopped all three attempts to secure the win.

These two teams face off again Saturday night at 6:05pm.  In recognition of International Dog Day, the Prowlers will be hosting Pucks and Pups so everyone who would like, is encouraged to bring their best K-9 friend to the game.  There is also an after game skate with the players.

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