2023-24 Playoffs Final - Game Two Results

The Thunderbirds soared to victory against the Knights in a thrilling game, clinching the Jason Drapinski Memorial Cup with a 14-11 win. This game marked a historic moment as the Thunderbirds became the first new team to claim the Cup in #ANewEra. The first period was tightly contested, with both teams exchanging goals. Anthony Theuer of the Knights opened the scoring, but Tristan Parent of the Thunderbirds quickly answered back. Theuer and Parent each added another goal, bringing the score to 2-2 by the end of the first period. Thunderbirds' first-time goaltender Mary Stack made several crucial saves to keep her team in the game.

The second period saw a flurry of goals and strategic shifts, with the Thunderbirds gaining momentum. Trei Cools scored for the Knights off a pass from Theuer, but Parent responded with his third goal of the game. The Thunderbirds took the lead with a goal from Alex Ernsberger, assisted by Parent. Parent then added another from Marty Witberg, extending their advantage. Despite Theuer's efforts to keep the Knights in the game, scoring twice more in the period, the Thunderbirds surged ahead with goals from Witberg and Parent, including a powerplay goal after Theuer's penalty for charging. The Knights made a tactical change, moving Jeff Fleshner from goaltender to offense, which paid off as he assisted on a late goal by Cools. However, the Thunderbirds ended the period strongly with another goal from Witberg, leaving the score at 10-7.

In the final period, the Thunderbirds maintained their lead despite a spirited effort from the Knights. Parent continued his scoring spree with three more goals, showcasing his dominance on the floor. The Knights fought back with goals from Theuer and Fleshner, who completed a hat-trick in this period. A notable highlight was Parent's breakaway goal, set up by an impressive long pass from goaltender Mary Stack. Despite Fleshner's late goals narrowing the gap, Parent sealed the victory with his final goal, ending the game at 14-11. Mary Stack's stellar debut performance in goal earned her the first star of the game, while Parent and Fleshner were named the second and third stars, respectively.
Parent's exceptional playoff performance, with 29 goals and 9 assists, earned him the Presidents Trophy Playoff MVP, capping off a remarkable season for the Thunderbirds.

That puts a wrap on the 2023-24 season! An exciting one that we hope you enjoyed along the way. We can't wait for next year where we hope to find more players and continue our great sport as the best Wheelchair Hockey League in the US! Keep an eye out for any news that we may post. Until next season, congrats Thunderbirds!

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