Kraemer Nets Hat Trick, Carolina Downs Blue Ridge, 4-1

Winston-Salem, NC – Roman Kraemer scored 15 seconds into the 1st period and picked up a hat-trick within the first minute of the 2nd period for the Carolina Thunderbirds to handle the Blue Ridge Bobcats, 4-1, Wednesday evening in Winston-Salem.

In the 1st period, Carolina (25-8-1) found the back of the net on a rebound opportunity in front for Kraemer after Jiri Pestuka crashed the net, putting the Thunderbirds ahead 1-0 just 15 seconds in. Blue Ridge (10-20-5) settled into the game but couldn’t beat Cody Karpinski and late in the 1st, Kraemer again beat Bobcats netminder Connor Green on a backhand feed from Pestuka doubling the lead, 2-0.

With 1:18 remaining in the period, Vladislav Vlasov snuck a snapshot past Karpinski, making it a 2-1 game heading into the 1st intermission.

After the intermission, Kraemer again found the back of the net. On a bouncing puck, Kraemer beat Green on a backhand attempt, securing his first FPHL hat trick and building the lead back to two, 3-1.

Carolina held that advantage going to the 3rd period and after Blue Ridge hit the post multiple times in the 3rd, Petr Panacek put the finishing touches on the Bobcats with an empty net goal with 47 seconds left securing the three points for Carolina in a 4-1 victory.

In the win, Kraemer accounted for four points with three goals and an assist, Pestuka had four assists on the evening, and Petr Panacek finished the night with three points as the line combined for 11 points.

With the win, Carolina improves to 8-0-0 all-time against Blue Ridge and now the Thunderbirds turn their attention to the Mississippi Sea Wolves on Friday. Puck drop from the Mississippi Coast Coliseum is set for 8:05 p.m. EST from Biloxi on Friday.