To finish off a 5 game road trip, the Adirondack Thunder would go on a 9 hour, 550+ mile trek south to Norfolk for a 3 game weekend series against the Admirals.
After a humbling start, the team got it together and would finish the weekend with 2 out of 3 wins. They remain within striking distance of first place in the ECHL’s North Division.
Friday, 2/9: Norfolk 7, Adirondack 4
For game one on Friday, there were a few lineup changes for Adirondack. Shane Conacher was back after a week long stint in Syracuse. However, the Thunder would be short two defensemen: Desmond Bergin was signed to a PTO by the Hartford Wolfpack, who ironically were facing the Crunch in Syracuse, and Vytal Cote was traded to the Greenville Swamp Rabbits for future considerations.
Drew Fielding was back in net, hoping to rebound from a disastrous start in Manchester the previous weekend.
The two teams would trade goals in the first period. Paul Rodrigues, making his first appearance since the Florida series, would score his 9th of the season 6:20 in for a 1-0 lead.
SlowwwwwwwMooooooooo for P-Rod's goal that opened the scoring! pic.twitter.com/j0hZn5h859— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 10, 2018
Darik Angeli would tie the game for Norfolk late in the period.
In the second, Terrence Wallin’s 15th goal would put Adirondack back in front, 2-1.
Ward ➡️ Wallin and we lead again! pic.twitter.com/gxkIPGD4lm— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 10, 2018
Angeli would re-tie the game at 2 with 9:32 remaining in the period. The Admirals would later take their first lead, 3-2, on a power play goal by Michael Young with just over 2 minutes to go in the middle period.
Then the third period happened...and the proverbial wheels would fall off.
In the first 3:07 of the period, Grant Besse would score twice to extend the Norfolk lead to 3. Pierre-Luc Mercier would cut the Admiral lead to 5-3 with his 13th goal just over 90 seconds later.
1st Shot - Blocked— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 10, 2018
2nd Shot - Saved
3rd Shot -
Third time's a charm for Mercier as we pull back within a pair! pic.twitter.com/7AX2MYMh5z
But Norfolk was not done scoring goals. Angeli would complete the hat trick with 9:25 remaining, putting the Admirals ahead 6-3 and spelling the end of the night for Fielding. Tomas Sholl came in from the bullpen. Christian Horn would greet him by scoring the extra point, giving Norfolk a 7-3 lead with less than 5 minutes to go. Brian Ward would end the night on a somewhat positive note, scoring his 17th goal for the final 7-4 margin.
Fielding would finish with 31 saves on 37 shots, ending a stretch of 14 goals allowed in his last two starts. Sholl would stop 7 of 8 in relief.
3. Ty Reichenbach (NOR) 37 saves
2. Grant Besse (NOR) 2 goals
1. Darik Angeli (NOR) 3 goals
Saturday, 2/10: Adirondack 4, Norfolk 2
Less than 24 hours later, the Thunder hoped to put Friday night in their rearview mirror. Bergin would rejoin the Thunder after making his AHL debut in Hartford’s shootout win in Syracuse. Sholl would get the nod between the pipes.
It didn’t take very long—just 56 seconds—for the Thunder to get things started. Wallin would score his 16th for a quick 1-0 advantage. Ward would follow that up with his 18th just under 3 minutes later to double the Adirondack lead.
We'll take it!— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 11, 2018
Ward capitalizes on a Norfolk miscue and we lead 2-0 early in this one! pic.twitter.com/QBVS3dmzbb
The Admirals would cut the lead in half with 5:28 remaining in the opening period on Besse’s third goal in the last two games.
Adirondack would regain a two goal lead 12:16 into the second period on Dylan Olsen’s 4th goal of the season.
Olsen fires through traffic and we're back on top by two! pic.twitter.com/xCUPxKHKI9— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 11, 2018
Norfolk would get back to within a goal midway through the third on a Horn goal. But, Conacher would get an empty net goal with 46 seconds left to seal a much needed Thunder win after two straight blow out losses.
Sholl picked up his second win in as many starts, stopping 28 of 30 Norfolk shots. Bergin would add an assist in his return from the AHL.
3. Grant Besse (NOR) 1 goal
2. Brian Ward (ADK) 1 goal, 1 assist
1. T.J. Melancon (NOR) 2 assists
Yes, we are all questioning why a player on the losing team, and who didn’t score, got the first star of the game.
Tonight's GA Bove 3 Stars -— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 11, 2018
⭐️⭐️⭐️ - Besse (NOR)
⭐️⭐️ - Ward (ADK)
⭐️ - Melancon (NOR)
When the @NorfolkAdmirals lose but still give themselves 2 of the 3 stars
Sunday, 2/12: Adirondack 5, Norfolk 2
Sholl would again get the nod in net, as the Thunder and Admirals finished up the three game set with a Sunday afternoon tilt.
The hosts would be first on the board 4:07 into the match. Off his own rebound, Thomas Frazee would score for a 1-0 Admirals lead. But, the Thunder would come back late in the first with a pair of tallies. First, James Henry would tie the game at 1 with his 15th goal of the season.
Glove........and tap!— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 11, 2018
Crafty work from Henry ties the game at one! pic.twitter.com/6lDbwXiZUk
Andrew Radjenovic would put Adirondack ahead 2-1 with 43 seconds remaining in the first with his 6th goal.
A Radj Wrister through traffic gives us the lead through 20 minutes! pic.twitter.com/TfLUXHuJDw— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 11, 2018
Conacher would add a power play goal midway through the second for a 3-1 Thunder advantage. Adirondack had a huge opportunity to add to the lead with a full 2:00 of 5 on 3, but they were unable to capitalize. Just seconds after the 5 on 3 ended, Young would score on a breakaway to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Thunder would put the game away for good with a pair of third period goals. Austin Orszulak would score his 3rd with 9:41 to go for a 4-2 lead.
Austin SCORszulak powers to the front and we lead by two once again! pic.twitter.com/2IA7cruPXG— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 11, 2018
Ward would add an empty netter with 53 seconds to go to finish off Adirondack’s second win of the weekend.
Sholl would finish with 29 saves on 31 shots for his third win of the season. Mathieu Brodeur would add two assists.
3. Thomas Frazee (NOR) 1 goal
2. Michael Young (NOR) 1 goal
1. Shane Conacher (ADK) 1 goal
ADD: F Shane Conacher, reassigned from Syracuse 2/8
DELETE: D Desmond Bergin, signed by Hartford to PTO 2/9
DELETE: D Vytal Cote, traded to Greenville 2/9
ADD: D Desmond Bergin, released from PTO 2/10
Goals: Brian Ward, 19
Assists: Shane Conacher, 29
Points: James Henry, 42
Plus/Minus: Mathieu Brodeur, +15
Penalty Minutes: Tim Harrison, 74
Wins: Drew Fielding, 12
Goals Against Average: Tomas Sholl, 2.20
Save Percentage: Tomas Sholl, .935
ECHL North Division Standings:
(as of 2/11/18)
- Manchester: 49 GP, 29-16-3-1, 62 points
- Adirondack: 51 GP, 29-19-2-2, 60 points
- Wheeling: 51 GP, 27-20-4-0, 58 points
- Reading: 49 GP, 27-19-3-0, 57 points
- Worcester: 47 GP, 21-20-4-2, 48 points
- Brampton: 47 GP, 17-22-5-3, 42 points
A light week is on deck for the Thunder.
On Friday, Adirondack returns home to host Brampton. Then, the two teams meet in Canada for a Monday afternoon matinee.