Adirondack Thunder Sweep Worcester Railers During Stand Up To Cancer Weekend

It was a massive week for the Adirondack Thunder on the ice, but for more than one reason as the team held their annual Stick It To Cancer Weekend, as they wore special jerseys that would be auctioned off. The proceeds would go to the C.R. Wood Cancer Center at Glens Falls Hospital, and after Friday’s game, fans had the opportunity to paint messages on the ice that the Thunder would play on during Saturday Night’s game. “It’s special for sure; I think you have to take a second and take a step back and realize how grateful we are to have our health and be able to do something that we love for our job; these guys are affected in different ways by it including myself, anytime you can wear a name on your jersey or have it on the ice to let those people know that you need your support it’s pretty neat and hockey’s great when it comes to that, especially in Adirondack,” said MacArthur. Adirondack, after this weekend, now sits only three points behind the Railers for fourth place in the North after a rough start to the year, despite the team not having a winning streak longer than three games, “Pretty crazy, it feels like we’ve kinda inched up, it’s been a slow climb, it’s been pretty cool to see that we’ve stuck with it, we just have to win those games in hand” said Captain Shane Harper.

Jake Theut Shines In Return To Thunder

Cody Conine/Inside The Rink

The Adirondack Thunder began a massive weekend series on Wednesday Afternoon as they took on the Worcester Railers, who came into the night nine points ahead of the Thunder (yes, it’s felt like they’ve always been nine points ahead). However, the Thunder have two games in hand on Worcester. Earlier in the week, the Thunder had signed forward Erik Middendorf and defencemen Matt Slick to the roster, who had just finished up their college hockey careers and would make their pro debuts for the Thunder. Both sides would have their chances in the opening frame, but Jake Theut and Ken Appleby would shut them down as Adirondack was outshooting Worcester 11-8 in the opening frame. Wayne Letourneau would open up the scoring at the 5:29 mark of the second with a shot from the right-wing circle and his second in three games (he had one goal in his previous 58 games). Adirondack would get an insurance goal at the 5:29 mark of the third as Middendorf would find a rebound off the pads of Appleby and net his first pro and is the second Thunder player this season to pick up his first career goal in Worcester. The Railers wouldn’t go quietly as Jacob Hayhurst would beat Thuet from the slot to make it a one-goal game, but that’s as close as the Railers would come as Shane Harper would add an empty netter for his 20th of the season as the Thunder would go onto win 3-1. Jake Theut would make 32 saves for his 14th win of the season with Adirondack.

Patrick Grasso Reaches 30-Goal Plateau as Thunder Take Down Railers.

The Adirondack Thunder kicked off their annual Stick It To Cancer weekend on Friday Night as they took on the Worcester Railers. Adirondack would get on the board in the first period as Shane Harper would find Patrick Grasso in the slot as he’d beat Henrik Tikkanen. The Thunder would control the pace of play in the first and continue into the second, as the Railers wouldn’t get their first shot on net until eight minutes into the middle frame, and they would only be held to six shots in the middle frame. Worcester would finally break through in the third period as Nolan Vesey would feed Brett Beaudoin, who’d be able to beat Jake Theut to tie up the game at the 4:12 mark of the third period. Adirondack wouldn’t trail for long as 38 seconds after the Beaudoin goal; Grant Jozefek would score to put the Thunder up 2-1 and put them in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game. “Huge for a lot of reasons; our bench energy and composure the last 25 or 26 games has been impressive; nothing seems to raddle these guys, whether it be a call we didn’t think went our way, or we give up a goal, and we have to work a little bit, we just went out there about our business and scored really quickly off the faceoff,” said Head Coach Pete MacArthur about Jozefek’s go-ahead goal.” Patrick Grasso would make it a two-goal game as he came down the wing and beat Tikkanen for his second goal of the night and then would add an empty netter for his 30th goal of the season, becoming the first Thunder player since the 2017-18 season when Brian Ward scored 30 goals for the Thunder. “It’s just a testament to the guys around me, I play with so many good players, and they make it so much easier for me; I just have to try and find a little bit of space, and they’re all so skilled, and such good hockey players and they can find me, so it’s been a real privilege,” said Grasso. For the Thunder, it was a complete game. It showed as the team has picked up at least one point in their last seven games, “I think a lot of work that’s been going on throughout the year is starting to pay off,” said Sebastian Vidmar, who had three assists on the night. Jake Theut would make 24 saves for his 15th win of the season.

Shawn Weller’s Late Goal Helps Thunder Finish Sweep Of Thunder

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

The Worcester Railers came out hot on Saturday Night as they were looking for revenge for the last two games that the Thunder had taken, Worcester would get the first 9 shots on goal, but it would be Jake Theut that would shut the door stopping all 13 shots he saw in the opening frame, “Theuter’s been outstanding, we know anytime we have a breakdown we can’t count on him on the backend and that’s always big when you’re in a playoff push” said Grasso. Adirondack would get a blocked shot by Grant Jozefek that would end up on the stick of Patrick Grasso, who’d have a breakaway and make no mistake as he would beat Ken Appleby to open the scoring less than two minutes into the middle frame. Once again in the second, the Railers would have their chances, but it would be a puck that took an odd bounce off the boards that Bobby Butler found and fed Reece Newkirk in front to tie the game; when asked about the play, Thunder goaltender Jake Theut said, “He got lucky.” Adirondack would get a PP within the first minute of the third period. They would convert as Ryan Orgel would take a shot that would get deflected in by the Glens Falls Native Shawn Weller, and that would end up being the game-winner, “Ya, it’s pretty cool, my fiance’s mom was here; she lost her dad to cancer when she was really young, and I know that was big for her mom to see that goal, and I know there are a lot of people around this community that have dealt with cancer scares and have lost people so for the weekend to emphasize people who have lost somebody or someone who is supporting someone means a lot to us and anyway we can help is kinda what this weekend is about” said Weller about scoring the game-winning goal on Stand Up To Cancer Weekend. Worcester would have their chances at the end as Nick Rivera took a penalty with a little over five minutes remaining, but Jake Theut would stand strong for the Thunder making 33 saves for his third consecutive win.

Adirondack, after this weekend, now sits only three points behind the Railers for fourth place in the North after a rough start to the year, despite the team not having a winning streak longer than three games, “Pretty crazy, it feels like we’ve kinda inched up, it’s been a slow climb, it’s been pretty cool to see that we’ve stuck with it, we just have to win those games in hand” said Captain Shane Harper. The Thunder now have an eight-game point streak, and the team is over.500 for the first time all season.

Armand Klisivitch

Inside The Rink ECHL Manager | Senior Editor Credentialed Reporter for the Adirondack Thunder & Worcester Railers.

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