PORT HURON PROWLERS at CAROLINA THUNDERBIRDS
Carolina Wins an Overtime Thriller, 3-2
Schnapp snaps home winner to give Thunderbirds win
by Brendan Reilly
Winston-Salem, NC - After a late goal in the third period to tie the game, the Carolina Thunderbirds got a game winning goal from Jacob Schnapp at the 3:49 mark of the overtime to give Carolina its sixth straight win, 3-2, Saturday night at the Annex over the Port Huron Prowlers.
After a 4-1 victory on Friday evening, Carolina (10-2-0) looked to secure the series with another victory over Port Huron (5-5-2). The visitors struck first in the second period though as Mathias Tellstrom beat Mario Cavaliere after a turnover in the neutral zone to give the Prowlers a 1-0 lead at the 8:51 mark of the second period.
The Thunderbirds wasted no time responding. Less than 45 seconds later, Jon Buttitta forced a turnover and found Tucker Firth alone in the slot beating Tucker Tynan and tying the game at one. Following Firth’s goal, Carolina was awarded seven minutes on the power play and Jiri Pestuka at the 16:51 mark of the second beat Tynan to give Carolina a 2-1 advantage heading to the third period.
In the final 20 minutes, Carolina kept applying pressure but could not find an insurance goal, and with only 29 seconds remaining, Davide Gaeta tied the game at two after Port Huron pulled its goalie and had the extra attacker sending the two sides to overtime.
The Thunderbirds won last Saturday at home in overtime over the Columbus River Dragons, and this week, they sent the fans home happy again. After being stoned by Tynan earlier in the overtime, Jacob Schnapp got loose on a breakaway and beat the netminder at the 3:49 mark of the overtime, giving Carolina the win, 3-2.
Schnapp, who also had an assist, was named the 1st star while netminder Mario Cavaliere was awarded the 2nd star. Pestuka earned the 3rd star with his second goal on the weekend.
Carolina and Port Huron meet for the series finale on Sunday with the Thunderbirds already having the series in hand. Puck drop is set for 4:05 p.m. from the Annex.
PROWLERS GET POINT AT CAROLINA
by Will Wiegelman
Winston-Salem, NC - The Port Huron Prowlers scored late to earn a point but fell 3-2 in overtime to the Carolina Thunderbirds at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex on Dec. 2. Jacob Schnapp scored the game-winner in the extra session.
“I’m proud of the team’s effort, that was a gritty performance,” said Prowlers’ assistant coach Chris Paulin. “Losing the game is not what we want but, to build on, that’s the type of effort we expect. With all the adversity we had with the penalties, losing a couple of key players, having to run four [defensemen], I was very proud of the resiliency and the effort tonight.”
It took until the second period to find the first goal but Port Huron did it. Sam Marit sent a pass to Mathias Tellström on a rush that the Swede one-timed home for his first as a Prowler. That lead lasted all of 38 seconds until Tucker Firth found space and fired a pass from Jon Buttitta to the top shelf to tie the game.
Later in the period, Tucker Scantlebury received seven minutes of penalty time, including a match penalty, and Carolina got a long power play. With 20 seconds left in it, Jiri Pestuka went bar down on the Thunderbirds’ 10th shot of the man advantage to make it 2-1.
At the end of the period, a couple of fights broke out and Alex Johnson and Joe Kennedy were given game misconducts.
“We knew it was going to be a grind, we were tired out there,” Paulin said. “We asked a lot of our defensemen, they competed, they battled. We were all supporting each other. Matt Graham took a shift at defense which I don’t think he’s ever done before. That’s the type of commitment we had.”
Port Huron survived multiple penalty kills in the third and with 29 seconds to go and Tucker Tynan on the bench, Vincent Dekumbis found Davide Gaeta to tie it on a rush and send the game to overtime.
Schnapp was stopped on his first chance of the extra session but made good on his second, a partial breakaway from the Prowlers’ blue line.
Tynan made 45 saves on the night to continue his strong start to the season in net.
“You’re not going to compete without great goaltending, that’s what we expect from all our goaltenders, and he gave us every chance to win tonight,” Paulin said. “I thought he was excellent, he battled and he stole a couple of saves for us.”
Petr Panacek and Dawson Baker had two assists each and Mario Cavaliere stopped 30 shots.
The third and final matchup of the weekend will be on Dec. 3 at 4:05 P.M. and streamed live on the PHP Network YouTube channel.