Fraser, MI — The Columbus RiverDragons took Game 1 of the FPHL Playoffs with a Alex Strojohann’s fifth game winning goal of the season.
The Rockers and RiverDragons skated to an even first period on shots, 7-7, but Motor City had the best looks of the opening stanza including a breakaway by Declan Conway that rang off the far side post.
The Rockers took an early lead in the 2nd period when it got a man advantage.
Conway fed the puck to Connor Inger along the end boards on the far side of the ice. Inger then ran a give and go with Dante Suffredini at the point to the far side circle. Inger stepped into a shot and fired a hard wrister to the top shelf for a 1-0 lead. It was Inger’s 10th of the season and fourth power play goal of the year.
The RiverDragons were able to knot the score up, 1-1, with 3:06 left in the second however when Cody Rodgers received a crisp centering pass from Jay Croop. Rodgers fired a hard shot past Trever Babin for his 9th of the year.
Columbus took the lead late in the third period on a face draw in the offensive zone.
Alex Strojohann won the draw on the far side circle and the puck was tied up along the wall. Jake Kelly fed the puck to Lane King who offered it back to Strojohann at the top of the left circle. He then fired a quick shot near the slot that beat Babin over the shoulder for a 2-1 lead with 2:48 left on the clock for his 29th of the season.
It was his fifth game winning goal of the year.
Trevor Babin stopped 29 shots in the loss and Brendan Colgan stopped 20 in the win. Motor City and Columbus will take a travel day before playing at Columbus Civic Center on Friday at 7:30pm. If game three is necessary, it’ll be played on Saturday at the Columbus Civic Center at 7:30pm.