FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thunderbirds statement on suspensions from the FPHL


WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- The Carolina Thunderbirds, proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, have received notification from the league regarding consequences for the altercation between Columbus and Carolina on Sunday, March 8.

“This organization wishes to express its utmost remorse for what happened on Sunday. It was outside the framework of the game of hockey and is something that must be taken seriously and dealt with accordingly,” said team co-owner Cary Ross.

The Thunderbirds recognize that this incident does not portray the team, its opponent, or the league in a favorable light. It is a regrettable occurrence that is unfortunate and the Thunderbirds are sincerely sorry that it occurred in Winston-Salem.

"During that weekend lines were crossed, and it was regrettable for all involved. Unfortunately, the hotter heads got the better of the situation on Sunday and we all have to learn from our mistakes,” said River Dragons head coach Jerome Bechard on Wednesday afternoon.

“I was only acting in defense of my player,” said head coach Andre Niec, “I did not intend for anything to escalate to that level and I apologize for the incident’s effect on the league and its member teams.”

The Thunderbirds have incurred the following suspensions:

Andre Niec- 12 games commuted to 8 games served with a 4-game probation

Dominik Fejt- 2 games

Mike Baker- 3 games

George Holt- 2 games

The Columbus River Dragons have been assessed the following suspensions:

Jerome Bechard: 3 games

Nicholas Wright: 5 games

M.J. Graham: 3 games

Will LaPorte: 1 game

Cody Karpinski: 1 game

Carolina will play the Port Huron Prowlers at McMorran Arena this weekend in a three-game set. The Thunderbirds will rematch against the River Dragons at home on “Superhero Night, “ March 21 at the Annex. Select seats are still available.