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03 03 2023 IMB0216 X5 Field Pass Hockey

Adirondack Thunder

Thunder Limp into Series with Growlers

#ECHL | The @ECHLThunder visit the @NLGrowlers for their final three games of the season series. @FPHAdkThunder takes a look at what – and who – is likely to impact this series the most.

Photo Courtesy of Andrew Fielder/Field Pass Hockey

Thunder Limp into Series with Growlers

ST. JOHN’S, NL – The Adirondack Thunder finish their regular season series against the Newfoundland Growlers with three games this week in St. John’s.  Heading into Wednesday’s game, the series is tied at four games apiece, with all eight decided in regulation.  Newfoundland has a very slight edge in scoring, with 27 goals to Adirondack’s 26.

Though impossible to predict who will come out on top by the end of the weekend, there are some factors that should weigh heavily in these three games.


The Injury Bug

The Thunder currently have five players on injured reserve and others with less lengthy injuries.  After Sunday’s game, Head Coach Pete MacArthur gave a long list of players who would not be making the trip north: forwards Colin Long (IR), Yanick Turcotte (IR), and Brandon Schultz (IR) and defensemen Jeff Taylor (IR) and Bryce Martin.  Goaltender Mareks Mitens is also on injured reserve.

The Growlers, meanwhile, appear to be healthy, with no one on injured reserve.

*After publication, it was announced that Newfoundland defenseman Brennan Kapcheck was placed on injured reserve, retroactive to March 12.


Hello, This is the AHL Calling…

Four Adirondack players are currently on recall with the Utica Comets: forward Nick Hutchison, defenseman Jarrod Gourley, goaltenders Isaac Poulter and Jake Theut.  Poulter and Theut have all four Thunder victories in the series.

Newfoundland also had several players in the AHL.  Forwards Zach Solow, Orrin Centazzo, and Jack Badini were on recall with the Toronto Marlies, while Isaac Johnson was with the Manitoba Moose.  All but Solow were returned in time for the series against Adirondack.  Goaltender Keith Petruzzelli had also been up with the Marlies but has been swapped out with Luke Cavallin.  Centazzo has seven points in the series; Solow and Badini each have five.


Gogolev’s Departure…and Return

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Photo Courtesy of Hector Urcia/Field Pass Hockey

The Thunder probably let out a collective sigh of relief when forward Pavel Gogolev was traded to the Chicago Blackhawks a couple weeks ago.  The talented Russian has racked up the points against Adirondack this season (seven goals and six assists all coming in six games).  The relief didn’t last long, however, as Gogolev’s contract was terminated the following week.  He signed with the Marlies and returned to Newfoundland just in time to pick up four points against the Reading Royals over the weekend.  He now has a grand total of 52 points this season with the Growlers and will likely factor in the scoring again this week.


Newcomers Making an Impact

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Photo Courtesy of Andrew Fielder/Field Pass Hockey

Adirondack has seen its fair share of replacement players this season, with many of them becoming regulars in the lineup after impressive starts with the team.  One example is forward Grant Jozefek, who joined the team in November to help fill gaps left by injuries, impressed MacArthur enough to stay, and is now one of Adirondack’s top forwards.

Now with collegiate seasons ending, the Thunder have a new wave of newcomers in the lineup, including defensemen Kyle Hallbauer and Austin Rook, forward Matt Jennings, and goaltender Vinnie Purpura.  Hallbauer and Jennings are already contributing in big ways.  Hallbauer played his first pro game Wednesday and scored his first pro goal Friday.  Jennings appeared in his first pro game Friday and picked up his first pro goal (and first pro fight) Saturday, then went on to add another goal Sunday.  Rook and Purpura are expected to make their debuts in St. John’s.

Purpura joins another newcomer, rookie Mike Robinson, in the Thunder net.  Robinson was impressive in both of his starts over the weekend, a pair of victories over the Trois-Rivières Lions, earning his first ECHL win in the process.

This series may have a major impact on the North Division’s playoff picture, as the first place Growlers (39-17-2-0) can clinch a playoff spot as early as this weekend, while the fifth place Thunder (23-26-7-1) are looking to gain some ground on the Worcester Railers (30-26-3-0) for the final playoff spot.

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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