Adirondack Continues To Climb Standings, Now Sit One Point Behind Maine

“We wanted to have a great week, not a good one, we deviated from the game plan, which was the disappointing part, when we actually stuck to the game plan, that’s when we tied the game up, we just gotta stick to it, don’t deviate, we have a specific way to play that works for us, and we just have to stick to that,” said Head coach Pete MacArthur this coming after the Thunder pick up five out of a possible six points of the past week. After a rough start to the season, The Thunder are finally starting to find their identity, and that’s shown in the last couple of games. Despite the losses, Adirondack continued to climb in the standings and now sits one point behind the Maine Mariners with a huge three game series starting Friday in Glens Falls.

Thunder Sweep Growlers, Start to Find Identity

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

Tonight might have been what the Thunder have needed all season to get back on the right track as they now have points in six of their last eight games as they swept the two-game series against the Newfoundland Growlers, as they won on Friday by a score of 3-2, “It was our best game of the year” said Head Coach Pete MacArthur. Newfoundland would open the scoring on the PP late in the first period as Zach O’Brien would feed Orrin Centazzo in front on the PP to give the Growlers their only lead of the game, which would last only 25 seconds. Xavier Parent would tie up the game before the period ended, which gave the Thunder momentum heading into the second. Adirondack would get the lead early in the second as Nick Rivera, who was playing in his first game since October 30th, scored a gorgeous back-handed goal just 46 seconds into the second frame, “Honestly, it was a play we talk about throughout the season, get some bodies from the net and Vidsy (Sebastian Vidmar), got a lucky bounce and put it on the ice and I got a lucky bounce” said Rivera. Newfoundland would get once again take advantage of their opportunities as Xavier Parent would give the puck away to Pavel Gogolev, who took advantage of a short-handed breakaway to tie the game up at two with less than two remaining in the middle frame.

There was something going on throughout the game between Vidmar and James Melindy. However, tensions would boil over in the third period as 28 minutes of penalties would be handed out in the period, including 20 at the 7:11 mark of the period, as Yannick Turcotte was looking to fight James Melindy. Still, Melindy didn’t want any of it, on his way to the box, Turcotte made a chicken motion toward the Growlers Captain. It was Turcotte’s first game back since serving his two-game suspension “Ya, you know the biggest thing for me is I gotta play on the line. I can’t cross the line like I did the past couple games, I think when I just focus on playing hard, playing physical, that’s when I feel like I’m effective, and that’s what the team needs from me,” said Turcotte. While Turcotte was in the box, Jake Ryczek took care of his business and had some words for Melindy, and the two of them scuffed it up. Ryczek would also be given misconduct on the play. Jarrod Gourley would give the Thunder the lead at the 13:03 mark on the PP as he fired a pass from Xavier Parent. “I think we just started the right way, that’s what we wanted, they scored two goals very quickly, so I think we just played well,” said Parent, who finished the night with a goal and two assists.

Grasso’s Two Goals Not Enough On Teddy Bear Toss Night

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

Coming into tonight’s game, the Adirondack Thunder had only scored the opening goal in two of their first 13 games to start the season, but tonight was Teddy Bear Toss Night, and that would obviously have to change. It did at the hands of Patrick Grasso, who would open the scoring for the Thunder on the PP at the 7:46 mark of the opening frame. Adirondack wouldn’t have the lead for long as just a minute later. Trey Bradley would get a PP goal to tie it up for the Royals. The middle frame would be a period of back and forth, but it seemed like the Thunder had hit a lapse as there was a lot of sloppy passing; however, it wouldn’t hurt the Thunder as the two teams would head to the third tied. Reading would take the lead on a two-on-one goal as Bradley found Max Balinson, who’d get his first of the season. Adirondack was down but not out, as Patrick Grasso’s second of the game at the 17:05 mark of the period would be enough to send the game to OT and give the Thunder another point in the standings, “Ya, absolutely, I don’t think played a full 60 minutes, and it’s great to get one point, but I think we set a new standard for ourselves this weekend, and we didn’t live up to that tonight” said Grasso. Mason Millman would win the game for the Royals just seven seconds into overtime, which is the fourth fastest ECHL goal in an OT frame.

Francis Marotte would be the fourth goalie to appear in a game for the Thunder tonight as he got his first start in the ECHL since April 30th, 2021, when he played with the Allen Americans, Marotte was playing overseas before he got the call from Adirondack, “Ya it’s been a while, I was overseas, so I played about two or three weeks ago, it felt good to get back out there, and the crowd was amazing, and the guys played super hard, and that’s all I could ask for,” said Marotte. The 27-year-old goaltender would make 24 saves in the OT loss.

Armand Klisivitch

I'm Armand. I've been writing for the last four years, and this is my first season at ITR where I cover the Adirondack Thunder of the ECHL and Metropolitan Riveters of the PHF.

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