Thunderbirds fall, 5-2, in first meeting with Black Bears

 Winston-Salem, NC – For the first time this season, the Carolina Thunderbirds hosted the FPHL’s newest club on home ice. The Binghamton Black Bears visited Winston-Salem on Friday night as the team just above Carolina in the standings, and a potential playoff opponent come April 18th.

After going more than a month without finding the back of the net, Thunderbirds defenseman Jarett Meyer snapped a shot from the right point, through traffic, and behind Owen Liskiewicz for the game’s opening tally. Josh Newberg countered for Binghamton four minutes later, jamming a puck behind Brandon Brown. A former Captain at Post university, Brown made his professional debut on Friday night. Late in the period, Binghamton’s Kyle Powell found himself in the penalty box for a tripping call, sending the Thunderbirds to their second powerplay of the game. Jarett Meyer continued his scoring ways, firing another shot past the blocker of Liskiewicz from the top of the right circle. The back-and-forth continued to the end of the period, as Gino DeAngelo evened the score just two minutes after Meyer’s tally. In a first period that was almost completely even, the only advantage was a slight one on the shot board. Binghamton led the home club in shots, 15-14 through 20 minutes.

Liskiewicz and Brown continued their goaltending battle in the second period, and it was Brown who blinked first. On a falling, spinning backhand shot, Cam Yarwood somehow flung his fifth goal of the season between the young goaltender’s legs, giving Binghamton its first lead of the game. From there, the Black Bears never looked back. Tyler Gjurich stole the puck from Gus Ford on a 4 on 4, roared up ice on a breakaway, and jammed a backhand shot past the blocker of Brown for the 4-2 lead. Despite being outshot 25-13 in the period, Binghamton carried a two-goal lead into the second intermission.

Carolina produced another shot-heavy period in the third, but to no avail. Emil Strom put the final nail in Carolina’s Coffin at the 12:30 mark of the third period to make it a 5-2 lead. The Thunderbirds outshot the Black Bears 58-36 at the end of 60 minutes, but couldn’t solve Liskiewicz again.

The Thunderbirds and Black Bears have two more games this weekend, starting Saturday night with a 6:05 puck drop. Pregame starts on the ThunderbirdsTV YouTube page and WTOB at 5:35.