Panacek's 2OT Goal Forces Game 3
Facing elimination in front of 2,944 fans at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, the Carolina Thunderbirds put together their most courageous and determined effort of the year. Petr Panacek ended a marathon Game 2 with a power play goal at the 13:13 mark of the second overtime to save the season and force a Game 3 back at the Annex tomorrow afternoon.
Carolina fell behind 3-0 after the first period again in game 2, just as they did a night before in game 1. The response was not the same.
Viktor Grebennikov banked a backhand shot off the skate of Brendan Colgan to cut the Columbus lead to 3-1 early in the second. Cody Rodgers replied for the River Dragons with a wraparound goal less than two minutes later.
Less than a minute after Rodgers' goal, Josh Koepplinger, who had just been freed from a roughing minor, sniped a wrist shot past Colgan to cut the deficit back to 2.
Exactly 4 minutes into the third, Brendan Hussey put a series of moves on Colgan and beat him right on the doorstep for his first of the postseason to cut the Columbus lead to just 1.
Lucas Rowe tied the game at 4 at the 14:39 mark of the third. Paul Frageau responded for Columbus to make it 5-4 just 18 seconds later. Panacek counterpunched Frageau with the goal that forced overtime at the 15:58 marker of the third.
The two teams will face off in a winner-take-all Game 3 for the right to go to the Commissioner's Cup Final tomorrow afternoon. Puck drop is set for 4:05 at the Annex. Tickets are available at the Annex Box Office, carolinathunderbirds.com or by calling 336-748-3949.