4-1 Loss for the Thunderbirds off a Guyon Hat-Trick.

Winston-Salem, NC –4-1 Loss for the Thunderbirds off a Guyon Hat-Trick. 

How It Happened

For the second time in one day the Thunderbirds and Cornwall Nationals would skate in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As a result of bad ice conditions, the game on Friday, December 29th, was called off in the 1st period and finished on Saturday during the day. The Nationals would skate out to a 6-5 victory, scoring 3 short-handed goals in the process. Sebastian Dube-Rochon would earn the start in net once again for Cornwall, after a 36 save win. Carolina would go with Cary Byron once again, after he had made 28 saves earlier in the loss.

The two teams showed no signs of fatigue in the 1st period, attacking end-to-end with purpose. Neither team would break through in the period, but not for lack of trying. Early in the period Chase Fallis would be assessed a 2-minute tripping minor, but the Thunderbirds would kill off the penalty. At 7:02 of the frame it would be Cornwall’s Ondrej Misovic would take a 2-minute hooking minor, and this time it would be the National’s penalty kill that would be successful. The Thunderbirds would have another short-handed stint when Tom Kilgore would take a hooking minor at 16:37 of the period, but again the Thunderbirds would kill off the infraction. At the buzzer it would still be scoreless, with shots 14-12 in favor of Carolina.

The pace would continue into the 2nd period, both teams battling for possession. It would be Cornwall finally breaking through however, when Martin Trudman would deflect a puck off a goal-mouth scramble to make it 1-0 Cornwall. Brandon Gilmour and Justin Portillo would get the assists on the goal. Things would start to get more physical, with Thunderbirds Stanislav Vlasov and Cornwall’s Cam Bakker dropping the gloves at 15:24 in the period. A holding minor on Alex Vazquez would send Cornwall back on the power-play. Eric Witzel would set up Maxime Guyon all alone in the high slot, and the Federal Hockey League’s top scorer made the most of the opportunity, wiring the puck over the shoulder of Byron, 2-0 Cornwall. With just under 3 minutes left in the period the rough physical play would boil over once again, with Michael Bunn dropping the gloves with Simon Sefcik, Bunn would be assessed an additional instigator penalty. At the end of 2 periods, the Nationals would lead 2-0, and would out-shoot Carolina 11-10 in the period, for a total of 24-23 in favor of the Thunderbirds.

In the 3rd period the Nationals would take control of the game, spending much of the period in the offensive zone. The pressure would culminate in a Guyon shot from the point that would find it’s way in past Byron to make it 3-0 Cornwall, Eric Witzel on the assist. The Thunderbirds would get some life when at 17:06 of the period Giovanni Lamanna would score his 1st goal as a Thunderbird, set up in front by Ryan Rotondi and Jason Berube. It would be just over a minute later when Guyon would deliver the dagger. Coming in on a 2-on-1 with Mahfouz, the Thunderbirds defenseman took away the option of the pass so, from a sharp angle Guyon would go top shelf to complete the hat-trick. Cornwall continues their winning ways, dropping the Thunderbirds 4-1, despite being out-shot 32-31.

In the win Rochon would stop 31 pucks while Byron would make 27 saves in the loss.

Notable Stats

Maxime Guyon’s hat-trick gives him a larger lead in the scoring standings with 43 points and 22 goals, but his 2nd period power-play goal is only his first such of the season.

Thunderbirds forward Giovanni Lammana’s goal in the 3rd period is his 1st as a Thunderbird.

Back in Action

The Thunderbirds will play on Sunday, December 31st against the Cornwall Nationals. Sunday’s New Years’ Eve game will begin at 8:35 pm, with festivities to follow the game. The Thunderbirds will have a week off from FHL games, but will play a charity Sled Hockey game on Saturday, January 6th. The game will be free and open to the public, but a donation is suggested to help raise money for sled hockey equipment in the Triad. For tickets and more information please visit www.carolinathunderbirds.com or call 336-774-GOAL(4625).