Carolina closes weekend series with 8-2 routing of Delaware

Winston-Salem, NC – While snow and ice fell from the Winston-Salem skies, the Carolina Thunderbirds filled the net with pucks on Sunday night. The Thunderbirds flexed their offensive muscles as they secured seven of a possible nine points against the Thunder.

Finding themselves shorthanded early in the first period, the Thunderbirds looked to be a bit on their heels in the early first period. Delaware had scored the first goal in both of the previous games that weekend. Instead, John Buttitta found himself on a breakaway while shorthanded, burying the game’s first goal past the blocker of Trevor Babin. Just two minutes later, on another penalty kill, Buttitta would bury another breakaway goal on Babin to make it 2-0. The Thunderbirds continued the onslaught with a Dawson Baker poerplay goal at 14:59, and a Blake Peavey deflection goal with just two seconds left in the first.

After carrying a 4-0 lead into the first intermission, Carolina kept up the pressure in the second. Blake Peavey fired another puck home for his 6th of the season, then Vinnie De’Andrea scored his first two goals of the season just a few minutes apart. With two assists as well, D’Andrea’s four points marked a career-high single-game total. Alexei Quane-Arseneault would end the shutout bid for Chris Paulin late in the period, but the Thunderbirds held a dominating 7-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Michael Swiderski and Dawson Baker traded goals in a third period that was otherwise decided. Chris Paulin finished the game with 25 saves on 27 shots in the 8-2 victory. John Buttitta’s five points led the team and brought him first-star honors.

The Thunderbirds turn their attention to the Columbus River Dragons next Friday night. Puck drop from the Columbus Civic Center is set for 7:30pm.