Four Second Period Goals Give Carolina 24th Straight Win
By Zak DeBeaussaert
Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds rode a wave of energy from their sold out crowd and scored four second period goals en route to a 4-2 win over the Watertown Wolves on Saturday night.
There were no goals in the first period, but Jared Rutledge made a few five-star saves to keep the game scoreless. Carolina netminder Henry Dill also denied a few good scoring chances from the Wolves to keep the stalemate in place for the first intermission.
Facing a man disadvantage to start the second period, Carolina was able to strike first when Josh Pietrantonio outraced Kyle Powell to a loose puck and the Thunderbirds Captain broke in with a deke, out-waiting Rutledge and sliding it into the net. The Thunderbirds would start their barrage with the next three goals coming in a four minute span midway through the second. First, Jiri Pargac was sprung on a breakaway by a Jan Salak pass and buried it top left corner past Rutledge. 13 seconds later, Viktor Grebennikov tallied his fourth of the year on a rebound goal originally shot by Petr Panacek. Then to cap it all off, Jay Kenney fired a slap shot past Rutledge after consecutive drop passes by Carolina to set up the goal. Watertown would respond on a major power play though, with Justin Portillo scoring his sixth of the year after Henry Dill gave up a juicy rebound with traffic in front of him.
The third period was intense and emotional, and it surprisingly only saw one goal scored. Kyle Powell found the back of the net on a power play for the Wolves to give the game its final scoreline.
Henry Dill picked up his 8th win of the year, stopping 21 of 23 shots. Jared Rutledge took the loss, stopping 55 of 59 shots.
The Thunderbirds will look to sweep the Wolves and move their winning streak to 25 tomorrow afternoon at the Annex on Faith & Family Night, brought to you by WBFJ. Tickets are available at the box office or at TicketMaster.
3 Stars of the Game:
Photo credit: V. Khouri