The Adirondack Thunder dropped the final game of their homestand with a loss to the Worcester Railers on Friday night. In a rivalry that has lasted almost two years now to date, this competition has surely become one of the biggest in the division. It even trumps that of the rivalry between the Brampton Beasts and the Newfoundland Growlers. The evening featured a combined 66 minutes of penalties between the two teams with 54 of those coming in the game’s first period. Tanner Pond and Micheal Sdao would be the players to get things started as Sdao was looking to drop the gloves while Pond, at first, was having no part of it.
Seventeen seconds later, the fun began as Micheal Sdao, Tanner Pond, Connor Doherty, Ross Olsson, James Henry, Gabriel Verpaeist and Ryan Thomas would all go off for five minutes for fighting. However, Kyle Thomas apparently said something to referee Alex Garon and banged his stick and was shown the door. “They are frustrating to play against and some times that boils over”, said Captain James Henry when talking about tonight’s game and the line-brawl in the first period.
Worcester would get on the board just twenty seconds into the game as Kyle Thomas would put one past Eamon McAdam, giving the Railers a 1-0 lead. The Thunder, keeping busy, would get on the board in the second period as Charlie Curti unleashed a one-timer from Ara Nazarian and Hayden Verbeek. The assist for Hayden Verbeek extends his point streak to four straight games. Adirondack would have plenty of chances in the third after McAdam made a save on a penalty shot and made an amazing save to keep it a two-goal deficit.
Connor Riley and Verbeek would both get chances on a breakaway, but fail to score, keeping the Thunder at bay. McAdam was pulled from the net with a little over two minutes left in the game. The Thunder would control the play for most of those ensuing two minutes before Nic Pierog would hit the empty net for his second of the night with three seconds remaining in the game.
Special teams were an issue for the Thunder as they would go 0-4 on the power play. “They got lucky”, said head coach Alex Loh when asked what happened tonight on special teams. However, the Thunder did have some bright spots at times with the man advantage, but couldn’t put any past Linus Soderstrom who was making his North American pro debut after being drafted by the New York Islanders back in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
With the loss, Adirondack drops to 3-1-0-1 and will look to bounce back on Wednesday as they begin a three-game road trip at 11:00amET. They start out against the Beasts in Brampton before making stops in both Reading and Worcester.
WOR: 0:20 Thomas (3) from Hitchcock and Pond
WOR: 17:09 Schmalz (1) from Dudek and Almeida (Power play)
ADK 4:45 Curti (3) from Popugaev and Verbeek
WOR: 7:33 Pierog (1) from Hitchcock and Almeida (Power play)
ADK: 19:57 Pierog (2) (Empty net, unassisted)