The Adirondack Thunder had a chance to extend their slight lead for fourth as Maine was off all week and the Thunder had two games against the Newfoundland Growlers. After the two games, the Thunder sat in the same spot before the week began as they suffered yet another sweep and saw their losing streak skid to seven straight games.
Adirondack Blows First Period Two Goal Lead
The Adirondack Thunder got off to a hot start on Tuesday night as at the 4:34 mark of the first period, Nikita Popugaev would backhand one past Makism Zhukov to give the Thunder an early 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, Matt Salhany would throw a puck off the sideboards then find his own shot and put it home to give the Thunder a 2-0 lead.
For Newfoundland, the early 2-0 deficit would prompt a goaltending switch against Adirondack as Zhukov would be pulled after giving up two goals on three shots in favour of Parker Gahagen. The goaltending change seemed to give the Growlers some life as they were able to pick up three goals before the period ended, including a short-handed breakaway goal from Scott Pooley which would give the Growlers a 3-2 lead after the first twenty minutes of play.
In the second period, the Thunder would be able to tie the game after finally being able to convert on the power play after failing on the first two attempts. Nikita Popugaev would feed Ryan Walker who would take a one-timer and find the back of the net to tie the game at three.
The third period would not serve the Thunder justice as Newfoundland’s Justin Brazeau would take a rocket of a shot from about 25 feet out and beat Eamon McAdam. That goal would prove to be all the Growlers would need as Giorgio Estephan would add another goal to give the Growlers a 5-3 lead which they would hold on to take the first of a quick two-game series between these two teams.
ADK: 4:54 Popugaev (3) from Walker and Curti
ADK: 6:32 Salhany (8) from Henry and Szmatula
NFL: 9:56 Neugold (6) from Luchuk and Estephan
NFL: 11:01 Ferguson (14) from Power
NFL: 16:51 Pooley (11) from Bradley (SH)
ADK: 12:13 Walker (4) from Popugaev and Linhart (PP)
NFL: 1:02 Brazeau (10) from Conrad and Hollowell (PP)
NFL: 14:43 Estephan (12) from Luchuk
Thunder Suffer Deja VU In The Second Game In Newfoundland
The Thunder would once again get the fans excited as Casey Pierro-Zabotel would deflect a shot from Blake Thompson to give Adirondack a 1-0 lead at the 2:32 mark of the first period. Adirondack would stretch their lead to two as their well-improved power play would once again convert as Charlie Curti would find the loose puck to give the Thunder a 2-0 lead heading into the second period.
The Growlers would come out of the intermission hot as Marcus Powers would net the puck just 1:08 into the second period. Newfoundland would continue to press as Eamon McAdam would have to make a great save at the 4:10 mark of the period to keep the Thunder’s lead. However, Newfoundland’s Jonathan Brazeau would get his second in two nights against Adirondack as he unleashed another great shot that got past McAdam to tie the game up at two.
Newfoundland would get two goals in 0:22 seconds which would make it four straight unanswered goals for them as they would start to run away with the game. Adirondack would make things interesting as Charlie Curti would find Mike Szmatula who would tip one home for the Thunder’s second power play goal of the game. That would be the closest the Thunder would get to tying it up as Newfoundland would end up winning this one by a score of 5-3.
Eamon McAdam would make 23 saves in the loss as he got the nod in back-to-back games. The Newfoundland Growlers have now won all three matchups this season against the Thunder.
ADK: 2:32 Pierro-Zabotel (11) from Thompson
ADK: 16:38 Curti (6) from Henry and Szmatula (PP)
NFL: 1:08 Power (12) from Luchuk and Johnston
NFL: 7:44 Brazeau (11) from Woods
NFL: 6:01 Pooley (12) from Duszak
NFL: 6:23 Power (13) from Ferguson and Pooley
ADK: 14:42 Szmatula (8) from Curti and Sissons (PP)
NFL: 19:03 Hollowell (3) unassisted (EN)
What’s Next For The Thunder
The Thunder will face the Maine Mariners in a very critical series this weekend in Glens Falls. Adirondack has a very slim two-point lead for the fourth and final playoff spot in the North over the Mariners. The Mariners also have six games in hand over Adirondack at the moment. Maine has won four of the seven head-to-head meetings between the two clubs so far this season.