by Brett Wiseman
Winston-Salem, NC- In a game dominated by stalwart goaltending, punishing physicality, and a slew of penalties, Gus Ford shined above all. Ford's overtime winner handed the Danbury Hat Tricks their first loss of the 2022 campaign.
Both goalies went toe to toe, save for save in the opening frame. Brian Wilson continued his stalwart goaltending for Danbury, but was unable to get much help from his offense. A one-timer by Brendan Sheehan a quick developing 2-on-1 off a feed from Dimitry Kuznetzsov midway through the first was the only scoring for the majority of the first two frames.
Boris Babik made just his second start on North American soil, and his first at home as a Thunderbirds, stopping 38 of the 39 shots he faced. Danbury had thirteen power play opportunities, but Carolina killed off each and every penalty. Carolina had 14, making the most of two of them thanks to Gus Ford.
With just 6.5 seconds remaining in the middle period, Ford put home a rebound to tie the game. It stayed tied through a penalty-filled third, and Carolina began the overtime period on a 4-on-3 power play. A Brendan Dowler interference minor gave Carolina a brief 5-on-3 advantage, but they could not capitalize.
It was on the 4-on-3 advantage that Ford put home a wrist shot in close quarters to lift Carolina to victory.
The Thunderbirds will return home on Veteran's Night, November 11th to host the Delaware Thunder.