Peach State Struggles Continue To Plague Rockers In 5-2 Loss

Columbus, GA — The Peach State struggles continued on Friday night for the Motor City Rockers who is playing the Columbus RiverDragons on the road for the first time this season.

Dating back to last season the Rockers have been outscored at the Columbus Civic Arena 14-2, while being shut out twice. Thanks to another strong start, Columbus beat Motor City 5-2 in the open game of a three game weekend series, spoiling Trevor Babin’s 100th career FPHL start. 

The RiverDragons struck first off a stretch pass by Kyle Moore with 8:32 left in the first period. The puck hit Ryan Hunter in stride as he slipped behind the Rocker defense and created a 2-on-1. 

At the last moment, he centered the puck to Justin MacDonald who roofed the puck past a sprawled Trevor Babin for a 1-0 lead. MacDonald now has 35-straight games with a point. 

Columbus doubled the lead three minutes later when Carter Shinkaruk fired a shot from the point that was deflected in front of the net off a Rocker stick for a 2-0 lead with 5:18 to play in the period. 

The lone goal of the second period belonged to Alex Storjohann who received a stretch pass from Sequoia Swan and took two steps into the offensive zone and rifled his 20th of the season for a 3-0 lead at the 6:02 mark of the middle frame. 

Columbus scored its fourth goal of the night on another deflected puck.

Alexander Jmaeff moved the puck from the nearside corner to the point where Shinkaruk stepped into a shot. As the puck darted through the air, Austin Daae deflected it in front of the net for a 4-0 lead midway through the third period. 

Two minutes later Cody Wickline collected a loose puck deep inside the Rocker zone for the RiverDragons’ fifth of the night and a 5-0 lead.

Rocker Forward Danny Vanderwiel broke Brendan Colgan’s shutout bid with 4:51 to play in the third when Declan Conway gathered a pass from Lane King and centered it for the Captain. The 5-1 power play goal breaks a four game scoring drought and is his sixth of the season. 

Avery Smith received his second goal in his first three games of his pro career when he took a pass from Nick Magill-Diaz and walked his way in between four Columbus defenders and scored a goal, 5-2, with 3:00 remaining in the game. 

The game was Trevor Babin’s 100th career start in the FPHL. The Philadelphia native stopped 35-of-42 shots he faced. 

Motor City and Columbus will play game two of a three game set on Saturday at 7:05pm.