Carolina Ties Series with Port Huron

The Carolina Thunderbirds tied their quarterfinal matchup with the Port Huron Prowlers at one game apiece with a 4-2 victory in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on April 20. The win for the Thunderbirds sets up a winner-take-all Game 3 on Sunday.

The Prowlers got the only goal of the opening period as Liam Freeborn caused a turnover on the forecheck and Conor Foley came out from behind the net and picked the short-side corner for his second goal of the playoffs.

Carolina turned up the pressure in the middle frame and got rewarded as a shot from the point was stopped but the rebound sat in the crease long enough for Jan Salak to slide it home. 18 seconds later though, Liam Freeborn made a power move to the net and the puck sat on the side of the crease for Chace McCardle to clean up. It was his first pro goal and it put Port Huron back ahead 2-1. 

A few minutes later, Oscar Wahlgren stopped most of a shot but the puck sat on the goal line long enough for Josh Koepplinger to shove into the net. Then, Jacob Schnapp put in a rebound and put Carolina ahead for the first time.

89 seconds into the third, Koepplinger stepped over the blue line and fired a long-range shot to the top of the net that gave the Thunderbirds some insurance. Carolina outshot Port Huron 38-12 in the final 40 minutes and 53-22 for the game.

Liam Freeborn had a pair of helpers for the Prowlers while Wahlgran made 49 saves.

Gus Ford dished out two assists for his second-straight multi-point game and Cody Karpinski got the win with 20 stops.

The series-deciding Game 3 is set for 6:00 P.M. in Winston-Salem on April 21. The game will be available live on the PHP Network YouTube channel.