Home Hockey jerseys Local Pro Hockey: MacDonald leads the pack as 50-goal scorer leads Wolves rout | wolves

Local Pro Hockey: MacDonald leads the pack as 50-goal scorer leads Wolves rout | wolves


WATERTOWN – Justin MacDonald has preached that the Watertown Wolves have been off to great starts throughout the season.

That’s exactly what Wolves did on Saturday night, with MacDonald leading the charge.

MacDonald continued his career-leading pace by scoring four goals to propel Watertown to a 7-1 win over the Port Huron Prowlers in a Federal Prospects Hockey League game on First Responders Night in front of a crowd of 1,062 people at the Watertown Municipal Arena.

A night after hitting the 50-goal mark in a win at Port Huron, MacDonald scored twice in the first four minutes and 41 seconds of the game as Wolves forged a 4-1 first-half lead.

“It’s really something,” MacDonald said of the milestone. “But I couldn’t do it without my teammates. It’s not always about setting goals, it’s about moving the energy forward. Him (Ahmed Mahfouz) and Kinger (Lane King) really got the energy going and they really got me pucks all year.

MacDonald, the only player in franchise history to top 50 goals, has now scored 54 goals in 40 games for league leader Watertown (33-9-3).

“I’m excited for him, really excited to see this happen,” Watertown coach Brent Clarke said of MacDonald’s past 50 goals. “He’s a hell of a player and he should be playing at a higher level, he wanted to come here and have fun with old friends and win a championship, and that’s always our goal.”

After scoring on a wrist from the right face-off circle while on the power play 2:38 into the game, MacDonald struck again, scoring unassisted 4:41 into the game.

“Justin has been so consistent for us all year and I’m happy for him,” said King, a MacDonald teammate. “He scored some big goals for us and assisted on some as well. With Justin it’s all about being in the right place at the right time, which he really was for us.

After the Prowlers (15-25-3) tied 2-1 on Zachary Fresura’s goal, Cole McKechney provided Watertown with another two-goal lead at 7:45 of the start of the period. Colin Chmelka followed with a goal with 7:44 left in the period for a 4-1 advantage.

On Friday, rookie Kyle Heitzner scored 23 seconds into Watertown’s 3-0 win at Port Huron.

“Tonight was a great start and the same as last night,” MacDonald said. “That was our thing, we really have to get our starts and that’s what we did and as you can see we kept rolling. And that’s what’s going to happen throughout the year.

Previously in Wolves franchise history, Tyler Gjurich twice surpassed the 50-goal mark by scoring 56 goals in the 2017-18 campaign and another 51 the following season.

“You always have your personal goals that you want to accomplish throughout your career, whether it’s scoring goals or winning a championship,” said MacDonald, whose career-high the previous season was 44 goals during the 2014-15 season with Wolves. “You always set goals to accomplish and I’m happy with this one.”

MacDonald also came into the game with a league-leading 104 points, which surpassed his previous season’s record of 102 points, also set in the 2014-15 campaign, when Wolves won the league title in the of the first season of the circuit.

“He just keeps getting better and stronger and stronger,” Clarke said of the 31-year-old MacDonald, who is in his 11th professional season.

MacDonald scored an unassisted goal in the second period and added a goal in the third, and Watertown’s Michael Mann capped the scoring with a power-play goal with 43.7 seconds left.

Wolves rookie goalie Breandan Colgan made 21 saves to record the win one night after scoring 41 in a shutout in Port Huron. Colgan has now won 12 of 14 decisions this season.

“Last night he played fantastic and tonight he did too,” Clarke said.

Wolves wore special first responder jerseys, which were auctioned off after the game, and a state police car circled the ice surface twice before opening the face-off.

Watertown hosts Port Huron at 4 p.m. today to complete the three-game series and then travel to play a three-game series at Columbus Friday through next Sunday in Georgia.

“We’re on the right track,” said MacDonald, who is also team captain and assistant coach. “We had our little crash where we were winning one, losing one, winning two then losing two, and now it looks like we’re going to keep climbing and that’s what we have to do.”

Wolves, who lead the league in wins (33), points (97) and winning percentage (.735), have just over a month until the playoffs as they finish the regular season with one game away. home against Danbury on April 15.

“I think we’re in a good position, we have a little cushion, nothing huge,” Clarke said. “But we have to win tomorrow and win those games in Columbus next week. I like the way we play as a team.

not NOTES: McKechney, who also assisted on a goal, scored 23 goals in 44 games during his rookie season with Watertown. His teammates Nolan Slachetka and Ryan Devine each recorded a pair of assists on Saturday. … Wolves striker Rocco DiConstanzo has returned from the injured list, playing for the first time since February 4. … Forward Brendan Hussey has been reassigned to Macon Wolves of the Southern Professional Hockey League.

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