Enforcers Come Out Hard, Fall Short Late 4-2

by Jon Kliment

The Elmira Enforcers were back in action tonight as they traveled to Carolina for a weekend bout. This would be the third time these two teams have met this season, with Carolina taking each of the first two games 2-0. Elmira entered tonight's game looking for their eighth win of the season, six of those wins coming in regulation and one coming in overtime.

The first period seemed to be all Carolina from the start, with them leading the Enforcers in the shot category 24-12, and controlling the total offensive zone time. Elmira would have their first real chance when Carolina’s Nathan Campbell and Jiri Pargac each took penalties just under eight minutes into the game, leaving the Enforcers with a full two minute 5-3 opportunity. Unfortunately, they couldn’t capitalize on this opportunity, but they eventually strike first when Hudson Michaelis fired one past the Carolina net-minder for his fifth goal of the season, and the first of the night for either team. It was the first time this season that the Enforcers were able to put one on the board against the Thunderbirds, and they would carry that 1-0 lead into the locker room for the first intermission.

Carolina came out strong in the second period, just as they did in the first. The Thunderbirds would crack the scoreboard just before the halfway point of the period as Joe Cangelosi took it unassisted and snuck one just past the goal-line despite arguments from the entire Enforcers line and the goalie, Troy Passingham, that the puck never crossed the line. It was Carolina who broke the tie late in the period as Jan Krivohlavek would accept the pass from Nathan Campbell and sneak one between the pads of Passingham to give them a 2-1 lead. Despite allowing 2 goals, Troy Passingham was stellar in net up to this point after facing an astounding 43 shots through the first 40 minutes.

The Enforcers were the ones who came out strong in the third period as they would take advantage of an early power play and tie the game up 2-2 on a well-placed shot from the Enforcers leading goal scorer, Brandon Tucker, which came after a great pass to the slot from Hudson Michaelis. The tie was short-lived, unfortunately, as the Thunderbirds were able to strike back and take the lead 3-2 on a Steve Macintyre goal a little over two minutes later. A missed call on a dangerous hit on Enforcers Glen Patterson, which left him lying on the ice would allow the Thunderbirds to extend their lead to 4-2 when an errant shot toward the direction of the net would hit the Elmira defense and deflect in.

The game would remain 4-2 right to the end, with Carolina taking an astounding 65 shots in the game to Elmira’s 20. The good news is the Enforcers will have another opportunity as they’ll be back in action tomorrow night against the Thunderbirds with a bit of an early start as puck drop is at 6:05pm.

Submitted by Zachary Braster