Carolina Blanks Blue Ridge, 5-0

Wytheville, VA – Behind two goals from Jan Salak and a shutout from Mario Cavaliere, the Carolina Thunderbirds dominated the Blue Ridge Bobcats, 5-0, Friday night at the Apex Center to remain perfect against the Bobcats. 


Carolina (15-3-0) got on the board early in the first period and never looked back. Jan Salak, who had goals in each of his last three games, found the back of the net at the 5:28 mark of the 1st period with assists from Jiri Pestuka and Joe Kennedy giving the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. The Thunderbirds held that lead going into the 2nd period, and Carolina doubled its advantage from Gus Ford’s 15th goal of the year at the 4:38 mark of the 2nd period. 


Less than two minutes later, Blue Ridge (5-12-2) surrendered its third goal with Salak netting his second of the evening for his sixth goal in his last four games giving Carolina the 3-0 advantage. 10 minutes later while on the power play, Dawson Baker beat Christian Pavlas to give the Thunderbirds the 4-0 lead at the 16:24 mark of the 2nd period. 


With the attack clicking, Thunderbirds netminder Mario Cavaliere was a wall. The Mississauga, Ontario native stopped all 26 shots across the first 40 minutes before Jon Buttitta put the finishing touches on the Bobcats at the 11:34 mark of the 3rd on the way to a 5-0 victory over the Bobcats. 


Cavaliere stopped all 38 shots he saw on the evening picking up his first shutout victory on the season. The ‘Czech Line’ earned all three stars on the night with Petr Panacek picking up two assists, Pestuka a trio of assists, and Salak scoring twice. 


With the win, Carolina has now won 11 out of its last 12 games and improves to 5-0-0 against Blue Ridge this season. 


The Thunderbirds begin a stretch of four games against the Columbus River Dragons starting on Saturday night at the Annex. Puck drop between Carolina and Columbus is set for 6:05 p.m. from Winston-Salem.