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Icehawks drop PrairieThunder to fifth place

April 17, 2010 - International Hockey League 2 (IHL 2) - Port Huron Icehawks News Release

PORT HURON, MI - The Port Huron Icehawks took the Bloomington PrairieThunder out of the driver's seat in the 2010 Turner Cup playoff picture with a 5-4 overtime victory Saturday at McMorran Arena. The Icehawks have won in overtime in their last three home games against the PrairieThunder.

Port Huron got on the board first when Nick Lindberg scored less than five minutes into the game on a 3-on-2 break. Brandon Naurato and Kris Vernarsky assisted on the play. The assist was Vernarsky's 300th career point. Mike Kinnie scored a 4-on-4 goal at the 7:24 mark to put the Icehawks up two. Rookies Pete Rouleau and Mike Gershon assisted on the goal.

The Icehawks got their third goal of the game's first ten minutes on Peter Flache's wraparound score. Kinnie and Daniel Tetrault assisted. Goalie Larry Sterling kept the lead at three, stopping a breakaway attempt by Bloomington's Matthew Spiller, who took a long pass as soon as he left the penalty box. Despite the 3-0 lead, Port Huron was outshot 11-10 in the first period.

Robin Gomez put the PrairieThunder on the board at 4:44 of the second period when he found an opening over Sterling's left shoulder. Jon Booras and Preston Briggs assisted on the play. Brett Holmberg scored his 20th goal of the season at 7:27 off assists from Craig Macdonald and Preston Briggs. Bloomington scored their third goal just a minute later when Booras found the back of the net to tie the game. Jamie Carroll and Cole Ruwe earned assists on the play. The PrairieThunder were dominant offensively, outshooting the Icehawks 16-5 in the second period.

Cole Ruwe was the first to score on the west end goal as his blue-line blast at 5:24 of the third period briefly gave Bloomington the lead. Mike Kinnie lit the lamp for the second time less than a minute later on assists from Tetrault and Flache. For the fifth time this season, the Icehawks and PrairieThunder were headed to overtime. Port Huron outshot Bloomington 10-7 in the third.

Daniel Tetrault ended the game just 28 seconds into the extra session to give the Icehawks their fourth overtime win of the season against the PrairieThunder. All three Icehawks captains earned a point on the play, as Vernarsky and Rob Cowan assisted on the goal.

Bloomington outshot Port Huron 34-26 overall. The Icehawks are now 14-14-0-2 when outshot this season.

Larry Sterling picks up his 23rd win of the season, turning away 30 of 34 shots. Andrew Martin takes the loss for Bloomington, allowing five goals and making 21 saves.

For game stats: http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/gamesheet_full.html?gameid=1057952.

Port Huron improves to 46-25-0-4 with their 28th home victory of the season. With tonight's loss, Bloomington no longer controls their own destiny in the Turner Cup playoff picture. At 31-33-5-6, the PrairieThunder are now tied with the Flint Generals at 73 points. With their win over Muskegon tonight, Flint now holds the tiebreaker over Bloomington. A win or a Bloomington loss tomorrow will guarantee the Generals a playoff spot.

The Icehawks and PrairieThunder will face off again tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. at McMorran Arena in the regular season finale. Bloomington needs a victory and a Flint loss to move back into fourth place and into the playoffs.

Single game tickets for all Icehawks home games are on sale now at McMorran Arena Box Office, any Ticket Master location or by phone. For more information, visit www.porthuronicehawks.com or call 810-966-3800.

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