Mired in a three game losing streak, the Adirondack Thunder looked to get off to a good start in December with a pair of home games against two division rivals.
It may have taken overtime, losing three regulars to the AHL, and luring an old friend out of retirement for a day, but the resilient Thunder got the job done.
12/1: Adirondack 2, Worcester 1 (OT)
The week began with the first ever match-up between the Thunder and the expansion Worcester Railers, the affiliate of the New York Islanders. There was a personnel switch on Adirondack’s blue line: Mathieu Brodeur was signed to a PTO by Syracuse earlier on Friday while rookie Matthew Spencer returned for his second Thunder stint.
There may have been no goals in the first period, but the Thunder came out flying, outshooting the visitors 16-3. Nick Riopel may not have seen much, but he made the most of his three saves:
He's only had to make 2 stops thus far.......but this 2-on-1 rush was no match for Rioooooooooopel! pic.twitter.com/NUNlmuCAZy— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) December 2, 2017
The Railers would be first on the board in the second. With Desmond Bergin in the penalty box, Worcester forward Barry Almeida would score on the ensuing power play for a 1-0 advantage.
But, the pesky Thunder would emerge in the third. On their sixth power play of the evening, Pierre Luc Mercier would score with 6:10 remaining in regulation to tie the game at 1.
BANG BANG pic.twitter.com/vsBceJ6XHN— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) December 2, 2017
The game would end up going to overtime, where just over a minute in the Thunder would get a power play. And Ty Loney would rise to the occasion, scoring the game winner 1:36 into the extra frame for a 2-1 Thunder win.
The game was tied.— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) December 2, 2017
And then it got TY-ed. pic.twitter.com/FNGI29kXli
Riopel would win his seventh game of the season, stopping 20 of 21 Railer shots.
3. Pierre-Luc Mercier (ADK) 1 goal
2. Eamon McAdam (WOR) 32 saves
1. Ty Loney (ADK) GW goal
12/2: Adirondack 4, Brampton 3 (SO)
A lot of movement before the Thunder took the ice on Saturday against the Beast:
With Tampa recalls and injuries on the Crunch, Ty Loney, Shane Conacher, and Spencer were all summoned to Syracuse. Adirondack was in need of bodies to fill the lineup, so who better to fill in than a recently retired enforcer who is living in the Albany area and working as a real estate agent?
Hey @SyracuseCrunch fans! Guess who’s back playing tonight for the @ECHLThunder? #PL3 #BecauseWeLoveTheGame #NiceToSeeYouFrenchy pic.twitter.com/hFqSB7jPGN— Nick Riopel (@Riopel_N) December 2, 2017
Yes, folks: Riopel broke the news 2 hours before puck drop that former New Jersey Devil Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond was making a comeback with the Thunder. The man affectionately known as “PL3” had hung up his skates after the 2016-17 season after splitting the season between Syracuse and Toronto and had joined a local real estate agency. It was a fun blast from the past for all involved.
Now, on to the game itself!
It was Teddy Bear Toss night in Glens Falls, and it only took 9:16 into the game for the bears to fly:
Thunder GOAL! Toss those bears people! pic.twitter.com/muXzAoCRnh— Tracey Lake (@trace_1114) December 3, 2017
Ben Murphy’s second goal of the season would put the Thunder ahead 1-0. But the Beast would quickly jump ahead 2-1 on goals 37 seconds apart from Reggie Traccitto and Chris Leveille. Adirondack would re-tie the game at 2 with 1:00 remaining in the first on a power play goal from Mercier, his 6th of the season.
Mercier - Left-Hand Circle - Power Play - Top Corner - Rinse & Repeat pic.twitter.com/oq482oMbzJ— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) December 3, 2017
The Beast would jump back in the lead 3-2 midway through the second period on a goal by Scott Jacklin. Again, the Thunder would respond. Andrew Radjenovic would score his third of the season with 3:00 to go in the middle period to tie the game at 3.
That's Rad! The new guys scores five hole and we're tied through 40 minutes. pic.twitter.com/L7m9w2tau1— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) December 3, 2017
After no scoring in the third, it was onto overtime for the second straight night. Terrence Wallin came thisclose to scoring the game winner with four seconds to go, but Beast goaltender Marcus Hogberg would grab the puck just in the nick of time.
It was on to the shootout round. An epic shootout round, if you will:
Round 1: Mercier yes, Kevin Dufour no.
Round 2: Dylan Olsen & Brandon MacLean no.
Round 3: James Henry no, Leveille yes.
Round 4: Tim Harrison & Alex Foster no.
Round 5: Paul Rodrigues & Brandon Marino no.
Round 6: Radjenovic & Colin Martin no.
Round 7: Desmond Bergin & Jackson Leef no.
Round 8: Eric Neiley & Jordan Henry no.
Finally, in Round 9, Murphy would connect. In Brampton’s 9th attempt, Eric Ylitalo would be denied by Thunder goaltender Drew Fielding, finishing off an Adirondack weekend sweep 4-3. Fielding recovered from a shaky first period and won his second game of the season, stopping 32 of 35 Beast shots.
As for Leblond’s comeback, he finished with one shot on goal and a -1 rating (and an almost fight, but cooler heads prevailed). If you think he’s coming back full time...well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but:
Just to make it clear, I'm not out of retirement guys ;)— Pierre-Luc Leblond (@PLLeblond) December 3, 2017
Thanks to the @ECHLThunder for a great night it was awesome to be a part of a big win #BestSeatInTheHouse
3. Andrew Radjenovic (ADK) 1 goal
2. Scott Jacklin (BRM) 1 goal, 1 assist
1. Ben Murphy (ADK) 1 goal, 1 assist, SO winning goal
ADD: D Matthew Spencer, reassigned from Syracuse 12/1
ADD: D Vytal Cote, signed to SPC 12/1
DELETE: D Mathieu Brodeur, signed to PTO by Syracuse 12/1
DELETE: F Ty Loney, recalled to Syracuse 12/2
DELETE: F Shane Conacher, recalled to Syracuse 12/2
DELETE: D Matthew Spencer, recalled to Syracuse 12/2
ADD: F Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, signed to SPC 12/2
ADD: F Brian Ward, returned from Utica 12/4
DELETE: F Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond, released from SPC 12/4
DELETE: D Kevin Lough, signed to PTO by Chicago 12/4
DELETE: D Dylan Olsen, signed to PTO by Binghamton 12/4
Goals: 4 tied with 6
Assists: Pierre-Luc Mercier, 10
Points: Pierre-Luc Mercier, 16
Plus/Minus: Desmond Bergin, +6
Penalty Minutes: Eric Neiley, 36
Wins: Nick Riopel, 7
Goals Against Average: Nick Riopel, 3.57
Save Percentage: Nick Riopel, .885
(as of 12/3/17)
- Manchester: 21 GP, 12-7-1-1, 26 pts
- Wheeling: 21 GP, 12-7-2-0, 26 pts
- Reading: 20 GP, 11-7-2-0, 24 pts
- Adirondack: 21 GP, 11-8-1-1, 24 pts
- Brampton: 21 GP, 9-9-1-2, 21 pts
- Worcester: 19 GP, 8-8-2-1, 19 pts
Two weekend home games are on tap this week.
Friday night, the Thunder look to break a season long 5 game (7 if you count preseason) losing streak against Reading.
Saturday, Norfolk will make their first visit to Glens Falls this season. The Thunder will also honor the late Bill Dineen with a special pregame ceremony and specialty Dineen-themed Red Wings jerseys, to be auctioned off postgame.