FPHL Power Rankings: Jan. 10th-11th

FPHL Power Rankings: Jan. 10th-11th

By Shawn Johnson

January 14, 2020

Another weekly FPHL Power Rankings are in the books. It was a relatively quiet weekend. However we do have some teams moving up and down in this week’s rankings! Here we go!

10) Battle Creek Rumble Bees (1-27), 5th place Western Division

Rank Last Week: 9 (Down 1)

Battle Creek went back to its losing ways over the weekend. They traveled to Danville, IL to take on their divisional rivals the Danville Dashers. They lost on Friday by a score of 5-2. Their penalty kill unit was near perfect. The Bees allowed 1 power play goal on 6 attempts.  Saturday night, Danville bested Battle Creek once again 7-3. The power play units struggled allowing two shorthanded goals. Battle Creek hosts Port Huron this Friday and then travels to Port Huron to play Saturday and travel to Mentor for a Monday night match-up with the Ice Breakers. 

9) Mentor Ice Breakers (13-13-0-2), 3rd place Eastern Division

Rank Last Week: 8 (Down 1)

Mentor traveled south to take on the defending champions. They dropped both of their games.  On Friday, Mentor battled Carolina, but ultimately lost 3-2 in overtime. It was their special teams that did the scoring for Mentor. Declan Conway scored a power play goal and a few minutes later it was Dzmitry Daniliuk with the shorthanded goal.  The game went to overtime and nobody had scored. The game went to a shootout where Carolina scored twice, once by Jan Salak and once by Brendan Logan. Mentor failed to score at all in the shootout. On Saturday, Mentor’s offense stalled and they were shutout by a score of 3-0. Mentor will host Danville for two games this Friday and Saturday night, then will host Battle Creek for a Monday night game. 

8) Columbus River Dragons (8-15-3-1), 4th place Western Division

Rank Last Week: 10 (Up 2)

What a weekend for Columbus. The River Dragons shutout Port Huron 9-0 in an ugly game on Friday night. Columbus tallied up twelve penalties and thirteen for Port Huron. Jared Rutledge recorded the shutout and earned the first star of the game. We also saw a battle of the smallest guys in the league. Tim Santopoalo and Austin Fetterly dropped the gloves. Jay Croop led the way for Columbus with two goals and an assist. Saturday was also a wild night in Columbus. The River Dragons were victorious by a score of 11-9. Yes, there were TWENTY goals scored in the game. Not really much to say there. Poor play by both goaltenders and little to no defense. Regardless, Columbus sweeps the weekend and gathers 6 points.  Columbus heads north this weekend to take on the Watertown Wolves for a two game series. 

7) Watertown Wolves (14-10-1-2), 2nd place, Eastern Division

Rank Last Week: 4 (Down 3)

It has been quite a disappointing week for the wolves. They travelled to Danbury to take on the top team in the east. The Hat Tricks won easily 8-1. Goaltending in Watertown seems to be a big problem. Between both goaltenders, 4 goals were allowed on the first 8 shots. It was quite difficult to watch if you are a Watertown fan. The Wolves then traveled home to host the Elmira Enforcers. It was the return of the Wolves enforcer Chase Tippen. Elmira took game 1 on Friday by a score of 5-4. Watertown responded on Saturday by taking Elmira into overtime. Tyler Gjurich had a beautiful goal to seal the deal and earned Watertown two points. The Wolves will host the Columbus River Dragons this weekend on Friday and Saturday. 

6) Delaware Thunder (8-17), 5th place Eastern Division

Rank Last Week: 7 (Up 1)

Delaware continues to roll. They took on the top team in the east; Danbury over the weekend. Delaware put up a fight, but lost 5-4. 3 unanswered goals by Delaware started the comeback, but they just ran out of time. Saturday night was a whole other story. Delaware took the win 6-2. Ryan Marker led the way with a hat trick and an assist for four points. This performance earned Marker the first star of the game. What blows my mind the most about this game was the shots. The red hot Danbury offense put up SIXTY TWO shots on goal, but only two got past Aaron Taylor. Delaware scored six goals on thirty one shots. This weekend, the Thunder head south to take on the league leading Carolina Thunderbirds for a two game series.

5) Port Huron Prowlers (13-9-3-0), 2nd place, Western Division

Rank Last Week: 3 (Down 2)

What happened to the Port Huron Prowlers? They were on the rise and all of a sudden they stalled. The Prowlers were shutout in a 9-0 loss in Columbus on Friday. Kaukkila was injured during the game so he could not move well, and had no other options at the goalie. Port Huron has a goaltending problem and they must figure it out before they slip in the standings. Chris Paulin, Michael Santaguida and Ville Kaukkila were all injured. They had to borrow help from Carolina and signed Kelly Curl for Saturday night’s game and even broadcaster Jeremy Skiba was signed as an emergency backup goaltender. There were twenty goals scored in the game, but ultimately it was Columbus defeating Port Huron 11-9. Port Huron beat the River Dragons on Thursday but it's not enough to move them up in our rankings.

4) Elmira Enforcers (11-12-2-2), 4th place, Eastern Division

Rank Last Week: 6 (Up 2)

The Enforcers are back and looking like contenders. I was there to see them take on the Watertown Wolves over the weekend and they looked dangerous.  On Friday, Captain Ahmed Mafouz led the charge with five points (2 goals, 3 assists) and won by a score of 5-4. On Saturday, the game went to overtime, but this time it was the Wolves who were victorious by a score of 3-2. Tyler Gjurich of Watertown put the puck past Troy Passingham to seal the deal. I moved the Enforcers back up in the power rankings because they are getting healthy; they traveled, won on the road then took game two into overtime. That is worth a couple spots in the power rankings.

3) Danville Dashers (15-10-1-2) 3rd place, Western Division

Rank Last Week: 5 (Up 2)

Danville hosted Battle Creek over the weekend and took care of their opponent on both nights. On Friday, Danville won 5-2 then on Saturday 7-3. Danville has been inconsistent lately, but they are usually in the top five in our weekly power rankings. Fred Hein, Justin Brausen and AJ Tesoriero have really sparked Danville’s offense. The physical play has been better and the attendance has risen at the David S Palmer Arena. The Dashers most recently traded Kristers Bormanis to the Delaware Thunder for financial considerations. Danville heads to Mentor this weekend to take on the Ice Breakers Friday and Saturday night. 

2) Danbury Hat Tricks (18-6-1-2) 1st place, Eastern Division

Rank Last Week: 1 (Down 1)

Down goes Danbury! The Hat Tricks traveled to Delaware to take on the Thunder and came out victorious Friday night in a nail biter 5-4. However, Delaware responded by defeating Danbury 6-2 on Saturday night. Matyas Kasek and Carter Shinkaruk had the lone two goals for the Hat Tricks. Danbury put sixty two shots on goal, but could only get two past Delaware’s Aaron Taylor. Delaware gave Danbury chances on the Power Play, but the Hat Tricks could just not capitalize. Danbury is still the hottest team in the Eastern Division, just not the hottest team in this week’s Power Rankings!

1) Carolina Thunderbirds (21-3-1-1) 1st place, Western Division

Rank Last Week: 2 (Up 1)

We have a new number 1! The Carolina Thunderbirds have fought their way back into the top spot after Danbury lost to Delaware. The Thunderbirds hosted Mentor for a two game series. Both games, Mentor forced Carolina to earn their victories. On Friday, Carolina defeated Mentor in a shootout.  Mentor failed to score at all in the shootout. Jan Salak and Brendan Logan scored for Carolina so the Thunderbirds won by a score of 3-2. On Saturday, Carolina shutout Mentor 3-0 in dominating fashion. Jacob Mullen was traded from Battle Creek to Carolina and in his debut as a Thunderbird he recorded his first win/ shutout. That’s a pretty good way to start with a new team. Carolina hosts Delaware this upcoming weekend for two games. 

PHOTO: James Jackson/Under Review