Carolina rolls the Thunder, 7-0

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- The Carolina Thunderbirds, proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, rolled the Delaware Thunder 7-0 at the Annex on Saturday.

“Everybody played better tonight,” said head coach Andre Niec, “we improved big.”

Carolina’s Daniel Klinecky opened the scoring at the 13:15 mark into the first period. Klinecky leads Carolina defensemen in goals scored this season. Jo Osaka would notch his first of three assists on the night on the play.

Osaka would drive the net just three minutes later and create a rebound chance that Jiri Pargac buried to make it 2-0. Pargac’s goal came just 45 seconds after Petr Panacek fought Evgenii Demin between the two benches.

“Jo Osaka… he’s just a good hockey player. I like my linemates a lot and he was great tonight,” said Thunderbirds forward Konner Haas.

The onslaught didn’t stop there as Daniel Martin blasted a wrister past Sebastian DeMassa-Carlsson to make it 3-0. DeMassa-Carlsson, despite the loss still made 40 saves in his FPHL debut.

Haas backhanded in his third goal of the season, and first since returning to Winston-Salem to make it 4-0.

“I mean, I want to prove it here and it’s a lot different being back in Winston and I happy to be able to produce,” said Haas.

The third period was a deflection clinic as both Joe Cangelosi and Jan Salak tipped shots in for goals. Pargac scored his second of the night, a shorthanded goal to cap the 7-0 route.

After an 18 save performance, Jake Mullen becomes the second Thunderbird this season, and third Thunderbird all-time to record back-to-back shutouts. Mullen has stopped 44 consecutive shots since joining Carolina.

“He didn’t have a lot to do tonight, but he played well,” said Niec.

The only lingering concern is for George Holt and Dominik Fejt. Holt was ejected for a dubious hit late in the second period on Brandon Contratto. On the other hand, Fejt was pulled down by Contratto entering attacking ice and fell awkwardly. He left the game.

“For George, we saw that it was not a head hit on the video, so there’s that… we will know more about Dom on Monday,” reported Niec.

Carolina is now 23-3-1-1 on the season, firmly entrenched as the top of the league. Delaware falls to 8-19-0-0.

The Thunderbirds will next face Mentor on January 24. That game kicks off a nine-game-in-16-day for Carolina, with five at home and four on the road.