Thunderbirds Win Big Over Ice Breakers

By Zak DeBeaussaert 

Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds and Mentor Ice Breakers played an expected high intensity game on Friday night and thanks to a spree of goals in the second period, the Thunderbirds came out on top, 7-2.

It took a while for the scoring to open but once Carolina got their offense going, the intermission horn was the only thing to stop them. First, Petr Panacek fired a wrist shot that beat John Sellie-Henson to the glove hand at 18:02. Then, Michael Bunn scored on a great individual effort, cutting to the slot and firing at the lower right corner for a 2-0 lead with 38 seconds left in the frame. 

The second period started with the same momentum that the first ended with. Carolina made it a three-goal game thanks to Peter Cicmanec potting one in off a rebound given up by Sellie-Henson. Ten seconds later it would be Mentor breaking through, with a good top corner shot from Matthew Kadolph from the right point. Carolina would respond with two goals 37 seconds apart. The first from Jay Croop on a scrum that involved upwards of four or five bodies, and then Cicmanec got his second of the night. Initially ruled no goal but the light went on, the referee conferred with the goal judge and awarded the point after a discussion of what was seen. Late in the period Panacek went in on a breakaway and pulled a between the legs backhand-forehand deke and roofed past Sellie-Hanson's shoulder which would ultimately end his night. Frankie McClendon had to leave for about three minutes during the frame for an upper body injury that he shook off by the beginning of the third period. 

With the score out of hand, the game would start to get chippy with big hits and fights cropping up all over the third period. Croop got his second of the night and Mentor's Alexander Morrow scored at 19:09 to give the game its final score.

Frankie McClendon picked up the win, stopping 33 of 35 shots; Christian Pavlas had 4 saves on 4 shots while covering during McClendon's injury. John Sellie-Henson got the loss, stopping 19 of 25 shots before being replaced by Derek Moser who stopped 10 of 11 shots he faced.

Carolina and Mentor finish their season series tomorrow night at the Fairgrounds Annex on St. Patrick's Night brought to you be Cricket Wireless. Puck drop is at 6:05 PM with a 5:40 PM Pregame Show.

3 Stars of the Game:
Petr Panacek
Frankie McClendon
Peter Cicmanec 

Attendance: 2,083

Photo credit: V. Khouri