For the first time in 2021-22, the Adirondack Thunder have won four consecutive games. The Thunder beat the Railers on Friday night before taking down the Maine Mariners on Saturday and Sunday. Let’s take a deeper dive into how the Thunder have started to turn their season around.
Thunder Get Revenge On Railers
For the first time during the 2021-22 season, the Adirondack Thunder have won two straight games, fter they defeated the Worcester Railers by a final score of 3-2. Special teams played a huge factor on Friday night, as four of the five goals scored were tallied on the man advantage. The Thunder got off to a rough start, as forward Tyler Irvine took an early boarding call just 17 seconds into the opening frame. Penalty killing hasn’t been great for Adirondack, as they entered the evening affair last in the league on the kill. However, they killed they successfully managed to kill the first of the contest.
Samuel Laberge made his return to the Thunder after a stint with the Utica Comets, and he didn’t waste any time in his season debut. The left-winger kicked off the scoring on the power play, finding the net on his own rebound past Colten Ellis to give the Thunder an early lead. Adirondack couldn’t hold the lead for long, as Ross Olsson wired a shot on net that deflected off a skate blade, finding its way past Mitens to tie the contest at one apiece.
Tyler Irvine picked up his third point in the last four games, as he sought out a power play opportunity from the slot and converted to re-claim the Thunder lead. One of the biggest issues Adirondack has is taking penalties, and Friday was no different, as Worcester took to a late five-on-three to take advantage in the second, which saw Liam Coughlin knot up the game once again.
Adirondack forced a much better effort all-around in the third, as just 1:11 into the action, Robbie Payne scored a highlight-reel band-hander, which gave to the Thunder a late 3-2 lead. That goal would act and the insurance tally, as marks Mitens made a season-high 38 saves for his fifth win of the season.
Thunder Come From Behind to Sink Mariners
Adirondack arrived in Maine riding high on a two-game winning streak, however, Saturday night was Teddy Bear Toss night, and Elf night in Portland. Last weekend, the Thunder got the teddy bear jitters out early, but that would not repeat itself on this night in Maine. The opening frame didn’t provide much action, and maybe not to so much surprise, seeing as the hockey club entered the contest 0-8-0-0 when trailing after two periods. Those numbers greatly increased following the first of two meetings. The Mariners potted the Teddy Bear Toss goal, as Matthew Santos scored on a breakaway, putting it past Mitens, providing Maine the early lead.
As previously mentioned, the Thunder haven’t won a game when trailing after 40 minutes, but after this one, that would cease to be true. Callum Booth played a solid 40 minutes, but made a major mistake, giving the puck away to Black Bear graduate Ryan Smith, who managed to even the score. This gave Adirondack momentum, and at the 7:59 mark, newly signed forward Sebastian Vidmar put the Thunder ahead on a shot wired from just above the face-off circle. Comfortably up 2-1, this was a lead they wouldn’t look back on. Pete MacArthur and Nick Rivera both added a goal respectively to cap off a 4-1 Adirondack victory. Mitens got his second straight start between the pipes, putting up another solid outing, making 28 saves. This made for the backstop’s third consecutive victory.
Sunday vs Maine
PORTLAND, ME – The Adirondack Thunder completed the weekend sweep at Cross Insurance Arena, as they defeated the Maine Mariners for the second straight day by a final score of 4-1. Going head-to-head in a Sunday matinee, the Thunder, for a second straight game, would give up the opening goal, this time to Justin Brazeau, as he beat Mareks Mitens.
While not a team that performs well in the second period, the tides appeared to be changing throughout this one, as they picked up two goals from Tyler Irvine and Patrick Grasso, which tied up the game. Less than four minutes layer, Vidmar scored his second of the season, increasing the Thunder lead again, now 2-1. Adirondack saw their lead padded to in the third, as Tyler Irvine took a shot from a snapshot from just above the face-off circle to make it 3-1.
The newest addition added an empty-net goal to make it three goals in two games for the Swedish native. The Thunder returned to their ways on a strong penalty kill against the No. 1 power play in the league, as Maine failed to score on their two given opportunities. Mitens made 30 saves for his fourth straight win for himself and Adirondack.
Just prior to puck drop, backstop and Chicago native Alex Sakellaropoulos was placed on the league’s Commissioner’s Exempt List. The Thunder return to action on Friday night at Cool Insuring Arena, where they’ll start another three-in-three, welcoming in the visiting Reading Royals.