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Prowlers Blank Ice Breakers

December 27, 2019 - Federal Prospects Hockey League (FPHL) - Mentor Ice Breakers News Release

For the second consecutive night, the Mentor Ice Breakers played host to a club on a lengthy winning streak. Yesterday's game saw the Ice Breakers hang on for a 6-5 win over the Danbury Hat Tricks, winners of 11 straight. Unfortunately for Mentor, the Port Huron Prowlers started a red-hot goaltender in Chris Paulin, who stopped all 37 shots he faced in a 2-0 Port Huron victory, pushing the visitors' winning streak to seven games.

The contest marked the first time in franchise history that the Ice Breakers were shutout on home ice. The club was held off the scoreboard only once in their inaugural season last year, a blowout road loss against the Carolina Thunderbirds.

The first 10 minutes of the contest saw plenty of back-and-forth action as both sides generated scoring chances. Early in the frame, Port Huron used its speed to create a two-man breakaway with their leading scorers, Matt Robertson and Matt Graham. Ice Breakers starter Austyn Roudebush stonewalled the attempt to maintain a scoreless tie.

Mentor was tasked with a 5 on 3 penalty kill late in the first period against Port Huron's top-ranked power play unit. The Ice Breakers killed off the first penalty, but a slapshot from the point by Joe Pace Jr. found its way past Roudebush to give the Prowlers a 1-0 lead on the power-play tally. Pace's goal, which was his third of the season, turned out to be the game-winner.

Port Huron out-shot the Ice Breakers 20-11 in the opening frame, partly due to three penalties against the Ice Breakers. The score remained 1-0 until the Ice Breakers left Graham open on the backdoor for a tip-in for Port Huron's second goal of the night. David Nippard was credited with the primary assist while Robertson chipped in with the secondary.

The Ice Breakers were doomed by a couple of untimely penalties in the third period. Brody Duncan took an elbowing call at 11:05. Mentor killed off the ensuing Prowlers power play before Duncan and Nippard took coincidental minors at 13:58. With the Ice Breakers pushing for their first goal of the night, Mark Essery received a five-minute high sticking penalty to go along with a game misconduct that proved to be the nail in the coffin for Mentor.

Paulin picked up his second shutout of the season, which ranks second in the FPHL behind Carolina's Henry Dill (three). Roudebush fell to 10-8-0-0 despite a stellar performance that saw him stop 43 of 45 shots. These two teams are back in action tomorrow night from Mentor Ice Arena to wrap up a two-game weekend series.

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