ECHL Playoffs Recap: Adirondack Thunder vs Maine Mariners | 05/01/2024

Miasara McLaughlin/InsideTheRink

The Adirondack Thunder and Maine Mariners met for the 11th straight time on Wednesday Night, and for both teams, the task was simple: win and move on. In the opening frame, both teams would have their chances, and the first big stop of the night came from Isaac Poulter to keep the game scoreless just five minutes in. Adirondack would have a plethora of chances in the first as they had three power-plays in the period, including a 5 on 3 for 36 seconds, but failed to find the back of the net, and after 20 minutes of play, neither team would be able to find the back of the net. In the second, the stalemate would finally be broken as Ryan Wheeler, who was scratched in Game 6, would poke one into the net while there was a scrum in front of the net, and it would be 1-0 Thunder at the 11:30 mark of the middle frame. The Thunder would kill off a penalty in the third and hold Maine to only five shots in the final 20 minutes. Tristan Ashbrook would add an empty-netter to secure the first-ever Kelly Cup Playoff Series win at home and the first at the Cool Insuring Arena since 1992 when the Adirondack Red Wings played at the Cool Insuring Arena.

That felt so cool, I sent it down the ice, we’ve been good on faceoffs so we know we could hit the empty net there. It just felt awesome, the place was going crazy, I don’t think I’ve ever scored a goal where it’s been louder in the rink and that just felt awesome with the situation. We still had two minutes left to go but that felt like the icing on the cake

Tristan Ashbrook on his empty net goal

In a Game 7, especially for a Thunder team, one of the biggest impacts for the Thunder was Zach Walker, a guy who spent last season with the Idaho Steelheads and made it all the way to the Kelly Cup Finals; Walker would finish the night with an assist in the Game 7 victory. For Adirondack, they would once again be able to ride the hot hand of Isaac Poulter, who was absolutely incredible in the opening round. Poulter would notch three shutouts in all three of his wins and finish the series with a 3-3 record, a 1.02 GAA, and a .958SV% in six games.

“It is just about wins right now, that’s all we’re looking for, I’d be happy if we won 10-9, I just wanna win hockey games, we advanced to the next round and that’s all that matters”

Adirondack Thunder Goaltender Isaac Poulter when asked about his performance

Adirondack will get just one day off before the North Division Finals begin on Friday Night at Cool Insuring Arena as the Thunder take on the Norfolk Admirals at 7 pm.

Armand Klisivitch

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

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