by Zak DeBeaussaert

Columbus, GA - The Columbus River Dragons took all 9 points on the series with the Carolina Thunderbirds after a 4-2 win on Saturday night.

The first period had action going at all ends of the ice with Carolina scoring first shorthanded. Josh Koepplinger got his third of the year after he cashed in on a 2-on-1 when Tommy Tsicos laid a pass right into his wheelhouse and he one-timed home. Columbus would answer with a shorthanded goal of their own after Connor Fries went top shelf after being fed a pass from Nate O'Brien.

After the penalty kills found the back of the net it was the power play unit's turn. Connor Fries got his 2nd of the night on a power play goal set up by Jake Schultz at the 12:12 mark of the first period. However, Carolina would answer back with a power play tally of their own as Stan Bachor poked home one on the back door about three minutes later.

The first period wasn't done yet though as Mac Jansen found a pass in the slot and while being hooked down to the ice was able to push the puck towards net and scored through the 5-hole of Nick Modica for a 3-2 lead through 20 minutes of play.

While the second period upped the shot count considerably, both goaltenders stood tall and kept the scoreline the same through the middle frame. Nick Modica had the more highlight-reel saves while Jacob Caffrey was the busier of the two netminders with 18 saves in the 2nd period.

The third period continued the theme of scoreless-ness until the Thunderbirds opted to pull their netminder trying to find a late equalizer. It took until the 19:41 mark of the 3rd period but CJ Stubbs eventually found the empty net and sealed the win and the sweep for Columbus.

Jacob Caffrey picked up the win with 38 saves on 40 shots. Nick Modica took the loss making 30 saves on 33 shots.

The River Dragons now look ahead to the Elmira Enforcers who come in to town for a three-game weekend set. The first game is Friday, March 19 with a 7:35 puck drop at the Civic Center. Tickets available at the Civic Center Box Office or on TicketMaster.

3 Stars of the Game

Connor Fries

Jake Schultz

Jacob Caffrey