The Epic Road Trip finally came to an end this week, as the Thunder took on divisional rival Reading in three games this week. And...it didn’t go as well as planned, as they would be swept in a 3 game set by division rival Reading.
11/21: Reading 5, Adirondack 2
After finally getting a chance to come home to the North Country for a couple of days, the Thunder hopped back on the bus on Tuesday for the penultimate game of the road swing.
In the first period, Reading’s Mark Naclerio would score on a power play 7:34 into the game for a 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, on a Thunder 5 on 3 power play, Pierre Luc Mercier’s third of the season would tie the game up at 1.
Reading’s Ryan Penny would score later in the period for a 2-1 Royal lead after the first twenty minutes.
Early in the second, Ty Loney would continue his hot streak, scoring his 12th goal to re-tie the game at 2.
But a Matt Wilkins goal with 12:26 remaining in the second would put Reading back on top, 3-2.
Nolan Zajac and Michael Huntebrinker would pad the Royal lead in the third with goals 4:09 apart to give Reading a 5-2 win.
Nick Riopel would take the loss in net, stopping 40 of 45 shots. The Thunder were outshot 45-26 for the night.
3. Matt Willows (REA) 2 assists
2. Matt Wilkins (REA) 1 goal, 1 assist
1. Nolan Zajac (REA) 1 goal, 2 assists
11/24: Reading 2, Adirondack 0
After a couple of days off for Thanksgiving, the Thunder returned to Reading on Friday evening to finish off the 12 game road trip. Riopel was given a night off, putting back up goaltender Drew Fielding in the net. Adirondack would also be without forward Brian Ward, who signed a PTO with Utica on Wednesday.
On Adirondack’s first penalty kill of the night, Willows would score his fifth goal of the season 5:09 into the opening period for a 1-0 Royal lead. Reading would double the lead 3:45 into the second period on a Adam Schmidt marker.
And that was all Reading goaltender John Muse would need, as he would become the first goaltender to shut the Thunder out all season.
(Not that Adirondack tried to jinx it or anything...)
Hey @RRoyalsHockey -— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) November 25, 2017
Shutout, Shutout, Shutout, Shutout, Shutout, Shutout, Shutout.
Despite the loss, Fielding did well in his third start of the season, stopping 27 of 29 Royal shots.
The road trip ends with a 6-5-0-1 mark. Not too bad considering the amount of travel this team had to do during that stretch.
3. Ryan Penny (REA) 1 assist
2. Adam Schmidt (REA) 1 goal
1. John Muse (REA) 30 saves, SHO
11/25: Reading 3, Adirondack 2
Finally, for the first time since October 28th, the Thunder returned home to Glens Falls. It was Marvel Superhero Night for both the Thunder and Royals!
Adirondack was decked out in Thor hammer jerseys...
On the other side, Reading sported green Hulk jerseys with purple lettering.
In the opening period, Reading would jump out to a 1-0 lead on Schmidt’s third goal of the season. The Royals would double the lead midway through the second on Penny’s 6th of the year. Adirondack would finally get on the board with 3:44 remaining in the second...just six seconds into their second power play of the evening, Mercier would connect on his fourth goal to cut the Reading lead in half.
Please have Merci on me - Take it easy on my heart pic.twitter.com/cGrS1iQJ30— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) November 26, 2017
With less than 6 minutes remaining in the third, Willows would breakaway from the Thunder defense and score his 6th goal for a 3-1 cushion. James Henry’s 6th on a power play late with the goaltender pulled would cut the Reading lead to 3-2, but the Thunder were stymied by Reading goaltender Mark Dekanich all evening long.
Riopel was no slouch in net either--despite the loss, he had a strong outing, stopping 23 of 26. The Thunder originally were credited with 41 shots on goal, but that total has since been updated to 50 shots.
3. Adam Schmidt (REA) 1 goal
2. Pierre Luc Mercier (ADK) 1 goal
1. Mark Dekanich (REA) 48 saves
DELETE: F Brian Ward, signed to PTO by Utica 11/22
ADD: G Eric Vogel, signed as EBUG 11/24
DELETE: G Eric Vogel, released as EBUG 11/25
Goals: Ty Loney, 12
Assists: Shane Conacher, 14
Points: Ty Loney, 20
Plus/Minus: Desmond Bergin, +7
Penalty Minutes: Eric Neiley, 36
Wins: Nick Riopel, 6
Goals Against Average: Nick Riopel, 3.79
Save Percentage: Nick Riopel, .882
(as of 11/26/17)
- Manchester: 20 GP, 11-7-1-1, 24 points
- Wheeling: 18 GP, 11-5-2-0, 24 points
- Reading: 17 GP, 10-6-1-0, 21 points
- Adirondack: 19 GP, 9-8-1-1, 20 points
- Worcester: 17 GP, 8-7-1-1, 18 points
- Brampton: 18 GP, 8-8-1-1, 18 points
Adirondack kicks off the month of December with a pair of weekend home games. On Friday, they face Worcester for the first time ever. Saturday, Brampton will pay a visit.
After just one home game in November, the Thunder will spend 10 of their 14 December games in the friendly confines of the Cool Insuring Arena.