Thunderbirds Withstand Dashers’ Assault, Win 7-4
How It Happened
Following the script so far this season the Thunderbirds would drop the first game of the road trip in Danville on Saturday night, 5-3. Greg Hussey would get the nod in net for Danville, sporting a 4-6 record this season so far. For Carolina, Chris Paulin would get the start on his 25th birthday, he has a 2-1 record this season.
It would be quick pressure from the Dashers, getting 2 fast shots on net just 15 seconds into the game. The Thunderbirds would settle down, and just 1:37 into the 1st period, Tom Kilgore would fire a pass from the far corner that would bounce in past Hussy and break the ice, making it 1-0. Seth Gustin and Matt Beer would assist on the goal. Just over 6 minutes later Jay Croop would take a smart break-out pass from Yuto Osawa. Croop would draw 2 Dasher defenders to him and one-hand the puck over to Kilgore with time and space. Kilgore would bury the puck high past Hussey for his 2nd in a row to make it 2-0 Carolina. Discipline would break down for the Dashers, who would take 4 penalties in the period, including a too many men on the ice minor, followed by a high-sticking call, just 36 seconds after. The Dashers would kill of the 5-on-3 powerplay, but another penalty with just 5 seconds left in the 1st would put the Thunderbirds on the powerplay to start the 2nd with the score 2-0 Carolina.
During the 2nd period the proverbial wheels would come off, with 11 individual penalties being called, with only 3 on Carolina. Just 3 minutes into the period Ben Boukal of the Dashers would fire a shot from the point that would find it’s way past Paulin, cutting the Thunderbirds’ lead in half. After a Justin Brausen cross-checking penalty, the Thunderbirds would find the back of the net mere seconds after Brausen would be set free from the box. Osawa would fire the puck home from a sharp angle, beating Hussey and making it 3-1. It was off the ensuing face-off that Anthony Parisi of Carolina and Nick Williams of Danville would drop the gloves. Alex Basey of Danville would take advantage of the commotion caused by the fight and go after Croop of Carolina, taking a 5-minute fighting major, a 10 minute instigator penalty, after sending Croop off with an injury. The Thunderbirds would score on the following 5-minute man-advantage. Michael Bunn would field the puck off his chest and tap it in past Hussey, 4-2 Carolina. The Dashers would respond Late in the period with a power-play goal of their own, when Brausen would tap the puck home to make it 4-2 headed into the 3rd period.
It would be the Thunderbirds adding to their lead in the 3rd period, early on, Jiri Pestuka would take a strong pass from Michael Bunn, who was behind the net, easily beating Hussey to make it 5-2. Michael Bunn would score his 2nd of the game at 9:34 of the period, 6-2 Carolina. Kyle Stevens would score to make it a 2-goal game once again. Bunn would top off the hat-trick in response, charging in on a break away and scoring over Hussey’s shoulder. The wild affair between the two teams would finally settle with a 7-4 victory for the Thunderbirds.
The teams would combine for 65 penalty minutes, 20 for the Thunderbirds and 45 for the Dashers.
Michael Bunn would score 3 goals and have 1 assist, giving him 19 points on the season.
Back in Action
The Thunderbirds will be back at home on Friday and Saturday, December 22nd and 23rd to take on the North Shore Knights. Friday’s game is a 7:35 pm puck drop at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex. On Saturday the puck will drop at 6:05 pm. Tickets for both games will be $10 each with reserved seating, visitwww.carolinathunderbirds.com for more information.