Thunderbirds Shutout Blue Ridge, 5-0

Winston-Salem, NC – Coming off of two straight shutouts at home, Carolina Thunderbirds netminder Cody Karpinski recorded his third consecutive shutout in a 5-0 victory over the Blue Ridge Bobcats on Friday evening at the Fairgrounds Arena.

In the 1st period, Carolina (37-11-2) and Blue Ridge (13-31-7) went back and forth early on until just after the midway mark of the frame. After the Thunderbirds killed off a penalty, Jon Buttitta drove into the corner before sending a backhand pass to the far dot finding Dawson Baker who found the back of the net at the 12:41 mark giving the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. Cody Karpinski saw his most action across the first 20 minutes saving all seven shots he saw, holding the goal lead into the second.

Carolina started to figure out Blue Ridge in the 2nd period. Just inside three and a half minutes into the period, Gus Ford picked up his 40th goal of the season on a wraparound in front beating Connor Green doubling the lead for the Thunderbirds. Ford found his second of the night six minutes later before Josh Koepplinger jammed home his 14th goal of the season at the 12:53 mark and the Thunderbirds held a commanding 4-0 lead going to the 3rd.

After seeing 13 shots across the first 40 minutes, Karpinski only saw two shots in the 3rd while Tucker Firth picked up his first goal since February 3rd on the power play at the 8:14 mark of the 3rd as Carolina coasted to a 5-0 shutout victory over the Bobcats.

With the win, Carolina improves to 12-0 this season against Blue Ridge. With two goals, Ford was named the 3rd star, Karpinski earned 2nd star honors with the 15-save shutout, while Baker received 1st star honors with three points.

The Thunderbirds and Bobcats finish off their season series on Saturday night in Wytheville, Virginia. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. from the Apex Center.