Thunderbirds Win Round 1 of Unbeaten Battle

By Zak DeBeaussaert 

Winston-Salem, NC - The Carolina Thunderbirds remain perfect on the season with a 5-2 win over the Danville Dashers on Friday night. The Thunderbirds have won five straight games in regulation for 15 points out of 15 to start the season.

The Thunderbirds got on the board early when Petr Panacek cut to the middle and sent one by Dashers netminder Aaron Taylor to open the scoring. Carolina got two more goals in the first period from Everett Thompson and Artur Drindrozhik to give Carolina a 3-0 lead through 20 minutes of play.

Danville struck back first in the second period when Daniel Martin put a no look backhand past Frankie McClendon through traffic and gave the Dashers some hope. That hope was neutralized when Josh Pietrantonio fired back for the Thunderbirds 32 seconds later on a rebound goal. A tally from Jan Salak late in the second put Carolina securely in the driver's seat for the rest of the game.

The only goal of the third period came on an incredible solo effort from Danville's Justin Brausen. Brausen had slipped two Thunderbirds defenseman and roofed one over the glove of McClendon with under two minutes to go. It might only be for statistics in the grand scheme of things, but it was impressive for the highlight reel to be sure.

Frankie McClendon picked up the win tonight, stopping 19 shots out of 21. Aaron Taylor suffers the loss for Danville, stopping 50 of 55 shots tonight. Both teams were 0/1 on the power play in a rather uneventful game penalty-wise between the Dashers and Thunderbirds.

3 Stars of the Game:
Frankie McClendon
Petr Panacek
Everett Thompson

Attendance: 1,869

Photo credit: V. Khouri