Carolina earns 100th franchise win, defeats Mentor

MENTOR, Ohio- The Carolina Thunderbirds, 2019 Commissioner’s Cup champions and proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, earned their historic 100th franchise win, defeating the Mentor Ice Breakers 5-1 from the Mentor Civic Ice Arena on Friday night.

“It feels great,” said head coach Andre Niec who danced a jig during his post-game interview. Niec has been the head coach for each of the 100 wins and now has 129 in his FPHL coaching career.

The Thunderbirds did not start off on the right foot though as Brody Duncan notched his 5th goal of the season to open the scoring 6:35 into the second period.

Carolina would then score five unanswered.

Michael Bunn tied the game 1:11 after Duncan’s goal and just 19 seconds later Jiri Pargac gave Carolina a lead they would not relinquish.

Daniel Martin scored a personal historic goal just 53 seconds into the third period. Martin’s 43rd career goal marks his 100th FPHL point.  

Bunn blistered a slapper past Mentor starter Jordan Brant later in the period and Jan Salak one-timed a feed from Petr Panacek home for a powerplay goal.

“He played well,” said Niec of Bunn, “he did a really good job for his team tonight.”

Bunn’s two goals have him at 10 on the season now.

With the win, the Thunderbirds have become the fastest team to reach 100 wins in league history in two seasons and 18 games.

Carolina improves to 16-1-0-1 on the season for 49 standings points and remains firmly atop the FPHL. Mentor falls to 11-8-0-0 and remains at 33 points.

The Thunderbirds will play Mentor again tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. in Ohio.