SLOW START DOOMS ICE BREAKERS IN PORT HURON

By Jared Tennant

PHOTO: Delta Imaging

Port Huron, MI—Three goals allowed in the first period proved to be too much for the Mentor Ice Breakers to overcome against the Port Huron Prowlers on Saturday night at McMorran Place. The two clubs played to a 3-3 tie over the remainder of the game, but the Prowlers quick start ultimately decided the contest.

Zachary Zulkanycz opened the scoring under five minutes into the game before Shea Carey gave Port Huron a 2-0 lead just 1:11 later. Things settled down from there, but the Prowlers took advantage of a power play late in the frame when Matt Robertson netted his 12th goal of the season.

The Ice Breakers seemed to have a chance to get back in the game early in the second period when Carey received a four-minute penalty for slashing, but Robertson scored a shorthanded goal just 12 seconds into Mentor’s man advantage to give the Prowlers a commanding 4-0 lead.

Defenseman Thomas McKinnon managed to salvage Mentor’s power-play at 5:19 when he fired a seeing-eye wrist shot that beat goaltender Chris Paulin through traffic. Mark Essery and Gordy Bonnel, the Ice Breakers’ leading scorers, both added assists on the tally.

At 10:27, forward Patrick Porkka cut the deficit to 4-2 with his seventh goal of the campaign. Matt Kadolph and Joe Ftoma factored in with assists on the goal. For Kadolph, it was his second assist and fifth point in nine games with Mentor since being signed in December.

The Prowlers effectively put the game away with two goals in the final five minutes of the second period to restore their four-goal lead. Austin Fetterly and Dalton Jay both scored even-strength goals to send Port Huron into the second intermission on top 6-2.

The only goal of the final frame came at 7:11 when Porkka netted his second goal of the game on the power play. Defenseman Joe Swenson and Steven Fowler added assists on the goal. Swenson’s assist was his sixth of the season while Fowler earned his second helper in three games since joining the Ice Breakers.

Mentor went 2-for-9 on the power play while Port Huron converted on one of its four opportunities on the man advantage. For the second night in a row, the Ice Breakers reached the half-century mark in shots on goal as they out-shot Port Huron 50-35. Paulin played an outstanding game for the second night in a row, racking up 47 saves and making his save percentage .947 on the season. Paulin has played so well this season that his save percentage dropped after last night’s performance.

For the Ice Breakers, netminder Derek Moser fell to 6-7-1 after making 29 saves. Moser was hurt by several defensive breakdowns on a night where the Prowlers had no problems getting open in their offensive zone.

The Ice Breakers are back in action next weekend at home with a two-game series against the Danville Dashers. Friday’s game will feature a postgame skate while Saturday will be First Responders Night.

The Ice Breakers, proud members of the Federal Hockey League, are in their inaugural season. Single-game tickets and ticket packages are available 24/7 online at mentoricebreakers.com/tickets. They can also be purchased at the box office prior to every home game or by calling (440) 290-8502.