Thunderbirds win a wild rematch in Watertown

WATERTOWN, N.Y.- The Carolina Thunderbirds, proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, defeated the Watertown Wolves 9-6 on Saturday Night at the Watertown Municipal Arena.

“It wasn’t the start we hoped for, but we settled down and played our game,” said head coach Andre Niec.

Watertown scored less than two minutes in when Anthony Filoso scored his first as a Wolf. Just a minute later, Ryan Marker stole the puck from Viktor Grebennikov behind the night and found Dominik Bogdziul who buried a one-timer to make it 2-0.

Five minutes into the game, forward Jan Salak took a slapshot to the face and was bloodied. He would miss the remainder of the period, but returned with stiches to play in the second and third.

Petr Panacek whistled a wrister by the ear of Jeremy Pominville 12:12 into the opening frame to put Carolina on the board. Then, at 18:05 into the period, Jon Buttitta stickhandled through all five Watertown defenders and found Jan Krivohlavek who tied the game.

Marker scored 44 seconds into the middle period to put Watertown ahead, but then Carolina surged for four unanswered goals.

Jan Krivohlavek scored back-to-back goals, one shorthanded, to complete his first career hat trick in the FPHL, making it 22 goals on the season for the Czech rookie. Buttitta would add two of his own as well.

“It felt really good,” said Krivohlavek, “its fun to score goals.”

Watertown refused to give in as William Devereux scored to make it 6-4 with less than two minutes to go in the second.

The Wolves scored when Kyle Powell beat Nick Modica at 3:58 into the third period, but the goal was initially disallowed on the ice. Referee Jordan Kraabel and Bill Bird called the goal judge to the scorer’s table after he prematurely turned on the goal light. The goal judge affirmed his decision, reversing the on-ice call.

It was Kraabel who disallowed what would-have-been Jiri Pargac’s overtime game-winner in Friday night’s game.

“There was no explanation given to me,” said Modica after the game, “he counted it and we moved on, but that never went in.”

The Thunderbirds blasted back for two goals from Viktor Grebennikov and Daniel Klinecky. Watertown’s Tyson Bruce scored his first goal in Watertown late in the third.

Gleb Krivoshapkin added an empty-netter to cap the victory.

Modica, who was playing NCAA D-III hockey at SUNY-Cortland last week, earned his first pro victory. He was awarded the third star in Friday’s game.

Carolina returns to Winston-Salem to faceoff against the Columbus River Dragons on Friday night at 7:35 p.m. It’s Pucks ‘n’ Paws Night presented by Oakes Animal Hospital and limited tickers are still available.