Adirondack Opens Season On the Wrong Track

Richard LeBlanc/Worcester Railers

WORCESTER, MASS.- It was opening weekend for the Adirondack Thunder as they traveled to Worcester, Massachusetts, to take on the Worcester Railers. It would be another battle of former players turned head coaches as Jordan Lavalle-Smotherman also turned in his skates for a whistle as he was named head coach of the Worcester Railers. However, it would be Lavalle-Smotherman’s team who would take the first two of the 17 games between these two teams. The losses on the ice weren’t the only ones the Thunder encountered, as Xavier Parent left Saturday’s game in the second period and wouldn’t return and wouldn’t play Sunday either. Yanick Turcotte would get a five-game suspension for leaving the bench to join an altercation at the end of Saturday Night’s game. So let’s dive deeper into what occurred during the Thunder’s first regular season series.

Saturday Night

The Railers would get off to a very fast start as Brent Beaudoin opened the scoring just 1:24 into the opening period. He found a puck that was coming down, landed on his stick, and put it past Mareks Mitens to give the Railers an early 1-0 lead. Worcester would continue to dominate the first as Brett Jenkins would make it 2-0 on a 2-on-1 in front of the net as he got a pass for Reece Newkirk before the Thunder would get their first shot on goal. Noah Delmas would make it 3-0 as the Railers finished off a four-on-two rush at the 11:58 mark of the opening period. Despite being down, the Thunder weren’t out. Xavier Parent would take a gorgeous pass from Noah Corson and beat Ken Appleby to get the Thunder on the board. It would take the Thunder only 49 seconds to find the back of the net again as Noah Corson would score a PP goal to put the Thunder within one after the first despite being outplayed and outshot 16-8 in the opening frame. 

Adirondack would complete the comeback as Vladislav Mikalchuk would tie the game just 3:21 into the second as he put the puck through his legs and then in the net. However, the Thunder would only be able to keep the Railers at bay for another 4:19 as Reece Newkirk would give Worcester a 4-3 lead right after the Thunder failed to convert on a powerplay heading into the final frame. Adirondack’s strongest period would be the 3rd as they held the Railers to only seven shots, but one of those seven shots would find the back of the net as Blade Jenkins would get a breakaway and find the back of the net. Adirondack wasn’t quite ready to quit as Sebastian Vidmar would get a rare short-handed opportunity and put it home to make it a 5-4 game. However, that’s as close as the Thunder would come as they would drop this one by a final of 5-4. Mareks Mitens made 30 saves in the loss. Also, to note, Yannick Turrcote was given a game misconduct after the final whistle for coming off the bench during an altercation and was suspended for five games. 

Sunday Afternoon

For the second straight game, the Adirondack Thunder would get off to a slow start as Collin Adams would open up the scoring off a nice pass from Blade Jenkins at the 4:48 mark of the opening period. However, the Thunder had a strong start and had plenty of chances in the period, including a 2-on-1 in which they couldn’t find a way to get the puck on net. Worcester would double their lead as Steve Jandric would skate right around Jesper Bratt to double the Railers lead. Adirondack would get on the board just 1:14 after the Jandric goal as Ryan Da Silva took a shot from the point, and Noah Corson would get a stick on it before it found the back of the net for his second goal of the season. Adirondack would have two chances on the PP in the second to tie the game up but couldn’t find the back of the net. They would get one chance in the third with the man advantage and fail to convert. However, they had an opportunity for a second PP as Blade Jenkins would take a slashing penalty. However, that would be negated, as Garrett Van Wyhe wasn’t happy about this slash and would take a roughing penalty to negate the Thunder PP. The Thunder kept it close all game, but it would be Steve Jandric who would skate around Dan Maggio and find the back of the net for his second of the game. Isaac Poulter had a solid game between the pipes as he stopped 22 of the 25 shots he faced.

The Thunder will have their home opener on Saturday Night as they welcome the Worcester Railers to town for a two-game set.

Three Takeaways From The Weekend

  • The PK was great this weekend, as the Thunder would kill off all six penalties they committed and didn’t seem to give up many chances. They also got their first short-handed goals of the season courtesy of Sebastian Vidmar.
  • Worcester got way too many odd-man chances this weekend, and as a result, it would end up hurting the Thunder.
  • Isaac Poulter looked good in his Thunder debut. However, there were a lot of rebounds coming off his pads, and he made a few huge saves to keep the Thunder in the game on Sunday. With another back-to-back next weekend, I expect both goalies to see another start between the pipes.
  • Speaking of goaltending, Jake Theut was activated off reserve today, as Filip Bratt heads to reserve.

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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