WINSTON-SALEM, NC - The Columbus River Dragons tried to erase a 3-0 first period deficit and ended up falling just short in a 4-3 loss to the Carolina Thunderbirds on Sunday afternoon, ending the team’s Commissioner’s Cup Playoff run.

A slow start saw the River Dragons down 3-0 halfway through the first period, but after Columbus sent Breandan Colgan in to relieve starter Christian Pavlas the game began to level out. 

The River Dragons got on the scoreboard midway through the second period on Paul Fregeau’s second goal in as many games at 8:47. 

Carolina would score again before the end of the period to carry a 4-1 lead into the third.

It was there that the River Dragons comeback began, first with a goal from Alexander Jmaeff at 10:06, tucking home a loose puck behind goaltender Greg Hussey (41 saves) to make it a 4-2 game. Then with Colgan on the bench for the extra attacker Lane King drew the River Dragons within a goal with 1:14 remaining.

Despite pulling Colgan once again, Columbus could not find the equalizer and Carolina claimed the 4-3 win and with it the series two games to one.

The River Dragons wish to thank their fans and partners for a tremendous season - we’ll see you all next year!