Thunderbirds Sweep Port Huron, Earn Five Points On The Weekend

Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds won Saturday night's contest with the Port Huron Prowlers thanks to a dominating effort up and down the lineup to take five points out of six on the weekend.

The Thunderbirds started the scoring early when Karel Drahorad blasted a shot that rang off of Cody Karpinski's glove and fell behind him for the game's opening goal 1:35 into the contest. Later in the first Jan Salak would double the Carolina lead with a wrist shot over the glove hand of the Port Huron netminder and make the score 2-0 heading in to the locker room.

Port Huron wouldn't go down without a fight though as they clawed back to tie the game. First Zachary Zulkanycz set up a goal by firing a puck off of Dalton Jay's shin pads to deflect in to cut the Thunderbird lead in half. Later in the second Matyas Kasek found himself on another breakaway and for the second time on the weekend he buried the breakway this time going five-hole on Christian Pavlas.

With a 2-2 game in front of them a spark came from the Thunderbirds' Jay Croop who scored the games next two goals before the intermission. 45 seconds after the Kasek tally Croop wrapped around the net came up top and rang one in off the far post to make it 3-2. Then with 47 seconds left in the second period Croop drove the net and slid home a goal after team captain Josh Pietrantonio put the puck to the front and Croop ended up burying it fighting through some stick work in the slot.

The third period was uneventful in part due to fatigue that might have been felt on the Port Huron side. Due to injuries the Prowlers dressed four less bodies than Carolina in the game and that pressure might have been felt in the third period as the game seemed to slow down a bit. The only goal of the third was scored by Josh Pietrantonio on a rebound coughed up by Karpinski at the side of the net and the captain slammed home his 19th of the year.

Christian Pavlas gets the win stopping 24 of 26 shots in the game. Cody Karpinski takes the loss with 52 saves of 58 shots.

Carolina now looks ahead to a weekend in Elmira with the FHL's #1 seed within their grasp. One regulation win in Elmira or three points in some combination over the three games will clinch home-ice advantage for the Thunderbirds through the playoffs.

Three Stars of the Game

Josh Pietrantonio
Karel Drahorad
Jay Croop