Wolves Outlast Thunderbirds 5-4 in Shootout
Despite decided advantages in time of possession and shots on goal, only one shot mattered in the end for the Carolina Thunderbirds...and it wasn't theirs.
An eventful, wild shootout was decided by Fabian Lehner, as his wrist shot in the fourth round gave the Watertown Wolves the third standings point and sealed the defending Commissioner's Cup Champions 5-4 victory over Carolina.
Carolina's offensive production came from their stars as well as an unlikely scorer. After Jan Salak's shot on goal was put home by Petr Panacek midway through the first, a face who drew back in the lineup for the first time in weeks made an immediate impact.
Cody Oakes scored on a perfectly placed snap shot after pinching down the wall and receiving a pass from Gus Ford right on the tape of his stick.
Watertown never stopped attacking. Both teams battled, as they did in the playoffs a year ago. A game that had its fights, big hits, penalties and plenty of post whistle confrontations, just as any game between two league pillars should.
It appeared as if Jan Salak, the game's third star, had sealed the win with a goal at the 7:57 mark of the third. Seven minutes later, Trevor Lord tied the game for Watertown, and both goaltenders kept their teams in the game throughout overtime and the shootout until Lehner sent everyone home.
Carolina will leave Watertown with 2 standings points, and head down to Danbury to face the Hat Tricks. Both teams split the first series meeting between the two clubs earlier this month in Winston-Salem. Puck drop for Saturday's game at the Danbury Ice Arena is set for 7:00.