Thunderbirds score a Thanksgiving win over Battle Creek

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C,- The Carolina Thunderbirds, proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League and 2019 Commissioner’s Cup champions, defeated the Battle Creek Rumble Bees 5-1 at the Annex on Thursday night.

“I’m disappointed,” said Thunderbirds head coach Andre Niec, “there are some guys who think that this is fun and I don’t care who you play, you have to give 100 percent every night.”

Carolina opened the scoring when Everett Thompson hit Jan Krivohlavek for his sixth goal of the season late in the first period. The Thunderbirds would add another when George Holt fired a slapper from the point to score on the powerplay. It’s Holt’s second goal in three games.

The story of the evening focused on the return of Frankie McClendon though. McClendon stopped 15 of 16 shots and earned a win.

“It felt good to be back out there,” said McClendon, “I’ve worked hard to get this point and I wanted that one.”

Ethan Busch-Anderson scored in the second period to make it 2-1, but the offensive onslaught was on for Carolina.

Michael Bunn and Petr Panacek scored in the second period, keeping pace with each other for the team lead in points.

Daniel Klinecky added his fourth goal of the season in the third period.

Midway through the third period, Jiri Pargac was ejected for spearing. Visibly frustrated as he skated off the ice, the spearing incident is under review by the league.

“He will not only be punished by the league but by the organization,” said Niec, “I’m embarrassed for him because it’s just something you can’t do.”

Carolina improves to 10-1-0-0 on the season and becomes the first team in the league to reach 30 points. Battle Creek falls to 0-13-0-0. The Thunderbirds also put a season-high 73 shots on B.C. goalie Jake Mullen who stopped 68. 

The Thunderbirds play the Rumble Bees again tomorrow at 7:35 p.m. at the Annex.

“It’s gonna be interesting tomorrow, they like to bang the body, so it’ll be fun,” said McClendon.

­­3 Stars

3rd- Viktor Grebennikov

2nd- Michael Bunn

1st- Frankie McClendon