23 Wins And Counting, Carolina Wins Opening Game of Weekend Series vs. Watertown
Winston-Salem, NC - In front of a sold out Fairgrounds Annex crowd the Carolina Thunderbirds moved their winning streak to 23 with a 4-1 win over the Watertown Wolves on Friday night.
Carolina opened the scoring with a Chase Fallis goal that was one-timed on a well placed pass by Petr Panacek going circle to circle. Fallis was one of three Thunderbirds players to get their 16th goal of the year in this one.
Later in the period Watertown would tie the score with Tyler Gjurich ringing his 31st goal of the year off the pipe on the power play past Christian Pavlas to level the game at one. That tie game would last only 52 seconds when Michael Bunn scored with a backhand effort that beat Jared Rutledge to the low blocker side.
That was all for the scoring, however Ryan Jasinsky and Justin Coachman dropped gloves in a good fight halfway through the first period that got the crowd of 3,000+ energized.
Carolina would take the 2-1 lead into both intermission locker room breaks as there was no scoring in the second period to tell about. Some good chance each way with shots in the second period favoring Carolina 17-10, but nothing went by either Pavlas or Rutledge.
In the third period, Carolina got themselves insurance goals through Josh Pietrantonio and Jan Salak, each man picked up their 16th goal of the year and gave the game its final score.
Carolina with the win moved to 97 points on the year and has now mathematically clinched a playoff spot in the 2019 FHL playoffs.
Christian Pavlas stopped 21 of 22 shots for the win, his 19th of the year. Jared Rutledge stopped 54 of 58 shots in the loss.
Carolina now looks to another sold out crowd for Saturday night against the same Wolves team. Only Standing Room tickets remain for the game Saturday night. Sunday afternoon tickets are still available at the Fairgrounds Box Office or online at TicketMaster.
Three Stars of the Game
The Carolina Thunderbirds are proud members of the Federal Hockey League, now in its ninth season. The Thunderbirds are in their second season of play looking to build on the success of their inaugural season where the team posted an 87-point season with a record of 25-5-2-24 (W-OTW-OTL-L). The Thunderbirds also set an FHL record with over 66,000 fans through the doors in their first season. Season and group tickets are on sale now by calling 336-774-GOAL (4625).