Thunderbirds Lead Start to Finish, Disarm Knights 8-1

Winston-Salem, NC –Thunderbirds Lead Start to Finish, Disarm Knights 8-1. 

How It Happened

The Carolina Thunderbirds would host the North Shore Knights at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex on Friday night. Carolina enters action sitting in 3rd place in FHL standings, with a 17-19-5-1 record, 62 points, and a .492 winning percentage. Against them would be the struggling Knights, sitting at 6-27-0-0 with 18 points and a .182 winning percentage.

Starting in net for Carolina it would be Kelly Curl, fittingly on “Kelly Curl Night” presented by Curl Enterprises. This season Curl is 6-5 with a 3.31 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage. Starting for North Shore it would be Rick Odria, the Florida native sports a 0-4 record this season with a 7.31 goals-against average and a .857 save percentage.  

Carolina would come out very aggressively in the period, taking the battle to North Shore. Eventually Artur Drindrozhik for Carolina would find Jay Croop in front of the net at 7:45 of the 1st period. Croop would beat Odria to make it 1-0 Carolina, with Josh Pietrantonio getting credit for the secondary assist. Carolina would continue to play aggressive, and at 8:28 of the period Kyran Karol of the Knights would take a high-sticking minor to send the Thunderbirds on the power-play. On the man-advantage it would be a drop pass from Jason Berube to Ray Boudiette, where he would drop the puck in turn to Steve MacIntyre. The towering veteran would blast the puck past Odria and make it 2-0 Carolina, it is MacIntyre’s 1st goal of the season. 2 penalties for Carolina would send the Knights on a 5-on-3 advantage at 15:39 of the period when CJ Blaszka would take an interference minor and Jay Croop would take a roughing minor.  On the 5-on-3 Marek Malinsky would score to make it 2-1. The teams would skate with that score into the intermission, with the Thunderbirds leading 14 to 8 in shots.

In the 2nd period the Thunderbirds would break the game open and take control of the contest. It would start just 2:22 into the 2nd when Ray Boudiette would find the back of the net with the Chase Lewis and Chase Fallis assisting on the goal. Just under 2 minutes later it would be the Captain tallying one of his own at 4:16 of the period. Joe Cangelosi would find Pietrantonio all alone in front of the net, beating Ordria to make it 4-1 Carolina. A quick goaltender switch would bring Michal Marcinek out in relief of Odria. Quickly though Marcinek would be beaten when Cangelosi would come in 2-on-1 on the power-play and score to make it 5-1. Artur Drindrozhik and Jay Kenny would assist on the goal. Just 5 minutes later Pietrantonio would add his 2nd of the game at 15:21, Boudiette and Kilgore with the assists, making it 6-1 Carolina after 2 periods of play. The Thunderbirds would still lead in shots, now 29 to 17.

In the 3rd it would be Carolina sealing the victory by adding 2 more goals. Early on it would be CJ Blaszka scoring to make it 7-1 just 5:20 in, with Jay Croop assisting on the goal. Just over 2 minutes later it would be Chase Lewis, the Winston-Salem native and rookie scoring his 1st professional goal to make it 8-1 Carolina. Pietrantonio and Kilgore would assist on the milestone goal. Carolina would skate to the easy victory 8-1.

In the loss Rick Odria would stop 19 of 24, while Marcinek would stop 15 of 18 in his multiple relief appearances. In his 7th win of the season Kelly Curl would not only make 24 saves on 25 shots, but he would also save a penalty shot, the first such in Thunderbirds history.

Notable Stats

Chase Lewis and Steve MacIntyre both scored their first goals as Thunderbirds, for Lewis the goal is his 1st professional score.

The 8-1 win is the largest margin of victory by Carolina so far this season.


What’s Next

Carolina will continue the weekend against North Shore on Saturday the 24th and it’s “Pucks and Paws Night”, presented by Oakes Animal Hospital. Fans with dogs are encouraged to bring their furry friend for a fun night of hockey, with the puck drop at 6:05pm. Sunday the 25th the Thunderbirds will travel to Danville, Illinois to take on the Dashers. The puck drop is scheduled for 6:00pm EST, and you can follow all the action on the Thunderbirds Radio Network, on WTOB “The Big 980” in Winston-Salem, 980am and 96.3fm. As well the game can be heard on WAME “real country” in Statesville, 550am and 92.9 fm, and online at and . For more information about the Thunderbirds please call 336-774-GOAL(4625) or log on to