Jan Salak scored twice in the opening period as the Carolina Thunderbirds topped the Battle Creek Rumble Bees 5-2 at the Winston-Salem Fairgrounds Annex on Friday night.
Salak posted a game-high four points. He scored the first goal just a minute into the game, and just after two minutes, Carolina held a 2-0 lead with another Thunderbird goal from Daniel Klinecky. Salak scored again, trading goals with Battle Creek’s Stavros Soilis, giving the Thunderbirds a 3-1 lead after the first period. Carolina outshot the Rumble Bees 22-4.
The Rumble Bees began to close the gap in a defensive second period. Adam Howey scored the frame’s lone goal for Battle Creek, cutting the deficit to 3-2.
The Thunderbirds pulled away in the third period. After scoring twice in the opening period, Salak assisted both Carolina goals in the third, which came from Stanislav Bachor and Stanislav Vlasov. Bachor finished with three points.
Battle Creek struggled to get going offensively, mustering a mere 15 total shots compared to Carolina’s 66. Thunderbirds goalie Frankie McClendon posted a .867 save percentage.
Carolina (18-1-0-0) takes on Battle Creek again today at 6:05 p.m. at the Annex.