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January 2, 2018 - Federal Hockey League (FHL) - Carolina Thunderbirds News Release

CORNWALL NATIONALS at CAROLINA THUNDERBIRDS

Result from Friday's suspended game

Thunderbirds Allow a Hat-Trick of Short-Handed Goals, Lose to Cornwall 6-5

How It Happened

For the first time this season the first-place team in the Federal Hockey League lined up to do battle with the newest franchise. On Friday night the Thunderbirds played host to the Cornwall Nationals. Hailing from Cornwall, Ontario, the Nationals entered action sporting a record of 10 wins, 3 losses, and 2 overtime losses, for a total of 32 points and a .711 winning percentage. The Thunderbirds traveled back home after dropping a road game to the Dashers 5-4 on Thursday night, and now have a record of 10 wins, 8 losses, 2 overtime wins, and 1 overtime loss. Their .556 winning percentage has them in 4th place in the league standings, despite a league-leading 35 points. The Thunderbirds are 5 and 5 in their last 10, but are 6-1 in the confines of the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex. Cornwall, in 1st place, is 7-3 in their last 10. On the road the Nationals are an even .500, 4-4 when travelling. The Nationals' roster features league-leading scorer Maxime Guyon, who is also 1st in the league with 5 game-winning goals, but also FHL iron-man Ahmed Mahfouz, who is rated a league-best +26.

Starting in net for the Nationals it would be Sebastien Dube-Rochon, who's 7 wins ties him for most in the league. He also sports 3 regulation and 2 overtime losses, alongside a 3rd best 3.67 goals-against average and a.899 save percentage. For Carolina it would be Cary Byron getting the nod in between the pipes. Byron has a 4-4 record this year, with a 4.06 goals-against average and a .876 save percentage.

It would be Carolina who would break through first in the opening period. Stanislav Vlasov would hammer a shot from the near point that would hit traffic in front and bounce in past Rochon to make it 1-0 Carolina. The goal would be assisted by Ryan Rotondi and Ian Hoang. Just under 2 minutes later however a net-mouth scramble would see the puck bounce straight from a Thunderbirds' defenseman right onto the stick of Mahfouz, who would slide the rubber past Byron to tie the game at 1. Ondrej Misovic and Eric Witzel would get credit on the assists. Misovic would be called for hooking at 10:29 of the 1st, but despite a handful of Thunderbirds chances, it would be the Nationals who would find the twine. With just a few seconds left in the penalty Guyon would steal the puck and send it over to Tom Tsicos, who would put it over Byron's shoulder to take the lead. An issue with the ice would end the period prematurely, adding 5:45 to the 2nd period. Carolina held a 10-6 shot lead at the intermission, but would trail 2-1.

The remaider of the 1st period would be added on to the 2nd period, and played the next day due to the improved ice conditions. The Thunderbirds would tally first to tie the game after a Martin Trudman interference penalty. Michael Bunn would score, assisted by Vlasov and Yuto Osawa. The Nationals would respond with their 2nd short-handed goal of the game, when Guyon would beat Byron again, assisted by Mahfouz. It would be 3-2 Cornwall at the end of the 1st.

In the 2nd period the goals would come fast and furious. Chase Fallis would score for Carolina at 2:14 of the period, Cary Byron and Ryan Rotondi with the assists, tying the game at 3. Jiri Pestuka would score on a rocket shot to make it 4-3 Thunderbirds, but it wouldn't take long for Cornwall to respond. Daniel Martin would race down the near wing and beat Byron short side to tie the game. Another short-handed goal, and this time it was Tsicos repeating, Mahfouz and Bakker with the assists at 16:21 of the period. The teams would skate into the intermission with a 5-4 Cornwall lead, and the shots 24-17 Carolina.

The power-play would be the theme of the 3rd period, both teams would add a power-play goal. It would be Cornwall scoring first when Justin Portillo tapped home the puck past Byron to make it a 6-4 Cornwall lead, Brandon Gilmour and Martin Trudman with the assists. The Thunderbrids would respond just a few minutes late when Jiri Pestuka would score a power-play goal, Yuto Osawa and Michael Bunn with the assists. A late 5 minute Cornwall power-play would ice the game in their favor, 6-5.

In the loss Carey Byron would make 28 saves on 34 shots, while Rochon would stop 36 of 41 in the win.

Notable Stats

The Thunderbirds allowed 3 short-handed goals in the contest, which doubles their total allowed for the season so far.

Cornwall's Maxime Guyon continues his scoring ways, with a goal and an assist he now has a league- leading 40 points on the season.

4-1 Loss for the Thunderbirds off a Guyon Hat-Trick

How It Happened

For the second time in one day the Thunderbirds and Cornwall Nationals would skate in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. As a result of bad ice conditions, the game on Friday, December 29th, was called off in the 1st period and finished on Saturday during the day. The Nationals would skate out to a 6-5 victory, scoring 3 short-handed goals in the process. Sebastian Dube-Rochon would earn the start in net once again for Cornwall, after a 36 save win. Carolina would go with Cary Byron once again, after he had made 28 saves earlier in the loss.

The two teams showed no signs of fatigue in the 1st period, attacking end-to-end with purpose. Neither team would break through in the period, but not for lack of trying. Early in the period Chase Fallis would be assessed a 2-minute tripping minor, but the Thunderbirds would kill off the penalty. At 7:02 of the frame it would be Cornwall's Ondrej Misovic would take a 2-minute hooking minor, and this time it would be the National's penalty kill that would be successful. The Thunderbirds would have another short-handed stint when Tom Kilgore would take a hooking minor at 16:37 of the period, but again the Thunderbirds would kill off the infraction. At the buzzer it would still be scoreless, with shots 14-12 in favor of Carolina.

The pace would continue into the 2nd period, both teams battling for possession. It would be Cornwall finally breaking through however, when Martin Trudman would deflect a puck off a goal-mouth scramble to make it 1-0 Cornwall. Brandon Gilmour and Justin Portillo would get the assists on the goal. Things would start to get more physical, with Thunderbirds Stanislav Vlasov and Cornwall's Cam Bakker dropping the gloves at 15:24 in the period. A holding minor on Alex Vazquez would send Cornwall back on the power-play. Eric Witzel would set up Maxime Guyon all alone in the high slot, and the Federal Hockey League's top scorer made the most of the opportunity, wiring the puck over the shoulder of Byron, 2-0 Cornwall. With just under 3 minutes left in the period the rough physical play would boil over once again, with Michael Bunn dropping the gloves with Simon Sefcik, Bunn would be assessed an additional instigator penalty. At the end of 2 periods, the Nationals would lead 2-0, and would out-shoot Carolina 11-10 in the period, for a total of 24-23 in favor of the Thunderbirds.

In the 3rd period the Nationals would take control of the game, spending much of the period in the offensive zone. The pressure would culminate in a Guyon shot from the point that would find it's way in past Byron to make it 3-0 Cornwall, Eric Witzel on the assist. The Thunderbirds would get some life when at 17:06 of the period Giovanni Lamanna would score his 1st goal as a Thunderbird, set up in front by Ryan Rotondi and Jason Berube. It would be just over a minute later when Guyon would deliver the dagger. Coming in on a 2-on-1 with Mahfouz, the Thunderbirds defenseman took away the option of the pass so, from a sharp angle Guyon would go top shelf to complete the hat-trick. Cornwall continues their winning ways, dropping the Thunderbirds 4-1, despite being out-shot 32-31.

In the win Rochon would stop 31 pucks while Byron would make 27 saves in the loss.

Notable Stats

Maxime Guyon's hat-trick gives him a larger lead in the scoring standings with 43 points and 22 goals, but his 2nd period power-play goal is only his first such of the season.

Thunderbirds forward Giovanni Lammana's goal in the 3rd period is his 1st as a Thunderbird.

Back in Action

The Thunderbirds will play on Sunday, December 31st against the Cornwall Nationals. Sunday's New Years' Eve game will begin at 8:35 pm, with festivities to follow the game. The Thunderbirds will have a week off from FHL games, but will play a charity Sled Hockey game on Saturday, January 6th. The game will be free and open to the public, but a donation is suggested to help raise money for sled hockey equipment in the Triad. For tickets and more information please visit www.carolinathunderbirds.com or call 336-774-GOAL(4625).

NORTH SHORE KNIGHTS at PORT HURON PROWLERS

Prowlers Win 8th In a Row

The Hometown Prowlers picked up their 8th with in a row Saturday night powering their way to a 6-2 victory over the North Shore Knights. The Prowlers dominated on both ends of the ice, goaltender Michael Santguida picked up the win stopping 31 of 33 shots, also picking up first star honors.

Port Huron came out strong in the first period with two early goals coming off the sticks of Yianni Liarakos and Nathan Robson, the Prowlers would hold that lead of 2-0 after the first 20 minutes of play. Port Huron was equally impressive in the defensive zone as Michael Santaguida stopped all 11 shots he faced, getting his second consecutive start versus the visiting Knights.

The second period was very similar to the opening twenty minutes of play as Port Huron was able to light the lamp two more times with goals from Dalton Jay and Austin fetterly, Fetterly's goal coming off a nice backhand breakaway chance. North Shore was able to stay in the contest with a goal by captain Radoslav Konechny but still trailed 4-2 after two periods of play

Port Huron would add to their lead in the third to push the score to 6-2.The final goal off the stick of forward Alex Johnson who buried a rocket over the right shoulder of Knights goaltender Christian Pavlas.

The Prowlers will have a short break before they hit the road to resume action on Thursday, Jan 4th against the Danville Dashers, puck drop will be at 8:00 PM at the David S. Palmer Arena.

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