Thunderbirds Lose Overtime Heartbreaker to FireWolves

Jan 13, 2023

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia (January 13, 2023) – A first-half defensive battle became an offensive brawl in the second leading to overtime, where the Halifax Thunderbirds (3-2) ultimately fell to the Albany FireWolves (2-2) at Scotiabank Centre, 11-10.

It was a game filled with huge performances across the floor, plenty of jaw-dropping goals, and key milestones. Forwards Austin Shanks and Eric Fannell netted career goal markers for the Thunderbirds, Shanks his 100th and Fannell his 50th. 

Colton Armstrong set the tone early off an outlet feed from goalie Warren Hill, putting the Thunderbirds up 1-0. A power play marker from the visiting club tied things up, Wake:Riat BowHunter responded with a deep shorthanded marker, and Albany’s Colton Watkinson scored the final tally of the first quarter, the teams tied at one.

The defensive battle kicked into another gear in the second frame, with the FireWolves just edging out the home team. FireWolves’ goals bookmarked Chris Boushy’s marker, and they had the 4-3 lead heading into halftime.

Another FireWolves transition goal and unsettled goal from Kieran McArdle gave the FireWolves their largest lead of the night, 6-3. Shanks finally got the Thunderbirds on the board in the third quarter, hammering career goal 100. His spark led to back-to-back tallies from Eric Fannell, his second a quick turnaround catch-and-release on the extra attacker.

Knotted up at six apiece entering the fourth quarter, the Thunderbirds continued their run. Boushy netted his second of the night on the doorstep, and Petterston stung the five-hole to put the Thunderbirds up 8-6. 

A long-range answer from Tanner Thomson cut the lead, but another pair of goals put the THunderbirds back up by two. McArdle’s hat trick on a slow transition cut the goal differential. Hill made an incredible save with his right leg late, rolling the ball under his calf to the goal line and away, the ball never crossing it. 

The FireWolves had the penultimate possession, scoring an extra attacker set play courtesy of Ethan Walker. The Thunderbirds could not take advantage of the final regulation possession, and the two teams went to overtime for the first time this season tied at ten.

Both teams got a handful of scoring opportunities in extra time, but McArdle rifled a shot into the low, far corner, giving the FireWolves the 11-10 win.

Fannell (3G, 1A), Petterson (1G, 3A), and Shanks (1G, 3A) all led the Thunderbirds with four points apiece. Hill made 39 saves on the night, finishing with a 10.72 GAA and .780 Sv%.

A few defensemen had ridiculous efforts in the affair. Jake Withers recorded an assist and 15 loose balls, dominating the face-off dot by winning 21 of the 22 draws he took. Graeme Hossack scooped up four loose balls, blocked four shots, and caused six turnovers, a new single-game best for the assistant captain.

McArdle’s eight points (4G, 4A) led the FireWolves in the win that evened the season series with the Thunderbirds. Doug Jamieson made 52 saves for a 9.75 GAA and an .839 Sv%.

The Thunderbirds have no time to rest on their laurels, as they immediately depart for Hamilton, Ontario. They face the Toronto Rock (2-2) for the first time this season. Face-off at FirstOntario Centre is set for 8:00 p.m. AT. Fans can catch the game live on TSN Direct.

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