ECHL Playoff Recap: Adirondack Thunder vs Norfolk Admirals Game 3 | 05/08/2024

Wyatt Nash/InsideTheRink

The Adirondack Thunder and Norfolk Admirals series shifted to Norfolk Scope on Wednesday Night for a pivotal Game 3. The Admirals were on home ice for the first time in the series and were looking to take a 3-0 lead on the Thunder and put a stranglehold on the series. Heading into Wednesday Night, Adirondack had the most PP opportunities in the Kelly Cup Playoffs but had only converted five of their 41 chances. Adirondack would open the scoring for the first time in the series as Shane Harper would feed Erik Middendorf in front for a tip-in at the 12:04 mark of the first period for Adirondack’s sixth PP goal of the Kelly Cup Playoffs which is tied for first with the Wheeling Nailers. Middendorf would get another chance just a few minutes later as he got a breakaway on Yaniv Perets. However, Perets would make the save as the Admirals would only be down one heading into the middle frame.

Wyatt Nash/InsideTheRink

Zach Walker was on a mission to give the Thunder a 2-0 lead as he had two chances that went off the post in the opening minute of the second but somehow would stay out. Those two chances by Walker would be one of only a few bright spots by Adirondack in the second period. Norfolk would finally tie up the game on the PP at the 6:35 mark as Andrew McLean fed Simon Kubicek for a one-time on the PP to tie the game up at one. The Admirals would end up outshooting the Thunder 24-8 in the second; that is the second time this season that Norfolk has put up 24 shots in a period against Adirondack, as they put up 24 shots in the first period on November 10th in a game that they would win 6-3. Luckily for the Thunder, Isaac Poulter would be on his game, stopping 23 of those 24 shots as it would be tied at one heading into the third.

In the third, both teams buckled down defensively as the two teams combined for 14 shots on goal. Norfolk had a golden chance to end the game late in the third as Isaac Poulter made a massive save on Carson Golden with 1:20 left in the third as the Admirals had a two-on-one, and that save would be enough to push the game past 60 minutes as both the Thunder and Admirals would head to their first OT frame of the Kelly Cup Playoffs. Ryan Smith would get a chance early on in the OT frame but tripped on his own skates on a possible breakaway opportunity. Adirondack got another chance to end it as Carson Golder took a penalty at the 7:55 mark but the Thunder would come up empty on the man advantage. Just when you thought this game would be heading to a second OT, it would be Travis Broughman who found Ryan Smith, who redeemed himself and found the back of the net at the 18:19 mark of the OT frame to make this a whole new series as Adirondack now trails 2-1 heading into Game 4 on Friday Night. There’s no doubt that Isaac Poulter was a savior tonight, making a career-high 54 saves in the victory, and he is the only reason the Thunder even had a chance to steal Game 3 from the Admirals. It was the first time all season the Thunder had allowed 50+ shots on goal.

Armand Klisivitch

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

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