Experimental Shootout Rule Gives Prowlers Win Over Thunderbirds

Winston-Salem, NC - Alex Johnson registered the only goal of the pre-game shootout that was tested for the second time in the Fairgrounds Annex and his goal would ultimately decide the game as the Port Huron Prowlers defeat the Carolina Thunderbirds 5-4 by virtue of the pre-game shootout.

Henry Dill stopped four of five Prowlers shots while Cory Simons was a perfect five-for-five today before the game got underway.

The game itself was a phenomenal display by both teams with Carolina jumping out to an early 2-0 lead courtesy of Beau Walker and Stan Vlasov who each scored their third goals of the season. 

Port Huron would respond with some highlight worthy goals from both Dalton Jay and Zachary Zulkanycz to tie the game up midway through the second period, but Carolina took the lead into the locker room after 40 minutes when Tommy Mahoney recorded his first ever goal as a Thunderbird to separate the teams.

The Prowlers would strike back not once but twice to take the lead as Matyas Kasek scored off a scrum in front of Henry Dill and then Josh Colten gave the Prowlers their first lead of the game with a shot from the right point off of a faceoff. The Thunderbirds responded with Petr Panacek burying a rebound off of a pad pass from Everett Thompson on a 2-on-1 that made the teams level after regulation.

With overtime looming the Prowlers knew they had the advantage by winning the pre-game shootout 1-0. That didn't mean Port Huron sat back and played defense the whole time. It was only until Andre Niec pulled Henry Dill with a little over a minute to go that the Prowlers held the fort down in the defensive zone against an extended 4-on-3 advantage for the Thunderbirds and while Carolina peppered Cory Simons with shots they ultimately could not put one past him by the time the five minutes was up and the Prowlers took the first ever professional hockey victory via pre-game shootout.

Henry Dill stopped 20 of 24 shots for no decision, Cory Simons stopped 29 of 33 shots in no decision.

The Thunderbirds and Prowlers played in front of a sellout crowd of 3,050 on Saturday night. Fans will have a chance to officially offer feedback on the experimental rule change come Monday.

Carolina now looks ahead to a road trip across New York, taking on the Elmira Enforcers Friday night and then heading up to Watertown to play the Wolves on Saturday night.

3 Stars of the Game
Karel Drahorad
Tommy Mahoney
Chase Fallis


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).