After a 2-0-1-0 series against the league-leading Florida Everblades the week before, the Adirondack Thunder hoped to build on that momentum going into the month of February.
With some of that pesky Thunder magic, they would take two out of three games against division rivals Reading and Worcester, and stay within striking distance of first place in the ECHL’s North Division.
Tuesday, 1/30: Adirondack 3, Reading 2
To finish off January and a 5 game homestand, the Thunder would host the Royals. Adirondack would have some Syracuse reinforcements back in the lineup, as Ty Loney and Shane Conacher returned to Glens Falls while the Crunch were enjoying their AHL All-Star break.
In the first, Reading managed just two shots against Thunder goaltender Drew Fielding, who was making his 9th straight start between the pipes. But, one of those shots—off the stick of Matt Willows—would find its way into the net, giving the Royals a 1-0 lead 6:38 into the contest. But, with 1:04 remaining in the opening frame, Pierre Luc Mercier would score his 12th of the season to tie the game at 1.
Defenseman Desmond Bergin would score his 9th goal 5:28 into the second period to put the Thunder ahead 2-1.
Reading would then re-tie the game on a Tyler Brown goal with four and a half minutes remaining in the second.
The score would stay tied at 2 until very late in the third, when Loney would come through in the clutch. His 19th goal with just 36 seconds remaining in regulation would give Adirondack a huge win.
Fielding only had to make 15 saves in earning his 12th win of the season. All three Thunder goal scorers also had one assist each.
The best stat of the night? Not a single penalty was called on Adirondack. In fact, it took until midway through the third period for any kind of infraction to be called.
3. Matt Willows (REA) 1 goal, 1 assist
2. Pierre Luc Mercier (ADK) 1 goal, 1 assist
1. Ty Loney (ADK) 1 goal, 1 assist
Friday, 2/2: Adirondack 3, Worcester 2 (OT)
As the Thunder started a 5 game road trip in Worcester, they ended up sporting quite a different look.
Loney, along with Nick Riopel, was traded by Syracuse to Bakersfield on Wednesday night. While Riopel will join the Condors’ ECHL affiliate in Wichita, the Thunder retains Loney’s rights. Conacher was summoned back to the Crunch, and defenseman Colton White was sent down from Binghamton for his second Thunder stint of the season.
For the first time since January 7th, a goaltender not named Drew Fielding got the start for the Thunder. Rookie Tomas Sholl, who joined the team on January 24th, finally made his Adirondack debut.
The Railers would take a 1-0 lead late in the first period on a deflection from Matt Lane. They then doubled the lead to 2 midway through the second on a power play goal from Jeff Kubiak.
Down two goals going into the third? Looks like a job for the pesky Thunder!
The comeback would begin 5:31 into the final period, when Bergin would score his 10th of the season to cut the Worcester lead in half.
Worcester mayyyyyyyyy have ended its own shutout there but we'll take it!— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 3, 2018
We're within a goal midway through the third! pic.twitter.com/gjsiovBIvf
With 4:52 remaining in regulation, a shot from Andrew Radjenovic would find its way into the net and the game was tied up at 2.
The ole' Riley Redirect and we're tied at two! pic.twitter.com/JLawLkpWYA— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 3, 2018
The game would then carry over into overtime, where the Thunder comeback would be officially completed. White, in his first Adirondack appearance since October 29th in Reading, scored his second goal 1:35 in to finish off a 3-2 victory.
Sholl became the fifth different Thunder goaltender this season to have at least one win, stopping 36 of 38 Railer shots. Four different skaters would each add an assist.
3. Andrew Radjenovic (ADK) 1 goal
2. Matt Lane (WOR) 1 goal, 1 assist
1. Colton White (ADK) 1 goal
Saturday, 2/3: Manchester 8, Adirondack 3
The road trip headed north into New Hampshire on Saturday, as the Thunder looked to sweep the week against first place Manchester.
Yeah, about that...
The Monarchs jumped out to a 2-0 lead 7:15 into the first period with goals from Zac Lynch and Spencer Watson. Blake Thompson’s first ECHL goal at the 12:04 mark would cut the Manchester lead in half.
Blake me off a piece of that Kit Kat Bar! pic.twitter.com/utW0jQFlAg— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 3, 2018
A goal by Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman with 46 seconds remaining in the first would extend the Monarchs lead to 3-1. The Thunder would be outshot 20-9 through the first 20 minutes of the contest.
Manchester would extend their lead to 4-1 4:33 into the second on another goal from LaVallee-Smotherman. Adirondack would answer just over four minutes later with a power play goal from Terrence Wallin, his 14th, for a 4-2 game.
A tip from Terrence brings us back within a pair! pic.twitter.com/tX2HJllS79— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) February 4, 2018
The Monarchs would restore their three goal lead with 4:44 to go in the period.
A David Kolomatis goal 1:10 into the third would extend the lead to 6-2. But, Brian Ward’s 16th would put the Thunder back to within 3 with 12:07 remaining.
However, Manchester was not done scoring goals. In a span of 2:53 LaVallee-Smotherman would complete the hat trick and Matt Schmalz scored his 15th to make it a 8-3 Monarch lead.
Fielding was the unfortunate victim in net, staying in for the full game and stopping 40 of 48 shots.
3. Spencer Watson (MCH) 1 goal, 2 assists
2. Matt Marcinew (MCH) 4 assists
1. Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman (MCH) 3 goals, 2 assists
ADD: F Ty Loney, reassigned from Syracuse 1/28
ADD: F Shane Conacher, reassigned from Syracuse 1/28
DELETE: F Ty Loney, recalled by Syracuse/traded to Bakersfield 1/31
ADD: D Colton White, reassigned by Binghamton 2/1
DELETE: F Shane Conacher, recalled by Syracuse 2/1
Goals: Brian Ward, 16
Assists: James Henry, 26
Points: James Henry, 40
Plus/Minus: Mathieu Brodeur, +13
Penalty Minutes: Tim Harrison/Mike Bergin, 67
Wins: Drew Fielding, 12
Goals Against Average: Tomas Sholl, 1.95
Save Percentage: Tomas Sholl, .947
ECHL North Division Standings:
(as of 2/5/18)
- Manchester: 47 GP, 28-15-3-1, 60 points
- Wheeling: 48 GP, 26-18-4-0, 56 points
- Reading: 48 GP, 27-19-2-0, 56 points
- Adirondack: 48 GP, 26-18-2-2, 56 points
- Worcester: 44 GP, 19-19-4-2, 44 points
- Brampton: 45 GP, 17-20-5-3, 42 points
The Thunder road trip heads south to Virginia for the weekend, as they face Norfolk in a 3 game series on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.