Penalty Killing Shines In 2-1 Victory Over Elmira
Elmira, NY - The Carolina Thunderbirds only needed two goals and a lot of penalty killing support to take all three points from the Elmira Enforcers in a hard fought 2-1 on Friday night at First Arena.
Cal Miska opened the scoring for the Enforcers 2:12 into the contest. This would be the only Enforcers goal of the game despite peppering Christian Pavlas with 43 shots over the entire game.
Michael Bunn broke a 12-game goalless drought to even the game up on the power play at the 8:02 mark of the first period. After a Josh Pietrantonio shot from in tight on the man advantage Bunn picked up a loose puck rebound and was able to bury it over the shoulder of Troy Passingham to give the game a 1-1 scoreline through 20 minutes.
The second period's only goal came courtesy of Karel Drahorad blasting one from the right point past a down Troy Passingham who couldn't recover from a previous set of saves he had made. Everett Thompson and Peter Cicmanec picked up assists on what would eventually be the game winning goal.
That is not to say Elmira didn't have their chances to tie the game. Midway through the third period Carolina took three penalties over the course of 1:03 to be down two men for a full two minutes plus with the stacked penalties. The Thunderbirds showed off why they are the best penalty kill unit in the league on this night, keeping Elmira off the board despite the lengthy two man advantage. Their final penalty kill numbers on the Wake Forest Baptist Health Penalty Kill read 8/8 by the end of the night.
Christian Pavlas stopped 42 of 43 shots in the win, his second straight. Troy Passingham stopped 26 of 28 shots in the loss.
Carolina now looks ahead to their first game with the Watertown Wolves on the season. Carolina and Watertown drop the puck at 7:30 in the Watertown Municipal Ice Arena.
3 Stars of the Game
Cal Miska (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).