MISSISSIPPI SEA WOLVES at CAROLINA THUNDERBIRDS
THIRD PERIOD BLITZ LIFTS BIRDS TO 6-3 WIN OVER SEA WOLVES
by Brett Wiseman
Winston-Salem, NC - A third period barrage of goals from the Carolina Thunderbirds broke them loose from a deadlock with the Mississippi Sea Wolves and pole vaulted them to a 6-3 victory in front of a crowd of 2,983 fans inside the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex.
Carolina started the game strong, getting on the gas pedal and attacking early and often. Gus Ford potted home his 44th goal of the season just 1 minute and 46 seconds into the contest after a centering pass from Dawson Baker.
Petr Panacek, back from suspension and back centering the "Czech Line", sniped a wrist shot home far side in the high slot just 4 minutes after Ford's goal to double the Thunderbirds lead, which stood through the rest of the first and the initial half of the middle frame.
The second half of the second period was a full frontal oppositional assault from Mississippi. Philip Wong blasted home a one-timer on the power play 8 minutes into the second. Jan Salak provided a counterpunch with a power play goal of his own for Carolina 4 minutes later when he deflected a wrist shot from Panacek in front of the net.
Not to be outdone, Kyle Russel and Jackson Bond both beat Boris Babik with a pair of goals just two minutes apart to stun the Annex crowd and see the game tied at 3 heading to the third.
The Thunderbirds response was swift, with force and finality.
Salak and Panacek teamed up to perfectly execute a 2-on-1 rush, with Panacek feeding Salak to wire home a one timer into a yawning cage to give Carolina a 4-3 lead. The Thunderbirds didn't look back from that point on.
Panacek blasted home a slap shot from distance to double the lead for his second of the night and 18th of the season. Danny Martin finished things off, banking home a shot off a Sea Wolf for the dagger.
The Czech line took home all three stars on the night, with Pestuka 3rd, Salak 2nd and Panacek first. Honorable mention to Babik in net, who stopped 42 of 45 Mississippi shots on the night.
The two teams meet for the 14th and final time tomorrow afternoon, with puck drop set for 4:05 ET.
Sea Wolves Subdued by Thunderbirds 6-3
By Nick Roesch
Winston-Salem, NC – The Carolina Thunderbirds exploded with three goals in the third period on Saturday night as they doubled up the Mississippi Sea Wolves 6-3 at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex.
After a slow start the previous night, Carolina jumped on the Sea Wolves in the first period with goals from Gus Ford (1:46) and Petr Panacek (5:14).
It took eight minutes into the second period for the Sea Wolves to find their first goal of the night. Philip Wong cashed in on a two-on-one pass from Yianni Liarakos to make it a 2-1 game.
Jan Salak increased Carolina’s lead back to a pair at 12:59 before the Sea Wolves evened things up between strikes from Kyle Russell (15:43) and Jackson Bond (17:12).
The 3-3 score stayed well into the third period before Carolina’s Salak, Panacek and Martin all combined goals for the 6-3 final. Panacek and Salak each completed the night with two goals and two assists for the Thunderbirds.
The Sea Wolves led in shots on goal 45-31. Anthony D’Aloisio finished in net with 24 saves for Mississippi, while Boris Babik’s 39-save outcome locked down his second consecutive win for the Thunderbirds.
One final meeting between the Sea Wolves and Thunderbirds remains this season, and it takes place tomorrow, April 2 with a 3:05pm Central Time puck drop at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex.