Thunderbirds Suspend Experimental Shootout Indefinitely
Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds announced on Friday the discontinuation of the pregame shootout procedure that was used on an experimental basis since November 30th. Games in Winston-Salem will no longer have a five-man shootout prior to opening faceoff and will have the standard puck drop at listed time. A five-man shootout will be conducted at the end of a potential 3-on-3 overtime period, per league standard.
Thunderbirds President/GM Scott Brand commented: "It was an experiment we thought we could try and get introduced into hockey. The entire hockey world seemed to be paying attention to Winston-Salem because of this experiment, but the fans spoke that they weren't in favor of it; so we are discontinuing it and will meet with our Board of Governors to see if it is worth pursuing again, if at all."
The discontinuation is effective immediately, starting with December 14th's game against the Elmira Enforcers.
In the two games that the rule was tested, the Thunderbirds lost both shootouts. Carolina won the first game, 4-0 and then were defeated in the second game by virtue of the pregame shootout (1-0) after a 4-4 tie through 65 minutes of hockey.
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).