Friday, March 23, 2018

Port Huron Prowlers (FHL, 2017-18)

2017-18 Regular Season
Prowlers vs. Cornwall Nationals
Prowlers vs. North Shore Knights
     The Port Huron Prowlers are currently in Year 3 of existence in the independent "Class-A" Federal Hockey League (FHL). They are owned by Barry Soskin, who also owns the FHL's Danville Dashers and Carolina Thunderbirds. Joe Pace, Sr. is behind the bench after taking over at mid-season last year for Trevor Karasiewicz. The team plays it's home games at 3,400-seat  McMorran Arena.
     After missing the playoffs in 2016-17, the Prowlers shipped leading scorer Ahmed Mahfouz to the Cornwall Nationals (close to his hometown of Ottawa). The team got off to a slow start in 2017-18, with a 5-5-1 record through the first 11 games....

...and then they got on the mother of all hot streaks.

     After that slow start, the Prowlers ripped through a 12-game unbeaten streak. Following an overtime loss in Carolina, the Prowlers are currently on a 23-game unbeaten streak (counting forfeits by North Shore and Cornwall). As of March 23, their record is 41-5-2 (or 38-5-3-2, depending on whether you look at or the FHL website)
     I remember the glory days of the Flint Generals Detroit Vipers and how strong those teams could be. And, yes, I know the reputation of the Federal Hockey League.  But in all the years I've followed minor league hockey teams, I have never seen a team as utterly dominant as the 2017-18 Prowlers have been.
     I have been to two Prowlers games so far this year. The first one was Friday, February 2nd, against the Cornwall Nationals. The Prowlers won that game, 8-2, the fourth win of this 23-game streak. (Note: The Nationals folded shortly after due to declining attendance). The second game I saw was Saturday, March 17th, against the North Shore Knights (formerly the St. Clair Shores Fighting Saints). The Prowlers won that one, 6-3, win #18 of this streak. That win clinched first overall for the Prowlers, who are currently 32 points head of the second-place Watertown Wolves, who have their own 10-game unbeaten streak as well.
     This is the first year that I have had to pay for Prowlers programs, but they cost only $2. The programs are 16 pages, all in color on glossy paper. Both programs say "Volume 1", so I imagine they have used the same programs for the entire year. The rosters for each team are printed on separate pages. Local advertisements include Maria's Downtown Cafe, Flagship Community Federal Credit Union, Black River Country Club, and Meijer.


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