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Tampa Bay Lightning ECHL affiliate season in review: Adirondack Thunder 17-18, more in their own words

More Thunder exit interviews!

Olivier Mantha
Tracey Lake

The ECHL season is finally over. The Colorado Eagles finished their last season in the league before moving up to the AHL with a 7 game series win over the Florida Everblades. Their victory allowed them to win their second straight Kelly Cup last weekend. The ECHL season is done, but there’s a lot of off season business to tend to for the Adirondack Thunder.

The Thunder has certainly been busy. They renewed their affiliation agreement with the New Jersey Devils for another season recently. They also released their protected list and completed all future consideration trades before submitting their season ending roster later this week. During all of this, Adirondack has continued to feature the players’ exit interviews daily.

Rookie goaltender Olivier Mantha arrived in Glens Falls in late February after finishing his collegiate career at Alaska-Anchorage. He signed an AHL deal with Syracuse to take over the third goaltender slot after the departure of Nick Riopel a month earlier. What did he think about making the transition from college to the professional level?

Forward Troy Bourke started his Thunder career with a bang on Opening Night, but a pair of injuries would keep him out of the lineup for most of the first half of the season. But once healthy, he would be a major contributor to the Adirondack offense, something which earned him a promotion to Syracuse late in the season. Bourke appeared in all 7 Calder Cup playoff games the Crunch played. He returned to the Thunder in time for the Eastern Conference Finals.

It’s fitting that this interview was posted by the Thunder just hours before Bourke’s return to the Crunch organization was announced. He signed a one year AHL contract just this past week.

Finally, we’ll finish with someone who is familiar to Crunch fans.

Defenseman Mathieu Brodeur had quite the season. He had three separate PTO stints with three different AHL teams, including Syracuse. He played in his 500th professional game. He got to wear the captain’s C during the playoffs with Adirondack when regular captain Mike Bergin was injured. Finally, he scored the game winning goal in the longest game in Thunder history, a triple overtime win over Manchester that sent Adirondack to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history.