The Adirondack Thunder were down some big names, as Pete MacArthur, Luke Stevens, and Jake Ryczek all missed both games against the Maine Mariners, and will be missing more time down the road. This year, Alex Loh has mentioned the next man up mentality, and on Saturday, Ryan Cook played a very solid game, taking advantage of the opportunity. “Yeah, he was good tonight no question,” said the Thunder bench boss. “It’s a situation where you’re going to have guys in and out of the lineup. and with the injuries we had, we put him [Cook] back in tonight and he had a great pass in the first period, and was solid throughout.” This was a huge bounce-back performance and a solid weekend overall for a Thunder team that has some work to do if they want to make the postseason.
Thunder Gets Four-Game Winning Streak Snapped
The Adirondack Thunder had their four-game losing streak snapped in the opening game, as they fell 7-1 at the hands of the Maine Mariners. Maine found their way on the board, as defenseman Zach Malatesta netted a goal from the slot, giving his team a 1-0 lead just 2:42 into the meeting. This was an ugly game for Adirondack, as they played their worst second period this season, in which they gave up three goals in the middle frame, almost as ugly as the snowy roads on Friday night. They were also outshot 17-7 in the period.
Things didn’t get better, as the Thunder opted to go with Alex Sakellaropoulos after Brandon Kasel gave up four goals on 30 shots against. This likely being the case in order to give Brandon some rest. The change of goaltenders seemed to give the Thunder a boost of confidence early, as Sebastian Vidmar got his team on the board. However, that wouldn’t last, as Adirondack went back to their previous ways, giving up 17 shots. A win in Game 2 is critical, as they are chasing Maine in the standings, and one thing to remember entering the contest is that they have currently four games in hand on the Mariners.
Thunder Rebound After Embarasment on Friday Night
GLENS FALLS NY — Entering Saturday’s affair, the Thunder had to rebound following a disastrous opener, and get back to their winning ways before a four-game road trip to Trois-Rivières and Newfoundland. “Yeah, it’s nice to have three out of four this week,” said Shane Harper. “It’s important that we have a better home record. We just need to carry it in to Trois-Rivières, then into Newfoundland, playing four-in-five against two really good teams.”
On Friday, the Thunder were able to get on the board early, as Ryan Cook executed a nice play, feeding Tyler Irvine down the wing, as the right-winger backhanded one past Zach Bouthillier to claim the early 1-0 lead. Entering the affair, Adirondack owned the league-worst penalty kill, meanwhile, Maine owned the league-best power play. That’s something the Mariners took advantage of, as Cam Askew found a way to tie the game with the advantage.
As for how they faired in the re-match, the Thunder had been outscored 70-33 in the second frame, but managed to flip the script, as Ryan Smith scored his first goal since January 9th, putting the puck in past Bouthillier. “Yeah, it felt good. I don’t think I’ve been doing anything wrong, just trying to get pucks on net and one finally went in, and it felt good,” commented the 24-year-old. Just 2:02 after the goal, Vidmar added a power play marker, bringing him to seven goals across his last seven games. “I’ve been shooting more, and a lot more bounces are going my way, so I’m going to keep shooting,” he told the media postgame.
The Mariners made things interesting in the third, as Keltie Jeri-Leon scored off the face-off, to which Nate Kallen followed with his own to knot the game up at three. Adirondack was given a gift in the form of a four-minute power play, and the Thunder pounced on it to get back out in front.
Sebastian Vidmar scored his second of the game, which ultimately became the game-winning tally. “It got us the game,” he said with relief. Speaking further on that, Head Coach Alex Loh said, “It’s one of those things you have to take advantage of when they come to you in the third period. You have to find a way to get the job done.”
Having been able to do just that, Nick Rivera said with satisfaction, “Yeah, at the end of the day, it’s a bad penalty to take in the third period. I know if we took that penalty, our coach wouldn’t be happy with us.”
Adirondack now faces the Trois-Rivières Lions before heading out to Eastern Canada to three games against the Newfoundland Growlers.