Ford leads Thunderbirds to shootout win

Harrington, DE – The Carolina Thunderbirds picked up their second win of the season Friday night in Delaware with a 3-2 shootout win over the Thunder. The win comes after the team’s 5-4 overtime win over Port Huron last Saturday.

The Thunderbirds entered their 15th matchup against the Thunder with a 12-0-1-1 lead in the all-time series. Boris Babik, Turkey’s top goaltender in the 2021-2022 season, got the nod from head coach Garrett Rutledge for his first North American professional start. Across from him, Alberta’s Trevor Martin received his 3rd consecutive start of the season. Tucker Firth took and early tripping penalty for the Thunderbirds, and later Artur Chirkov found himself in the penalty box for a slashing call. Both powerplays were killed off, and Carolina led 17-12 on the shot board after a scoreless first period.

More Carolina penalties in the second period aided Delaware in breaking the deadlock. With Lucas Rowe in the penalty box for a roughing penalty, Delaware’s Denis Gafarov beat Boris Babik past his glove hand. At 10:40 of the second period, Delaware had a 1-0 lead. Just 63 seconds later, Gus Ford had Carolina’s answer. Skating down the right wing, he hesitated and snapped a shot over the glove of Trevor Martin to tie the game. A pair of penalties cancelled each other out at the end of the period, setting up six seconds of 4-on-4 to start the third period. Carolina outshot Delaware 18-15 in the second.

Gus Ford added his second goal of the night midway through the third period. A delay of game penalty to Daniel Martin put Carolina shorthanded in the last four minutes of regulation. Alex Soucy’s powerplay goal sent the game to overtime tied 2-2.

Despite a pair of shots each in overtime, neither team could find the back of the net. Gus Ford scored the only goal in the shootout, and Boris Babik didn’t allow a single goal. Carolina took the shootout victory 3-2.

The team plays its home opener Saturday night against Delaware at 6:05pm. For tickets, visit