Thunderbirds Weekly Update

Winston-Salem, NC – Thunderbirds Weekly Update. 

What’s New

Over the weekend the Thunderbirds would travel once again to Danville, Illinois to take on the Dashers. It would be an important 2-game series against the Federal Hockey Leagues’ defending champions, coming at a time when Carolina had been on the bad end of a few games in a row, and now without their services of their head coach Andre Niec.

On Friday, February 2nd the teams would battle back and forth all game long, needing an overtime period, and even a shoot-out to settle the game. It would be Jason Berube in the shootout that would give Carolina the 3-2 win, with Ray Boudiette securing the victory in the 5th round. On Saturday Carolina would score two quick goals and keep up the offensive pressure. The Thunderbirds would score 4 goals on 9 shots and chase Dasher net-minder Matt Kaludis from the game. Boudiette would get the eventual game-winner just 43 seconds into the 2nd period, it would be goal that would prompt the Dashers to pull Kaludis. Michael Bunn of Carolina would notch 2 goals in the win, and captain Josh Pietrantonio would get 4 assists. On the bench over the weekend for Carolina it would be Team President and General Manager Scott Brand. Brand would comment on the weekend,

“I was very proud of how the players stepped their game up and responded on Friday and Saturday. I also appreciate the tremendous support of the Triad fans, my phone/email was blowing up with well wishes and our team is truly blessed to have so many great fans. We are all looking forward to a great couple of weeks at home!”

Brand however didn’t hold back on his comments about the Friday game towards the league office regarding the reshoot after the Thunderbirds thought they won the game in the shootout. After Go-Live and the Thunderbirds radio network signed off the following took place. The game would need an overtime shootout to break the tie. Despite being informed otherwise by Danville Head Coach Brent Clarke and Thunderbirds interim head coach Scott Brand, the referee working the game instructed both teams that the shootout would be 3 rounds with one shooter per team, to be followed by sudden-death rounds if the score remained tied. FHL league rules state all shootouts must be 5 rounds of shooters followed by sudden death. In the 4th round, Thunderbird Jason Berube would score, and Carolina goaltender Christian Pavlas would make the save. Both the Thunderbirds and the Dashers would skate off the ice, thinking the game finished. That’s when things took a turn as a FHL league official made a call to Dasher head coach Brent Clarke, and after a discussion with Clarke and the Referee the teams were told to re-take the ice to finish the shootout. So with a now empty building and 20 minutes after the game ended Carolina would shoot first, and Ray Boudiette would score on the first shot to end the game, sending both teams back into the locker rooms for the second time that evening. That’s when Brand expressed his displeasure with the league administration-

“I asked him how in Hades from 1,500 miles away was the league office allowed to referee and interfere with the game? Calls and penalties are missed, rules are misapplied, you work through those hurdles, and the Hockey Gods usually wash everything out in the end. The fact that at that time the league office chose to get involved and correct an officials’ mistake is pure male bovine manure. We had a player thrown out of the game 3 weeks ago on a rule that didn’t exist- where was the phone call then? The league office is being inconsistent with the rules and rule applications, not thinking their decisions and actions through, and I believe it was a poor decision on their part. Every time an official screws up a procedure or a rule, are we going to restart the game? Let the guys in stripes do their job, if they mess up, both teams play with the same referee, and as bad as officials sometimes can be, they don’t score goals. The Zebra’s work their tails off, they are good people who love the game- leave them alone and let them do their job.”


Brand is referring to earlier on in the season on Saturday, January 19th at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex, Thunderbird Ryan Jasinsky was ejected from the game, and when asked why was told by officials he was being ejected for taking 5 penalties in one game. There is no such rule on the books in the Federal Hockey League, or any other professional hockey league for that matter.

What’s Coming Up

The Carolina Thunderbirds Coaches Show continues Tuesday the 6th 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.

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).