Flock Flash-Into The House of the Dragon(s)
The Carolina-Columbus rivalry may not be a "Game of Thrones" prequel, but this weekend's rematch between the Thunderbirds and River Dragons is sure to have as much drama as any HBO series.
After a weekend in which Carolina ended Breandan Colgan's league-record shutout streak by outscoring the River Dragons 15-4 over two games, Columbus will be out for revenge in their home arena this weekend.
Carolina's goal is to continue to stake their claim as one of the top teams in the FPHL. They've faced the league's two best teams in the last 4 games, and won 3 of those four in regulation. Carolina now sits just five points back of the second place Port Huron Prowlers in the Continental Division. 2 regulation wins this weekend would equal six standings points, and pole vault Carolina one spot behind their arch rivals.
A definite key to victory will be for the offense to continue its onslaught of late. Paced by Gus Ford's team-leading and league-leading 62 points, he'll look to continue to dazzle down on the Chattahoochee River this weekend. Lucas Rowe's 46 points and captain John Buttitta's 43 rank second and third on the team, and fourth and fifth in the league overall.
Josh Koepplinger and Jacob Schnapp have exploded of late as well. The success of the "Czech Line" of Petr Panacek, Jan Salak and the red-hot Jiri Pestuka have been key to Carolina's recent scoring success.
Goaltending will also be paramount. Mario Cavaliere was spectacular last Friday night, as he'll look to build off a strong stretch of recent starts which has helped increase his Save Percentage to a season-high .895. Boris Babik brings his 2.97 Goals Against Average with him to Columbus, which ranks fifth best in the league.
Both games begin at 7:30, and will be available on ThunderbirdsTV (YouTube) and on WTOB radio.