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Prowlers vs Mammoth, March 11th, 2023

Photos courtesy of David Dell – Delta Imaging Photography

By David Dell

PORT HURON- He flipped. He flopped. He stretched. He sprawled. He kicked his legs and he waved his arms.  In the end, Elmira’s Danick Rodrique put on a goalie exhibition by stopping 52 of 54 shots on goal.  Rodrique who was traded from Port Huron to Elmira just a week ago showed the Prowlers why being a shorter guy doesn’t mean being any less of a goalie.  He is in good company with the likes of former Detroit Red Wings Mike Vernon and Chris Osgood, both of whom won Stanley Cups despite being shorter than many of their opposing netminders.

The Prowlers’ newest acquisition Zach Olen, who had four assists in his pro debut Friday night started things off when he went bar down from high in the slot.  This was his first professional goal.  Frank Schumacher fed him from the Port Huron blue line and Olen had no traffic in front of him at 5:10 of the opening stanza.  A handful of minor penalties assessed to each team resulted in no power-play goals and at the end of 20 minutes, the Prowlers led the Mammoth in goals and shots.

Joe Deveny (27th of the season) continued his scoring ways at 2:53 of the middle frame on the power play. Alex Johnson at the blue line sent the puck to Matt Stoia in the right-wing face-off circle who found Deveny all alone at the left face-off dot. Deveny had no trouble with the wrister to double up the score against Elmira.  This is where things went south.  Bryan Parsons was serving two minutes for a Slashing minor coming at 8:38 when Ricards Jelenskis halved the lead at 9:28 on the power play.  Dalton Jay had the puck in front of the Elmira bench when Jelenskis stole it, gained the zone along the boards skated into the slot, and beat Nick Althaus, Port Huron’s newest netminder candidate above the trapper.  Justin Schmit and Gino Mini looked to continue their pugilistic ways from Friday night but both only received minor Roughing penalties with Mini getting an additional minor Unsportsmanlike Conduct at 15:16.  At 16:41 Bryan Parsons drew a Crosschecking minor behind the Prowlers’ goal giving the Mammoth another power play opportunity which Jelenskis exploited just 12 seconds later at 16:53.  This tying goal was fed from Tristan Mock who controlled the puck along the left-wing boards. He passed it back to Jelenskis who again beat Althaus up high.  Port Huron managed a pair of shots before Noah Wild put up the go-ahead goal with just under two minutes remaining in the period.  Alex Johnson got tied up with Dylan Thackaray, both of whom were trying to defend at the blue line when Wild snagged the loose puck, skated to the slot, and nailed the five-hole to cap off the first 40 minutes of play.

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At 6:31 of the third Luke Richards minored for Delay of Game and again at 8:51 when Tyson Lambert picked up a double minor for High sticking the Prowlers were unable to take advantage of the power play chances but it wasn’t for lack of trying.  Rodrigue stopped all 13 shots that brought up a Sam Marit minor when he and Tate Leeson were both sent to the box for Unsportsmanlike Conduct.  Skating four on four, Tristan Mock gained the Port Huron blue line, found Luke Richards at the Prowler logo at the top of the slot who promptly put Elmira up by two, beating Althaus on the trapper side at 17:00. Now with only three minutes remaining Port Huron’s goalie headed to the bench once they gained the Mammoth zone.  The Prowlers managed two shots before Tate Leeson sealed the game with an empty net goal from the slot deep in Elmira’s zone.

Port Huron’s record with Elmira fell to 3-1 for the season and with Fraser’s Motor City Rockers losing to Columbus Riverdragons there is no change in the standings.  The Prowlers play again at home on Friday and Saturday the 17th and 18th of March against the Delaware Thunder.  The Thunder split their home series with Port Huron last weekend. 

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