Another Weekend matchup with Thunderbirds Ends in Controversial Fashion, 2-1

by Jon Kliment

The Elmira Enforcers set for their final matchup with the Carolina Thunderbirds still seeking their first win at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex. A hostile crowd filled the stands and rained down boo’s and jeers throughout the game including a sign posted directly behind the bench claiming that “Hey Elmira, You Stink!” This did nothing to deter the Enforcers though as they came out strong and played a game that many would envy.

The first period saw but one goal and it came from Anton Lennartsson, scoring his second on the weekend. Lennartsson fired a shot from the top of the circle and blazed it by Frankie McClendon to ogive the Enforcers a 1-0 lead at just 4:42 into the first. However, the biggest eruption of the first happened after the buzzer went off. Kyle Stevens was attacked by Thunderbirds captain Josh Pietrantonio and took a cross check up high which started a scuffle. During the scuffle Cameron Yarwood received a 5 minute major for spearing which included a game misconduct, Stevens received a 10 minute major for abuse of an official, and Pietrantonio who started it all got a 2 minute minor for crosschecking.

After the eruption at the end of the first period, recently signed to a celebrity contract, Steve MacIntyre showed his tough side spearing Lennartsson. After some lengthy discussion and debate he was assessed a 5 minute major and a game misconduct. Though both sides would receive a number of penalties in the second period neither side was able to beat the others netminder and the Enforcers took their 1-0 lead to the third period.

The third began with Elmira finishing off a power play, but again would come up empty. Another couple of penalties would be exchanged during the first part of the third, but the drama truly heightened just after the midway point. Nathan Pelligra got a delay of game penalty for two false starts on a faceoff, which drew the ire of Brandon Vuic who received a game misconduct for abuse of official. It took exactly 2:08 for the controversy to erupt when Carolina’s center was chased twice and no penalty was called. Glen Patterson, the assistant captain, went over to speak with the official and was sent off with a misconduct for abuse of official at 13:52 leaving Elmira with three defenseman in the game for the final six minutes. The Thunderbirds took advantage and were able to tie it up 3:04 remaining as Ray Boudiette finally beat Troy Passingham. One minute later a call was made against Yan Dumontier for a cross check that was once again met with skepticism from the Enforcers bench. As it appeared overtime was on the horizon Petr Cicmanec caught a rebound and shoved it in the empty net as a sprawling Passingham was already overextended.

Elmira finishes off the home portion of their schedule this Friday and Saturday night against the Mentor Ice Breakers. Tickets are available now by calling 607-734-PUCK!