The Adirondack Thunder have now won 11th straight games after taking two games over the Trois-Rivieres Lions in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, over the weekend to kick off the second half and became the top team in the ECHL. Shane Harper finished the weekend with four points on the weekend as Patrick Grasso also finished the weekend with three goals.
Third-Period Comeback Leads Adirondack To 10th Straight
The Adirondack Thunder came into Friday riding a nine-game win streak as they headed North of the boarder to face the Trois-Rivieres Lions. Trois-Rivieres would get on the board early as Chris Jandric took a shot that was tipped in by Cedric Montminy, and the Lions were on the board less than three minutes into the opening frame. Adirondack would get a PP chance early and would convert and tie the game as Grant Jozefek found Mike Gillespie in front for his fourth of the season. Tensions would start to boil over at the end of the first as Nicolas Lariviere threw a big hit on Zach Walker, but it would be Darian Skeoch who would come to the aid of Walker and would be given a 10-minute misconduct for continuing the altercation, but both teams would finish the first with a goal apiece.
Alex Olivier Voyer would feed Lariviere, who was open in front to put the Lions ahead at the 4:49 mark of the second. Fourteen seconds after the goal, Darian Skeoch and John Parker-Jones dropped the gloves, and then a minute later, Justin Ducharme went after Patrick Grasso, as Ryan Wheeler took exception and dropped the gloves with Montminy, the Lions captain. It would be a Harper and Grasso give-and-go, with Grasso finishing it off to tie the game back up at two. Paiement would add a goal in the second as the Lions headed into the third with the lead. Trois-Rivieres would add an insurance goal as Montminy fed Jakov Novak on an odd-man rush, and it looked like the Thunder’s winning streak was coming to an end. Adirondack came out strong after that as Shane Harper scored from the circle at the 7:59 mark, and with the goalie pulled for the extra attacker, Harper would tie it with 1:16 to go in the third to send the game to OT as Adirondack outshot TR 18-3 in the third.
Both teams would get their chances in the third as both goalies had to make some strong saves, but with time winding down, Justin Ducharme had a chance on a break-away and ended up blowing a tie and couldn’t get a shot on goal. Harper scored the lone goal in the shootout as Ducharme would hit the post in the third round as the Thunder have now won 10 straight. Vinnie Purpura picked up the win despite giving up four goals on 18 shots.
Ryan Smith and Jace Isley Lead Thunder to Top Spot In ECHL
Coming off a comeback victory on Friday Night, the Thunder used that momentum to start Saturday’s game as a blocked shot would lead to a Tristan Thompson break-way to put the Thunder up just three minutes into the opening frame. Brady Crowder, who just signed with Adirondack earlier this week, would feed Tristan Ashbrook for a tip-in for his 10th of the year, Alex-Olivier Voyer would rocket a shot past Tyler Brennan late in the first to cut into the Thunder’s lead. Adirondack would get the only goal of the second period as Jace Isley found a puck off a rebound as Patrick Grasso had a wide empty net to shoot out as he buried his 21st of the year as Adirondack headed into the third in a more comfortable position than they did on Friday Night.
Ryan Smith would find the back of the net twice in the third for the Thunder as they would go to take a 5-2 victory in the weekend finale vs Lions. Tyler Brennan had a big bounce-back game for the Thunder as he made 32 saves in the victory, which should help boost his confidence and continue to strengthen the three-headed monster the Thunder have in the net. Adirondack will begin a four-game home-stand on Friday Night.