Thunderbirds win, hand Danville their third-straight loss

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.- The Carolina Thunderbirds (6-1-0-0, 18 pts.), 2019 FPHL champions and proud members of the Federal Prospects Hockey League, defeated the Danville Dashers (4-3-0-0) 4-1 on Friday at the Annex to extend their west division lead.

“It feels good to win, we still have improvements to make, but its good,” head coach Andre Niec said after the game.

The Thunderbirds roared out of the gate, outshooting Danville 20-5 in the first period, but Dashers goalie Jesse Gordichuk was a brick wall and allowed no goals through 20 minutes.

While not tested often, Patrick Polivka stopped 18 of 19 shots including all five in the first period. His record sits at a perfect 1-0 after winning his first professional start in the United States.

Halfway through the second period, Konner Haas would open the scoring for Carolina, tipping a shot from Daniel Martin home. Martin and Haas would both finish with a goal and an assist.

Nine seconds after Carolina scored, Fred Hein ripped a wrist-shot past Patrick Polivka to tie the game. Hein's goal was his sixth of the season and extended his point total to a team-leading 12. 

Nearing the end of the second period, Jan Salak netted his second goal of the season giving Carolina the lead.

In the third, Martin and Jo Osaka scored for Carolina to make it 4-1 which is where the score would stay.

However, the third period took a sour turn when Gordichuk was run over by Haas as he was attacking the net on a shorthanded opportunity. Gordichuk would leave the game with just under seven minutes to go.

The two teams will face each other again tomorrow in Winston-Salem. The puck will drop at 6:05 p.m.

3 Stars

3rd- Petr Panacek

2nd- Konner Haas

1st – Patrick Polivka