Enforcers lose another tight battle to Carolina, 1-0

by Jon Kliment

The Elmira Enforcers ventured their way into Carolina Thunderbird territory Friday night at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds. Elmira hit the ice on a roll, taking four of their last five games; and looked to continue their recent success. After coming out as victorious in seven of their first eight games on the season, Carolina has recently come back down to planet Earth as they have gone (4-3) in the remaining games following their hot stretch. 

Carolina wasted no time as they got off to a quick start and were on the board within 47 seconds of puck-drop. The Elmira Enforcer’s netminder, Troy Passingham, did his best to defend the scrum in front of the net, but he could only battle for so long without receiving much help from his defense. Passingham was unable to sprawl across the crease fast enough to stop Jiri Pargac from poking home a lone puck resting in front of the goal-line. Elmira appeared to not be quite loosened up yet after enduring a long bus ride from New York to North Carolina as they came out rather flat in the 1stperiod and were unable to produce many offensive opportunities. 

Not very often does one consider a goalie to be one of the team’s best players, but for Elmira it is just a different story. Troy Passingham has proved over and over again to be a special player and key factor to the Enforcers this year. Passingham was so great in the 2ndperiod that he was receiving a round of applause from the Carolina crowd in their home arena after making multiple highlight reel saves. There were no goals scored in the period, but Elmira was heavily outplayed. In the 2ndperiod, Carolina outshot Elmira 16-7, but luckily the Enforcer’s lord and savior was able to keep them in the game.  

Unfortunately, Elmira was unable to overcome the lone goal scored just 47 seconds into the game. Elmira was dominated by the Thunderbirds and outshot 36-22. They were able to muster a few quality opportunities in the 3rdperiod, but they simply just did not provide enough energy to win. The Enforcers were looking for a puck to bounce their way or for a call to go their way, but the referees were just simply unwilling to provide them any help. Passingham did just about everything he could do, stopping 35 of 36 shots, but he was not provided much help from his offense. Even pulling the goalie with 1:44 remaining in the game did not get any production. At the end of the night, no blame can be put on the Elmira netminder. 

The Enforcers move to (0-6) against the Thunderbirds this season, and (6-8-0-2) on the rest of the 2018 campaign. The Thunderbirds refuse to move from atop of the standings as they remain in first place at (12-3-0-1). The same two teams will meet tomorrow at the same place but at a different time- 6:05 p.m. puck-drop tomorrow night!



~Contributed by Brooks Vertoske