TEMPERS FLARE IN PROWLERS WIN
(Port Huron, MI) - The Port Huron Prowlers earned a hard fought 4-2 victory over the visiting Carolina Thunderbirds on Saturday night, giving them a sensational 41 out of a possible 45 points in the their last 15 games. The first place Prowlers dominated the first 40 minutes of action, before holding off a third period rally by the T-Birds.
The games number one star, Yanni Liarakos, opened the scoring at 9:31 of the first with a laser shot from the left face off circle, as Port Huron took a 1-0 lead into the break. Austin Daae stretched the Prowlers lead to two goals 11:18 into the second frame, before Robert Vanwynsberghe and Matt Robertson pounced late in the period, with goals 45 seconds apart to give the home side a commanding 4-0 lead through two stanzas.
Despite goals from Jiri Pestuka and Chase Fallis in the third, Carolina's come back effort was cut short. The second game in as many night's for the two rivals saw tempers boil over at the 13:27 mark of third, when three fights broke loose at the same time. In all seven players racked up 46 minutes in penalties, including six fighting majors. One of the combatants was Liarakos, who with a pervious goal and assist in the game, completed the "Gordie Howe" hat trick.
The stage is now set for the third and final game of the weekend series between Port Huron and Carolina on Sunday afternoon. The puck will drop at 1 PM at McMorran Arena.
Prowlers Pounce Early, Hold On To Beat Carolina 4-2
by Al Kessler
How It Happened
After the dramatic overtime win on Friday night the Thunderbirds would play the middle game of a 3-game set against the Port Huron Prowlers in Michigan. Despite the loss the Prowlers were still on a 14-game point streak headed into Saturday night's action and are 9-1 in their last 10 games. Carolina is still sitting in 5th place at the outset of action and are 3-7 in their last 10 games.
In net for Carolina it would once again be Christian Pavlas getting the nod. After the win last night Pavlas sits at 3-11 for the season with a 5.34 goals-against average and a .872 save percentage. Starting for Port Huron it would be Cory Simons, sporting a 7-1 record alongside a league-leading 2.09 goals-against average and .946 save percentage.
The Thunderbirds would have some puck-luck early on, during the 1st minute of the game, goalie Christian Pavlas would play the puck but send it right into the glove of the Prowlers' Austin Daae. Daae would settle it down and with Pavlas racing back to the net he would fire the shot but hit the post of the empty net, a break for Carolina. Both teams would continue to flex their offensive muscles, but the Prowlers would get a goal from an unlikely source. At 9:31 of the period a strong cross-ice pass by Nathan Robson would find Yianni Liarakos in space by the bottom of the near-side face-off circle. Liarakos would find the space between the shoulder and helmet of Pavlas and the iron of the net frame to score a top-shelf tally. The goal is Liarakos' 7th of the season and his 15th point of the campaign, and the assist by Robson is his 2nd for his 8th point. Pavlas would take a penalty at 13:12 of the period, he would be assessed a delay of game minor penalty for sending the puck out of play. Carolina would kill of the Prowler's league-worst power-play and the teams would skate into the intermission at 1-0 Port Huron. The Prowlers would also lead in the shot totals, 12-8 after 1 period.
Port Huron would use the 2nd period to ratchet up the offensive pressure, firing 14 shots on net during the period. 3 of said shots would find their way into the back of the net. At 11:18 of the period it would be Austin Daae all alone in front of the net, he would stickhandle his way around Pavlas and send the puck home to make it 2-0 Port Huron, his 14th of the season. Parkhouse and Robertson would assist on the goal, their 33rd and 25th respectively. Shortly after the line that opened the scoring would strike again, when Yianni Liarakos would fire the puck on net, sending Pavlas sprawling. Robert Vanwynsberghe would back-hand the puck in to make it 3-0, with the secondary assist going to Robson. The goal is Vanwynsberghe's 4th of the season, Liarakos' 9th assist, and the 4th of the season for Robson. Shortly afterwards it would be Robertson taking a crisp pass from Austin Daae right in front of the net and going top-shelf to beat Pavlas, 4-0 Prowlers. The goal is Robertson's 20th of the season, tying him with Dalton Jay for most on the team. The assists are Parkhouse's 34th of the year and Daae's 15th. The Prowlers would hold a 26-15 shot advantage headed into the intermission, out-shooting Carolina 14-6.
The 3rd period would be made interesting by the Thunderbirds, who early in the period would convert. A bad turnover by Arnott would give Jay Croop the puck behind the net. He would find Jiri Pestuka all alone in front, who would beat Simons to make it 4-1 prowlers. The goal is Pestuka's 14th of the season, as well Jay Croop earns his 8th assist of the year. The Thunderbirds would strike again when on the power-play, Tom Kilgore would find Chase Fallis in front of the net, who would beat a sprawling Simons to make it 4-2. Things would boil over when at 13:27 of the period the following penalties would be assessed. For Port Huron Joe Pace Jr. would take an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty along with a 10-minute inciting and opponent misconduct. Edgars Ozolins would take a 2-minute roughing minor along with a 5-minute fighting major. Mike Baker would also take a 5-minute fighting major. For Carolina Michael Bunn would take a slashing minor and fighting major, and Chase Fallis and Dominik Fejt would each take fighting majors as well. The Prowlers would end up killing the extra 2-minute penalty taken by Pace Jr, and skate out to a 4-2 win.
In the win Simons would stop 25 of 27, while Pavlas would deflect 26 of 40.
Matt Robertson's 2nd period goal is his 20th of the season, tying him for 3rd place in the league standings with teammate Dalton Jay.
The 7 penalty minutes taken by Dominik Fejt increase his lead in the category on the team to 111.
Back in Action
The Thunderbirds will finish their road weekend in Port Huron, Michigan to play against the Prowlers. The game on Sunday January 28th is a 1:00 pm puck drop, with a 12:35 pre-game show.
For more information please visit www.carolinathunderbirds.com or call 336-774-GOAL(4625).
Federal Hockey League Stories from January 28, 2018
- TEMPERS FLARE IN PROWLERS WIN - Carolina Thunderbirds
- CAROLINA THUNDERBIRDS at PORT HURON PROWLERS - Carolina Thunderbirds