The Newfoundland Growlers have eliminated the Adirondack Thunder in five games and will now face the Reading Royals in the second round of the Kelly Cup Finals. Once again, it would be a slow start for the Thunder that would kill them as Pavel Gogolev, who destroyed the Thunder in the regular season, would pick up his first goal of the Kelly Cup Playoffs just 2:07 after the opening faceoff, and Mikko Kokkonen would score just 1:40 after Gogolev as the Growlers would have a 2-0 lead before the Thunder could get their first shot on net. Todd Skriving would add a goal for the Growlers at the 8:30 mark, and the Growlers would have as many goals in the opening frame as the Thunder had shots. Adirondack would get a five-on-three halfway through the second but couldn’t find a way to put the puck in the back of the net. The game would get a lot more physical at the 16:25 mark. Jarrod Gourley would get the gate as he’d get a minor for roughing along with a five-minute major and the game for boarding Newfoundland’s Zach O’Brien, who’d end up leaving the game. In the third, neither team would be able to find the back of the net, but they would combine for 33 minutes in penalties, including Ryan Smith, who would be the second Thunder player to get a game misconduct for a hit on Orrin Centazzo. The two teams would combine for a total of 80 penalty minutes. Dryden McKay would stop all 20 shots he saw as, for the first time all season, the Adirondack Thunder were shutout, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time.
For the Thunder, they fed off the crowd in game one after making a remarkable comeback to sneak into the Kelly Cup Playoffs but ran into a Growlers team that was just too much for them. Newfoundland and Reading will begin their series on May 6th at Santander Arena, as the Royals will host the first three games. Newfoundland leads the league with 18 players on AHL contracts