Thunderbirds Set to Break League Attendance Record; T-Birds Weekly Update.
Winston-Salem, NC – Thunderbirds Set to Break League Attendance Record; T-Birds Weekly Update.
After another 3-game weekend at the Fairgrounds Annex in Winston-Salem, the Thunderbirds are preparing for another weekend full of hockey. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, February 16th,17th, and 18th, the Thunderbirds played host to the Watertown Wolves. On Friday Carolina would drop game 1 of the weekend, losing to the Wolves 7-2. 5 unanswered goals by Watertown would prove to be too much, as Wolves forward Tyler Gjurich would score a hat-trick, with 2 of his 3 goals coming on the power-play. Thunderbird forward Artur Drindrozhik would score both Carolina goals, one of which was a power-play tally. Late in the 3rd period Thunderbird President, General Manager, and Interim Head Coach Scott Brand would be ejected from the game for disagreeing with a referee. He would throw several water bottles onto the ice and receive a 1-game suspension from the Federal Hockey League. In addition, forwards Josh Pietrantonio and Michael Bunn would leave the game with injuries. Attendance for the game was 1,776.
In Saturday’s game the Wolves would again come up with the win, beating Carolina 6-4. Captain Josh Pietrantonio would coach the team, both teams would battle and exchange leads, but the Wolves would come out on top. Gjurich would once again record a 3-goal night, scoring his 3rd goals with only 56 seconds left in regulation to take a 5-4 lead. The Wolves would score on the empty net to make it a 6-4 victory. Ray Boudiette of Carolina would notch 2 goals in the loss, while Jason Berube would score one of his own to go along with an assist, and Jay Croop would score a power-play goal as well. Attendance for the game was 2,780, just 270 tickets shy of a sell-out.
On Sunday, with Brand back behind the bench, the Thunderbirds would score 4 unanswered goals, 2 on the power-play, to come from behind and win the game 6-3. Chase Fallis would score 2 goals and have 2 assists, While Joe Cangelosi, Seth Gustin, and Dominik Fejt would all score their first goals as Thunderbirds. Carolina would keep Tyler Gjurich off the score-sheet as well and earn the win in front of 1,414 fans.
With the ticket numbers continuing to climb, Carolina is well on their way to breaking the previous league attendance record, set by the Danbury Whalers in the 2012-2013 season at 51,484 in 27 home games. Carolina has had a total of 46,019 fans through 21 home games, with 9 more to go. To break the record Carolina will need to bring in just 5,466 more fans over the next 6 home contests to break the record in the same amount of games or fewer. Carolina currently averages 2,191 per game.
What’s Coming Up
The Carolina Thunderbirds Coaches Show continues Tuesday the 20th from 6-7 pm and you can hear the coaches show on WTOB, “The Big 980” on 980 am and 96.3 fm in Winston-Salem, the flagship station of the Thunderbirds Radio network. On the air will be Thunderbirds President and Gm Scott Brand, Head Coach Andre Niec, and Thunderbird forward Artur Drindrozhik.
On Wednesday, February 21st the Thunderbirds will be out at Hattie B’s Pub and Patio in Clemmon, NC. Located at 6353 Cephis Dr, it’s Karaoke Night with the Thunderbirds. From 8-11pm, Thunderbirds players, coaches, and staff will be competing to wow the judges with their singing talent for a prize.
The Thunderbirds will skate at home on Friday and Saturday, February 23rd and 24th against the North Shore Knights. Friday’s game starts at 7:35 pm, with the doors opening at 6:35, and it’s “Kelly Curl Night”. Presented by Curl Enterprises, the first 600 fans in attendance will receive a special Thunderbirds mask, just like the one Kelly Curl wears. Saturday’s game will begin at 6:05 pm, with the doors opening at 5:05 pm and it’s “Pucks and Paws Night”. Presented by Oakes Animal Hospital, enjoy the game with your canine companion, with special seating for fans bringing their dogs! On Sunday the Thunderbirds will hit the road for one game against the Danville Dashers, it will be a 6pm EST puck drop, and you can hear all the action on the Thunderbirds Radio Network. For tickets and more information please visit www.carolinathunderbirds.com or call 336-774-GOAL(4625).