Thunderbirds Sweep Weekend, Beat Dashers Behind Interim Head Coach Scott Brand 5-3

Winston-Salem, NC –Thunderbirds Sweep Weekend, Beat Dashers Behind Interim Head Coach Scott Brand 5-3. 

How It Happened

For the second night in a row the Thunderbirds would have President and General Manager Scott Brand in charge of the bench duties, filling in for Andre Niec, who is serving his suspension. On Friday night a wild 3-2 Thunderbirds win in their first-ever shootout would be a delayed celebration. After 4 rounds of shooters, the Thunderbirds would celebrate a leave the ice along with the Dashers, only to be called back by the officials, who had improperly informed both benches that there would be 3 rounds of a shootout followed by sudden death, when in fact the Federal hockey league rules state that 5 rounds will be played. After coming back out Thunderbirds forward Ray Boudiette would score on Matt Kaludis to give the Thunderbirds a 3-1 advantage in the shootout, and a 3-2 victory. With a 6-5 advantage in the season series, the Dashers would play host to Carolina on Saturday night.

In net for the Dashers it would once again be Kaludis, sporting an 11-8-2 record, with a 3.22 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage. For Carolina it would be Kelly Curl in the pipes, with his 5-2 record, a 2.75 goals-against average, and a .913 save percentage.

It would be an inauspicious start for Kaludis in net, when just 2:25 into the period CJ Blaszka would fire the puck along the goal-line from the far side wall. Kaludis would have trouble handling the shot and it would find its’ way in, 1-0 Carolina. Josh Pietrantonio and Joe Cangelosi would assist on the goal, Blaszka’s 5th of the season, and helper number 28 for Pietrantonio and number 2 for Cangelosi. Just over 3 minutes later it would be Tom Kilgore in the far side corner, and he would do the same thing, firing the puck on Kaludis from the sharp angle, with the same result. Jay Croop and Cangelosi would assist on Kilgore’s 13th goal of the season, with Croop’s 9th assist, Cangelosi’s 2nd of the game and 3rd of the year. Scored at 5:49 of the 1st it would make the game 2-0 Carolina. The Dashers would respond with a power-play goal, when at 8:43 Michael Dolman would find the puck on the doorstep to make it 2-1 Carolina. Levac and Brandon Whalin would assist on the goal. Levac would help the Dashers strike again at 14:31 of the frame, when he would win the face-off back to Justin Brausen. The Brausen shot through traffic would be partially stopped by Curl but find its way in tying the game at 2. Late in the period however it would be Michael Bunn, who would find the puck on his stick after a strong pass from Chase Fallis. Coming off the near-side wall, Bunn would catch the Dasher defense sleeping and work the puck in deep and around Kaludis to make it 3-2 with just 30 seconds left. The score would stand headed into the 1st intermission, with the shots at 11-7 in favor of Danville.

It would be an even earlier start for Carolina during the 2nd period. Just 43 seconds into the 2nd Josh Pietrantonio would find Ray Boudiette alone at the near-side face-off circle and he would beat Kaludis, ending his night early after letting in 4 goals on just 9 shots. Alex Vazquez would add an assist to the goal, his 5th of the season, Pietrantonio’s is his 3rd of the night and 30th of the season. Carolina would welcome in back-up goalie Aaron Taylor with a slew of shots, and at 5:19 of the period it would be Michael Bunn picking up the puck on the doorstep and sliding it past Taylor, 5-2 Carolina. It’s is Bunn’s 2nd of the game and 20th of the season, Pietrantonio and Seth Gustin with the assists. For Gustin the assist is his 11th of the season, while Pietrantonio’s assist is his 31st of the year and 4th of the game. The Dashers would respond however, when at 15:55 of the period Michael Dolman would be set up in front of the net by Vincent Caliguri to make it a 2-goal game once again. Late in the period Liam Tully of Carolina would take a head contact minor penalty to put the thunderbirds down a man for the remainder of the period. The penalty would carry over until the start of the 3rd period for an additional 35 seconds. At the end of 2 periods Carolina would still lead 5-3 but trailing in shots 23-18.

The Thunderbirds would hold on in the 3rd period to earn the win, out-shooting the Dashers 14-10 in the frame. Neither team would be able to break through, and the Thunderbirds defense and Kelly Curl would stand tall to earn the win on the road.

In the loss, Matt Kaludis would give up 4 goals on 9 shots, while his replacement Aaron Taylor would stop 23 of 24. In the win Kelly Curl would turn aside 30 of 33.

Notable Stats

Joe Cangelosi’s 2 assists in the game give him 3 for the season so far, in just 2 games played for Carolina.

Josh Pietrantonio’s 4 assist night is the most points he has scored in a single game this season.

This is the first time that the Thunderbirds have won each game during a road weekend.


Back in Action

The Thunderbirds will return home for a 3-game set against the Cornwall Nationals. On Friday, February 9th it will be “Hockey Homecoming Night”, presented by Kermit’s Hot Dog House. Former professional hockey players from the Triad will be in attendance, and a special presentation will be made by the Thunderbirds, puck drop is at 7:35 pm, with the doors of the Fairgrounds Annex opening an hour early. On Saturday, February 10th it will he “Hometown Heroes Night”, honoring the Triad’s first responders. All Fire, Police, EMS, and City Employees can get 4 tickets for just $20 at the box office with their ID, presented by Intellichoice Homecare. Puck drop on Saturday is at 6:05 pm, with the doors opening an hour earlier. Sunday February 11th is “Captain Josh Mustache Night”, brought to you by Washington Park Barbershop. The first 750 fans in attendance will get a fake mustache, just like the one the T-Birds captain wears. Puck drop on Sunday is at 4:05 pm. For tickets and more information please visit or call 336-774-GOAL(4625).