Port Huron Gets A Win And A Shootout Loss Against Janesville Jets
PORT HURON, MI "“ The Port Huron Fighting Falcons proved that they have not given up on the 2010-11 season over the weekend, when they earned three points in three nights at McMorran Arena.
Thursday night the Michigan Warriors made their first appearance in over a month at McMorran Arena for their tenth matchup with the Fighting Falcons. Excellent goaltending at each end resulted in a 2-0 victory for Robert Tadazak and the Warriors.
Tadazak turned away all 37 shots an aggressive Fighting Falcons team fired at him, while Peter Megariotis kept his team in the game with 33 saves of his own.
Andrew Kolb scored both Michigan goals on nearly identical far-post-pass goals, each assisted by AJ White and Ryan Green.
Tadazak would build on the momentum he gained in his shutout of the Fighting Falcons as he blanked the Chicago Hitmen Saturday night, and got his third victory in three nights against the Hitmen Saturday.
Friday brought a rematch with the Janesville Jets, a team the Fighting Falcons had played extremely well against the previous weekend in Wisconsin. Early on, it was clear that Port Huron"™s players were not intimidated by the North Division"™s second-place team.
A wild deflection of a pass from behind the Port Huron goal got past Megariotis, who got the start for the second straight night for the Fighting Falcons. John Olen would be credited for the goal near the halfway point of the first period. The Jets would not beat Megariotis again for the rest of the night.
Port Huron"™s penalty-killing unit played spectacularly, as Logan Lemirande and Adam Frank scored shorthanded goals during Janesville"™s first two power play opportunities, three minutes apart late in the first period. The Jets were kept scoreless on 10 power play chances, including a pair of 5-on-3 opportunities.
Max Reavis returned after an early injury sustained on a knee-to-knee collision to score an insurance goal early into the second period to put Port Huron up 3-1. Both teams were held scoreless for the last 37 minutes of the game, giving the Fighting Falcons their first home victory since January 26.
Travis Hill, Rudi Pino and Nico Sierra each earned assists in the victory. Peter Megariotis continued his hot play in net, with 29 saves. The Anaheim Hills, California native stopped over 95% of the shots he faced in two starts over the weekend, earning an honorable mention for NAHL Goaltender of the Week for his efforts.
Janesville returned to McMorran Arena Saturday night looking for revenge after their loss on Friday took away their hold over sole possession of the second-place spot in the North Division standings.
Tyler Last got his first start of the weekend for Port Huron, while Janesville made the switch to Daniel Jacobson after Tony Kujava had started the Jets"™ first three games against the Fighting Falcons.
The weekend"™s theme of great goaltending continued, with each netminder making at least 30 saves.
Janesville struck first with two first-period goals. The Fighting Falcons would work their way back into the game in the second period, as Logan Lemirande scored for the second time in as many nights on an assist by Derek McPherson.
Rudi Pino tied the game at two at 10:28 of the second period on a spectacular goal while falling to his back in front of the net. Max Reavis and Adam Frank assisted on Pino"™s 11th goal as a Fighting Falcon and 19th overall of the season.
Neither Last nor Jacobson allowed a goal for the rest of regulation, and the teams headed to overtime. A scoreless overtime period led to the first shootout at McMorran Arena of the season, and just the second overall for the Fighting Falcons.
Janesville excelled in their seventh shootout of the year, beating Last on all three attempts for the victory. The Jets have now won their last six shootouts.
Tyler Last stopped 39 shots, his second-highest total of the season, while Jacobson turned away 30 shots in regulation and all three he faced in the shootout.
The Fighting Falcons hosted over 30 characters from the Star Wars film series Saturday night, and the team wore special Star Wars-themed jerseys that were auctioned off after the game. The auction raised roughly $1000 for the Blue Water Humane Society, who received all profits from the jersey sales.
With three points over the weekend, Port Huron moved to within five points of the Chicago Hitmen for seventh place in the North Division. The Fighting Falcons have two games in hand over the Hitmen, who finish their season with a home series against the Warriors and a weekend in St. Louis to take on the first-place Bandits, who became the first North Division team to clinch a playoff spot Saturday night.
A bus ride of over nine hours awaits the Fighting Falcons this weekend, as the team will make its first trip to Springfield, Illinois to take on the Jr. Blues. Port Huron"™s first franchise victory came against the Jr. Blues back in November. The teams will play Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Wednesday, March 23 the Warriors will come to town for the final matchup of the season with the Fighting Falcons. A home-and-home series with the Traverse City North Stars will end Port Huron"™s inaugural season in the North American Hockey League, with the season finale taking place Saturday, March 26. Attack Zone tickets are on sale for just $5 for the rest of the Fighting Falcons"™ season.
2011-12 season ticket packages are on sale now for just $150 at the McMorran Arena Box Office. Current season ticket holders have until the end of March to reserve their seats at the renewal discount of $135. For more information on season tickets, call the Fighting Falcons office at (810) 966-3800.