by Doug Cahn
Port Huron - The Prowlers and Thunderbirds played the first of tonight's home and home set. This was the 5th matchup between the two teams splitting the first four matchups. This weekend, Carolina is above Port Huron in the standings, making this a huge weekend series for both teams. The Prowlers would turn to Richard Shipman in net returning from injury, and Carolina started Brandon Rozzi in net.
The Prowlers came out of the gate red hot, finding the back of the net 39 seconds into the game when Mike Moroso was able to bury one past Rozzi to put the Prowlers up early. The Thunderbirds responded with a shorthanded goal by Jacob Schnapp to even up the score at one. The Prowlers regained the lead three minutes later via an excellent passing play finished off by Steven Fowler. A minute later, the Prowlers were able to get their third goal of the period after Dante Suffredini made a great play to keep the puck in the O-zone was able to find Adam Morgan behind the defense, and Morgan rifled it by Rozzi to put the Prowlers up 3-1. Richard Shipman was able to keep the Prowlers lead at two after making a great save and end the period with the Prowlers leading 3-1.
The 2nd period was a defensive battle as each team allowed ten shots in the period. Carolina scored the only goal in the period when Cameron Dimmitt threw a shot on net from the point as it found its way past a screened shipman. The rest of the period was a defensive battle as each team was able to kill off a penalty during the period and did a great job limiting shots and scoring chances.
The third period was filled with excitement as Carolina was able to even it halfway through the period, leading to an exhilarating last ten minutes of hockey. With about six minutes left in the game, it looked like Stavros Soilis was able to bury the game-winner, but Carolina scored two goals within thirty seconds of each other in a 5-4 victory with the game-winning goal scored by Jason Stone. The Prowlers and Thunderbirds will be back at it tomorrow night in Carolina with a 6:05 puck drop.