THUNDERBIRDS CLOSE OUT HOME OPENER WEEKEND WITH BIG WIN
Winston-Salem, NC - The Thunderbirds continued the strong home opening weekend with a wild affair Saturday night at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds annex. A combined 14 goals between both squads would see the Thunderbirds skate to a 9-5 victory over the North Shore Knights.
The first period would start quickly for the Thunderbirds when just 5 minutes into the period, Justin Blaszak would score on the powerplay after an interference penalty on Tyler Becker of North Shore. The Knights would reply less than a minute later, when Radoslav Konecny would score even strength to tie the game. After a Kyle Schultz high sticking penalty, the Thunderbirds would head on the powerplay, where Jiri Pestuka would strike to give Carolina a 2-1 lead heading into the 2nd.
The 2nd period would prove to be wild, as the teams would combine for 7 goals. Started 2:50 in when Pestuka would score his 2nd in a row, putting the home team up 3-1. Just over a minute later, Josh Pietrantonio would score, 4-1 Carolina. Vojtech Zemlicka would tally just after to put Carolina up by 5-1. North Shore would respond, 1:22 after Zemlicka's goal, Tyler Garcia would score for the Knights to make it 5-2. Carolina would score when CJ Blaszka would put home a tic-tac-toe goal. And just a minute after that, Dominik Synek would score, but just 8 seconds later, Josh Newberg would tally, and at the buzzer of the 2nd period it would be 7-3 Carolina.
The 3rd period would see another 4 goals, both teams trading a pair. Tyler Becker and Frankie Hart for the Knights and Synek and Pestuka would tally for the Thunderbirds as the teams would skate to a 9-5 final.
Frankie McClendon would earn the win for the Thunderbirds, making 27 saves on 32 shots. Adam Zeman would start the game, but allow 3 goals on 4 shots and be pulled in favor of Christian Pavlas, who was credited with the loss.
The Thunderbirds next game will be on the road, Friday, November 10 against the Watertown Wolves.
WATERTOWN WOLVES at CORNWALL NATIONALS
Nationals Impress in Home Opener
by Rodney Wilson
CORNWALL - More than 1,500 fans came out to the rink on Saturday night for the Nationals home opener. They didn't go home disappointed.
Cornwall thumped Watertown 5-2 in front of 1,508 fans in an entertaining game at the Civic Complex. Maxime Guyon had a five-point night for the Nationals, picking up two goals and three assists.
It was Guyon who opened the scoring with a highlight reel goal 15:07 into the first. After a nifty toe-drag, the speedy winger fired a perfectly placed wrist shot right under the crossbar to give Cornwall a 1-0 lead.
Tyler Gjurich leveled the score for Watertown at 5:56 of the second when he beat Nationals goaltender Sebastien Dube-Rochon.
Cornwall took over mid-way through the second however when captain Ahmed Mahfouz and Guyon scored 22 seconds apart, to the delight of the home-town crowd. Then, with 6:17 to play in the middle frame, Brandon Vuic's blast beat Watertown goaltender Matt Kaludis as the Nationals opened up a 4-1 lead.
The Wolves, enjoying a 5-on-3 powerplay to start the third, scored 22 second into the period on a goal by Matt Caranci. But, that's as close as the Wolves would get as Dube-Rochon shut the door the rest of the way.
Simon Sefcik's shot from the point squeezed past Kaludis with 16.5 seconds to play to round out the scoring.
Cornwall outshot Watertown 42-35. Guyon (first), Dube-Rochon (second) and Mahfouz were the announced stars.
At Watertown on Friday night, Matt Caranci scored 24 seconds into overtime as the Wolves beat the Nationals 5-4 in the first Federal Hockey League game of the season for both teams.
Mahfouz, with his second of the contest, tied the game with 7:35 to play in the third. Tom Tsicos and Cam Bakker had the other Cornwall goals.
The Nationals are back on home ice on Saturday, Nov. 18.
PORT HURON PROWLERS at DANVILLE DASHERS
Dashers Sweep Weekend Series against Prowlers
By Aaron Martin
On a misty November evening in Danville Illinois a battle took place. The setting of this battle was the David S. Palmer arena where the ice was the battlefield. Two teams who know each other well geared up for game 2 of a weekend series that had a familiar outcome.
The scoring came early and often for the Dashers, as they scored two goals within the first four minutes. The first coming from Andrew Harrison after the puck was intercepted in center ice by Justin Levac. The second being scored by Kyle Stevens again off of a center ice intercept by Levac. Port Huron would answer back two minutes later with an unassisted goal from Branden Parkhouse putting the score 2-1 Dashers at the end of the 1st.
The Dashers would continue their center ice dominance in the second period with two additional goals scored from intercepts. These two goals again were in the early goings of the period, again withing the first five minutes. Kyle Stevens got his second goal of the evening followed up shortly by a goal from FHL points leader Shayne Morrison for the Dashers.
The physical nature of the game would rear its head towards the end of the second period with both teams getting heated and tempers flaring. Hard hits and gloves being dropped were the outcomes. Leading to 5-3 power plays for both teams down the stretch.
The third period saw Port Huron attempt to comeback, with their forwards skating hard and fast keeping possession of the puck for most of the period. Scoring chance after scoring chance racked up for the Prowlers but nothing was getting past goalie Aaron Taylor of the Dashers until with 12:44 remaining Matt Robertson of the Prowlers got one by Taylor to bring the Prowlers within 2 goals.
That was until the game came winding down to the last two minutes when during a Dashers power play, Joe Pace Sr. pulled his goalie attempting to give his team the best opportunity to tie it up. Jimmy Soper was able to get possession of the puck and break free of the swarming defense of the Prowlers to score an open net goal to bring home the 5-2 victory for the Danville Dashers.
Danville took the weekend series 2-0 and will get ready for a three game weekend coming up, starting on the road against Port Huron on Nov. 17th, followed up by 2 home games against the Carolina Thunderbirds on the 18th and 19th.
Port Huron drops to 0-2 and will play next Friday at home against the North Shore Knights.
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Federal Hockey League Stories from November 5, 2017
- THUNDERBIRDS CLOSE OUT HOME OPENER WEEKEND WITH BIG WIN - Carolina Thunderbirds
- THUNDERBIRDS SELL OUT HOME OPENER - Carolina Thunderbirds
- NORTH SHORE KNIGHTS at CAROLINA THUNDERBIRDS - Carolina Thunderbirds
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