Carolina penalty kill sinks Mentor, 4-1

The rivalry between the Carolina Thunderbirds and Mentor Ice Breakers has always been a physical one, tonight was no different. Although Carolina came away with the 4-1 win, both teams left it all out on the ice.

As the puck fell and the crowd roared, the next chapter of this rivalry was written. Out of the four goals scored by the Thunderbirds, two of them got passed the Ice Breakers rookie goaltender Jordan Brant within a minute of each other. After the second goal was scored, Ice Breakers Head Coach Iain Duncan made the decision to pull Jordan Brant and insert newly acquired goaltender Frankie McClendon. This was the first time McClendon dawned another team's jersey since joining the Thunderbirds for the 2017-2018 season. 

A minute into the second period, Jo Osaka got one pasted his former teammate with help from Jan Krivohlavek and Daniel Klinecky. Osaka’s goal would be the only one for the second period but the action didn’t slow down. Jay Kenney and Everett Thompson both dropped the gloves, resulting in game misconducts for each. 

Nine minutes into the third period, the Ice Breakers were looking for something to happen and that came in the hands of Mark Essery. Essery ended Polivka’s chances of recording a shutout and shortening the goal differential to just two. Essery’s tally wasn’t enough as Jo Osaka would record his second of the night to put the game away for the Thunderbirds.

 In a tear jerking moment, both Patrick Polivka and Frankie McClendon shared the first star honors as the Thunderbirds faithful erupted in cheers and applause. Konner Haas and Jo Osaka would be the second and third stars of the game.

The Thunderbirds are back home tomorrow night at 6:05pm against the Ice Breakers for Cancer Awareness Night. 

-James Jackson