Enforcers Controversy Continues in Carolina, Lose 4-3

by Jon Kliment

The Enforcers returned to the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex for game two of the Championship series. Though the Enforcers trail in the series 1-0, but were just one victory from getting themselves back into the series. Elmira has rebounded from losses quickly all season long and coming into Saturday’s game two a big game was necessary.

Elmira came out much stronger in the first period than they did in game one. Though the shots on goal through one didn’t see a vast difference as Carolina outshot Elmira again 12-3, the biggest difference was the ability of the Enforcers to push the pace of play. The second half of the period saw the most exciting play for Elmira though as after a penalty to Jan Salak expired, Brandon Vuic and Ahmed Mahfouz came in two on one and Vuic ripped a wrister by Chrisitan Pavlas to give the Enforcers their first lead of the championship series.

The second period saw the Enforcers score twice in 44 seconds as Gavin Yates received a beauty of a pass from Sean Reynolds to tuck it by Pavlas and then Vuic added a second goal wripping another wrister through Pavlas’ 5 hole. The game seemed to be going the Enforcers way until the last two minutes of the second as Karel Drahorad, Petr Panacek, and Josh Pietrantonio all scored within 1:10 to tie up the game as it headed for the third period. The Thunderbirds kept their shot advantage firing 43 shots to Elmira’s 14.

The third period saw no change in the scoring despite another 23 shots on goal for Carolina. Troy Passingham had his game back after that 1:10 in the second period. The final shot count after regulation sat at 57-20 with the Enforcers still looking to claim the W, but if they were going to they would have to do it in overtime.

The overtime was a back and forth affair until a controversial goal was given to Michael Bunn after a puck that was under Passingham’s glove was claimed to have gone in. The Enforcers will play next at home in Elmira’s First Arena at 7:05 pm on Friday April 26th.