Thunderbirds Rout Wolves for 16th Straight Win
By Zak DeBeaussaert
Winston-Salem, NC - Something inspired the Carolina Thunderbirds tonight. Maybe it was the new goal lights, or the new horn, or all the mascots running around and having a blast to help celebrate Winston and Salem's birthday -- Whatever it was, it worked, as Carolina defeated the Watertown Wolves, 9-0 on Friday night.
The goal scoring started about midway through the first period and came in a quick one-two punch as Jiri Pargac potted home a juicy rebound given up by Wolves netminder Christopher Marsillo to make it 1-0. Just over two minutes later, Jan Salak tipped home a Karel Drahorad shot to double Carolina's lead on the power play. Petr Panacek would rip the top netting on a cross pass from Chase Fallis on the rush at 17:26. Carolina led 3-0 after 20 minutes and were dominating on the shot counter, 22-7.
That domination would roll over into the second period when four more Thunderbirds goals would go in. Josh Pietrantonio and Michael Bunn each had a goal less than a minute apart to make it 5-0 before you could catch your breath from the excitement of the first period. Later on in the period Karel Drahorad scored a goal on a 2-on-1 with fellow defenseman Mike Baker coming out of the box to make it 6-0. Dominik Fejt slapped one past the pads of Marsillo at 14:38 to make it 7-0 heading to the third period. There was a fair bit of controversy in the frame, as Jiri Pargac of the Thunderbirds was ejected for a retaliatory hit to the head on Bryan Parsons after the two developed a history throughout the game. Many different skirmishes erupted between them, the most notable of which included Parsons putting his stick at Pargac's throat during a faceoff. Carolina killed off the major penalty with relative ease. Carolina's goalie Christian Pavlas was forced to make a few tough saves to keep the scoreline clean for the Thunderbirds' defense.
Carolina was rolling with all the momentum by the third period. Another goal from Karel Drahorad made it 8-0, this one of the shorthanded variety after Dominik Fejt took a major elbowing penalty that was observed by a linesman. Another Carolina penalty kill was successful, and then for good measure, Jan Salak slammed home a two-footer at 19:25 to give the game its final scoreline of 9-0.
Christian Pavlas stopped all 26 shots he faced tonight for his fourth shutout of the year to take sole possession of the lead in that category. Chris Marsillo stopped 41 of 50 shots he faced in the loss; he was briefly relieved in the second period by Kent Nusbaum.
The same two teams go at it again on Saturday night with a 6:05 PM puck drop at the Fairgrounds Annex.
3 Stars of the Game:
Photo credit: V. Khouri