On May 21st, just two days after the Adirondack Thunder’s season ended in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Florida Everblades, the team packed up, the ice surface was melted down, and the players went through their exit interviews.
Adirondack’s social media has slowly been releasing individual interviews every day since then. Here is a small collection from those with ties to Syracuse this season.
First, we’ll begin with head coach Brad Tapper. In his first season as a head coach after working as an assistant in both the ECHL and AHL, Tapper had a very good debut behind the bench, winning the North Division title and getting to within three wins of a Kelly Cup Finals berth. He also served as the team’s director of hockey operations, which also meant he was responsible for recruiting the right players to go to battle for the “Red Army.”
"Over the course of the year, as you get that bond stronger and stronger in the middle circle, you will have something in the end."— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) May 22, 2018
Brad Tapper on creating a hockey family, thoughts as a 1st-year coach and building on this year's success into next season. https://t.co/iVa8GtltMt
Shane Conacher had to commute quite a few times between Glens Falls and Syracuse during the course of the season. Yet, he didn’t mind it, and was grateful for the opportunity with both cities.
"It was easy to come back down here because of the group we had. It was such a fun year."— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) May 29, 2018
Shane Conacher on being the #ADKThunder leading scorer, call-ups to the AHL and facing adversity at different points throughout the season. pic.twitter.com/S1JtRUZFJt
Speaking of up and down, how did first year defenseman Matthew Spencer adapt to splitting time between the Thunder and the Crunch, and what lessons did he learn as he made the junior-to-pro transition?
"I've always considered [physicality] playoff hockey, everything gets ramped up a bit."— Adirondack Thunder (@ECHLThunder) May 30, 2018
Matthew Spencer on his first professional season, the adjustment from juniors and becoming a more physical player during the Kelly Cup Playoffs. https://t.co/yZpBFVdTXB
Look for a second post coming up in the near future once more interviews are released and collected.