Thunderbirds Blueliners Rack Up 4 Goals in Win Over Elmira
By Zak DeBeaussaert
Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds rode a wave of offense from their defenseman to keep their perfect run going in the 2018-19 FHL season. They won Friday night over the Elmira Enforcers, 6-4 at the Fairgrounds Annex.
The goal scoring started early for Carolina with Karel Drahorad unleashing a blast on the power play for his third goal of the season at 1:53 into the game. The Thunderbrids added two more goals in the first period through Jan Salak (the game's 1st Star and BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse Player of the Game) all before 10 minutes had elapsed. The Enforcers did manage to put one past Thunderbirds goalie Kelly Curl when Dmytro Babenko scored on a half wrap around attempt just as the Thunderbirds had killed off a bench minor for too many men on the ice.
After 20 minutes the Thunderbirds led 3-1, but the lead quickly evaporated when the Enforcers scored twice in the span of 51 seconds to start the second period. Goals from Parker Moskal (:42 in) and David DiSchavi (1:33 in) had the game tied before some Thunderbirds fans had returned to their seats. The crowd had something to cheer about shortly after the game was tied when Dominik Fejt clapped one past Troy Passingham to restore the Thunderbirds lead. Even though there were no more goals to report in the second period there was plenty of action for the fans in attendance. Stan Vlasov fought twice with two different Enforcers in the middle stages of the second period. Vlasov first dropped the glove with Babenko and then shortly after being released from the box went again with the Enforcers' Darren Lamble. The crowd had one more fight to cheer in the middle frame when Chase Fallis dropped his mitts with Sam Williams.
With order restored during the second intermission, the Thunderbirds again pounced first with a Salem Smiles Power Play goal from Taylor Love to make the game 5-3. In the later stages of the third period Sean Reynolds sent one by the glove hand of Kelly Curl and it was back to a one goal game in Winston-Salem. With another Salem Smiles Power Play opportunity in front of them the Thunderbirds sent a dagger into Elmira's hopes of their first FHL win when Karel Drahorad got his second goal of the game to give a final score of 6-4.
With goals from Drahorad (2), Love, and Fejt that's four out of six goals scored today by Thunderbirds defensemen. Enforcers Coach Brent Clarke was ejected in the third period after protesting a non-call by referees in this game. Interim Head Coach Karolina Huvarova picks up her first win as a head coach in this game.
Carolina and Elmira will go at it again tomorrow night from the Fairgrounds Annex. Puck drop is 6:05 PM.
3 Stars of the Game:
Photo credit: V. Khouri