Thunderbirds Streak Now at 21

By Nate Williamson

Danville, IL - The Carolina Thunderbirds extended their winning streak to 21 games on Friday night as they took down the Danville Dashers on the road. Carolina jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, before both sides walked away from the second with a goal, and two each from the third.

Carolina was the first on the board despite many opportunities from the Dashers, including a shot that was stopped by an expert glove-save from Carolina goalkeeper Henry Dill. It was just the ninth shot of the game that found the back of the net as Karel Drahorad scored at even strength on assists from Josh Pietrantonio and Jiri Pargac. It was Captain Pietrantonio's turn to score next, as Carolina scored on a penalty kill, with the Dashers giving up their third short-handed goal in as many games. Pietrantonio found open ice after some nice passing between Pargac and Mike Baker. Carolina then scored their third goal as Jiri Pestuka beat Matt Kaludis, who did an admirable job on the night against a formidable Thunderbirds offense, on assists from Michael Bunn and Viktor Grebennikov.

In the second period the Dashers struck first as Eric Masters scored at even strength on assists from Alex Basey and Marvin Powell amid some building offensive pressure from Danville. Carolina answered amidst a flurry of saves from Matt Kaludis, as Carolina linked up for a beautiful passing display when Michael Bunn found the back of the net.

Dominik Fejt made it 5-1, Carolina just a little over four minutes into the third period as Chase Fallis and Petr Panacek linked up for the team goal on a power play. It wasn't but four minutes later when Eric Masters found the net for the second time on the night, with Patrik Zilak and Justin Brausen combining for the assist that made it a 5-2 game. The Dashers struck again and started to gain their footing in the contest as Daniel Martin redirected an Alex Pommerville pass into the net past Henry Dill. Ryan Alves was also credited with an assist on the goal, which made it a 5-3 game in favor of Carolina. Stanislav Vlasov got what was effectively the game-ending goal as Fejt and Fallis linked up for the assists. The game would go on to end at 6-3 in favor of the Thunderbirds.

The 1st Star of the Game was Josh Pietrantonio, who contributed two points on an assist and a goal. Michael Bunn got the 2nd Star, as he also contributed a goal and an assist. The lone Dasher on the star-sheet was Eric Masters, who scored two of the Dashers' three goals.

Both teams will be back in action tomorrow night as they go head-to-head once again at the David S. Palmer Arena with a 7:05 PM puck drop.

Photo credit: LMB Studios