Rockers Season Ends With 3-2 OT Loss In Empire Division Championship

The 2023-24 campaign was successful by every measure: 33 Regular Season wins, beating last year’s total, earned the franchise’s first playoff series win against the defending FPHL Champions in Danbury and having a record setting crowd at Big Boy Arena on the final home game where 2,123 fans attended a win. 

Unfortunately in Game 2 of the FPHL Empire Division Championship, the Rockers couldn’t force Game 3 after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Black Bears. 

With the season on the line late in the third period, Motor City pulled Ricky Gonzalez who replaced Trevor Babin midway in the third period, for an extra attacker with 1:44 to play. 

The Rockers desperately tried to get the game tying goal when the puck was swung from Declan Conway to the point and on the stick of Nick Magill-Diaz. Magill-Diaz fired a shot that was deflected by TJ Sneath for the game tying goal with 5.4 seconds left.

Binghamton’s Austin Thompson earned the game winner with 8:32remaining in the game when he fired the puck from the corner and through the five-hole on an impossible angle for his first goal of the postseason. 

Binghamton did start the game with a lead in the first period with goals by Josh Fletcher and Connor Smith for a 2-0 lead until the Rockers were able to cut the deficit to one with 3:28 left in the opening frame. 

Sneath entered the offensive zone and offered a drop pass to Lane King at the point. King then rifled a pass to the far side post to Declan Conway who tipped in the puck for a 2-1 score. It was his first of the postseason, and 23rd of the campaign. 

King finished the postseason with a point in every game with his assist earning a goal, and six assists in five games. 

The Rockers also were perfect on the penalty kill in the postseason. Motor City killed 23-of-23 power plays it faced in the playoffs. It entered the playoffs with a 83.3 kill percentage which was second best in the league.