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Adirondack Thunder

Adirondack Thunder

Adirondack Continues to Lose Close Games

Adirondack Continues to Lose Close Games

GLENS FALLS, NY – After being swept by the Maine Mariners for the second time this month, the Adirondack Thunder are now on a five-game winless streak for the second time this season.  The Thunder had dropped their first three games against the Mariners at the beginning of the month, by scores of 4-3 and 4-1 twice.  Maine had an empty-net goal in each of the 4-1 outcomes.  This weekend had a similar look, with Adirondack dropping games Saturday (3-2) and Sunday (5-2).  Sunday’s match saw the Mariners tally two empty-netters.

Saturday was Adirondack’s twelfth one-goal game, the ninth loss.  With Head Coach Peter MacArthur serving a one-game suspension, Associate Coach Mike Bergin was in charge.

The game started out like many others, with Adirondack’s opponent netting the game’s first goal.  Fedor Gordeev‘s shot from the blue line was deflected by Mathew Santos for the 1-0 lead.

A few minutes later, Nick Master doubled the Mariners’ lead with a tip of Alex Kile‘s shot from the top of the faceoff circle.

Then it was Santos again, only 6:31 since his first goal, this time on a wraparound.

Santos could thank the Adirondack defense pairing of Jarrod Gourley and Wayne Létourneau for both of his goals.  The first started with a clearing attempt by Gourley that ended up on the stick of Gordeev; the second was a pass from Létourneau straight to the stick of Jacob Wilson, who passed up to Santos for the goal.  That defensive pairing was also on the ice for Master’s goal.

MacArthur: “When I watched last night [Saturday], there were so many turnovers, in the first period, turned the puck over ten times in the neutral zone.  It’s a really important zone, so that was a point of emphasis, it always is.  Right now it just seems like we’re having a hard time understanding how important that is.”

The Thunder went into the second period down 3-0, but Gourley tried to redeem himself with a quick goal only 1:35 into the stanza.  Forwards Xavier Parent and Grant Jozefek paired up to force a turnover in the Mariners’ zone before getting the puck to Gourley for the goal.

Garrett VanWyhe was credited with a fluke goal later in the second.  After a failed breakaway attempt by VanWyhe, Mariners defenseman Grant Gabriele ended up putting the puck into his own net on a play that you’d have to see to believe.

VanWyhe: “I was definitely surprised, after I hit the post I kind of flew by the net, so I was lucky to get that bounce off the skate.”

The Thunder couldn’t complete their comeback in the third, ending the night with the 3-2 loss.

Bergin: “I’m actually really proud of the guys, how they played.  A lot of guys played different roles tonight, trying to piece together the puzzle right now.  I thought we came out, competed hard.  A couple blunders where we gave them a little bit too much space, they capitalized.  But overall, I think we can learn from this and keep going, keep getting better.”

Sunday’s game started out worse than Saturday’s, with the Thunder giving up the first goal only 2:10 into the opening period.  It was the seventh game in which Adirondack gave up a goal within the first five minutes of play.

Tim Doherty knocked in his own rebound to open the scoring.

Less than four minutes later, Reid Stefanson doubled the lead for Maine.  After a misplayed puck by Isaac Poulter, Stefanson slid the puck between the rookie goaltender’s legs for the goal.

Adirondack’s Colin Long cut the lead in half when he went top shelf on Maine goaltender François Brassard later in the period.

The Mariners regained their two-goal lead early in the second after a failed clearing attempt by Gourley landed in front of Gabriele.  A couple passes later, Gabriele got the puck back and fired from the blueline.  For the second night in a row, it was Master getting a goal off a tip in front of the net.

Defenseman Ryan DaSilva closed the gap for Adirondack when he roofed the puck over Brassard for his first of the season.

MacArthur on DaSilva: “He’s got a really good stick, which is why we brought him here.  He’s got a really good shot, as you saw with the goal.  It hasn’t really jumped in for him, but it hasn’t jumped in for anybody yet.  So hopefully that gives him some confidence.  You always wish that goal’s in a win, but regardless, any way guys can have confidence right now, we need that, so happy for him to get a goal.”

The Mariners added two empty-net goals in the final 1:06 of the third, the first from forward Nick Jermain and the second from goaltender Brassard.  It was the first goalie goal in Mariners’ history.

Poulter, who returned to Adirondack from Utica earlier in the day, played well in net for Adirondack, stopping 38 shots in the losing effort.

“Couldn’t make a few saves in the start for myself, but I tried to bounce back and thought I had a pretty good rest of the game after the third goal.”

S.O.S.

With the front end severely depleted, the Thunder needed help this weekend, and quickly.  Without captain Shane Harper (injured reserve), Patrick Grasso (Utica), Shawn Weller and Yanick Turcotte (suspensions), the Thunder brought in Amherst (Western New York) native Nolan Sheeran for Friday’s game.  Adirondack’s affiliate, the New Jersey Devils, sent some help Saturday when they reassigned rookie Brian Halonen for the night.  Halonen picked up an assist on DaSilva’s goal.

One Goal Makes All the Difference

The Thunder may be a bit closer to winning than people realize.  Adirondack has been involved in twelve one-goal games so far this season, with nine losses.  Three were overtime losses, and one was in a shootout.  Of Adirondack’s 14 regulation losses, five have been by one goal.  Two others would have been one-goal games if not for empty-netters.

Bergin: “It proves to us that we’re right there.  It’s a tough pill to swallow when you lose the one-goal games, but we’ve got to find a way to win those games.”

Next Up

Both teams have one game upcoming before the holiday break.  The Mariners (12-10-1-0) head to Pennsylvania to take on the Reading Royals (15-6-1-0) Wednesday, while the Thunder (5-14-3-1) don’t play again until Friday when they host the Worcester Railers (18-7-1-0).

 

Download the Field Pass Hockey app from the iTunes or Google Play stores or follow @FieldPassHockey on Twitter for the latest news on the AHL, ECHL, and SPHL throughout the 2023 season!

    Carrie Roberts covers the Adirondack Thunder for Field Pass Hockey. Follow and interact with her on Twitter @FPHAdkThunder.

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