Thunderbirds Taste Defeat for First Time This Season

By Zak DeBeaussaert 

Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds dropped points for the first time in 2018-19 as the Danville Dashers won on Saturday night, 2-1.

The Thunderbirds jumped onto the scoreboard early in this one when CJ Blaszka picked up his first of the season, sending one in off the post from the left wing side. Assists on Blaszka's goal went to Pietrantonio and Pargac. Pietrantonio is now on an 8-game point streak dating back to last year.

The second period had no scoring but fans in the Fairgrounds Annex still had a lot to cheer about as two fights happened midway through the frame. The Dashers' Alex Basey fought both Joe Cangelosi and Josh Pietrantonio in two separate tilts with the game still very much in the balance.

With the game still at 1-0 heading into a tense third period, the Dashers got themselves level with a goal from Brendan Leavitt. Leavitt tallied his first of the season with a perfectly placed shot past the glove hand of Henry Dill. Assist on the goal to Marvin Powell. The Dashers weren't done as Daniel Martin picked up his second goal in as many nights, knocking a loose puck out of the air with just enough force to roll over the line past Henry Dill for the eventual game winner.

Both teams had a lack of special teams opportunities with both going 0/1 on the power play. Henry Dill made 26 saves on 28 shots in the loss. Matt Kaludis picked up his third win of the season, stopping 42 of 43 shots.

Carolina now looks ahead to their first road trip of 2018-19 when they take on the Elmira Enforcers at First Arena on Friday and Saturday night. The Thunderbirds remain atop the FHL standings at the end of the weekend with 15 points through six games.

3 Stars of the Game:
Matt Kaludis
Henry Dill
CJ Blaszka

Attendance: 2,774

Photo credit: V. Khouri