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Adirondack Thunder

Adirondack Thunder

“Stick-to-it-iveness” Leads to Thunder Victory

#ECHL | Thanks in large part to @YanickTurc, the @ECHLThunder finally picked up their first shootout win of the season, a 5-4 decision over the @NorfolkAdmirals. @FPHAdkThunder has the details in her latest.

“Stick-to-it-iveness” Leads to Thunder Victory

GLENS FALLS, NY – The Adirondack Thunder opened their two-game series with the Norfolk Admirals Saturday night.  The two teams are currently in the North Division’s basement, though they are beginning to look like two completely different teams.  The Thunder have been playing their best hockey as of late and are starting to win games they would have lost earlier in the season, while the Admirals are still just losing.  With the exception of the two victories over Adirondack in December, Norfolk has not put together two wins in a row all season and was on a four-game winless streak heading into the weekend.

Saturday’s game showed an Adirondack team that is now able to overcome adversity to pull out the win while giving us a glimpse of a Norfolk team continuing to fall apart.  After coming out strong in the first period, the Admirals fell apart for much of the remainder, allowing the Thunder to mount a successful comeback, extending their skid to five games with a 5-4 shootout loss.

The Admirals dominated the first period, scoring three goals, two of them within a 78-second span.  The first came a little over six minutes into the game.  Denis Smirnov passed the puck to Ryan Foss, whose shot from between the faceoff circles beat Thunder goaltender Isaac Poulter.

Twelve minutes later, Danny Katic doubled the Norfolk lead.  With Yanick Turcotte in the penalty box for getting an elbow up on Alex Pommerville, Josh McDougall fired at the net.  Poulter made the initial save, but Katic was right there to poke it home.  Only 78 seconds later, Katic scored again on the rebound, this time after a shot from Griffin Lunn.  The Admirals headed into the first intermission with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

The Thunder seemed a bit sluggish throughout the opening period and into the second, but a big fight between Turcotte and former Adirondack defenseman Jake Hamilton turned the tide.  Turcotte got the better of Hamilton, pumping up the crowd and his teammates.

Turcotte: “We were trailing by three goals going into the second period, obviously I think the team needed a spark.”

Less than two minutes later, Shawn Weller tipped a shot from defenseman Jeff Taylor past Norfolk netminder Michael Bullion to get Adirondack on the board.

Later in the second, captain Shane Harper scored a fluke shorthanded goal, with the puck bouncing off the post and back toward Bullion, who spun around and dove to make the save but inadvertently knocked the puck over the line instead.

The Thunder had suddenly cut the Admirals’ lead to 3-2 and had all the momentum heading into the third period.

It didn’t take long for the Thunder to tie it.  Less than two minutes into the third, and only six seconds into a power play, Taylor shot through traffic to beat Bullion.

A little over seven minutes later, it was Turcotte firing up the crowd once again, this time with his first goal of the season, giving the Thunder their first lead of the night.

“I was expecting more the fight than the goal to be honest,” Turcotte said with a laugh.  “I didn’t expect that, I was just trying to play my game, and I get the puck right on my stick.”

Eric Cooley scored less than five minutes later after a costly turnover in the Adirondack zone.  Thunder defenseman Matt Stief attempted to pass up to teammate Patrick Grasso, but Mathieu Roy and Stepan Timofeyev combined their efforts to break it up and force the turnover, allowing Cooley to knock it home from in front of the net, tying the game 4-4.

Neither team scored again in the third period or in the overtime session, and they headed to a shootout.  Heading into the night, neither team had been victorious in the shootout yet this season.

It took six rounds to find a winner, with Adirondack’s Grant Jozefek scoring in the second round and Norfolk’s Darren McCormick tying it in the third.  Nobody scored again until Travis Broughman‘s game-winner in the sixth round.  Poulter made the final save on Smirnov’s attempt to seal the deal for the Thunder with a 5-4 victory, ending the team’s overtime/shootout drought.

Adirondack Head Coach Peter MacArthur: “It’s crazy, the ones we’ve lost, we just handed goals on silver platters to people, so it’s just nice.  We killed a penalty off, Poults with some big saves, and a couple nice goals in the shootout to seal it for us.  It’s just stick-to-it-iveness.”

In their comeback victory, several Thunder players stood out, such as Harper with his shorthanded goal, or Taylor and Jozefek with two points apiece.  But the one who stood out the most was Turcotte, whose second period fight changed the momentum of the game, and whose third period goal was nearly the game-winner.  Since toning down his game a bit following several suspensions earlier in the season, Turcotte has proven himself capable of being one of Adirondack’s more relied-upon forwards.

On the Admirals side, the players who stood out the most were Smirnov with two assists, Katic with two goals, and Cooley with the game-tying goal.

Schachle’s Homecoming

For Norfolk forward Tanner Schachle, the visit to Glens Falls was a bit of a homecoming.  As a child, Tanner and younger brother Porter lived in the area while their father, Trent, played for the Adirondack IceHawks from 1999-2002.

Schachle: “Porter was born here, so Glens Falls is big for my family.  It’s good to be back.”

“It’s been a while, the memories are faded now, but I remember my old man playing here.”

On playing in the same arena his father once played in: “It’s awesome.  When stuff comes full circle like that, it’s pretty cool.  Not many people get to experience that, so pretty fortunate and thankful for it.”

Next Up

The Thunder (10-15-4-1) host the Admirals (5-24-1-2) again Sunday afternoon.  The teams have split their four games this season.  Adirondack will be wearing their special Nickelodeon jerseys that are being auctioned off through Dash.

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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