COLUMBUS, GA - Justin MacDonald scored twice and added a pair of assists as the Columbus River Dragons topped the Elmira River Sharks 4-1 on Saturday night at the Columbus Civic Center.

MacDonald kicked off the scoring in the second period with a pair of goals, the first coming during a four-on-four situation. River Dragons captain Josh Pietrantonio’s initial shot managed to squeak past Elmira goaltender Sammy Bernard but stopped in the goal crease. MacDonald pounced on the rebound for his 16th goal of the season. Then 3:11 later, MacDonald recorded the only five-on-five goal for the River Dragons from Ryan Hunter and Nathan Balkwill for the 2-0 lead.

Later in the second MacDonald set up Alex Storjohann for a power play goal at 12:23 and a 3-0 lead. Carter Shinkaruk also added a helper on the goal for his 200th professional point.

Elmira would get back in the hockey game with a goal from Steven Ford at 15:45 of the second period, setting the stage for a dramatic final frame.

The River Sharks threw everything they could at the River Dragons in the third, totaling 17 shots on goal. Goaltender Talor Joseph stood tall, stopping everything he saw and allowing Kyle Moore to add a late empty-net goal for the 4-1 final.


  • Shinkaruk finished the night with two assists on his milestone night, his 200th and 201st pro points.

  • MacDonald’s four-point night was his third of the season and second in the last three games.

  • MacDonald extended his scoring streak to 14 games and over that stretch has 13 goals and 17 assists for 30 points.

  • The 17 shots by Elmira in the third period are the most allowed by Columbus in the third this season, and second-most in any period against the River Dragons (18, 2nd period, 11/25 @ Carolina).

  • The two-game set is the only meeting of the regular season between Columbus and Elmira.

  • The games also marked the first time the River Dragons faced an opponent from the Empire Division this season.

Columbus is back in action this Wednesday against the Carolina Thunderbirds at 7:05 pm for Pucks and Prayers night. Tickets are on sale for all remaining River Dragons home games through the Civic Center Box Office and online at