Thunder Goaltending Takes Center Stage During Three-Game Road Trip

The Adirondack Thunder’s three-game road trip was led by goaltenders Michael McNiven and Eamon McAdam. Between the two goaltenders, only one goal would be allowed over the course of the three-game road trip. McNiven would start the first two games and would notch a shutout in both games he played. Eamon McAdam would extend the Thunder shutout streak until it would end after 162:11 on a goal by Reading forward Ralph Cuddemi.

October 30th at Brampton

The Thunder’s road stretch began north of the border as they made the trip out to Brampton, Ontario where they took part in an early morning game against the Beast at the CAA Centre. Before the game, the Thunder activated forward Alexandre Carrier off of the IR while also activating Jake Linhart, Adirondack defensemen off the IR as well. Both guys would make their season debut in Wednesday’s game, but wouldn’t make a dent on the scoresheet.

The Thunder would open the scoring late in the first frame of play in Brampton as Casey Pierro-Zabotel would put home the rebound off a shot from Conor Riley from the point. That’s all the Thunder would end up needing as the defence would give up 33 shots, but the Beast couldn’t seem to get many scoring opportunities as Michael McNiven would stop all 33 shots to notch the first Thunder shutout of the 2019-2020 season.

The Thunder have had issues staying out of the box recently as they took six minor penalties in Wednesday’s game. However, Adirondack would kill off all five opportunities that Brampton had with the man-advantage. Adirondack would also be unsuccessful during their two power play opportunities. Hayden Verbeek would extend his point streak to five as he would pick up an assist on the empty-net goal. The goal, which was scored by Gabriel Verpaeist, would come at the end of the 2-0 win.

First Period

ADK: 16:12: Pierro-Zabotel (2) from Popugaev (5), Riley (4)

Third Period

ADK: 18:46: Verpaeist (1) from Verbeek (5) (En)

November 2nd At Worcester

The Adirondack Thunder won their second straight game Saturday as Michael McNiven would pitch his second consecutive shutout, a 2-0 victory over the Worcester Railers. Unlike their previous matchup, the two teams were able to keep their emotions at bay and between both teams, only 14 minutes in penalties would be assessed.

Adirondack would come out firing on all cylinders throughout the course of the game’s first period and would take a 15-6 advantage in the shots on goals category. In spite of that, the Thunder wouldn’t be able to put any pucks past Evan Buitenhuis until the 8:30 mark of the third period when Mike Szmatula would get a pass right in front of the net from Nikita Popaugaev. The scoring wouldn’t end there as about six minutes later, Robbie Payne would get a pass from about 25 feet out from Ara Nazarian to double the Thunder’s lead. Hayden Verbeek would get an assist on Szmatula’s goal which would increase his point streak to six games.

The Railers, on the other end of it, wouldn’t go down without a fight. Gabriel Verpaeist would take a double minor for high-sticking with a little over four minutes left in the third period. Worcester would take advantage of this and pull Buitenhuis with 1:55 remaining in the game’s final frame but wouldn’t be able to cash in with the extra attacker.

Luck would be on the Thunder’s side as Worcester would put one past McNiven, but would be immediately called off due to a high-stick. That would be the only scare the Thunder would have to face. Adirondack will get on the bus and travel five hours down to Reading to face the Royals in an evening matchup with puck drop scheduled for 4:00pmET.

Goals:

Third Period:

ADK: 8:30: Szmatula (1) from Popugaev (6), Verbeek (6)

ADK: 14:24: Payne (3) from Nazarian (2), Verpaeist (1)

November 3rd At Reading

Playing on back-to-back nights is a tough task for any team, but when you have a five-hour bus drive after playing a night game and have to play the next afternoon, that can be tiring. The fatigue was obviously a factor for the Thunder as they got outshot 25-4 in the opening frame, but thankfully Eamon McAdam would be able to bail them out on multiple occasions, including two huge stops in the first 10 minutes.

The Royals would finally find a way to sneak one past McAdam early in the second period as Ralph Cuddmemi would open the scoring for Reading. Adirondack would finally wake up in the third period as Reading wouldn’t get a shot on goal until the 9:34 mark of the period. Adirondack would have numerous scoring chances, but just couldn’t find the back of the net despite a 15-4 shot advantage in the third. McAdam would make a season-high 43 saves in the loss.

Goals:

Second Period

REA: 2:11: Cuddemi (6) from Mazza (1)

Adirondack will travel home tonight and have an easier week coming up as their next game will be at home on Friday night when they welcome the Worcester Railers back to town. The Adirondack Thunder will also play in Maine on Saturday night before coming back to Glens Falls on Sunday to host the Worcester Railers in a 3:00pm puck drop to finish off their weekend. As always, the Thunder can be heard on Talk 1450! and Hits 95.9.

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