WINSTON-SALEM, NC - The Columbus River Dragons survived a pair of five minute majors against and pulled out a 3-2 shootout win over the Carolina Thunderbirds on Thursday night.

With the game tied 1-1 late in the third period, Hunter Bersani scored the go-ahead goal on the power play, collecting a rebound off the left pad of Carolina starter Mario Cavaliere (29 saves) to give Columbus the lead with just under five minutes remaining.

But with Columbus short two men and Cavaliere on the bench for the extra attacker, Josh Koepplinger scored six-on-three to tie the game with just 50 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

With no scoring in the OT the game headed to a shootout, where the teams traded goals through the first three rounds to remain tied. In the fifth round Columbus captain Josh Pietrantonio netted the game winner off the right skate of Cavaliere, deflecting just through the five hole and continuing over the goal line.

Breandan Colgan stopped 36-of-38 shots and all but one of five shooters in the shootout to claim the victory.

The same two teams rematch tomorrow in Winston-Salem and Saturday in Columbus in the final game of the regular season. It’s Fan Appreciation Night with prizes, giveaways and more! Tickets are on sale now through the Civic Center Box Office and online at TicketMaster.com.