Thunderbirds Fall on Teddy Bear Toss Night
In a game that was filled with goals, hits, fights, saves, penalties, ejections, and yes even teddy bears, the Port Huron Prowlers prevailed from the dust and smoke with a 7-5 victory.
Blake Peavey opened the scoring for the Carolina Thunderbirds eight minutes into the opening frame, and ensued the annual teddy bear toss. After the bears were collected and six minutes of game time elapsed, the Prowlers answered on a goal by Liam Freeborn. The game remained tied after one period of play.
The second period was more eventful, but the ice was severely tilted. The Prowlers poured it on in the middle frame, outshooting the Thunderbirds 19-9 and outscoring them 4-1 to lead 5-2 after two. Nearly six minutes into the second Tucker Scantlebury took a slashing penalty, and just four seconds into the power play Jacob Schnapp sniped home a heavy and hard one timer for Carolina's only marker of the period. The Port Huron scoring outburst prompted Carolina head coach Garrett Rutledge to pull starter Mario Cavialere for Boris Babik in the third.
The third period had everything. Evan Foley answered less than five minutes later, again tripling the lead. At the 11:50 mark of the final frame, things escalated quickly. Viktor Grebenikov was tripped in the corner going after a loose puck, and on his way back to his bench entered into an altercation with the Prowlers bench that instigated a full on brawl in front of the Port Huron bench. It let to a multitude of penalties and game misconducts. Grebennikov, Schnapp and Lucas Rowe were sent to the showers early for Carolina, as was Port Huron's Bryan Parsons.
When the dust finally settled, after a power play goal by Gus Ford, an empty netter by the Prowler's Alex Johnson with three seconds left sealed a wild win for Port Huron.
The Prowlers' victory brings them even with Carolina at 22 points in the Continental Division standings. The two teams will meet again Saturday night for the final matchup between them in the regular season. Puck drop is set for 6:05.