ECHL: Adirondack Thunder Pull Off The Impossible and Clinch Spot in Kelly Cup Playoff

“We’ve fought back all year,” said Shawn Weller, which is a perfect way to describe the year for the Adirondack Thunder, who’ve clinched the final Kelly Cup Playoff spot in the North Divison after taking two of the three games in the final weekend of the regular season, as they finished three points ahead of the Worcester Railers to make their first Kelly Cup Playoff appearance since 2019, Adirondack at one point this season sat 20 points out of a playoff spot. It’s fantastic for the Thunder to see that they’ve made the playoffs after where they were in January on the very outside looking in at the playoffs, and then to go on a 12-game-point streak and sneak into the Kelly Cup Playoffs is unbelievable, and to do it on a weekend where they had a three-in-three with only one goaltender, “Yes, absolutely, especially with Robinson it’s not easy for goalies to play three-in-three’s, it’s not easy when he hasn’t played twenty games all year and lose rest” said Head Coach Pete MacArthur when asked if he was worried about fatigue in the final game of a three-in-three. It’s incredible to see what MacArthur has been able to do with all the adversity with injuries and call-ups. When asked about his making the Kelly Cup Playoffs as a head coach, MacArthur said, “I’m just happy for them; I was really fortunate in my career all the way up; our process behind the doors was to be positive and give them a good experience and help them get better” said MacArthur.

Adirondack Gets Bitten By Lions In Final Meeting

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

The Adirondack Thunder needed a strong start on Friday night in a critical game vs. Trois-Rivieres Lions, and they were able to do that as well as get on the board first as Patrick Grasso fed Sebastian Vidmar heading to the net as he’d beat Phillip Desrosiers to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead. Adirondack held the lead for 35 seconds before Nick Guay, who’d tie the game up on a rebound attempt and start a string of three-unanswered goals for the Lions throughout 5:22 to take a commanding 3-1 lead after the opening frame. The Thunder came alive in the second as they put the pressure on Desrosiers and would finally cut the deficit to one as Wayne Letourneau found Grant Jozefek for his 18th goal of the season. Adirondack would get a ton of chances to tie the game, with their best chance coming on a two-on-one short-handed chance by Brady Fleurent, who thought he had scored, but the Lions would take the puck back down the ice, and Anthony Beaugard would beat Mike Robinson to put a nail in the Thunder’s coffin.

Patrick Grasso’s Two Goals Keep Thunder Playoff Hopes Alive

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

GLENS FALLS, NY- It all comes down to game 72 for the final spot in the North Divison as the Adirondack Thunder defeated the Worcester Railers on Saturday Night by a score of 5-1 to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Thunder opened the scoring as Sebastian Vidmar finished off a three-on-two at the 8:51 mark of the opening frame. Adirondack would double their lead before the period ended as Shane Harper fed Dajon Mingo, who’d walk in from the circle and beat Tikkanen. It was a defensive-minded period between the two sides, with 14 combined shots on goal. The middle frame was all Thunder as they would outshoot the Railers 14-4 as Patrick Grasso had two goals in 31 seconds, and it was his second goal that would end Tikannen’s night as he gave up four goals on 12 shots, “Ya, anytime you can swing the momentum like that obviously in a big game that’s what you’re looking for and it’s nice to be the recipient of good linemates” said Grasso. Adirondack couldn’t score either of the power-play opportunities they got on the night but used the second one as momentum as Brady Fleurent found Shawn Weller in front, who’d find the back of the net just seconds after the power-play expired. Mike Robinson had a quiet 40 minutes as he saw only 12 shots but would see 11 of them in the third, and Brent Beaudoin scored the only goal of the night for the Railers on a shot that Robinson had no chance of stopping. With the win, the Thunder need to force OT tomorrow afternoon or win in regulation to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in the North Division. “It’s a game seven tomorrow,” said Captain Shane Harper.

Thunder Stun Railers in Third Period Comeback

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

GLENS FALLS, NY- Coming into the season’s final game, the Adirondack had a one-point lead on the Worcester Railers, and to get into the playoffs, all they needed to do was pick up a single point in the standings. Adirondack got on the board early as the hometown boy Shawn Weller opened up the scoring for the Thunder as a rebound would land on a stick, and he’d fire it home for his second goal in as many games. Worcester, however, with their season, the line would have a response for Adirondack as Nick Fea would finish off a three-on-two rush for the Railers at the 9:48 mark, and then Trevor Cosgrove scored on a rocket of a shot from the point on the power-play. With two goals in 2:37 seconds, Worcester would head to the locker room with a 2-1 lead after the opening frame. Adirondack came out pushing for the tying goal in the second. However, Anthony Repaci would take advantage of yet another Thunder penalty and put the Railers in the driver’s seat up two with about 26 minutes remaining in regulation. Adirondack desperately needed to get back into the game before the end of the second period. Patrick Grasso would score 1:56 after the Repaci goal to put the Thunder back within one.

The third period had the entire building on their toes as the Thunder continued to search for that tying goal, and finally, at the the10:24 mark of the period, Matt Steif fired a shot from the point on the power-play, and the Cool Insuring Arena erupted as the Thunder had finally erased the two-goal deficit. Brady Fleurent would add an empty netter as Worcester pulled their goalie to try and win the game in regulation; Mike Robinson made 28 saves in the win, in his third game in the three-in-three, “I don’t think I’ve done that since college” said Robinson when asked when the last time he played three games in three days.

Armand Klisivitch

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

One thought on “ECHL: Adirondack Thunder Pull Off The Impossible and Clinch Spot in Kelly Cup Playoff”

  1. I really like the author’s choice of words. Armand Klisicitch really engages readers and makes the readers come back for more!

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