COLUMBUS, GA - The Columbus River Dragons put an exclamation point on the 2023-24 regular season with an 11-1 win over the Carolina Thunderbirds on Saturday night at the Columbus Civic Center.

Cody Wickline led the way with three goals and an assist, while Columbus received multi-point efforts from 10 different players in total. Justin MacDonald also registered a four-point night with two goals and two assists.

Columbus scored five times in the first period on 13 shots, chasing Thunderbirds starter Mario Cavaliere after just 20 minutes. Cody Karpinski did not fare much better in relief, giving up six goals against on 17 shots as the River Dragons offense equaled its highest goal output of the season.

Breandan Colgan cruised to the win with 15 saves on 16 shots, ending the year with a total of 23 wins on the year. 


  • The 11 goals against Carolina is the most the franchise has allowed in its history, beating the old mark of 10 set back in the Thunderbirds inaugural season.

  • Columbus tied its season high with 11 goals, equaling the total against Baton Rouge on February 16 of this year.

  • Cody Wickline bookended his season with hat tricks, recording three goals on opening night against Baton Rouge and doing it again tonight.

  • MacDonald returned to action after sitting out four games for veteran rest. He finishes the season as the league’s leading scorer with 117 points, leading goal scorer with 45, and leading assist provider with 72.

  • MacDonald also led the league this year in plus/minus with a plus-69.

  • Columbus’ five goals in the first period was a team season high.

  • Columbus is the only team in the FPHL to record 40 regulation wins in 2023-24.

The River Dragons will now start the playoffs on the road for Game One of the Continental Division Semifinal on Wednesday at 8:05 pm ET against the Mississippi Sea Wolves. Game Two returns to Columbus on Friday night at 7:35 pm ET and Game Three (if necessary) on Saturday at 7:05 pm. Tickets are on sale for all River Dragons home playoff games through the Civic Center Box Office and online at TicketMaster.com.