Blackjack! Carolina Wins 21st Straight Game
Danville, IL - The Carolina Thunderbirds have now put their name alongside the Port Huron Prowlers and the New York Aviators with a 21-game winning streak, the longest in FHL history. On Saturday night, they'll look to wipe those two from the record books.
Carolina got things going early and often in Danville on Friday night with a goal from Karel Drahorad 5:50 into the game opening the scoring. Later in the first Jiri Pargac intercepted a pass and with the same touch sent his captain Josh Pietrantonio in on net against Matt Kaludis. Pietrantonio beat Kaludis 5-hole for a shorthanded tally to double Carolina's lead. Jiri Pestuka would add a third goal before the break for a 3-0 Carolina lead through 20 minutes.
Interestingly, Pietrantonio's goal marks the fifth shorthanded goal the Thunderbirds have scored in their last six games. Pietrantonio also notched an assist on Karel Drahorad's goal which was his 100th point as a Thunderbird, the most in franchise history.
In the second period, it was Danville who struck first with a goal from Eric Masters set up after a bad outlet pass from the Thunderbirds bounced off a body right into Masters' path and he made no mistake blasting it past Henry Dill.
Carolina would restore their three goal lead with Michael Bunn's 9th of the year. After collecting a puck behind the net Bunn waited past a wraparound and came out into the slot and fired the piuck past a screened Kaludis for the tally.
Carolina would get the first goal of the third period when Dominik Fejt poked one home on the power play after Kaludis made a couple of fine saves but could not control his rebounds. The Thunderbirds shooting gallery finally paid off in close range with Chase Fallis and Petr Panacek assisting on the goal.
Danville would bring it back to within two as Eric Masters scored his second of the game on the power play and then a Daniel Martin deflection made it 5-3 within five minutes of each other.
Late in the game while skating 4-on-4 Stan Vlasov would shoot an innocent looking shot that ends up beating Kaludis over the shoulder and seal the game away fro Carolina and giving them their 21st straight win.
Henry Dill stopped 20 of 23 shots in his first game back as a Thunderbird after a loan with the Macon Mayhem. Matt Kaludis stopped 35 of 41 shots in the loss.
Carolina will now look to put their name all alone in the record books going for a 22nd straight win when the play the Danville Dashers Saturday night at the David S Palmer Arena. Puck drop is at 8:05 (eastern time) with a 7:40 pregame show on WTOB
Three Stars of the Game
Eric Masters (DAN)