Rockers Come Up Short In 5-3 Loss to Port Huron

The Rockers couldn’t complete a weekend sweep of Port Huron as Motor City dropped the second game of the weekend, 5-3, at Big Boy Arena. 

Much like Friday night, however, the Rockers (19-13-6) took little time getting on the board in the first period thanks to one of its returning players. 

54-seconds into the first period Connor Inger broke up a pass inside the slot that Everett Thompson picked up and slid to Danny Vanderwiel. Vanderwiel feathered the puck from the blue line past Danick Rodrique who was screened by Inger for a 1-0 lead. It was the first goal for Vanderwiel since Nov. 25th. Near the midway point of the first period, the Prowlers’ offense kicked into gear as Port Huron not only tied the score, but took the lead. 

With the man advantage, Dalton Jay went on the attack. Jay carried the puck through the neutral zone and created a rush. As he entered the offensive zone, Frank Schumacher found his way in front of the net. Jay and Schumacher connected for the game tying goal, 1-1, with 11:58 to play in the period. 

Three minutes later, Port Huron (21-16-3)  took the lead after a quick face-off draw on the far side of the ice. The puck came onto the stick of Alex Johnson who fired a blast from the point that was initially stopped. As the puck lay near the crease, Dan Chartrand pushed the puck through the five-hole for a 2-1 lead. 

In the second period, Adam Heinzl pushed the puck along the blue line to Gino Mini who carried it into the far circle where he fired a hard shot that trickled past Scott and two other Rockers for a 3-1 lead with 6:04 to play. 

The Rockers wouldn’t go away, though, and were determined to make a game of it in the third period. 

With 9:17 left in the third period Inger pushed the puck ahead to Scott Coash on the far side. Coash carried the puck into the offensive zone and fired the puck as he approached the end line that snuck over the shoulder of Rodrique to cut into the lead, 3-2. 

Late in the third the Prowlers bumped the lead back up to two, 4-2, when Matt Graham took the puck behind the net and found Bryan Parsons near the point. Parsons walked into a shot that caught the inside of the far post for his first of the season. 

With a 1:26 left in the game, the Prowlers took a boarding penalty that put Motor City on the man advantage. With 26 seconds left, Thompson fired a shot from the far side that bounced off Rodrique and right in front of Inger. Inger buried the puck to make it 4-3. 

After a stoppage to replace a broken glass pane that was shattered by the blade of Brad Reitter as he was hit into the boards, Sam Merrit added an empty goal for Port Huron for a 5-3 win. 

The I-94 series is even at seven games a piece and Motor City will now remain home for the next seven games when Elmira, Carolina and Columbus come to Fraser. 

Ben Szilagy