Thunderbirds Come From Behind, Sweep Wolves Over Weekend Series
Winston-Salem, NC –Thunderbirds come from behind, sweep Wolves over weekend series.
How It Happened
The Thunderbirds and Wolves skated on Saturday night in the third game in three days at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex. Carolina won the first two games of the series, outscoring the Wolves by a 14-4 margin. Bobby Bowden would get the start for the Wolves while Cary Byron would start for Carolina.
It would be the Thunderbirds starting things off early, at 6:01 of the first period, Vojtech Zemlicka would fire a shot from the point that would be deflected by Rick O’Conner, 1-0 Carolina. Just over 2 minutes later the Wolves’ Dallas Ingram would take a holding penalty, putting the Thunderbirds on their league-best power play. It would be Zemlicka again, with a shot from the point that would ring off the iron and in, beating Bowden. Stanislav Vlasov and Jiri Pestuka would get the assists on the goal as the Thunderbirds power play would continue to be effective. The Wolves would strike back, Tyler Gjurich, the league-leading scorer, who has been quiet in the series so far, would strike. A good pass by Matt Caranci through the middle of the ice would spring Gjurich on a breakaway. He would go forehand to backhand and beat Byron to cut the Thunderbirds lead in half, 2-1 at the intermission.
The Wolves offense, specifically their top scorer Gjurich, would come a live in the 2nd. He would score at 6:32 of the period, after a Michael Bunn penalty. Gjurich would complete the natural hattrick scoring at 8:41, with Caranci and Cameron Dimmitt assisting on each goal respectively. The Wolves pressure would continue, as they would pen the Thunderbirds deep in the defensive zone for long stretches of the period. The Wolves would outshoot the Thunderbirds 15 to 12 in the period, but Carolina would manage to weather the storm. With just over 2 minutes remaining in the period Michael Bunn would score a tap in to tie the game after Josh Pietrantonio would battle the puck on net. The two teams would skate tied into the 3rd period.
Just 1:10 into the period, Carolina’s CJ Blaszka would take a tripping minor, sending the Wolves on the powerplay. During the man advantage however it would be Tom Kilgore who would score shorthanded after cutting past Gjurich and beating Bowden to take the lead. The goal would end up being the game winner, as despite a multitude of penalties, the Thunderbirds would not only weather the offensive storm, but score an insurance goal as well. The Carolina Captain, Justin Blaszak would keep the puck in at the blue line, walk in unmolested, and wire a shot past Bowden to make it 5-3. The score would stay until the end, as the Thunderbirds would skate to their 4th win in a row.
Watertown’s Tyler Gjurich would score a natural hattrick, scoring three goals in a row.
During the three game home stand the Thunderbirds would out-score the Wolves 19-7.
Back in Action
The Thunderbirds will take to the road again, playing another three game series in Port Huron, Michigan against the Prowlers. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, December 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Friday and Saturday will feature a 7:30 pm EST puck drop, with the broadcast starting at 7:10 pm EST on the Thunderbirds radio network. Sunday’s game is a 1:00 pm EST puck drop, with a 12:45 pm EST start on the radio.