Prowlers Get Point at Carolina

The Port Huron Prowlers scored late to earn a point but fell 3-2 in overtime to the Carolina Thunderbirds at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex on Dec. 2. Jacob Schnapp scored the game-winner in the extra session.

“I’m proud of the team’s effort, that was a gritty performance,” said Prowlers’ assistant coach Chris Paulin. “Losing the game is not what we want but, to build on, that’s the type of effort we expect. With all the adversity we had with the penalties, losing a couple of key players, having to run four [defensemen], I was very proud of the resiliency and the effort tonight.”

It took until the second period to find the first goal but Port Huron did it. Sam Marit sent a pass to Mathias Tellström on a rush that the Swede one-timed home for his first as a Prowler. That lead lasted all of 38 seconds until Tucker Firth found space and fired a pass from Jon Buttitta to the top shelf to tie the game.

Later in the period, Tucker Scantlebury received seven minutes of penalty time, including a match penalty, and Carolina got a long power play. With 20 seconds left in it, Jiri Pestuka went bar down on the Thunderbirds’ 10th shot of the man advantage to make it 2-1.

At the end of the period, a couple of fights broke out and Alex Johnson and Joe Kennedy were given game misconducts.

“We knew it was going to be a grind, we were tired out there,” Paulin said. “We asked a lot of our defensemen, they competed, they battled. We were all supporting each other. Matt Graham took a shift at defense which I don’t think he’s ever done before. That’s the type of commitment we had.”

Port Huron survived multiple penalty kills in the third and with 29 seconds to go and Tucker Tynan on the bench, Vincent Dekumbis found Davide Gaeta to tie it on a rush and send the game to overtime.

Schnapp was stopped on his first chance of the extra session but made good on his second, a partial breakaway from the Prowlers’ blue line.

Tynan made 45 saves on the night to continue his strong start to the season in net.

“You’re not going to compete without great goaltending, that’s what we expect from all our goaltenders, and he gave us every chance to win tonight,” Paulin said. “I thought he was excellent, he battled and he stole a couple of saves for us.”

Petr Panacek and Dawson Baker had two assists each and Mario Cavaliere stopped 30 shots.

The third and final matchup of the weekend will be on Dec. 3 at 4:05 P.M. and streamed live on the PHP Network YouTube channel.

Photo courtesy of the Carolina Thunderbirds