4 Unanswered Dasher Goals Sink Thunderbirds 4-3.

Winston-Salem, NC –4 Unanswered Dasher Goals Sink Thunderbirds 4-3. 

How It Happened

Friday night’s game between the Danville Dashers and the Carolina Thunderbirds is the 3rd of 5 games in a row between the 2 teams to finish the regular season series. With a sweep the previous weekend the Thunderbirds now increase their lead in 3rd place in the FHL standings and take an 8-7 lead over Danville this season. Carolina has 75 points an a .510 winning percentage and are in 3rd with a 21-21-5-2 record. The Dashers sit in 4th with a .422 winning percentage, an 18-25-2-4 record and 62 points.

In net for the Dashers it would be Matt Kaludis starting, sporting an 12-13 record, a 3.60 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage, he also has an FHL leading 3 shut-outs. In net for Carolina it would be Christian Pavlas getting the start on the road. Pavlas has an 8-14-1 record overall, but since joining Carolina is 6-4-1 with a 3.51 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage.

As with the previous Friday night meeting in Danville it would be an early start for Carolina. Just over 3 minutes into the period tic-tac-toe passing by Carolina on a delayed penalty would find rookie defenseman Jiri Kalis all alone in front of an empty net. The youngster out of the Czech Republic would tally his 1st professional goal and 2nd point as a Thunderbird in just his 3rd game. Michael Bunn and Rick O’Connor would combine for the assists, 1-0 Carolina. Just 1:01 later it would be the former Dasher Kyle Stevens tapping the puck home against the team which cut him just a week ago to make it 2-0. Stevens’ goal is his 14th of the season and his 1st as a Thunderbird, Tom Kilgore and Seth Gustin would assist on the goal. This goal would end Matt Kaludis’ night early as it did last Friday. Kaludis would head to the bench having stopped 4 of 6. Carolina would add to their lead when Ray Boudiette would pick the pocket of Dasher defenseman Alex Basey and race in on Aaron Taylor and beat the Dasher goalie up high, making it 3-0 Carolina. Rick O’Connor and Jiri Kalis would assist on the goal, Boudiette’s 12th of the season at 9:14 of the period. Forced back on their heels the Dashers would respond. At 14:53 of the frame a net-mouth scramble would find the puck roll to the stick of Mike Dolman on a sharp angle. Dolman would fire the puck past a diving Pavlas to make it 3-1, with Justin Brausen and Jimmy Soper assisting on the goal. Just 23 seconds late Ahmed Mahfouz would fire a laser-accurate pass through the blue paint, finding Brandon Yeaman’s stick on the ice for the easy tap-in goal, 3-2 Carolina. Daniel Martin would earn the secondary assist on the goal. The teams would skate 3-2 into the intermission, but with a slashing penalty to Jimmy Soper taken at the end of the period. Carolina would out-shoot the Dashers 14-12 in the 1st.

Carolina would challenge Aaron Taylor on the early power-play but would be unable to convert on the man-advantage. Both teams would then trade chances end-to-end through the 10-minute mark of the 2nd period. With the puck in deep in their offensive zone, Dasher forward Daniel Martin would wire a pass-through traffic and the crease, finding Ahmed Mahfouz all alone on the far-side of the net. Mahfouz would deflect the pass home to tie the game at 3, Matt Coleman getting the secondary assist on the goal. The physical play would increase in intensity, and eventually boil over. At 12:57 of the period Michael Dolman would take a slashing minor along with an unsportsmanlike minor penalty. Stan Vlasov of the Thunderbirds would also be assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct minor, but the Thunderbirds 2nd power-play would be short-lived. At 13:14 CJ Blaszka would take a hooking minor. Both teams would battle through the 4-on-4 hockey, and Carolina would go on to kill off the short Dasher power-play. The teams would skate tied into the 2nd intermission, with the Dashers now leading in shots 25-21 through 2 periods of play.

Carrying the momentum into the 3rd period the Dashers would take the fight to the Thunderbirds. At 5:49 of the 3rd a Christian Whitcomb shot from the point would be deflected in past Pavlas by Brandon Yeamans to give Danville a 4-3 lead. Ahmed Mahfouz would get his 3rd point of the game with the secondary assist. Carolina would battle to try and tie the game and despite a slew of penalties after the half-way mark of the period the Dashers would skate to a 4-3 victory, out-shooting Carolina 17 to 6 in the period for a 42-27 advantage.

Matt Kaludis, pulled at the 4:17 mark of the 1st would stop 4 of 6, and getting credit for the win, Aaron Taylor would stop 20 of the 21 he faced in relief. In the loss Christian Pavlas would stop 38 of 42 shots he would face.

Notable Stats

Jiri Kalis’ 1st period goal is his 1st professional goal.

The season series between the two teams is now tied at 8 games apiece, and tonight’s game is the 11th game decided by 2 goals or less, and the 5th 1-goal game of the season between the two teams.


What’s Next

The Thunderbirds’ will finish their season series against the Danville Dashers at home on March 24 and 25. Saturday the 24th the puck drop will be at 6:05 pm at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex. Sunday the 25th will feature a matinee game with a 4:05 pm puck drop. For more information about the Thunderbirds please call 336-774-GOAL(4625) or log on to www.carolinathunderbirds.com