Weekend Preview: Carolina and Elmira Finish a Heated Season Series
Winston-Salem, NC - Coming off last weekend’s sweep against the Mentor Ice Breakers, the Carolina Thunderbirds came away with six points and a boat load of confidence heading into this weekend’s games against the Enforcers. Saturday’s 9-0 shutout against Mentor wasn’t just another game, it was a statement to all the teams in the Federal Hockey League that Carolina is the team to beat heading into the playoffs.
One of the teams that consistently brings their A-game against the Thunderbirds is the Elmira Enforcers. Last time the Thunderbirds and Enforcers met, Elmira played host to the rivalry series. This time around, Carolina is welcoming the Enforcers to the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex in what is sure to be a fun set of games to watch. The Thunderbirds swept the weekend the last time these two teams met. This weekend's games will be the final two meetings of the regular season.
The Enforcers are coming off a weekend sweep of their own against the Danville Dashers, including a rare Wednesday night game that resulted in a 2-1 OT victory for Elmira.
For the Thunderbirds, this weekend will see them play host to their third and fourth straight home game. Jan Salak and Josh Pietrantonio lead the team in points scored with 70 a piece. Against Elmira those two also lead the way. Salak has 11 points against the Enforcers, Pietrantonio has 10.
There's another player in red to watch this weekend though and it's Michael Bunn. Bunn has been red hot as of late against the Enforcers, scoring four goals in just two nights against the Enforcers on March 8th and 9th, and was also given official credit for his goal on Sunday March 10th. The Enforcers leading scorer against Carolina, Ahmed Mahfouz (nine points), will be out of this weekend's games with an injury.
The Enforcers will enter this weekend with some familiar faces returning to the bench. Head Coach Brent Clarke, Brandon Vuic, Kyle Stevens and Nick Niedert are all returning from suspensions this weekend. The same cannot be said for the Thunderbirds, as Dominik Fejt is currently serving a three game suspension (reduced from five after appeal). He will miss both games this weekend to finish out his suspension.
Friday’s game is our Pucks-N-Paws night, puck drop is at 7:35PM with a 7:10 pregame show on the Carolina Thunderbirds broadcast network. Saturday’s game is our Cancer Awareness night with puck drop at 6:05PM and a 5:40 pregame show, the Thunderbirds have specialty jerseys lined up for Saturday's game.
The “Voice of the Thunderbirds” Zak DeBeaussaert will bring all the action and excitement on WTOB. For tickets, you can visit online at Ticketmaster or call the Fairgrounds Box Office.
The Carolina Thunderbirds are proud members of the Federal Hockey League, now in its ninth season. The Thunderbirds are in their second season of play building on the success from last year with a regular season championship in 2018-19 and are looking forward to their second consecutive trip to the playoffs. The Thunderbirds have set an FHL record again at the gate, breaking their own attendance record with over 70,000 fans through the doors this season.