Hat Tricks win behind 53 saves from McGuckin

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.- The Carolina Thunderbirds, proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, dropped their second-straight game to Danbury 3-0 at Grossinger Motors Arena.

“We didn’t get the outcome on the weekend that we wanted. We played very soft all weekend,” said general manager Jimmy Milliken.

Carolina outshot Danbury in the opening period 16-5 with both Patrik Polivka and Thomas McGuckin trading saves.

Connor Shinkaruk opened the scoring less than five minutes into the second period when Aaron Atwell set him up on a breakaway.

Shinkaruk tallied his second goal 11:29 into the period as Nicola Levesque fed him on the backdoor for a powerplay goal. The goals are his seventh and eighth of the season.

Carolina unleashed an offensive attack in the third period, but McGuckin was tremendous, making 53 saves in his shutout.

The Thunderbirds went 0-for-7 on the powerplay in the game, including failing to score on a minute-plus five-on-three.

Nicola Levesque became the first FPHL to score an empty goal based on the new FPHL rule that dictates a player who loses a clear scoring chance because a penalty occurred against him will be awarded a goal.

“We’re not happy with the style of play over these last two games, you can expect some changes next week,” said Milliken.

The Thunderbirds are now 1-3 all-time vs. Danbury, the only team in the league they have an all-time losing record against.

Carolina falls to 20-3-0-1 on the season while Danbury improves to 16-5-1-2. The two teams are now separated by only 9 points in the standings.

The Thunderbirds return home to kickoff a six-game homestand facing Mentor on Healthcare Provider Appreciation Night brought to you by Novant Health.

Tickets are still available via Ticketmaster or by visiting the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds box office.