Thunderbirds fall to Port Huron in overtime to finish weekend

Winston-Salem, NC – In the final game of the weekend, the Carolina Thunderbirds fell to the Port Huron Prowlers, 3-2 in overtime. Matt Graham scored two goals, including the game winner.

After picking up a goal and an assist in his first Prowlers game, Ross Bartlett got back to work against his former club on Saturday night. He swept home a loose rebound in the goal crease, putting Port Huron out to the 1-0 lead. Despite being outshot 18-8 in the first period, the Prowlers took that lead into the first intermission.

Viktor Grebennikov hadn’t scored in 12 games coming into Saturday’s contest, his last goal coming against Port Huron on February 12th. The defenseman found the back of the net to tie the game midway through the second period. Grebennikov also found himself on the business end of a Christian Alvegran boarding penalty, prompting Tory McLean to drop his gloves with the young Swede. Alvegran, playing in just his second FPHL, battled hard but was no match for McLean.

It took a considerable amount of time, but Matt Graham broke the deadlock early in the third period. The player-coach somehow jammed the puck between Chris Paulin and the goal post to reclaim the lead for the Prowlers. The Thunderbirds kept up the attack and were rewarded for it five minutes later. Caleb Williams tossed a pass into the middle of his defensive zone, which was collected by Dawson Baker and deposited behind Richard Shipman. Chris Paulin and Shipman continued to battle the rest of the way, and overtime was necessary as a result.

The Prowlers managed the only shots in overtime and led Carolina in puck possession. Matt Graham drove toward the net three minutes into the extra period, faked a shot on the right side, and wrapped the puck past Chris Paulin on the far goal post.

Carolina managed a point in the loss, managing four of a possible nine on the weekend. They’ll be in action for a rare Wednesday game against Columbus this week, with puck drop set for 7:30pm.