Adirondack Thunder Finishes First Half On A Strong Note

Cody Conine/Inside The Rink

Once again, the Adirondack Thunder had a strong weekend where they were able to take the first two games of a series but couldn’t find a way to pull out a third straight win as the Thunder are still looking for their first win on a Sunday, as they beat Trois-Rivieres on Friday and split the two-game set with the Newfoundland Growlers however Head Coach Pete MacArthur is happy with how the weekend went, “We played awesome, it looked like we lost our confidence scoring in Reading and then told them it’s good they had a short-term memory cause we were filling up the net this weekend.” The Utica Comets made a trade on Monday evening as they sent Garrett Van Wyhe to the Bakersfield Condors in exchange for Filip Engras; Engaras had two goals in 11 games with the Condors and five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 23 games with the Fort Wayne Komets.

Thunder Start Weekend With Roaring Win Over Lions

The Adirondack Thunder came into Friday Night on a two-game losing streak as they were swept in a two-game set vs. Reading Royals and came into Friday’s game just four points behind Trois-Riveres for fifth in the North. Adirondack would give the early goal in the first as Ryan Francis would convert on Lion’s second powerplay of the night; the Thunder would be able to tie the game late in the first as Patrick Grasso would feed Brandon Schultz on a two-on-one as the game was knotted at one after 20. Adirondack has played their best hockey in the second period, and tonight would be no exception; however, it would be Cedric Montimy who’d give the Lions the lead just 32 seconds into the period, but from that point on, it would be all Thunder. Colin Long would knot the game back up as he would score on a five-on-three, and Grant Jozefek and Patrick Grasso would each add goals for the Thunder as they’d outshoot the Lions 17-3 in the middle frame. Mathieu Brodeur would score short-handed to get the Lions back within one, but that’s as close as they’d get as Colin Long would get his second of the game, and Shane Harper would add an empty netter as the Thunder would go on to win 6-3. Jake Theut made 24 wins for his (number) win of the season.

Theut’s 41-Save Performance Leads Thunder to Victory Over Growlers

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

GLENS FALLS, NY- Adirondack played a strong game on Friday Night in Trois-Rivieres, and that only continued on Saturday Night vs. Newfoundland Growlers, who currently sit in first place in the Eastern Conference. The Thunder took advantage of a five-on-three to open the scoring as Shane Harper picked up his first of two goals on the night, and Xavier Parent just got one past Luke Cavallin to double Adirondack’s lead before the end of the opening frame. Brady Fleurent has played well for the Thunder during his time with the team and would get rewarded tonight by picking up his first goal with the team as he got a lucky bounce to give the Thunder a 3-0 lead heading into the third. Grant Jozefek has been a scoring machine for the Thunder, as he got another one tonight early in the third on a wrap-around attempt to give Adirondack a four-goal cushion.

Tensions started to boil over at the 13:59 mark, where 20 minutes of penalties would be handed out; 14 of those 20 went to Jarrod Gourley, which included a 10-minute misconduct for continuing an altercation. During the final minute of play, another scrum would break out as Theut got slashed a few times and retaliated; when asked about the scrum, Theut said, “I didn’t want to give him any freebies.” James Melindy would be given the second 10-minute misconduct of the game for continuing the altercation. The game would finish with a total of 60 minutes in penalties, as each team picked up 30 minutes in penalties.

The Thunder came into tonight’s game 9th in the league on the penalty kill at 83% and would kill off all six powerplays that the Growlers got, including a six on four with six minutes remaining in the third, “penalty kill was awesome, I think we’ve been emphasizing the penalty kill the last couple weeks and against a team like that with a really good powerplay for us to that, and we went 100%, and that’s what’s going to win us games down the stretch” said Fleurent. Jake Theut got his first ECHL shutout as he made 41 saves to backstop the Thunder to a 5-0 victory” He was so square to the puck, it must have looked like they were shooting on a walrus to them,” said Head Coach Pete MacArthur.

Special Teams Bite The Thunder in Loss To Growlers

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

GLENS FALLS, NY- If you were wondering if there was any bad blood left between these two teams, that question was answered two seconds into the game by Yanick Turcotte. James Melindy dropped the gloves right after the opening faceoff, “Obviously, with what happened last night when I was out of the game, I just wanted Melindy to answer the bell, and that was good, and I figured it would fire up the boys” said Turcotte about the fight who also mentioned he has yet to pick up a Gordie Howe Hattrick in his career. Newfoundland would get on the board first as Nolan Walker opened up the scoring less than five minutes in, and then Pavel Gogolev would score from the circle on the PP as the Thunder found themselves down two less than ten minutes in. Adirondack needed to find a way to get themselves back in the game. They did as they took advantage of a powerplay opportunity as Ryan Orgel picked up his first ECHL goal to put the Thunder within one. Then it would be Captain Shane Harper, who tied up the game at the 16:32 mark as the Thunder headed to the locker room with the game tied up at two.

Adirondack was perfect on the PK on Saturday night, but that would bite them tonight as they gave up three powerplay goals as. Todd Skirving would get the lead back for the Growlers at the 9:11 mark of the second; however, the Garrett Van Wyhe would tie the game back up for the Thunder as he found a puck and batted into the net for his fourth of the year. Adirondack hoped to head into the third with the game tied, but it would be a late goal from Derian Plouffe with 20.4 remaining in the period that gave the Growlers the edge heading into the third. For the third time, Adirondack would tie up the game as Ryan Smith was able to deflect a shot from Jeff Taylor past Dryden McKay to make it four apiece. Ivan Chukarov took a hooking penalty 41 seconds after the goal, and the 2nd ranked PP in the league capitalized as Todd Skiriving got his second PP goal of the game, ” Kennan Suthers put the Growlers up two at the 14:11 mark of the period to regain the Growlers two-goal lead. The Thunder had a six-on-four with 4:14 left in the third but couldn’t find the back of the net and lost by a final of 6-4. Isaac Poulter made 19 saves in the loss.

“It’s huge; we have a game on them and four games on hand in Worcester. They don’t mean anything if you don’t win them, especially in your home building. It’s like a Christmas present unless you don’t care about business,” said MacArthur about next weekend’s series vs. Trois-Rivieres.

Armand Klisivitch

Armand Klisivitch. Senior Editor/ECHL Manager at Inside The Rink

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