After taking a loss in their only game last week, the Adirondack Thunder had a big challenge to face: 3 straight home games against Florida, who came into the week with the best record in the ECHL.
When the smoke cleared after Saturday’s contest, the pesky Thunder showed that they could compete with the best of the league, winning twice and finishing a few seconds short of a perfect week.
Wednesday, 1/24: Adirondack 4, Florida 2
In game 1 of the series, Drew Fielding would get the start for the sixth straight game. However, for the first time in two weeks, he would have a non-emergency backup behind him, as Adirondack signed SPHL goaltender Tomas Sholl. Forward Terrence Wallin returned to the Thunder lineup after finishing his first AHL PTO stint with Binghamton.
In the opening period, Florida would be first on the board 2:16 in on a Steven Lorentz goal. The Thunder would quickly have an answer, as Wallin celebrated his return with his 11th goal just over two minutes later for a 1-1 game.
Justttttttttt over the line and we're tied at one! pic.twitter.com/O1HASU5a9l— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) January 25, 2018
The Everblades would retake a one goal lead with 3:13 to go in the first, on a shorthanded goal by Thunder alum Mitchell Heard.
Adirondack would re-tie the game at 2 3:56 into the second period on a goal by Paul Rodrigues, his 7th of the season.
Crash that net, @pbeauty14! The game-tying goal early in the second! pic.twitter.com/vyhOgjVGvL— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) January 25, 2018
Wallin would score his second of the night with 11:21 to go in the second to put Adirondack ahead 3-2.
Brian Ward would add an insurance goal midway through the third period, his 12th, for the final 4-2 margin.
Fielding would take care of the rest, as he stopped 35 of 37 shots, including this:
Let's make it a true Daily Drewble, Alex! pic.twitter.com/qFcqm7ijD9— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) January 25, 2018
Wallin and Ward would each finish with 3 points. Defenseman Desmond Bergin would add two assists.
3. Drew Fielding (ADK) 35 saves
2. Brian Ward (ADK) 1 goal, 2 assists
1. Terrence Wallin (ADK) 2 goals, 1 assist
Friday, 1/26: Adirondack 5, Florida 4 (SO)
Only one lineup change for the Thunder in Game 2 on Friday night: Conor Riley returned to the ice for the first time since an injury in Brampton in early January. Rookie Evan Neugold would sit it out. Ty Loney was finally ready to return to the lineup, but would be summoned to Syracuse, so he wouldn’t play.
Wallin would get the Thunder out to an early 1-0 lead in the opening period, scoring his third goal in 2 games and 13th of the season.
Where mama hides the pic.twitter.com/UvHsSH2rQ4— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) January 27, 2018
The Everblades would tie the game at 1 with 1:25 to go in the opening frame on a shorthanded breakaway goal by Justin Kea.
In the second, an early fight between Thunder forward Stathis Soumelidis and Florida’s Keegan Kanzig (who, coincidentally, was a member of the Thunder last season while a Calgary prospect) would set the tone. Just over a minute after the scrap, Ward would score his 13th to put Adirondack back ahead 2-1. He would finish off the Gordie Howe hat trick (he assisted on Wallin’s first period goal) with a fight against former teammate Heard about a minute and a half later.
The Everblades would then score three unanswered goals. With under 5 minutes remaining in the second period, Matt Mackenzie’s third goal of the season would tie the game at 2. After D. Bergin took a double minor for a high sticking call late in the second, Florida would take a 3-2 lead early in the third on a Zack Kamrass goal. Brett Bulmer would then score what looked like an insurance goal with 12:38 remaining in regulation for a 4-2 Everblades lead.
That was when the pesky Thunder would begin their rally.
Ward would score his second of the night to cut the lead to 4-3 with 6:20 remaining.
Tug Of Ward! pic.twitter.com/ceHXCpChbs— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) January 27, 2018
Then, with Fielding pulled and time just about to run out, Rodrigues would connect with just 7.7 seconds remaining to tie the game up at 4. A tying goal like that entitles him to celebrate any way he wants:
Let's Goooooooooooooo pic.twitter.com/udrJvYAN8N— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) January 27, 2018
After nothing in overtime, it was onto the shootout round. Wallin and Heard (who had quite the shootout attempt fail) would miss in round 1. Henry would connect in round 2, while Fielding stopped Joe Cox. Ward would miss his shot, but Lorentz would also be denied, finishing off the Adirondack comeback.
And the mood of the team? This should answer that.
I’d say @mbrods62 is pumped right now. pic.twitter.com/PzZ5e3dWKd— Tracey Lake (@trace_1114) January 27, 2018
Fielding would finish with 25 saves on 29 shots. Henry added two assists.
3. Paul Rodrigues (ADK) 1 goal
2. Matt Mackenzie (FLA) 1 goal
1. Brian Ward (ADK) 2 goals, 1 assist
Saturday, 1/27: Florida 4, Adirondack 3 (OT)
Only one lineup change for Adirondack as they went for the sweep of the Everblades on Saturday: Austin Orszulak returned from injury, and rookie Stephen Johnson would sit.
The Thunder would get off to a good start in the first period. Just 13 seconds into their second power play opportunity, Henry would score his 14th goal of the season for a 1-0 Adirondack lead.
Henry tickles the twine and the CIA gets LOUD! 1-0 #ADKThunder! pic.twitter.com/tBtEcWV0d2— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) January 28, 2018
The Everblades would dominate the second period, scoring three times on Fielding. Lorentz’s 8th goal of the season 7:10 in would tie the game up at 1. Less than two minutes later, Kea’s 10th would give Florida a 2-1 lead. Finally, with 5:35 remaining in the period, John McCarron would score on a power play for a two goal cushion, much like the night before. But, a major penalty call on Mackenzie after he hit Rodrigues up high with 1:14 left in the second would set the stage for another third period Thunder rally.
Twenty-five seconds after the start of the third, Ward’s 15th goal would cut the Florida lead to 3-2.
Four goals from three games this week for Brian Ward!— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) January 28, 2018
We're tied at three midway through the third. pic.twitter.com/fyI5Z9HCBi
3:18 later, while on a 5 on 3, Mathieu Brodeur would connect for his 3rd goal of the season, tying the game up at 3.
The Thunder would get another 5 on 3 opportunity late in the third, but could not get the go ahead goal. Henry would take a high sticking call with 44 seconds remaining in regulation, which would prove to be costly. With just seconds from going back to full strength, and 1:14 into overtime, Gus Young would thwart the Thunder sweep with his 4th goal of the year, giving the Everblades the extra point.
Fielding finished with 22 saves. Brodeur and Dylan Olsen each added two assists.
3. James Henry (ADK) 1 goal, 1 assist
2. Steven Lorentz (FLA) 1 goal, 1 assist
1. Mathieu Brodeur (ADK) 1 goal, 2 assists
ADD: G Tomas Sholl, signed to SPC 1/24
DELETE: F Ty Loney, recalled to Syracuse 1/25
Goals: Brian Ward, 15
Assists: James Henry, 26
Points: James Henry, 40
Plus/Minus: Mathieu Brodeur, +13
Penalty Minutes: Mike Bergin/Tim Harrison, 65
Wins: Drew Fielding, 11
Goals Against Average: Drew Fielding, 2.97
Save Percentage: Drew Fielding, .902
(as of 1/27/18)
- Manchester: 43 GP, 25-14-3-1, 54 points
- Wheeling: 45 GP, 24-17-4-0, 52 points
- Adirondack: 45 GP, 24-17-2-2, 52 points
- Reading: 44 GP, 24-18-2-0, 50 points
- Brampton: 41 GP, 17-18-3-3, 40 points
- Worcester: 41 GP, 17-19-3-2, 39 points
Three games coming up for the Thunder, all within the North Division.
On Tuesday, Adirondack closes out January—and their homestand—with a visit from Reading. Then, the Thunder start a 5 game road trip, and the month of February, in Worcester on Friday night, followed by Manchester on Saturday.