by Dillon Clark
Winston-Salem, NC – The Carolina Thunderbirds picked up their third straight victory on Wednesday night, 3-2 against the Delaware Thunder. Carolina goaltender Brandon Brown picked up his first FPHL win with 33 saves.
Despite outscoring Delaware 16-8 in first periods so far this season, the Thunderbirds couldn’t find the back of the net in the first period on Wednesday night. Delaware goaltender Greg Harney stopped all 20 shots in the first period, while his teammates pushed just six pucks into Brandon Brown. The Thunder also killed off three penalties in the first, leaving Carolina scratching their heads in the first intermission.
Tommy Cardinal had assists in both games against Danbury last weekend, but had been searching for a goal since March 26th. He snapped the slight goal draught midway through the second period. Catching a pass from Gus Ford, Cardinal snapped a wrist shot past Harney from the high slot to open the score. Later, Carolina had a long powerplay after Brayden Dale high-sticked Chase DiBari and drew blood. Gus Ford made Thunderbirds history on the powerplay, becoming the first 40 goal scorer in the team’s five-year history. His shot from a steep angle glanced off the goal post and behind Harney for the 2-0 lead. Blake Peavey would follow up just seconds later, catching a Tommy Cardinal pass on the doorstep, burying the powerplay goal for the 3-0 lead. Ryan Marker would get the Thunder on the board at the end of the period, firing his 41st of the season past Brandon Brown.
The Thunderbirds had their work cut out for themselves in the third period. The Thunder traded punches with the Thunderbirds for 20 minutes, eventually drawing to within a goal after an Ilya Bobko tally. Brown made 15 more saves in the third period, and the Thunderbirds held on for the 3-2 lead.
Carolina picked up their 29th regulation win of the season on Wednesday night. Their next game is their final home game of the regular season. They welcome the Port Huron Prowlers on Friday night, with puck drop set for 7:35.