Strong third gives Carolina another win
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- The 2019 Commissioner’s Cup champions Carolina Thunderbirds (7-1-0-0, 21 pts.), proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, defeated the Danville Dashers (4-4-0-0, 12 pts.) 4-1 at the Annex on Saturday night.
“The first two periods it was a very even game but once again we took the advantage in the third period and won the game,” said Thunderbirds head coach Andre Niec.
Carolina drew first blood on a shorthanded goal from Daniel Klinecky. The tally marks Carolina’s third shorthanded goal this year. After the goal, fans threw socks onto the ice as part of the “sock toss” promotion where all donated socks go to those in need.
After the Thunderbirds took the lead, things got heated as Konner Haas fought Aaron Atwell. At the end of the first period, Daniel Martin shoved Nick Gullo in the face and was assessed a major penalty and a game misconduct for cross-checking.
“I didn’t mean to hit him in the face,” said Martin, “it’s just he’s so short that when I went to defend myself from him getting to me, that’s the only place I could get to.”
“He did what he was supposed to do because Nick Gullo was trying to stick him,” said Niec.
Fred Hein found Atwell who scored on the ensuing powerplay to start the second period. Hein notched his 13th point with the assist and continues to lead Danville in both categories.
Carolina and Danville fought to a tie after two periods, 1-1.
31 seconds into the third, Jo Osaka deflected a shot from point to give the Thundebirds a lead they would not relinquish.
Carolina added another pair of goals from Dominik Fejt and Stan Vlasov to seal the 4-1.
“I’m proud of the guys for the way they played tonight,” praised Niec.
The Thunderbirds will travel to Columbus on Friday to face the River Dragons. The two teams will play game two in Winston-Salem on Saturday.
“This week we’re going to have some changes and I’m excited to get down there and for them to come up here. It should be a good game,” said Niec.
Danville will play Mentor tomorrow afternoon in Ohio at 3:00 p.m.
3rd- George Holt
2nd- Konner Haas
1st- Dominik Fejt