Guarantee This: Thunderbirds Win 12th Straight Game
Elmira, NY - The Elmira Enforcers were looking for something, anything, to turn their fortunes around against the Carolina Thunderbirds after losing the first seven meetings of the season. They wore white jerseys at home for the first time ever, they even went so far as to guarantee a victory or fans would get free tickets. Carolina sent home a crowd of 3,156 with free tickets after a 2-1 victory on Friday night.
The win marks the Thunderbirds' eighth consecutive victory over Elmira this season and 12th overall against all opponents. Carolina also remains perfect on Friday nights in 2018-19 with a record of 10-0-0-0.
Elmira got the jump first. After a scoreless first period Glen Patterson scored with a shot from the left point to make the game 1-0. That goal marked the first time in 205:28 of hockey between Carolina and Elmira that the Enforcers scored a goal, a further testament to the domination Carolina has shown in this series.
Minutes later Stan Vlasov scored his second goal in as many nights on the power play on a shot that split his stick in half. Despite the faulty equipment the puck found its way through everyone including Troy Passingham and Vlasov celebrated his 7th goal of the season with one part of his stick in each hand.
After a tense second intermission both teams came out flying with fast starts. Elmira had the edge on shots all through the night and kept up that pace in the early goings of the third period. Then from a play that prompted a line change, Thunderbirds captain Josh Pietrantonio stared down the Elmira defense with no help coming due to a line change and wristed one that flicked off the top of Passingham's glove and settled into the net for the eventual game winning goal.
Elmira had their chances to get back including a 5-on-3 that lasted 1:20 near the end of the third period. On that sequence two different pucks popped loose in the crease of Christian Pavlas but Carolina's #1 penalty kill in the league flexed their muscle and kept the puck out.
When the horn sounded the Elmira crowd and fans were dejected and Carolina skated off celebrating their 12th straight victory and a season series win over Elmira. Carolina has won the first eight with 14 scheduled to play in 2018-19.
Christian Pavlas stopped 34 of 35 shots in the win. He now has 12 wins in his last 12 starts. Troy Passingham stopped 27 of 29 in the loss.
Carolina now looks ahead to the Watertown Wolves with a 7:30 puck drop on Saturday night. Pre-game show starts at 7:05 on WTOB, the flagship of the Carolina Thunderbirds Broadcast Network.
Three Stars of the Game
Glen Patterson (ELM)
Dmytro Babenko (ELM)
Troy Passingham (ELM)
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).