Cornwall Nationals Cease Operations, Thunderbirds Add 2 in Dispersal Draft

Winston-Salem, NC – Cornwall Nationals Cease Operations, Thunderbirds Add 2 in Dispersal Draft. 

What’s New

On Tuesday, February 20th the Cornwall Nationals announced via official team social media accounts that the team is ceasing operations effective immediately.

This is a really sad day for hockey in Cornwall,” said Rodney Rivette, Owner/President. “Unfortunately, due to our financial situation, we can no longer continue.” Saturday night’s attendance was announced at 358 in what turned out to be the team’s last game at the Ed Lumley Arena inside the Civic Complex. “We’ve exhausted every avenue possible to save the team,” said Rivette. “This is so unfortunate because owner Will Beauvais has done everything possible to make this work.” Rivette said the Federal Hockey League has left the door open for the future of the team, and he is not ruling out bringing back the Nationals next season. “I don’t know what the future is going to hold. It’s all pretty fresh.”

Thunderbirds President and General Manager Scott Brand released a statement about the situation in Cornwall.

“Obviously, we are disappointed in the news out of Cornwall. Cornwall is a city with a great hockey tradition and it is always heartbreaking when teams no longer can operate. The loss of jobs for players, staff, arena personnel is never a good thing and losing a league member team during the season is disheartening. We hope to see the Nationals and their fans back in the league very soon.

The Thunderbirds are looking forward to finishing the regular season and taking a run at the Cup and bringing back Championship hockey to the Triad. We are working on some very exciting news for the 2018-19 season and are confident that we will continue to advance the operations of our team.”

Meanwhile the Thunderbirds are poised, in just their first season, to break the league attendance record. Needing just 5,466 tickets in the remaining 9 games, an average of just 607 tickets per game. For the season so far, Carolina has been averaging just over 2,100 per game. The league record of 51,484 was set by the Danbury Whalers during the 2012-2013 regular season, and they did so in just 27 home games. Carolina, in order to break the record in the same amount of games or fewer, will need to average 911 tickets over the next 6 home games.

The players on the Cornwall Nationals roster were dispersed on Tuesday night through a draft. The Draft was a reverse order of the current league standings with each team picking twice. These are the results from the draft.

North Shore Knights- Matyas Kasek(D)

Danville Dashers- Ahmed Mahfouz(F)

Carolina Thunderbirds- Jay Kenny(D)

Watertown Wolves- Sebastian Dube-Rochon(G)

Port Huron Prowlers- Yan Dumontier(D)

North Shore Knights- Lukas Sladkovsky(F)

Danville Dashers-MJ Graham(F)

Carolina Thunderbirds- Maxime Guyon(F)

Watertown Wolves- Alex D’Oliveria(D)

Port Huron Prowlers- Justin Portillo(F)

The remaining players on the Cornwall roster will be released as free agents. The home games due to be played in Cornwall will be forfeited, and a team of professional caliber players will be formed to play the 5 remaining road games in Watertown. As well here are the details on the 2 players selected by Carolina in the draft.

Jay Kenny-Defense, 6’0”, 250 pounds, 27 years old, from Boston, MA. In 28 games this season, Kenny has 0 goals, 5 assists, 40 penalty minutes, and a-7 rating.

Andre Niec on Kenny; “He’s a hard-working guy, great team-mate and locker room presence, he will definitely help us out defensively.” 

Maxime Guyon- Forward, 5’8”, 165 pounds, 24 years old, from St. Amable, QC, CAN. In 30 games this season Guyon has 32 goals, 31 assists, 10 penalty minutes, and is +32. Guyon is 2nd in the FHL in goals scored and tied for 1st in game-winning goals.

Andre Niec on Guyon; “Great goal scorer, one of the most skilled players in the league.”

What’s Coming Up

On Wednesday, February 21st the Thunderbirds will be out at Hattie B’s Pub and Patio in Clemmon, NC. Located at 6353 Cephis Dr, it’s Karaoke Night with the Thunderbirds. From 8-11pm, Thunderbirds players, coaches, and staff will be competing to wow the judges with their singing talent for a prize.

The Thunderbirds will skate at home on Friday and Saturday, February 23rd and 24th against the North Shore Knights. Friday’s game starts at 7:35 pm, with the doors opening at 6:35, and it’s “Kelly Curl Night”. Presented by Curl Enterprises, the first 600 fans in attendance will receive a special Thunderbirds mask, just like the one Kelly Curl wears. Saturday’s game will begin at 6:05 pm, with the doors opening at 5:05 pm and it’s “Pucks and Paws Night”. Presented by Oakes Animal Hospital, enjoy the game with your canine companion, with special seating for fans bringing their dogs! On Sunday the Thunderbirds will hit the road for one game against the Danville Dashers, it will be a 6pm EST puck drop, and you can hear all the action on the Thunderbirds Radio Network. For tickets and more information please visit or call 336-774-GOAL(4625).