Three powerplay goals send Prowlers to 6-1 victory over Thunderbirds

Port Huron, MI – The season’s first trip to Port Huron began less than favorably for the Thunderbirds, resulting in a 6-1 loss on Thursday night. The loss snapped a three game streak in which the Thunderbirds secured at least a point in every contest.

Thursday night’s contest began as so many have before – a calculated start for both sides, with neither club in the mood to take risks. Shots were few and far between in the early going of the game, but increased in volume as the period wore on. Carolina would hold the shot advantage 14-11 by period’s end, with the final five minutes resembling the back-and-forth of 3-on-3 overtime. The lone entry onto the game sheet was an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to Port Huron’s Nick Williams.

The middle frame bore the goals that seemed inevitable in the first, with John Buttitta’s 6th of the season lighting the lamp from just inside the left faceoff circle. The puck fluttered off his stick and over the shoulder of Greg Harney for the game’s first tally. Port Huron would counter six minutes later with an Alex Johnson tally, and Brennan Young’s powerplay goal left Carolina in a 2-1 hole heading into the second intermission.

Port Huron bent Carolina to its will in the third period, running away with the score. Isaiah Crawford opened things up just 2:46 into the frame. Minutes later, Port Huron found themselves on the powerplay. A long shot from the point was redirected on goal by Cade Lambdin and initially stopped by Paulin. The rebound popped out in front while Lambdin was tangled up with Paulin and was put home by Matt Graham. There was confusion on the ice regarding the possibility of goaltender interference, but the goal ultimately stood. The goal was Port Huron’s second powerplay tally of the night and made it 4-1. Things continued to unravel from there, with Larri Vartianen and Dustin Henning adding to a 6-1 final score. Port Huron would finish the night with three powerplay goals on four opportunities. Carolina drops to 4-6-1-1 with the loss.

The two teams will go head-to-head on Friday night for the second of three straight games. Puck drop from McMorran Arena is scheduled for 7:05pm.