ECHL: Thunder Head Into Holiday Break On North Division Nice List

The Adirondack Thunder will head into the Holiday break with a four-point lead in the North Division, a position that has been unfamiliar to the team in previous years, “Especially now that I live here, I think of it as a hockey town, I kinda think of it from the fans perspective locally it makes it more fun, I know how much it means, I know it’s a city where hockey runs deep, I mean from the Red Wings back in the day they kinda expect winning teams, so it’s nice to give them that, and it’s fun to place here” said Shane Harper when asked what being in first place means to this team.” Adirondack would play both the Mariners and Lions before they embarked on holiday break in which they will have five days off before heading to Maine on Friday before returning home for two games vs Newfoundland Growlers to wrap out the Calander year. It was two completely different games for the Thunder over the weekend as they blew a lead on Friday night vs Maine and had a bounce-back game vs Trois-Rivieres to finish off the two-game weekend. One of the key factors this weekend for Adirondack was their special teams, which certainly had their ups and downs.

Thunder Begin Weekend On Naughty List

GLENS FALLS- The Adirondack Thunder came into Friday Night riding a four-game win streak and a six-game point streak, and they would get off on the right foot as Ryan Smith came down the wing and took a shot that somehow got under the pad of Brad Arvanitis and the Thunder would be on the board less than a minute and a half into the opening frame. Adirondack wasn’t done as Erik Middendorf would force a turnover in the Thunder offensive zone and would take a shot that found the back of the net, and just under three minutes later, Tristan Ashbrook took a shot that hit the glass and bounced back to him as he’d feed Middendorf for his second of the game as Arvanitis would get the hook after allowing three goals on eight shots, “It always feels good to put your team in a spot to be successful, especially early like that, coming back home been on the road for a couple of games, it was nice, I had a couple of chances to put us up two, or tie it up late so I’m just a little frustrated” said Middendorf. Nico Blachman was a healthy scratch for Adirondack, but at the 16:02 mark, Colin Felix and MacKenzie Dwyer would drop the gloves and seemed to give Maine a boost. Maine would finally get on the board on the PP as Alex Kile would beat Brodeur from the circle, but the Thunder responded as Grant Jozefek found T.J. Friedmann for his third of the year as the Thunder would head into the locker room with a three-goal lead and a season-high four goals in the first.

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

Coming into Friday night, the second period would be the Thunder’s best period as they’ve allowed only 15 goals in the middle frame however on Friday, the second period would be the Thunder’s kryptonite, as the Mariners would get two quick goals, and halfway through the middle frame it would be a one-goal game. Brooklyn Kalmikov would tie the game up for the Mariners as they scored their second PP goal of the game, and after having a 4-1 lead after 20, Adirondack and Maine would be knotted up at four after 40. It would be a PP goal from Jimmy Lambert that would give the Mariners a 5-4 lead and their third PP goal of the game, “It just happens, that just happens, sometimes they go in the net, sometimes they don’t” said Pete MacArthur about the three PP goals given up. Tristan Thompson would finish the night with his first multi-point game since November 22nd vs Reading, “Ya, it was nice to break through there; it’s kinda been a drought the last month or so it’s nice to get on the scoresheet, and help any way I can” said Thompson and head coach Pete MacArthur mentioned that he’s one of the guys the Thunder need to get going, “Good for Thumper {Thompson} getting his confidence back again; he’s a good puck moving defencemen that we need to produce from the backend.”

Zach Walker’s First Goal With Thunder Helps Spread Christmas Cheer

Cody Conine/InsideTheRink

GLENS FALLS– The Adirondack Thunder needed a bounce-back game on Saturday Night to erase the sour taste from their mouths after blowing a three-goal lead on Friday Night and tha ‘s exactly what they did. Darian Skeoch and Nicolas Lariviere got the party started just eight seconds after the opening faceoff, “It’s just one of those things yesterday where we didn’t play a full 60 minutes we kinda let our foot off the gas, sometimes after a tough loss, you feel bad for yourself and hang your head, so I wanted to jump right in a make a difference, and I hop I did that” said Skeoch. Special teams played a big part tonight, and that’s how both teams would get on the board as Yushiro Hirano fed Shane Harper to open up the scoring at the 5:53 mark of the opening period, and then at the 12:45 mark, Alex-Olivier Voyer would put home his own rebound for his third of the ye r to tie the game at one. Zach Walker has been a guy who’s had trouble solidifying his spot in the lineup, but tonight, he would make his mark as he got his first goal with the Thunder, and it was a shorty just 58 seconds after the Voyer goal, “Ya, I like to think if you play the right way and play an honest way things are gonna start going the right way for you, I’ve been fortunate to get a couple points the last few games, it’s been a weird start for me in Adirondack, it’s starting to come together for me, I love the penalty kill, and it’s a good start for me so I’m happy.”

The second period was an issue for the Thunder on Friday Night, but on Saturday, they would outshoot TR 13-6 as Nick Jermain blocked a shot and had issues getting up, but as he was down, Ryan Smith found the back of the net, as Jermain would need help getting off the i e but would later return. Adirondack and Trois-Rivieres would exchange goals in the final 2:04 as Ashbrook would hit the empty-netter to make it 4-1 before TR would quickly respond with a goal from Jermain before Patrick Grasso would add an empty-netter to finish it off as the Thunder would win this one 5-2 as Vinnie Purpura would make 31 saves for his seventh win of the season, “I think the guys I have been playing really well in front of me and that makes my job a little easier, it’s good I have the trust in them, and they have the trust in me, and I think that goes a long way” said Purpura, Head Coach Pete MacArthur went on to say, “He’s one on the best goalies in the league.”

Armand Klisivitch

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

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