Wolves Defeat Thunderbirds

By Jay Harris 

Watertown, NY - The Watertown Wolves bested the Carolina Thunderbirds for a second game in a row on Friday night, this time at the Watertown Municipal Arena. The previous victory came on Carolina's home ice, snapping their league-record 24-game win streak.

The first period started with a barrage of Carolina shots on Watertown netminder Jared Rutledge, including a Wolves penalty kill for hooking by Yianni Liarakos. Watertown scored with their first shot on goalie Christian Pavlas when Kyle Powell sent the puck up to Anton Kalinin, who passed it from behind the Carolina goal to Liarakos so he could tickle the twine. Just after the goal, Rutledge inadvertently sent the puck into the net as he tried to clear it and earned a delay of game penalty. Michael Bunn tied the game up for the Thunderbirds about thirty seconds into the resulting power play. The Wolves successfully killed Powell's delay of game penalty before Carolina scored their second goal of the night via Josh Pietrantonio. The goal came with protest from Watertown, as they felt the net come off its moorings before the play by Pietrantonio was made. Lane King tied it back up for the Wolves off a rebound from Aleh Shypitsyn's shot. 

After an extra long intermission due to a part on the Zamboni needing replacing, the Wolves bested the Thunderbirds in the second period. Tim Santopaolo took the lead back for Watertown on a play from Tyler Gjurich and Corey Sherman. The Wolves had the only power play in the period from a high-sticking call on Bunn, but they could not make good on the extra man advantage. 

Carolina tied the game back up just under six minutes into the third period with a goal from Peter Cicmanec. The Wolves successfully defended the charge on Aleh Shypitsyn for tripping, which would be the only penalty of the frame. After a frenzy of shots on Pavlas, Kalinin scored the game-winner at 17:23. 

Anton Kalinin's assist and game-winning goal got him the 1st Star of the Game. Yianni Liarakos' goal and assist earned him the 2nd Star of the Game. After stopping 52 shots on goal, Jared Rutledge was rightfully awarded the 3rd Star. 

The Wolves and Thunderbirds faceoff again Saturday, February 23rd at the Watertown Municipal Arena. The rematch starts at 7:30 PM.

Photo credit: CMC Advertising Design & Photography