Thunderbirds Come from Behind, Earn Point in 5-4 OT Loss to Danville
Winston-Salem, NC –Thunderbirds Come from Behind, Earn Point in 5-4 OT Loss to Danville.
How It Happened
After a successful 2-game stand at home the Thunderbirds would travel to Danville, Illinois to take on their most common opponent of the season, the Dashers. In 3rd and 4th place respectively, the Thunderbirds and Dashers are all but guaranteed spots in the Federal Hockey League Commissioner’s Cup Playoffs. All there is left to play for is the positioning into said playoffs, which will determine each team’s 1st round opponent. The Dashers, complete with new forward Ahmed Mahfouz, are looking to avenge a sweep at the hands of these Thunderbirds the last time these two teams met in Danville.
In net for Danville it would be the former Watertown Wolf Matt Kaludis starting, sporting a 11-12-3 record with a 3.46 goals-against average, a .904 save percentage, and his league-leading 3 shutouts. For Carolina it would be the Bratislava, Slovakia native Christian Pavlas getting the nod. In 8 games for the Thunderbirds this season Pavlas has a 5-3 record with a 3.59 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage.
The Dashers would open the period with a power-play, when just 47 seconds into the 1st Artur Drindrozhik would take a 2-minute delay of game minor. Carolina would kill off the penalty but at 3:24 of the period Jay Kenny would take a tripping minor, sending the Dashers back on the power-play. Carolina would once again kill it off, and shortly after have a strong chance of their own. CJ Blaszka would race into the zone 2-on-1 with Chase Fallis and fire the puck past Kaludis to make it 1-0 Carolina. Fallis and Jason Berube would get credit for the assists. In a controversial sequence following the Dasher’s Aaron Atwell would fire a shot that would appear to ring off the post. No call would be made by the official, and the Thunderbirds would race down the ice and tip the puck in past Kaludis. After a discussion the officials would award the goal the Danville, tying the game at 1. Shortly after Danville’s Michael Dolman would race down the near-side wing and fire a shot in past Pavlas making it 2-1. Glen Patterson and Matt Coleman would assist on the goal. The teams would skate into the intermission with the score 2-1 Danville, who would out-shoot Carolina 9-7 in the 1st.
Tempers would flare in the 2nd period, as both teams would increase the physical play. Early in the period each team would be awarded a power-play, but neither team would be able to capitalize on the chances. At 11:44 of the period rookie Brandon Yeamans would race in on a break and find Dolman all alone, who would beat Pavlas up high to make it a 3-1 game. Justin Levac would get credit for the secondary assist on the goal. The assist is Yeamans’ 1st professional point in just his 3rd game played for Danville. Shortly afterwards Chase Fallis and Daniel Martin would drop the gloves at 14:33 of the period. The physical play would continue and at 15:38 Liam Tully would take a high-sticking minor penalty that would send Ahmed Mahfouz off the ice with an injury. Afterwards Jay Kenny and Jon Stevanovich would drop the gloves as well. Kenny would take an extra 2-minute penalty for interference. The penalty would carry over to the start of the 3rd period, and after 2 it remained 3-1 Dashers, who would lead in shots 25-18.
The 3rd period would see the Thunderbirds storm back. At 8:43 of the period Chase Fallis would complete the “Gordie Howe Hattrick” scoring on the net-mouth scramble. Jason Berube and Jay Croop would assist on the goal. Just under 2 minutes later Chase Lewis would charge in on the fore-check and knock the puck loose, and send it over for Ray Boudiette. Boudiette would hit Josh Pietrantonio with a cross-ice pass and the Thunderbirds captain would tie the game at 3. Just 2 minutes later on the power-play Carolina would take a penalty, giving Ahmed Mahfouz a short-handed penalty shot. Pavlas would stay in position and beat Mahfouz, and on the ensuing faceoff the Thunderbirds would race down the ice and Pietrantonio would score to take the lead. It would not last however when late in the period Tom Kilgore would take a hooking minor penalty. Justin Brausen would feed the puck across and find Mahfouz who would tap the puck in and tie the game at 4, sending the contest into overtime. Half-way through overtime it would be Mahfouz continuing to play the hero, backhanding the puck past Pavlas to make it a 5-4 victory in overtime for the Dashers.
In the win Matt Kaludis would stop 25 shots, while Pavlas would turn away 37 in the loss.
The assist by Brandon Yeamans for Danville in the 2nd period is his 1st point as a professional.
The Assist by Chase Fallis in the 1st period and his goal in the 3rd period extends his point streak to 4 games in a row.
Attendance: Not Announced.
The Thunderbirds will return home for a 2-game set against the 1st place Port Huron Prowlers. Friday’s game on March 2nd is a “Frosty Friday” presented by R.H. Barringer Distributing and will feature $2 domestic, non-craft beers as well as $2 pepsi products from Thunderbirds Concessions. The puck will drop at 7:35 pm with the doors of the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex opening 1 hour early. Saturday’s game on March 3rd will start at 6:05 pm, with the doors of the Annex open at 5:05 pm. For more information about the Thunderbirds please call 336-774-GOAL(4625) or log on to www.carolinathunderbirds.com