Carolina Trounces Columbus 7-2 In Series Opener

Columbus, GA - The Carolina Thunderbirds were the more lethal team on Friday night, defeating the Columbus River Dragons by a score of 7-2.

After being swept in their previous visit to Columbus, the Thunderbirds looked to start fast very early and did so with a Tommy Tsicos goal chipped in off of a rebound given up by River Dragons netminder Jacob Caffrey 1:12 into the contest.

The Thunderbirds would continue to add onto their lead with Roshen Jaswal finding the back of the net at the 15:16 mark in the first period, and it would continue early in the 2nd with Josh Koepplinger scoring shortly after a successful penalty kill from Carolina.

A 3-0 scoreline for Carolina early in the second period started to be chipped away at when Jake Schultz centered a feed in front onto the tape of Ivan Bondarenko who sent it home to put the first blemish on Nick Modica's night. That feeling and momentum wouldn't last long though as 1:01 later, Tommy Tsicos found another goal to restore Carolina's 3-goal lead.

Carolina would continue the goal scoring with a David Brancik snipe near the end of the 2nd, and in the 3rd period a Fred Hein shot found its way in to give Carolina a 6-1 advantage.

Nick Mangone would get a consolation tally for Columbus blasting one in after a bounce off the glass behind Modica found it's way into prime real estate, but Carolina would get yet another goal, this time on the powerplay and Tommy Tsicos got a deflection past Caffrey for a hat trick and the game's final scoreline of 7-2.

Nick Modica was on his game in this one stopping 31 of 33 shots for his 4th win of the season. Jacob Caffrey suffers his first regulation loss of the season making 22 saves on 29 Carolina shots.

The same two teams go at it again tomorrow night with a 6:05 puck drop at the Civic Center. The game will be shown locally on WTVM News Leader 9 with pregame starting at 5:30. Tickets are still available for the game at the Civic Center box office or on TicketMaster.

3 Stars of the Game

Roshen Jaswal
Nick Modica
Josh Koepplinger