Niec Suspension Reduced; Eligible to Return This Weekend

Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds received notice on Thursday that Head Coach Andre Niec will be allowed to return to the bench this weekend after the league reviewed the incident that led to his suspension. The Thunderbirds did not formally appeal the suspension, rather, a league review of the incident causing Niec's ejection was done internally in the FHL and the league concluded his suspension should be reduced.

Niec was ejected from the Thunderbirds' second game of the season on October 27th after protesting a referee's decision. He was initially handed a six game suspension by the league, but upon review the decision has been reduced to four games. With four games already served since the incident, Niec will be eligible to coach this weekend in Elmira.

This news marks the end of Interim Head Coach Karolina Huvarova's time as bench boss. Huvarova went 3-1 in the games Niec was suspended for. She is now the winningest female coach in professional hockey history, over Nicole Kirnan's 2-3 record with the 1000 Islands Privateers back in 2013.

The Thunderbirds travel up to Elmira, NY to take on the Enforcers in their first home game of the 2018-19 season. Friday and Saturday night's games start at 7:05 PM at First Arena.

The Carolina Thunderbirds are proud members of the Federal Hockey League, now in its ninth season. The Thunderbirds are in their second season of play, looking to build on the success of their inaugural season where the team posted an 87-point season with a record of 25-24-5-2 (W-L-OTW-OTL). The Thunderbirds also set an FHL record with over 65,000 fans through the doors in their first season and six sellout crowds. Season and group tickets are on sale now by calling (336) 774-GOAL(4625).