One word to best describe the Adirondack Thunder after the first three games of the ECHL season: Pesky.
It’s this no quit attitude that has seen the Thunder go from a possible disastrous 0-2 week to going 1-0-1.
10/20: Adirondack 6, Manchester 5 (SO)
On Friday night, the Thunder welcomed the Manchester Monarchs for the first of 13 matchups between the division rivals this season. On Adirondack’s first penalty kill of the evening, the Monarchs would strike first with a Zac Lynch goal 4:59 into the opening period for a 1-0 lead. The Thunder would respond late in the period, as James Henry (1st) and J.C. Campagna (1st) would both score in a 1:05 span to jump ahead 2-1. The Thunder were outshot 14-7 in the first 20 minutes, but would carry a one goal lead into the second period.
In said second period, the Monarchs would dominate, taking advantage of some sloppy play in the defensive zone and scoring four unanswered goals. Craig Wyszomirski would tie the game at 2 4:22 into the middle frame. Matt Marcinew would break the tie 3:14 later for a 3-2 advantage. Cory Ward and Rob Hamilton would then score in a 1:50 span for a commanding 5-1 Monarchs lead.
Shortly after that fifth Monarchs goal, Thunder forward Brian Ward was awarded a penalty shot after a scrum around the Manchester net. Goaltender Evan Cowley would deny Ward the score, but that would signal a turnaround for the Thunder. Henry would score his second goal seconds after the missed penalty shot to cut the Manchester lead to 5-3 after 40 minutes of play.
Adirondack would truly begin their comeback in the third period. Former Florida Panther Dylan Olsen, making his Thunder debut, would score his first goal with 3:30 remaining in regulation to make it 5-4. Then, 1:32 later, defenseman Desmond Bergin would score his first of the season to tie the game up at 5, earning the Thunder at least one point, one that a few minutes earlier looked impossible.
After nothing across in overtime, the teams would go to a shootout. Thunder goaltender Nick Riopel was perfect, stopping all three Manchester shots. Campagna would be the only skater to connect in the bonus round, earning the Thunder an unexpected 6-5 win. Riopel stopped 38 of 43 Manchester shots in 65 minutes in earning his second win of the season.
3. Rob Hamilton (MAN) (1 goal, 1 assist)
2. James Henry (2 goals)
1. J.C. Campagna (1 goal, 2 assists, SO winner)
10/21: Reading 5, Adirondack 4 (OT)
It was off to Pennsylvania for the first road game of the season. The Thunder took on their preseason opponents, the Royals, who were making their 2017-18 season debut.
It was not a good start for Adirondack in the first period, as they gave up 3 goals to their hosts and were outshot 17-10. On the very first shot Riopel faced 1:19 into the contest, Reading’s Chris McCarthy would score for a 1-0 deficit. The second shot, from Alex Krushelnyski 14 seconds later, would also get past Riopel. Before most people were probably in their seats it was 2-0 Royals. With 45 seconds to go in the opening frame, the Royals would jump ahead 3-0 on a Matt Willows goal.
On to the second period, where Reading would again get to Riopel early. Tyler Brown scored 1:41 in for a huge 4-0 Royal advantage. At this point, things looked pretty bleak for the boys in red and white, a team who had yet to lose in regulation. But, do not count out the Pesky Thunder under any circumstances.
Forward Tim Harrison would pick up his first professional goal four minutes later to break up the shutout. Eric Neiley would score his second of the season to cut the lead to two. With just over four minutes to go in the middle frame, Adirondack would get to within 4-3 on Ty Loney’s third goal of the season.
In the third, while on a power play, Campagna would complete the second straight Thunder comeback with his second goal in as many days, tying the game up at 4 with 9:05 remaining in regulation. Unfortunately, the comeback would not be fulfilled on this day, as the game would go to overtime and end just seven seconds after puck drop. Derek Whitmore would pick up the game winner, handing the Thunder their first setback of the campaign 5-4. Riopel would stop 29 of 34 Reading shots in his third straight start.
3. Ty Loney (1 goal, 1 assist)
2. Alex Krushelnyski (REA) (1 goal, 1 assist)
1. Derek Whitmore (REA) (GWG)
ADD: D Ryan Segalla, signed to SPC on October 16th
DELETE: D Nick Trecapelli, traded to Indy for future considerations October 16th
DELETE: G Ken Appleby, recalled to Binghamton on October 20th
ADD: G Nick Niedert, added from reserve on October 20th
Goals: Ty Loney, 3
Assists: 3 players tied with 4
Points: Ty Loney, 7
Plus/Minus: Ty Loney, +4
Penalty Minutes: Ty Loney, 6
Wins: Nick Riopel, 2
Goals Against Average: Nick Riopel, 4.54
Save Percentage: Nick Riopel, .876
Through Sunday’s action:
- Wheeling: 4 GP, 3-0-1-0, 7 points
- Manchester, 5 GP, 2-2-0-1, 5 points
- Adirondack, 3 GP, 2-0-1-0, 5 points
- Worcester, 2 GP, 2-0-0-0, 4 points
- Reading, 2 GP, 2-0-0-0, 4 points
- Brampton, 4 GP, 0-3-1-0, 1 point
It’s going to be a very busy week for Adirondack, with four games on tap. Tonight, they return to Glens Falls to host Greenville. The brief homestand finishes out on Friday and Saturday with a pair of games against Toledo. Then it’s on the road for the next 12 games (yes, 12, thanks to high school sectional volleyball tournaments, the annual Adirondack Stampede rodeo, and a local gun show taking over the arena), starting Sunday afternoon in Reading.