Thunderbirds pot nine goals in Delaware routing

Harrington, DE – In their first trip to the Centre Ice Arena this season, the Carolina Thunderbirds broke away from the Delaware Thunder to win 9-5. The win came after both teams traded blows early on, but John Buttitta and Gus Ford put Carolina over the top later in the game.

The Thunderbirds came out noticeably flat in a first period fraught with turnovers. After having a goal waived off due to the net being dislodged, Ryan Marker would bury the game’s first goal six minutes in. His goal wouldn’t stand along on the board for long, as John Buttitta found a Jacob Schnapp rebound four minutes later and tied the game. Buttitta was skating in his first game as Thunderbirds’ Captain. The first period ended 1-1 despite Carolina shelling Delaware goaltender Mike Cosentino. The shots were 26-9 through 20 minutes.

Goals came more frequently in the game’s second period. Ryan Marker scored on a backdoor powerplay feed just 12 second into the 2nd, as Everett Thompson’s tripping minor carried over. Just as he did in the first period, John Buttitta wasted no time equalizing the game after picking up a rebound. Noah Wild put the Thunder back in front a few moments later, but the 3-2 mark would be Delaware’s last lead of the game. Everett Thompson’s first of the year and a heavy Daniel Martin wrister gave the Thunderbirds a 4-3 lead that would bend but not break.

In the 3rd, John Buttitta’s hat-trick goal opened up the floodgates for Carolina. He combined with David Nicoletti, Jackson Tucker, Ramil Talipov and Gus Ford for a five-goal third period. Delaware would sprinkle in a few of their own, but fell short, 9-5. Carolina outshot the Thunder 63-28 after a full 60 minutes, and defeated them for the third straight time this season. Buttitta finished the game with three goals and an assist, while Gus Ford would net the inverse (1-3-4). Wednesday was Buttitta’s 6th 4-point-game in the FPHL, and the 2nd for Ford.

Carolina is back in action on Friday night for a New Year’s Eve matchup with the Danbury Hat Tricks. Puck drop the 31stis set for 7:35 from Winston-Salem.