WATERTOWN — Joe Deveny is no stranger to hockey in the north country as he played in the collegiate ranks.
Getting a boost from Deveny, the Wolves’ newest player, and additional aid from veteran Tyler Gjurich, Watertown scored four unanswered goals in the third period to turn back the Port Huron Prowlers, 7-4, on Friday night in a Federal Hockey League clash before 800 fans at Watertown Municipal Arena.
Deveny, who played four seasons at SUNY Canton, scored three goals in his pro debut, including the tying goal in the third to set the stage for Gjurich, who scored the game- winner with nine minutes and 51 seconds left in regulation.
“The boys have been really welcoming, which is nice,” Deveny said. “It was nice to play in a game tonight and it was great.”
The Wolves outlasted the Prowlers in a wild, back-and-forth game, rallying from a one-goal deficit in the third period after Port Huron’s Matt Graham scored a go-ahead goal 4:04 into the period.
“This usually happens against Port Huron, it’s usually back and forth and it’s fun hockey,” Gjurich said. “But like I’ve said, we’re a hard-working team and we play until the end.”
Deveny, a right wing, followed with the tying goal with 11:50 left in the third, with Cameron Dimmitt assisting.
“It felt good to help out, definitely in my first game here,” said Deveny, who signed with the Wolves earlier this week. “The (defenseman) just stepped up on me kind of and I had a step on him, so I took it to the net and I saw I had five-hole, so I slid it in five-hole.”
“We picked up a new guy in Joe Deveny and he’s going to help us,” Watertown coach Paul MacLean said. “It’s nice to see him chip in and help the team right away.”
Then 59 seconds later and on Watertown’s only power play of the night, Gjurich knocked in a rebound of a Dimmitt drive for a 5-4 lead just 18 seconds into the man advantage.
“One thing that we had to work on for our power play was getting pucks to the net and following through,” Gjurich said. “Lane (King) deflected it and I was in the crease there and banged it in.”
Deric Boudreau then followed with a pair of goals within a span of 2:28, both assisted by Gjurich, as the Wolves built a 7-4 advantage,
“It was kind of like there was no emotion there early on,” MacLean said. “Then we lit a little bit of fire under our tail and we responded well.”
Rookie goalie Jeremy Pominville made 41 saves, including stopping 19 of 20 shots faced in the third period, for Watertown (2-1).
“It was kind of a slow start, but the boys battled back,” said Dimmitt, who recorded four assists.
“It was nice to have a win on Friday night after last weekend, it’s nice to get things rolling in the right direction.”
The Prowlers, who at one point outshot the Wolves, 10-3, in the opening period, led 1-0 on Alexander Strack’s goal 11:01 into the game as he scored on a drive from the right point.
Later in the period, the Wolves appeared to score a goal as the puck rang off iron and the red light went on, but it was promptly waved off.
Following the first 20 minutes, the goals came fast and furious for both teams in the second period.
After King scored 5:27 into the second period, with Dimmitt assisting, to pull the Wolves within 1-1, the Prowlers retook the lead as Justin Portillo converted on a backhand pass from Zachary Zulkanycz at 8:34.
Deveny scored 1:09 later for the Wolves, with Anton Kalinin assisting, as Watertown drew even at 2-2.
Deveny followed with a go-ahead goal at 3-2 in front off a pass from Justin Coachman at 14:37, but Port Huron drew even just 1:11 later on Alexander Gregorich’s tip-in goal.
“There’s definitely some chemistry between us,” said Dimmitt, who skated on Deveny’s line. “He did really well, for his pro game. He’s pretty good. He’s calm and patient with the puck and he knows where it should go. You can see that he’s played higher-level hockey, which is nice.”
Deveny skated with both Toledo of the ECHL and Roanoke of the SPHL in the preseason, playing in three exhibition games, including two with Toledo.
“He came in earlier this week and you could tell that he can play,” Gjurich said of Deveny. “It’s nice to add some more scoring when we can and keep buzzing around the net. He’s a skill guy who can put the puck in the net, he works and is a big body, he’s going to help the team a lot.”
Goalie Ville Kaukkila finished with 34 saves for Port Huron, which was dealt its first loss of the season after winning a pair of overtime games at Danbury to open the season last weekend.
n NOTES: The Wolves’ home game tonight is the team’s Pink in the Rink event to promote cancer awareness. Watertown will wear special pink and gray jerseys, which will be auctioned off after the game. ... The Wolves then are away for five games, including two games next Friday and Saturday at Danville.