Enforcers Beat Thunderbirds Back to Back for First Time in History, 4-3
by Jonathan Kliment
The Enforcers came into Sunday’s game in first place in the FPHL during the COVID season and trying to push for a spot in the Ignite Cup, however standing in their way was the Carolina Thunderbirds whom in their history they had never before beaten in back to back games.
The game got off to a different start than the previous two as Elmira found the back of the net first. After getting the puck in deep Brett Gravelle found a puck down low and threw it toward the front of the net finding Carter Shinkaruk who had both time and space and was able to beat Nick Modica up high to give the Enforcers the 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later Everett Thompson got a slashing penalty that led to a Zach White tip of a Kyle Pouncy shot which found its way through Joe Young to tie up the score at one a piece.
The second frame saw a more familiar Carolina team take the ice as Josh Koepplinger and Fred Hein both found the back of the net within two minutes of each other. The Koepplinger goal came right after Jonny Ruiz pushed the pressure and had three attempts on Modica, but a clearing pass from Carolina sprung Zach White who quickly turned around fired a bullet pass to Koepplinger and beat Young up high. Then a shot pass from the point found Fred Hein in the slot who just tipped it home past Young to make it 3-1. The Enforcers got a late 5 on 3 power play however, and took advantage as Tyler Gjurich slapped one towards Modica and Ruiz hammered home the rebound to close the gap to just one goal, 3-2.
Elmira came out with a fire in the third and early on applied pressure from everywhere. It would be a Carter Shinkaruk pickoff play that he slid through the legs of a Carolina defenseman to Brett Gravelle to tie up the game at three apiece. The game winner, however, came courtesy of another power play as a Shinkaruk rebound bounced right onto the stick of Brett Gravelle and Elmira took a 4-3 lead that they would not relinquish.
Mighty Joe Young stopped 36 of 39 for his 4th win of the season.
The Enforcers will face off with the Port Huron Prowlers in a home and home starting Wednesday night at First Arena at 7:05pm. The game will be live on Youtube and Mixlr and all fans following the protocols will be allowed in! Make sure you get your tickets now by calling 607-734-PUCK!