by Dillon Clark
Watertown, NY—In the third and final game of a weekend series, the Watertown Wolves defeated the Carolina Thunderbirds, 5-3 on home ice. With the win, Watertown improves to 5-0 against Carolina this season.
Breandan Colgan got his third straight start against the Thunderbirds, while Evan Morrison was back in the Carolina goal crease. Morrison’s night was short-lived, and ended after only 8:34. Justin MacDonald’s 23rd goal of the year, a Nolan Slachetka goal off the rush, and Alexander Jmaeff’s clean-up goal in front would chase Morrison early in the 1st. Chris Paulin entered the game, inheriting a 3-0 score. His team responded to the change, scoring almost immediately. John Buttitta found a rebound to Colgan’s right and buried it to snap a five-game goal draught. Gus Ford continued the Carolina surge, bringing the score to 3-2. At the end of the first, Larry Yellowknee shut down the Thunderbird counterattack with another goal. Watertown carried a 4-2 lead into the first intermission.
Tommy Cardinal continued his scoring ways in the second period, adding a powerplay goal. As the puck bounced off the boards behind Colgan’s net, Cardinal slammed it home inside the far side goal post to bring Carolina within one. But as has been the case all weekend, Watertown didn’t let the surge last long. Ahmed Mahfouz was the beneficiary of a net-front scramble, buring his second of the weekend for a 5-3 lead.
No goals were scored in the third period, but there were a number of scoring chances and heavy hits. Carolina outshot Watertown 12-5 in the period, and 39-31 in the game. Despite a powerplay at the end of the game, the Thunderbirds couldn’t close the gap. The loss marks the first time Carolina has lost three straight games to the same opponent.
The Thunderbirds are back in action on Friday night in Delaware. They are 3-0 vs. the Thunder this season.