Coming out of the All-Star break, the Adirondack Thunder were a little short-handed, as Tyler Irvine was recalled to Utica, while Pete MacArthur Colin Long, and Ivan Chukarov are all inactive due to injuries. Adirondack, after the weekend series, now sits at the bottom of the division and on a five-game losing streak after dropping two to the New York Islanders affiliate. Let’s take a deeper look at what went wrong and the few things that went right for Adirondack during their three-in-three weekend.
Adirondack Drops First Game After All-Star Game
GLENS FALLS, NY — The Adirondack Thunder, for the second time in under a month, were hitting the ice following an extended layoff, however, that didn’t seem to affect them right out of the gate. Forward Robbie Payne opened the scoring six minutes in off a tip from the point in opening frame. Less than a minute later, Jordan Kaplan threw a blindsided hit on a Royals player, a hit which saw him serve five minutes for fighting, five for interference, and a ten-minute game misconduct. Those 20 penalty minutes in Friday night’s game were more than Kaplan had in his first 23 games this season. That altercation became Adirondack’s 24th fight in 28 games this season. Patrick Grasso doubled the Thunder lead late in the second off a nice pass from Luke Stevens stationed behind the net, the team’s 17th shot to put a knot on the opening frame.
Adirondack has not had fun in the second period all year, and Friday night was no exception. Just 2:55 into the middle frame, forward Trevor Gooch put the puck in from the circle, pulling the Royals within one of the opposition. Reading tied the game on their third man advantage of the night, as Anthony Gagnon scored on a one-timer from Patrick Bajkov on the only acceptable goal Adirondack allowed on the evening. It was from that point onward that Adirondack forgot what defence was, giving up three more goals on the night, as the Royals proceeded to win the contest 5-2. In his first game back from Utica, backstop Mareks Mitens made 27 saves in the losing effort. With the loss, the Royals are now 4-1-0 against the Thunder this year.
“I guess you gotta play a full sixty minute game, and if you fall asleep for one minute, it can cost you,” said Joe Masonius. “Just consistency all the way through is what we needed.” When asked if the long layoff had anything to do with the loss, Head Coach Alex Loh said “Yes and no, I think we know how to play, we played well in the first period, but we sort of let it get away from us in the second period.”
Adirondack Losing Streak Extends To Four With Loss In Worcester
The Adirondack Thunder lost their fourth straight game on Saturday night, as they fell 3-2 to the Worcester Railers. This was the second time Worcester has beaten Adirondack. The first win came in a demanding 8-1 victory on November 26. On Saturday, the Thunder gave Brandon Kasel the nod in between the pipes. That decision didn’t come as much of a surprise seeing as Adirondack seems to be utilizing all three goalies they have activated at the moment. In the opening twenty minutes, both teams were rather evenly matched, and they entered the dreaded second period still knotted scoreless. The Thunder opened the scoring early in the frame, as Joe Masonius scored on the power play to give Adirondack the needed 1-0 lead.
Kasel remained perfect until the second half when forward Ross Olsson put the puck in on a wraparound, which allowed the Railers to tie the game at one apiece. On Friday, decisive lapses hurt the Thunder, and on Saturday, the same would be true, as Anthony Rapaci got a golden opportunity in the Thunder zone, making no mistake, as he buried it to give the Railers a 2-1 lead. Just 33 seconds later, Cole Coskey put the puck in the net, adding some insurance to put the Railers up 3-1.
Adirondack scored with just five seconds remaining in the third, as Robbie Payne picked up his second in as many nights, making it two power play goals for the Thunder on four attempts. This was one of many positives for the team to use as momentum for the series decider. Luke Stevens continued his dominance, having picked up a point in all three games he’s played with the club. Goaltender Brandon Kasel made 31 saves despite the losing effort.
Adirondack Suffers Weekend Sweep
WORCESTER, MA — It’s getting to become a dark and stormy scene in Adirondack and not for a good reason, as the Thunder fell again, dropping their fifth straight contest on Sunday afternoon. Adirondack struck gold early in the first, as Shane Harper scored on a wraparound for his fifth of the season. With the goal, he now has a point in three of his last four games. The Railers got on the board courtesy of Reece Newkirk, who with a power play goal, drew his team back within one. This comes as no surprise, with Adirondack seeded 26th on the penalty kill.
Bobby Butler would gave Worcester a commanding 3-1 lead, however, that didn’t last for long, as the Thunder responded just 25 seconds later. Again, it was Shane Harper to the rescue, fed by Sebastian Vidmar for his fourth of the season. That provided Adirondack a life line heading into the middle frame. The second period was a typical one for the Thunder, as they once again were outplayed by Worcester, being outshot 14-4, while spending the frame back in their own zone. However, the only bright spot reared its head at the 6:06 mark when defender Jake Hamilton scored on a wraparound goal, which knotted the game up at three apiece. Forward Brent Beaudoin put the Railers up late in the second, as he beat backstop Mareks Mitens to reclaim his team’s lead, one they wouldn’t look back on. Adirondack gave up three more goals in the third, as their faltering ways continued with a 7-3 loss. With the win, Worcester leaps to fifth place in the North Division.
“We’ve had a great group all year, even at the beginning of the year when we were in last place,” said Railers Head Coach David Cunniff. He went on to mention that the club’s core group is a special group of people. Colten Ellis picked up the win for the Railers, making 18 saves in the blowout victory. Speaking of the efforts between the pipes, Cundiff said that he believes they have the best goaltending tandem in the league. On the other end, Mitens made 29 saves in the loss for the Thunder. Adirondack will be back home on Thursday, January 27, as they welcome the Trois-Rivières Lions to Glens Falls for the very first time.