ECHL: Adirondack Thunder Point-Streak Up To Five, Now Seven Points Out Of Playoff Spot

The Adirondack Thunder had a very successful trip as they went out to Newfoundland and took four out of a possible six points with a short-handed roster and two new goaltenders during the three-game set against the top team in the North Division. During the three-game series, Shane Harper had seven points (3G,4A). Over the past few series, especially this one, Adirondack has shown that they have what it takes to slide into that final playoff stretch and will make this an entertaining and competitive race in North Divison. Vinnie Purpura and Mike Robinson both did their job between the pipes to help Adirondack pick up the four points.,

Thunder Score Twice In Final Mintue to Earn Point Over Growlers

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

Coming into tonight’s game, The Adirondack Thunder needed to find a way to close the gap as they sat 9 points back of the Worcester Railers for the final playoff spot in the North. Newfoundland found a way to get on the board first as a shot from Brett Budgell would trickle past Mike Robinson, who would make 16 saves in the opening frame and kept the Thunder within one after the opening 20. The Growlers were able to take advantage of their second PP opportunity as, once again; it would be Budgell who’d find the back of the net. Adirondack’s PP had been struggling to come into Wednesday’s game, but Patrick Grasso would get the Thunder on the board with the man advantage. Pavel Gogolvev had seemed to score to put the Growlers back up two, but the goal would be waved off for goaltender interference. The Thunder would tie the game as Matt Stief scored on the PP for his first professional goal. However, the Thunder killer Pavel Gogolev would score just six seconds after Steif’s goal to send the Growlers to the locker room up one after 40. Jack Badini would get the Growlers an insurance goal as he’d beat Robinson’s glove side. Adirondack seemed to be down, but they wouldn’t be out as they pulled Robinson for the extra attacker. It would be Ryan Smith who’d put the Thunder within one with 42 seconds left, then Matt Steif would score his second of the night with seven seconds left to send this game to OT and earn a point for the Thunder in their third straight game. Adirondack couldn’t complete the comeback as Zach O’Brien scored on a break-away to send the Growlers home with the extra point. Mike Robison made 40 saves in the OT loss.

Harper’s Two Goals Lead Thunder To St. Patty’s Day Victory

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

The Adirondack Thunder extended their point streak to four games as they defeated the Newfoundland Growlers on Friday Night. Xavier Parent missed Wednesday’s game as he was out with an illness but didn’t miss a beat as he got a pass from Matt Jennings and opened up the scoring just 3:28 after the opening faceoff. Adirondack would double their lead late in the period as Ryan Orgel would feed Brady Fluerent right in front, and Fluerent would tip it past Keith Petruzzeli. Newfoundland would be able to cut into the Thunder’s lead as Jack Badini would beat a sprawling Vinnie Purpura to put the Growlers on the board before the end of the opening frame. Adirondack PP has finally gotten going again, as Wayne Letourneau regained the Thunder’s two-goal lead with a PP goal; Adirondack wasn’t done as Shane Harper tipped in a shot from Letourneau, just 1:20 after Letourneau put in his second of the year. Pavel Gogolev has killed the Thunder all year, and tonight he’d score on the PP to get Newfoundland within two. Shane Harper would put in his second of the period with less than two minutes remaining, and Ryan Smith would score in the third as the Thunder would march to a 6-2 victory. Vinnie Purpura made his first professional start and would make 37 saves for his first pro win.

Thunder Lose in 11-Round Shootout, Continue To Gain Ground

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

Adirondack came out firing on all cylinders and taking advantage of not one, but two five-on-three in the opening 10 minutes of the game as Shane Harper and Travis Broughman would light the lamp for the Thunder; they jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead. Once again, it would be special teams, but this time for Newfoundland, as Nolan Walker would get the Growlers on the board. They would waste no time tying it up as Kyle Hallbauer would turn the puck over, and Adam Dawe would tie up the game for the Growlers just 2:21 after the Walker goal to cap off a four-goal first-period. Adirondack would jump back in front as Grant Jozefek would get his stick on a shot from the point to regain the Thunder lead. Adam Dawe would get his second of the period as he would finish off a three-on-one for the Growlers. Before the middle frame would end, Travis Broughman fed Ryan Smith in front as the Thunder went into the third with a one-goal lead. The Thunder would kill off a too-many-men penalty late in the third, but shortly after that, Kennan Suthers would have a wide-open net and tap it in with 2:00 remaining in the third. Newfoundland would have numerous odd-man opportunities in the OT frame, but Vinnie Purpura made huge saves as the game was headed to a shootout. Isaac Johnson would score in the opening round before Sebastian Vidmar scored on a very nice move to beat Dryden McKay to tie it up at one; Xavier Parent and Nolan Walker would score respectively in the third round; Wayne Letourneau had a grade-A opportunity as he had McKay beat but lost the puck on his stick. Finally, Derrian Plouffe would score in the 11th round of the shootout. Purpura would stop 32 shots in regulation and OT and would stop another eight shots in the shootout loss. With the shootout win, the Newfoundland Growlers became the first team in the East to clinch their ticket to the Kelly Cup Playoffs.

Armand Klisivitch

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

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