Carolina Makes It 10 In A Row After Chippy Affair
Winston-Salem, NC - Something about Saturday nights in the Annex between Carolina and Mentor brings out the madness. Maybe it's the sellout crowds of 3,000+, maybe it's the fierce rivalry brewing between the teams. Whatever it was it produced something insane for those in attendance.
After Saturday, November 24 (a 3-0 Mentor win) saw 212 penalty minutes, the next Saturday night date in Winston-Salem produced 189 penalty minutes and a 5-1 Thunderbirds win.
The first period started rather mundane, albeit heavily in favor of the Thunderbirds with a 17-6 shot advantage and a 1-0 lead courtesy of Chase Fallis.
The second period saw another fast start from Carolina, but it was spurred on because of a Mentor goal 38 seconds in to the frame. Brett Oldaker intercepted a Jay Kenney dump in and went 2-on-0 against Frankie McClendon. Oldaker buried it past the blocker hand and it was 1-1.
40 seconds later Michael Bunn unleashed a blast to restore Carolina's lead, assists to Jan Salak and Joe Cangelosi.
Chase Fallis would add his second of the night after a crazy bounce off the backboards careened in off a Mentor player and Fallis' shorthanded tally made it 3-1.
The score remained that way heading into the third period and just like the calm before the storm, Jiri Pargac scored 1:32 into the 3rd period to make it 4-1. That was the straw that broke the camel's back and Pandora's box opened up 12 seconds later when Jan Salak was boarded by Dzmitri Danilyuk. That hit then created a gathering which then spun into Brody Duncan and Karel Drahorad having one of the most spirited fights you'll see in the FHL.
After Duncan and Drahorad separated (and slapped hands after the fight for what its worth it would seem all would be back to normal. Ivan Vilcuaskas had other ideas when he began shouting at the Thunderbirds bench after the Duncan-Drahorad fight and when a gathering emerged from it speared Chase Fallis in the face. If Pandora's box was open before, the lid was blown off at that point and pandemonium ensued.
Multiple players left the bench, different fights popped up everywhere and to top it all off. John Sellie-Moser and Frankie McClendon fought in the Carolina end to send the sellout crowd into a frenzy.
Referees sorted out the issues and ejected both goalies and multiple players from each team.
The night wasn't done for the referees however.
Everett Thompson and Richard Pinkowski each earned 14 minutes with double minors for rough and a 10-minute misconduct each for a scuffle midway through the third. Later in the third Matt Kadolph and Karel Drahorad scrapped after Jiri Pargac (who had scored another goal by this time to make it 5-1) was hit from behind by Kadolph in the Carolina end. Both Drahorad and Kadolph were ejected.
The night was finally over penalty wise when Dominik Fejt fought Mark Essery and both guys were given the gate.
All in all the sellout crowd of 3,050, saw six goals, 189 penalty minutes and the Thunderbirds' 10th consecutive win.
Carolina now looks ahead to New Year's Eve when they host the Danville Dashers for an 8:35 puck drop.
3 Stars of the Game
The Carolina Thunderbirds are proud members of the Federal Hockey League, now in its ninth season. The Thunderbirds are in their second season of play looking to build on the success of their inaugural season where the team posted an 87-point season with a record of 25-5-2-24 (W-OTW-OTL-L). The Thunderbirds also set an FHL record with over 66,000 fans through the doors in their first season. Season and group tickets are on sale now by calling 336-774-GOAL (4625).