The Adirondack Thunder desperately needed to play some good hockey this past weekend after an embarrassing loss to the Newfoundland Growlers on Wednesday night. The Thunder accomplished this, but not before a rocky start to the homestand. Let’s dive into what occurred in downtown Glens Falls at the Cool Insuring Arena.
Adirondack Thunder Get Derailed By Worcester in Embarrassing Fashion
GLENS FALLS, NY — Outside the Cool Insuring Arena on Friday, there were snow flurries, and there were a flurry of goals to go with it, however, they weren’t just on the Thunder end. For the second straight night, Adirondack played sub-par hockey, and it showed, as they fell 8-1 at the hands of the Worcester Railers. When asked what it was that went wrong, forward Pete MacArthur said, “You know those Scantron sheets you take when you’re a little kid? I’d fill in E, all of the above.”
The Thunder were outplayed in the opening frame, as they gave up 17 shots to the opposing Railers. They did a get a boost of momentum late in the frame, as Colin Long fed the puck to MacArthur, who wired a backhander past Colten Ellis to put them ahead 1-0 with less than a minute left on the clock. Wednesday was Long’s first game back after missing the previous four sidelined with a hip injury. “It’s always nice to get back,” the veteran said. “Unfortunately, we were on the wrong side of things, myself included. It does feel nice to be back, but that was a tough start.”
A late goal normally given the team who scored momentum, but that goal would be one of the few and far between bright spots for Adirondack. The second period would be a frame to forget for the Thunder, was they would give up five goals to the Railers, which was a franchise record for Worcester. Ross Olsson would pick up the first two goals for the Railers, including one on the power play. Anthony Repaci would join the offensive part just 35 seconds following Olsson’s goal, which forced Alex Loh for the second straight night to use his timeout early.
A goal off the stick of Liam Coughlin would signal the end of the line for Alex Sakellaropoulos, who was replaced by Mareks Mittens after giving up 31 shots. Repaci tallied the fifth and final goal of the period, putting the Thunder behind by four heading into the final twenty minutes.
In the third, things didn’t get much better, as Jacob Hayhurst tallied a shorthanded goal on the breakaway, as the Railers officially scored a touchdown en route to the victory. At the 6:48 mark of the frame, Adirondack finally gave the crowd something to cheer about, as Alex Carrier dropped the gloves with Liam Coughlin, which resulted in Carrier getting two minutes for instigating, five for fighting, and a game misconduct after appearing to be irate with the officials.
It wouldn’t take long for another scuffle to break out, as just seconds later, Jimmy Mazza and Ross Olsson dropped the gloves in a brief exchange of Thanksgiving recipes. If you thought two fights would be enough for the friendly clubs, you’d be wrong. Robbie Payne delivered a charge on a Railers player, which was followed by yet another fist fight, this one with Karl Boudrias. For his role in the altercation, Chris Lijdsman received a 10-minute misconduct. Olsson’s evening finished with his first-career hat-trick, followed by Jordan Smotherman’s fourth of the year, all but putting the Adirondack Thunder away.
Teddy Bears and Hat-Tricks Lead Adirondack To Victory To End Home Stand
Saturday night was Teddy Bear Toss Night at the Cool Insuring Arena, and if there’s one night you don’t want to get shut out, that would be the one. Tyler Irvine took care of those worries, as he opened up the scoring with the team’s first shorthanded goal, beating Zachary Bouthillier, as teddy bears rained down from the seats. This provided the Thunder an early 1-0 lead.
Adirondack didn’t take their foot off the gas, as Patrick Grasso scored his first of the night, which doubled his team’s lead through the first twenty minutes. The Thunder entered Saturday’s game having the worst second period of any team in the league, as they had scored seven goals and given up 26 in the middle frame, however, in this contest, things appeared much different.
It would take the Thunder only 41 seconds to get on the board, as Grasso was fed a short pass from Irvine and put it in the net, effectively ending Bouthiller’s night. Jeremy Brodeur took his place in between the pipes. Adirondack’s power play would convert on their third attempt, as Pete MacArthur fed Ivan Chukarov, who would rocket one home, finishing the night with two points. This was also his first point since November 14th.
“I’ve just started to find my groove here in the last little bit,” the defenseman said. “I ended up not playing last year, and it kinda slowed me down a little.” The Mariners made a push at the end, as Keltie Jeri-Leon, Andrew Peski, and Nate Kallen all tallied their first goals, which cut the Thunder lead down to one. Grasso then hit the empty net, which completed his first career hat-trick. “Yeah, absolutely it was a good team effort, so it’s definitely a happy feeling” the forward said postgame with a chuckle. Tyler Irvine finished the meeting with a goal and four assists. “It was good to be on the other side of things tonight,” the forward said with pride. “It comes down to little details and we did that well tonight.”
Mareks Mitens made his first start since November 19th after Alex Sakellaropoulos got the nod in the previous three. Mitens made 37 saves en route to the victory. “It was great, [the] team played amazing,” the backstop said. He also made note that it was a must-win game for his team.
Adirondack will now hit the road to play Worcester on Friday, followed by a weekend doubleheader with the Maine Mariners on Saturday and Sunday. “I’m excited,” Chukarov gleefully said about playing his former team Friday night at the DCU Center. “Hopefully, we can go in and steal some points.”