After a 3 in 3 weekend on the road, the Adirondack Thunder had a relatively easy schedule this week, only playing two games against a division rival.
Despite losing two regulars to the AHL, the Thunder managed a split of the two game set...and jumped back into second place in the North Division.
Friday, 2/16: Brampton 5, Adirondack 1
Returning to the friendly confines of the Cool Insuring Arena after a 3-2 road trip, the Thunder would start a home and home series on Friday evening against the Beast. Drew Fielding was back in net, hoping for redemption after two straight disastrous starts.
Adirondack did have some lineup changes: rookie defenseman Colton White was recalled to Binghamton, forward Stathis Soumelidis was released after appearing in 8 games with just one assist, and Shane Conacher was summoned back to Syracuse as the Crunch headed south to Charlotte for a two game series. Forward Stephen Hrehoriak was brought in from the SPHL’s Huntsville Havoc.
In the opening period, the Beast would come out flying, scoring twice on Fielding and holding the Thunder to just five shots. Reggie Traccitto would start the scoring 2:31 into the contest with his 11th goal, then Alex Foster would follow with a power play goal just under 9 minutes later for a 2-0 Brampton advantage.
The Beast continued their dominance in the second, with two more goals. In a span of 3:22, Tyson Wilson and Brandon MacLean (on the power play) would score for a 4-0 lead, spelling the end of the night for Fielding after just over 29 minutes. Tomas Sholl would come in for the second straight Friday in relief.
After Sholl entered the game—and some extra curricular activities near the end of the second period—things would calm down entering the third. However, Brampton was not done scoring, extending their lead to 5-0 on a Cody Donaghey goal with 4:44 to go in the contest. The Thunder would finally get on the board with 20 seconds to go on Brian Ward’s 20th goal of the season.
Fielding finished his third straight loss with 13 saves on 17 shots. Sholl would stop 22 of 23.
3. Brandon Marino (BRM) 2 assists
2. Brandon MacLean (BRM) 1 goal, 2 assists
1. Chris Driedger (BRM) 24 saves
Monday, 2/19: Adirondack 3, Brampton 1
After a rare weekend off, the two teams would meet again in Brampton for a Family Day matinee.
During the two day break, Fielding and Desmond Bergin joined the Hartford Wolfpack for their weekend slate, then returned to the Thunder. Mathieu Brodeur would be summoned to his third different AHL team this season, joining Utica on a PTO. Matthew Spencer would return from Syracuse to help the depleted defense.
After a scoreless first period, the visitors would get on the board early in the second. James Henry, appearing in his 300th career contest, would score his 16th of the season 58 seconds in for a 1-0 Thunder lead.
A goal in his 300th game - Congrats Hank! pic.twitter.com/gRSQ8n86J1— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 19, 2018
The Beast would tie the game 3:48 into the third on a Jackson Leef goal. But, just 1:02 later, the Thunder would go ahead for good on Terrence Wallin’s 17th goal of the season.
Ward would add some insurance with an empty net goal, his team-leading 21st.
Sholl would get the start and was terrific once again, stopping 29 of 30 shots to improve his record to 4-0. Three Thunder skaters would add one assist each.
3. Jackson Leef (BRM) 1 goal
2. Chris Driedger (BRM) 24 saves
1. Tomas Sholl (ADK) 29 saves
DELETE: D Colton White, recalled to Binghamton 2/13
DELETE: F Stathis Soumelidis, released from SPC 2/15
ADD: F Stephen Hrehoriak, signed to SPC 2/15
DELETE: F Shane Conacher, recalled to Syracuse 2/15
DELETE: G Drew Fielding, signed to PTO by Hartford 2/17
ADD: G Drew Fielding, returned by Hartford 2/18
DELETE: D Desmond Bergin, signed to PTO by Hartford 2/18
DELETE: D Mathieu Brodeur, signed to PTO by Utica 2/18
ADD: D Desmond Bergin, returned by Hartford 2/19
ADD: D Matthew Spencer, reassigned by Syracuse 2/19
Goals: Brian Ward, 21
Assists: James Henry, 27
Points: James Henry, 43
Plus/Minus: Mike Bergin, +7
Penalty Minutes: Tim Harrison, 81
Wins: Drew Fielding, 12
Goals Against Average: Tomas Sholl, 1.92
Save Percentage: Tomas Sholl, .944
ECHL North Division Standings:
(as of 2/19/18)
1. Manchester: 52 GP, 32-16-3-1, 68 points
2. Adirondack: 53 GP, 29-20-2-2, 62 points
3. Reading: 52 GP, 29-20-3-0, 61 points
4. Wheeling: 54 GP, 28-22-4-0, 60 points
5. Worcester: 50 GP, 22-21-4-3, 51 points
6. Brampton: 51 GP, 20-23-5-3, 48 points
Adirondack is going to be very busy this week, with 4 games in 5 days to close out the month of February.
It starts on home ice Wednesday night against Worcester. On Friday, the Thunder head east to Manchester to face the first place Monarchs. Saturday, Adirondack returns home to host Reading on Military Appreciation Night, donning specialty jerseys to be auctioned off postgame. Finally, the Thunder will host Wheeling on Sunday afternoon.